So Ross Richie of Boom Studios is asking fans and creators alike to #boostyourlcs. Ross wants us to boost local comic book shop sales by picking up a graphic novel. Beacuse, you know, we need to keep our retail partners in good shape. My eyes rolled so hard I almost passed out.
First I find it hard to believe that spending more money this month at my LCS is going to do anything of significance to help retailers. I also find it laughable but typical for someone at a publisher to once again shift the responsibility of saving the industry on consumers.
The direct market has been broken for years. The way that comics are sold and distributed is broken. Monthly "floppies" are completely out of sync with the way people purchase content and publishers can't or won't pay decent rates.
For years publishers have been pushing this whole "team comics" concept. We all have to do whatever we can to support the retailers because they keep our industry afloat. When I was publishing PvP through Image, Eric Stephenson warned me about debuting a new book at San Diego Comicon before it could be in stores. Retailers would get pissed. That's right. My publisher was pushing me to put the wellbeing of retailers ahead of my own ability to cover costs and make a living. Because team comics.
Diamond is a virtual monopoly and Marvel and DC are owned by conglomerates who view comic books as a necessary evil to keep their IP current. Meanwhile my facebook and twitter feeds are full of creators working all day and night with little to no sleep to keep up with their schedules and I'm seeing a lot of sickness, strokes, heart attacks, you name it.
I follow a lot of creators on social media and most of the ones who work at the big two publishers are tweeting about starting a pot of coffee at 10pm to start "the night shift." No wonder everone is getting sick. And there's no union, benefits or decent pay for the creators making all this stuff. None of these companies are ever going to worry about your health. They're just going to expect 22 pages a month no matter what. Because that's what keeps the industry alive. Because Team Comics.
I love comics. I love my LCS and many of the publishers out there. But if we're going to make things better for everyone we need to start thinking outside of the goddamn box.
Frankly, I think all the top creators should just do creator-owned shit online.
Does that really sound more risky than 3 hours of sleep a night for a publisher that doesn't give a shit and will eventually ask you to go buy an extra graphic novel this month to keep their bottom line healthy?