With Jim Hanley’s Universe closing here in NYC, it’s yet another comics staple that’s gone. I’ve seen shops close, the quality of art dip, storytelling kind of on the up but nothing that really excites people, sales plummet and comic films not doing great. Basically, we’re in a slump and have been for some time.
That sounds negative, I know, but I also know malaise like this can’t last forever. Eventually things are gonna be an upward trend. Eventually comics are gonna have another boom period.
But that got me thinking…what would cause that or would you be considered something to help comics? I have a few thoughts…ten bucks says they’re not possible or even plausible, but some ideas of how I think we can get back to a fantastic era.
First, I’d get rid of Jim Lee as the publisher and bring in Mark Waid. It’s no secret I haven’t been a fan of Lee as an artist or publisher or head of DC or whatever the term is these days. Things kind of went downhill when Paul Levitz got replaced. That being said, I’d love to see someone like Mark Waid come in and revitalize DC. Bring in someone who has a love and appreciation for the characters and stories. If his recent World’s Finest work is any indication, the man hasn’t lost a step in terms of storytelling and characters. I think he’d be fantastic
Less event comics and more important stories in the individual series themselves. Event comics aren’t inherently bad, but it feels like we have a new one every couple of months with tie-ins and consequences that sort of matter but don’t. I kind of wish we’d go back to the method we had in the eighties where you’d build up a big story and the payoff would be in that year’s annual. Annuals these days are either not important or showcases for up and coming writers and artists…the latter I’m cool with.
I will say I love what James Gunn is doing at the end of trailers for upcoming movies by adding a little tag showing you what tpbs to pick up if you’re interested in the movie. I think that’s a great way to get people interested and would like to see more of that. Different advertising would help.
How about celebrating runs or stories in news articles rather than spotlighting controversy? I’m so sick and tired comic sites in general, but seeing them constantly focus on what “didn’t work” or how certain stories “failed” characters doesn’t help. I know it’s clickbait designed to make you so angry you’ll click on the article to see what the writer actually has to say, but what I wouldn’t give to see good stories spotlighted. Give us reviews that focused on what made the story compelling or what surprise got you excited to read the next issue.
I’m sure there’s plenty more, but how about you? Imagine you had a say in propping up comics again, what changes or ideas would you bring to the table?