Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Comics' Press Divide

I think there is a comics' press divide. This isn't startling news at all for most people, but hear me out about why I think it is just getting starker and more dramatic as opposed to something joyous like the internet bringing us all together.

You've got your mainstream comic-news--from the ones that basically are mouthpieces for big companies (Newsarama) to those report a lot of mainstream-news and just a little independent stuff besides the big companies such as Image and Dark Horse (CBRComic's Alliance are an example). I'm talking the really-small indies getting less coverage as opposed to my next example.

We've also got the really independent-focused stuff that barely goes near anything featuring capes and super-powers unless it is a particularly interesting book from a big publisher that still isn't part of the Big 2 (Marvel and DC)--unless of course the goal is to mock said comic, then have at it. The Comics Journal is a big example of this with its increasingly narrow focus on books that many comic-readers who only do the Big 2 have never heard of.

There are sites that walk the line between big-companies and tiny-press. Bleeding Cool makes its bread-and-butter on rumors and scuttlebutt but will have articles about the smaller-press books and even lesser-known book within the bigger companies too. The Comics Reporter basically just talks about anything of any interest that happens in comics because I think writer Tom Spurgeon is half-computer with all the content he always is putting up. Plus, many blog-writers can do whatever they want and talk about big books one post and small ones another; after all, as just a single person or a few people do them it is easy to post whatever is wanted (Caleb on "Everyday is Like Wednesday" is a good example of someone who writes about anything, and does it well)--that is different from these big sites though.

I suppose what I'm getting at is that while we all know there seems to be this huge divide in comics between those who like more mainstream-titles and the folk who only enjoy the really small-press stuff, there are plenty of people who enjoy both kinds of work, be they super-heroes from Marvel and DC, bigger-name titles from Image, IDW, or Dark Hourse, or really small-press books that are harder to find and hear about. That makes it all the more sad that the websites that do this reporting still seem to be in their own little group of only talking about particular comics and dismissing all others. One reason I really like Bleeding Cool is probably because it loves all comics, and discusses everything from the huge blockbuster to a small indie-title with the same enthusiasm or disdain depending on the quality of the book.

Maybe I'm not the one to talk about this, seeing as there is much time I spend discussing more mainstream titles or books that may be from slightly-smaller publishers, but which are still relatively-well known. I like to think I do cover some slightly lesser-known books too, and enjoy everything from the most mainstream title to something done by the tiniest indie, because good comics are enjoyable no matter how big or small a name made them.

I guess I don't have much point to this article besides saying that maybe the comics' press should try to diversify more. It can only encourage people to broaden their horizons and develop a taste for a whole new book they maybe wouldn't have heard of if a website had passed-over discussing it. Variety is the spice of life, you know.

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