Read Astral Aves for many reasons, but PRIMARILY for its extremely powerful hair game.
Here is a little secret… There’s no male pattern hair loss in the 4 kingdoms… that’s the primary conceit of my High Concept Fantasy Setting.
Reth+inking Our Medium
To start, I’d like to thank everyone who has made th+ink comics as welcoming as it has been. I appreciate every view, tweet, like, and comment. As long as you‘re interested, I’ll keep writing. Last week, I brought up the idea of rethinking our medium to see if my thoughts would resonate with those in the community. What I found was surprising, but not unexpected. We have a deep resentment. That brings me to what I’d like to address this week.
Part II: Our Enemies, Most Dear to Us.
The issue I knew I was going to run into when I set out to write these dynamic articles was that people were going to want to talk about the things that I tried to steer clear of. Overwhelmingly, the Big Two seem to personify what is wrong with our medium. So much so, that any talk about change starts with them. I’ll say it again: To be clear, I am not saying that companies are blameless. What I’m proposing is this– we are not powerless.
I take this sentiment to heart. So much of the discussion about what is wrong with comics turns into finger pointing. At some point, we need to realize that rethinking our medium means rethinking ourselves. Weighing ourselves constantly against their success is toxic. It’s become the norm to compare and measure our success to the very models we despise. For me that is the equivalent to hating [enter random celebrity] yet trying to emulate them. As odd as that may seem, it’s common.
Over the years I’ve been asked to be a part of many “revolutionary” comic ventures. There are a few projects in particular that stick out to me. I genuinely believe that these people were well intentioned, and I wish them luck, but I always turn these sorts of things down. They’re often pitched to me as the next “Something”, be it Star Wars, or the next X-Men. My problem with these sorts of projects, besides the fact that they almost never pay, is that this is only further perpetuating the social consensus that these things are the definition of what it means to be successful in our medium.
The fact of the matter is that at the heart of our problem, lies us.
Action is paramount. Our actions navigate our medium. It’s easy to see this in terms of mainstream comics. Maybe that is why we paint such a big target on them. But, it’s no mystery that after decades of buying into Batman and Spider-Man that they’re still around and just as relevant as ever. Beyond the idea of monetization alone, lives this idea of voice. It’s not enough that we buy these things; we also are vocal about them. What it comes down to is this; they are dear to us.
I’m no different. They are dear to me as well. I love Nightcrawler from X-Men, John Constantine of Hell Blazer, Hellboy, and the Master Chief. The breakdown happens when we can’t see beyond these things, these companies, and these characters. There is a vast world of amazing characters and stories that get ignored when we can’t see beyond these properties. The same goes with the way we think, we need to think beyond them. The problem there, I believe is that it takes a real conscious effort to do so.
Most independents do not have massive marketing budgets. We’re not on television. We don’t run large advertisements campaigns. The Big Two, and the lesser three or four, make it so easy for us to form an opinion about them. They are in our faces. They have movies, games, ads, etc. They are there for you, whether or not you were looking, and they are there constantly.
This is an interesting read. I often wonder what the values of fan culture are, and sometimes they’re kind of alarming. Going out and finding new things is cool. It’s okay to be cool. Sometimes, I feel like people don’t want other people to be cool.