Comics Creators

Comics - Everyone Else (NOT Marvel / DC)


Gideon Falls is awesome. Very much of a similar vein to Providence. You’re right.

A Walk Through Hell, likewise.


Gillen has said that Avatar owns Uber. They came up with the concept and he was hired to write it.


I get that. Doesn’t change my point re: the creative possibilities. The same thing at DC would end up being a Justice Society Elseworlds, with all the limitations such a concept would entail.


Those sound like synonyms for the same thing to me. :wink:

I also think the “look at all the creators who have worked with them” line is a bit misleading. I think you also have to look at all the creators who have worked with them in the past and no longer work with them to get a clearer picture.

I also think considering them a bit fly by night isn’t out of the question because the white building below in dead center is the address listed on their website as their headquarters. This is in Rantoul, Illinois where property is not expensive by any stretch of the imagination. There also appears to be a second business, Comic Cavalcade, that shares the same address and phone numbers


Looks like a reasonable production office to me. Then again, I have seen some amazingly ghetto production offices!


Looks like a diversion/shell address to me in case the repo/tax man/woman comes knocking. :wink:

I would assume they don’t actually produce anything there as Quebecor (edit: looks like it might be Quad/Graphics or under some other ownership now) does the lion’s share of printing in the comic world due to Diamond incentives.


Likely you’re right. I’ve simply seen “production offices” being somebody’s second bedroom, a Tuff Shed out back (with WiFi), two connected Winnebagos (that one actually worked very well - nice tables), all the way up to 3Ksqft offices with live update electronic boards. (Most use whiteboards and postits.) Point is, one can never really tell. My buddy Tim, on the seven season of Curb Your Enthusiasm did not have a production office. He did it on the fly or at home. (There was a small office for the production company in Century City, basically a place for two secretaries and a phone bank.) OTOH when we did “The Project That Never Existed” he had a corner office in the best building on the KTLA lot with a secretary’s antechamber, two walls of windows, a private bathroom (with a shower and bathtub) and the biggest damned desk he could get put in there. Thanks, Lorimar Telepictures! This was just down the hall from Cosby, who really, really wanted Tim’s office!


This is actually closer to my expectation with the shitty building pictured being an asset to the actual company so personal assets would not be repossessed if bankruptcy was filed. It’s possible that there is some storage there. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they actually operated out of the building next door and listed that one as the address for similar reasons.


To be fair, Avatar may be a fly by night, but they’ve outlasted a number of other comic book companies. Most notably, for this discussion, CrossGen - who were probably the exact opposite (nice, fancy offices, with all the mod cons; run as a business instead of a creative enterprise, with some pretty big name creatives signed up as salaried staff). They crashed & burned. But, Avatar are still around (although increasingly on their last legs, it seems).


CrossGen crashed and burned because the owner believed Stan Lee’s Bullpen was real and wanted to recreate the same thing. :wink:


Yeah. He was a bit of a nutcase. But, the core concept of running it like a regular FTSE business wasn’t a flawed idea. His continued editorial interference was.


It seems like a good idea but the comic business has traditionally been ran with creators as freelancers working from home. It wasn’t an impossibility but likely could have used a bit more thought into what the culture of the business actually was. The problem is some people really believed the Bullpen myth.


I don’t think this is much of a mystery - ComCav is Avatar’s direct retail business isn’t it? I’ve ordered stuff from them directly in the past.

From here:

Official sales agent of Avatar Press: Comic Cavalcade is proud to be the official direct sales agent of publisher Avatar Press, with a complete line of Avatar comics and merchandise in stock.


Do they service any other publishers? It makes it even more suspect if Avatar only sells through a shell. It allow them the potential to shift inventory/assets to another company in the event of bankruptcy.


I did as a kid. First time experiencing anything like an actual committee demolished that pretty little fantasy! People do not get along!


That’s not the part that’s the myth. The myth was that everyone worked together in the same office. It was likely just Stan, a secretary and maybe an editor or two in the early days. The other creative staff (even Jack Kirby) worked from home and as time went on not necessarily even in the same city.


Umm … yeah. Figured that right out. Actually, now, with people working in some sort of cubicle farm, it’s a lot like the imaginary Bullpen. It did help in learning how an organization is conceptualized and that concept may have little or nothing to do with physical structures. I’ve found this to be a critical understanding when it comes to understanding corporate and political structures, for instance.


They have a cubicle farm now but it’s still just editorial and other office staff. Most of the creators still work from home.


I think they might have in the past; I’d probably have to go looking through some old back issues looking for an ad, though. I think I can remember them selling stuff from other publishers like Sirius.

From what I recall, they’ve been around quite a while, maybe even longer than Avatar Press.

I don’t know what the exact relationship is between Avatar and Cavalcade; could be that they keep their direct-order fulfillment arm a separate company for business reasons, or it could be that they bought the retailer at some point, or the businesses were otherwise intertwined. I wouldn’t necessarily read anything shady or sinister into it.


From the link above:

Comic Cavalcade was founded in 1989

So seven years before Avatar.