Robert Kirkman’s Creator-Owned Call-Out?

Rick Marshall

Rick Marshall was Online Managing Editor for ComicMix before joining MTV's SplashPage. Previously, he was Online Content Manager for Wizard Entertainment. He has written for several daily newspapers, alternative weekly newspapers, trade magazines and online media, and was named "Writer of the Year" by the New York Press Association in 2005.

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3 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    While I agree with much of what Robert said, overall I feel he over-simplified a situation and offered solutions which are already in place (as others have been saying for years) for those who want them.However, if his purpose was to get a larger group to talk about the industry and its problems/solutions, it appears he's been successful.

  2. Marc Alan Fishman says:

    As a fan of both creator owned and commercial titles… I found Kirkman's call to arms a little confusing at times. Does this stem from his Marvel books not doing so well? I don't know. His creator owned titles (Invincible, etc.) are very popular. As he said himself, he's doing well on his own books. So who out there is he trying to talk to? Grant Morrison? Geoff Johns? Bendis? I find so much work done by those three alone, I've never yearned for more creator owned material. Some kids play better in the marvel/dc sandbox (like Morrison, Bendis, Johns) than others (Neil Gaiman for example). I harshly disagree with the thought that Marvel and DC are writing over 13 year olds' heads right now. When I was 12 I bought Arkham Asylum, which wasn't for kids in any right. It inspired me to read more challenging work. Commercial books don't need to pander to any one audience. Good books are being made today. And I don't read Marvel Adventures, but I know for a fact Tiny Titans and a few other DC kids books are being well handled and well received. So on that point Mr. Kirkman, I may not be on board.Ultimately though, what burns me about this mission statement is how it effects me (the trying-madly-to-break-into-the-industry-creator). As it stands, my "company" (as in my studio) fought tooth and nail to be published by a great small press here in Chicago. We've sold almost all of our first run of our book since it's debut in May, and we even did the Chicago convention for the first time as creators as opposed to fans. Robert's statement just filled me with the feeling that if major creators did in fact more more towards creator owned properties… Where would it leave me and my studio? It's hard enough (as in, as far as I can tell, 98% impossible) to break into the industry and aspire to make a book for any of the big two as it stands. And if one day, a whole slew of already established guys make a run for small presses to handle their creator owned books… will it become that much more impossible for guys like me to make it?In any event, I am fan. If this inspires more great books to be made, then I applaud it (because my studio will never stop trying to break in). Ultimately, we're all here to be entertained. The boat is big enough for everyone to get on. The captains just need to open up the hull a little. What a great debate to get people talking again. It's 1993 all over again.

  3. Russ Rogers says:

    If Kirkman thinks that comics written for a younger audience are important to the continued growth of the comics fan base (and I agree with him) he shouldn't make it the ONUS of DC and Marvel to create those books. He's a creator. Why doesn't HE write a book aimed at a younger audience? Kirkman seems to have a strong sense of what kids want to read. Why isn't he writing that book for kids? If comic books for kids are important, then Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse AND independent creators (in short, everybody) ought to consider writing for kids. If nobody thinks it's important, then the industry can gentrify and die, which is the course Kirkman claims it's on.I would point to BONE by Jeff Smith as a creator owned comic that has had broad appeal across a wide range of ages. Scholastic Books are publishing a very nice color reprint of BONE.I wish Kirkman had thought out what he was going to say, even WRITTEN out what he was going to say (he is a writer, yes?), before plunking himself in front of a camera and just spewing for nine minutes.