29 September 2005

Link: Erik Larsen Goes Off


An open letter to comic book creators everywhere:

Is that all you've got?


Because if it is-- that's pretty fucking sad.

...I understand the desire to clutch on to the security of a guaranteed page rate. And I understand the attraction of working on characters that you grew up with. But at what point are you going to grow up? When are you going to stop sucking on the corporate tit? When are you going to (gasp) take a risk?

Do you think the guy working for MdDonalds really has a better chance for success than the guy opening up his own restaurant? Sure, McDonalds employee #12876 is getting paid a regular paycheck. Sure, the guy going out on his own is taking a real risk-- thousands of restaurants go belly up every year and there's no guarantee of success-- but shouldn't there be more to life than slapping together somebody else's hamburgers? Are you really going to feel as though you've lived a full life having spent it churning out more Big Macs?

Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.

What's the matter?


Or do you really have nothing to say?

Are you ready to confess that those "old hacks" that you look down on really had more going on than you do? Are you willing to confess that you're devoid of ideas? Are you going to fall back on the tried-and-true "all the good characters have been created" or "I'd just end up ripping off some existing character-- and who needs another Batman knock off?"

It goes on for a bit, including the priceless, "Why are you such a pussy?" Considering Larsen's the publisher of Image Comics, it may be a bit self-congratulatory but damn if it doesn't make for far more fascinating reading than Quesada's weekly handjob over at Newsarama.


Erech said...

That's really kind of awesome. Too bad Eriks personal drama will probably cloud the message for most people - but he's right in the end.

jdonelson.nyc said...

I don't know, the issue with drawing Spider-Man vs. creating your own characters go a whole lot deeper than being a "pussy" or not. Quarter bins are littered with people's failed attempts at creating new ideas from scratch. If you've got a family to feed, I have a hard time blaming you for taking a paycheck from DC or Marvel instead of taking the enormous risk of trying to sell something original in a marketplace that's so hostile towards new ideas.

If Larsen wants to go after somebody for the stranglehold that corporate characters have on the comic industry, he should direct some of his ire towards slavish fanboys who buy three copies of every X-title instead of picking up something new once in a while.

Erech said...

Yeah, I was gonna add the "gotta pay the bills" to my reply. Overally his rant is correct, but it's utlimately not very realistic for most artists, and is really easy to say coming from the secure spot and money Larsen has right now.

But there are several people at the Big 2 who could risk some monetary loss for more creative freedom and original stories who just really don't, instead spend time jerking out more Spidey, Batman/Superman etc etc.

Or hey, Erik, I know 3-4 guys with totally original comic projects who could use a publisher, myself included, put your money where your mouth is, ya know?

Whune said...

Ok, the 'gotta pay the bills' thing... Personally I thought Mr. Larsen's rant was directed at the high-profile movers and shakers, 'creators' that continue to be bitches to the system. where they go, the attention goes, but they cower and choose to perpetuate the tripe that pollutes the artform I love dearly.

and honestly, there's nothing stopping them from trying something out, while keeping their regular gig going