But then again, don’t they all?
It’s supposed to.
I think there’s a very clear strategy on Marvels part these days - make the characters the stars, not the writers or artists. In the past they relied on big names and it allowed those creators to negotiate high rates and hold Marvel hostage. When they put in all the work building up a big name and promoting them for years through cons the big name would then jump to indie publishing to seek their own fortune and leave Marvel high and dry.
They’ll never be as overt to say this is their strategy, but it explains why they’ve lost so many names over the last few years and created so few new ones. It’s got the stink of Disney corporate all over it.
Saying that they’ve come close to it, in the rather disastrous ‘diversity’ retailer conference last year they also said that artists don’t sell books. Since they’ve also let every A list writer go apart from Aaron you can only assume they aren’t too bothered there either and only believe the IP sells as you say.
They’re right in the most part. Artists used to sell books, but these days there’s maybe fewer than 10 guys that can make a reader buy a book they wouldn’t normally buy.
It’s an interesting question - are we comic book character fans or comic book creator fans?
I suspect what we’re seeing is probably not as black and white as that. I tend to be a creator fan more (and we’ve held a poll and thread over this before) but I will be swayed by favourite characters too and some fans are more into that.
If your favourite comic character is always off the boil though and lacklustre, people will leave, maybe just read the old stuff or watch cartoons or TV adaptations. Batman has not always automatically been DC’s best seller, that’s been the case since Snyder/Capullo and then King and co came on, before that it was Green Lantern. In the late 90s it was JLA, in the 80s Teen Titans.
The X-Men are my first comic love and were undisputed top of the pile for 20 years but don’t make much of a ripple now.
So you may not say ‘I’m buying this book solely because Ivan Reis is drawing it’ but if there’s a sequence of lesser artists switching in and out and rushed work it may well have a bearing on not continuing to buy it.
Yes. Yes, we are.
Nope, because we are way past facepalm territory:
This is ‘turned-his-ass-into-a-hand-grenade’ worthy.
If that’s Marvel’s plan regarding artists then I don’t think it’s a great one. People may not buy books for specific artists too much any more, not the way they did in the 90s, but bad art has a ripple effect too.
Without naming names I can think of two books at Marvel that would be much more highly regarded except for the fact that the art is awful. Who knows if that means better sales, of course.
- Marvel: Artists don’t sell books
- Counter: You don’t them time enough to be linked to a book!
Dauterman on Thor, plus Henderson on Squirrel Girl, are about the only examples I can think of where Marvel haven’t moved the artist around so they had time to establish their self as part of the team.
Meanwhile, over at DC…
For the Big Two, I would say for myself it would be more character though a creator is an important factor.
When it comes to indie and creator-owned work, it’s the concept. If the premise doesn’t interest me, it doesn’t matter who the creator is. I think the combo of Brubaker and Phillips would be my only exception though all of their pitches grabbed me.
On the same boat… I don’t care if there’s a super creator team on a character I have zero interest in… I mean, sure, I might check it out if the buzz is gigantic, but it won’t be my first instinct… conversely it really pisses me off when they get “bad” creators on my fav characters’ books.
Creator all the way. Mostly writer bar a handful of artists.
If a book doesn’t grab me I don’t care who the character is. Hence why I get so pissed off at 2000ad nowadays.
If a US book wasn’t doing it for me I’d just drop it. I avoid certain writers in the same way I search out others. Because I’m buying 2000ad religiously, I’m exposed to writers who I’d never pay money to read at any other time.
I can’t speak for everyone else, but I think buying a comic for the character alone is something we grow out of in our early teens once we learn about the creators and the industry itself.
Basically this, There’s a handful of characters I have some affection for - Captain Britain, the G1 Transformers, the Wildstorm and Valiant universes - but it only means I’ll consider buying comics with them. If I don’t like the creators or the concept, I’ll gladly pass.
I have an unhealthy passion for all things Cable.
Back in 95 I was surprised how complexed the character was and complicated his background was and the potential for being the key lynch pin to all things x with possibilities to come.
I went down the back issue tunnel ordering all appearances from mile high comics with a postal check from NZ.
Steve Skroces art struck me as powerful and different from anything else I’m the shelf and them straight into age of apocalypse which was ground breaking at the time.
Soldier X ruined it for me and I only recently picked up the original issues for the completion in me.
I’ve always felt he could be the lynch pin of the marvel universe and was very excited that bendis used him in his Miles Spider-man aligning him with de vinci and the new shield.
Obviously x-men extinction seems to have taken this plot line off the table which whilst disappointing can be easily remedied (timeywimey)
He absolutely needs a hickman type saga that drives the whole mcu into a new era. (of course I’ve got an outline )
So yeah. Ride or die askani’son
After my teenage years I followed creators in the glory era of the 2000’s, but I also kept checking in on favorite characters and would buy their books regardless of the creative team. I suspect the majority of fans are character first in that regard, and a star creator is better suited to build up a new book rather than support an established one.
I have a similar approach. To me it’s creators/character/concept. There’s always exceptions, but for the most part you need two of the three to get me to buy a book.
So, an original Image book won’t have chararacters I like (yet), but the right combo of creators and concept will sell me. I’m probably missing great books because I don’t know the creators — but that’s okay. I can’t buy everything, but I’m time I might grow to like the creators based on other work, and an circle back.
This does tend to favor Marvel for me, because if you start with Moon Knight or Spidey, you only need one other component.
I’ll check out Daredevil and Fantastic Four no matter what. Currently DD in Unlimited and FF in floppies.
I’m not usually let down. I think they’re characters that people really like to write.
I don’t think there is any writer that I will read no matter what.
I have a few go to characters, like The Punisher, Animal Man and a few others, that I’ll always check out - but I won’t keep reading them if the concept doesn’t appeal to me or the writer isn’t getting the tone right (or just poor writing (see ongoing comics thread shortly).
I used to be all about the character. There was a time that I would proudly say “as long as I’m buying comics I’ll be buying Batman, Detective Comics, and [at the time] Robin.”
Afterwards, I was all about the creators - I bought everything (and I do mean everything) that a handful of creators put out.
Today, I’m a little off both. Great creators combined with favourite characters will always get my support. Crappy no name creators, even on Batman, will always be a hard pass. Favourite creators on creator owned will always get my support, so long as the elevator pitch appeals. Those same creators on a title or character that holds no interest to me, will likewise be left on the shelf. There’s not enough time in the day.
Both. I have my 2 out of 3 rule looking at writer, artist and character. I love Superman and the X-Men but there have been long patches of time where I haven’t picked up either because of the creative direction. Conversely, I pick up everything @Mark_Millar writes because I enjoy his work and he gets the best artists.