The Corona Virus certainly has taken its toll on the world in all industries. Disney lost all its theme park revenue, many restaurants had to close down, and now the Comics industry is struggling: hard. Before we delve into the recent events of this global pandemic affecting Marvel, DC, and Image, lets dive deep into various business breakdowns that caused the collapse of a 6+ decade old industry. #PencilsDown
Comic Industry Leaders Attack their Customers
Would you be inclined to continue listening to your favorite band if their lead singer told you you were a 'misogynistic piece of shit?' Would you go watch a movie if their lead actor spat in your face? Maybe you won't be so inclined. This is the heretical drama mainstream comics stirred over the last 5 years. Lead writer for Marvel's "She-Hulk" loves creating "hot takes," insulting the entire race of white people, as well as labeling heterosexual people trash.
Article from "Bounding into Comics" caught a few tweets of hers that paints her a clear hue of bigotry. It's astonishing how Marvel, a professional company, allows their key writers to act out in such vile manners. If, say, a Walmart employee started bashing customers in a similar fashion, they would be fired on the spot. (Unless Walmart desires fewer customers, and less profit.) You may read the full article here. https://boundingintocomics.com/2020/04/03/marvel-studios-she-hulk-writer-dana-schwartz-compares-men-to-oscar-the-grouch-as-she-continues-her-man-hating-twitter-tirades/
Not only do you have Writer of She-Hulk lambasting her audience, so is Marve's Donny Cast, this time his inability to take criticism.
Instead of owning up to the failure of an idea, explained in the next section, he instead calls out his critics of being 'racist' an bigoted. It's the ultimate form of deflection where you can label anyone you don't like as a bigot because they don't like your work. How do you even grow, or improve your future work, if you won't listen to criticism?
Marvel and DC Becomes Laughably Tone-Deaf
If you spend more than 1 hour on the internet, you may learn what the term "Snowflake" or "Safespace" means, as well as their implications on the internet rabble. Marvel apparently does not, otherwise they wouldn't have named their newest line of heroes that. Marvel's New Heroes is a comedic disaster.
New Warriors blatantly forces the incorporation of LGBTQ representation. While there's nothing inherently wrong about having any LGBTQ characters, or characters representing minorities, it's important to identify and understand elements of pandering, to the point where it's 'forcing' characters to be designed in these ways without any purpose other than for pure marketing. This is also evident on the behavior of the creator(s) online, as listed above. Instead of designing a character like: "This hero is GAY and nonbinary and loves men, just look at his clearly flamboyant, girly style! Everything that matters to him is being GAY...and can do x, y, and z sometimes..", characters should be first created with a sense of higher purpose, with depth, and of course a sensible name, such as: "So this hero has W power, which he discovered during an accident at X. What motivates him is Y, and it's important to him because Z. He also happens to be gay, but that's not critical to his backstory." The level of importance that you put into a trait of a character, either in marketing or in the story, is what you're assuming your audience wants to care about the most. Most comic readers don't care what gender, race, or sexuality a character is, as long as it isn't expressed like a forced marketing ploy. Not only does it diminish the value of those who they're trying to relate to, it diminishes the relatability of the characters, and your audience loses respect for them.
Then you have DC's Gotham High School, which is set up to be the antithesis of the comics legacy of Batman and his universe.
Fans of Batman, Cat Woman, and the Joker don't want a high school love triangle story (and those who like high school love triangles likely don't care about Batman either.) When you hear "Batman", you think of a badass with near super intelligence who can break a bone in 1000 different ways with his hands and be the only mortal to go toe-to-toe with Superman (given prep time.) You don't think of this...this silly high school drama tale. Let's even take perspective into someone who likes these kinds of stories. You have "Popular high school student with a massive following," "Some jock with nothing to his name" and "Pretty girl who manipulates two guys trying to fight over her." Throw in social media elements and you have a crummy fan-fiction written by today's 14 year old teenaged girl. DC too, is tone-deaf to what their audience really wants.
Manga Outshines Comics in America
A few months ago, Forbes announced that Manga is outselling Comics. As Marvel and DC are slowly pushing their customers away, the consumers are turning to other forms of media to replace them, including the visual novels in Japan.
Since companies like Marvel like to drop the bomb by insulting their fans and producing failures, the Manga industry will certainly pick up the slack naturally. So long for that 60+ year history of comics in America, being out shined by Japan's Shonen Jump. Perhaps it would be better for Shonen Jump to buy Marvel and DC comics.
Accelerated Collapse Caused by a Global Pandemic
The backbone of distribution of mainstream comics lies in Diamond Comics. However, Diamond is in a tough spot, recently announced they won't be able to pay their publishers, as well as being unable to distribute new comics. Now Marvel, DC, Image, Darkhorse, and others are scrambling to resolve this major setback. Not only is Diamond running out of funds to even pay their publishers, they have no means to bring comics to their buyers with comic shops shutting down nationwide. Because of the pandemic, among reasons listed above, comics are set on halt. No new comics are being sold, and no new comics are even being distributed. Naturally, with revenue issues arising, layoffs may result, even in upper management. This is why you don't put all your eggs in one basket, and why you shouldn't allow one to maintain a monopoly that would completely destroy an industry if they collapsed.
Rise of Comics Gate and an Industry Revolution
Thankfully, there is hope. To adapt to a changing world with sleazy cultural values, and a change that mitigated the problems caused by the Corona Virus long before, Comics Gate has been rising more and more with independent content creators. Motivated by 'cancel culture' and horrible business practices in their industry, comic creators have taken the pens into their own hands by gathering a supporting community and helping projects get funded. Whether it's Ethan Van Sciver's highly successful Cyberfrog comics, to Philip Diaz's Magic Cop, there are hundreds of indie comic creators eager and willing to put amazing, unique stories into the hands of readers. While the movement has had its share of drama between creators, overall the community has done an excellent job of aiding many dozens of creators. We've had a little bit of growth since our last article! If you like this kind of content, please support us by subscribing to our monthly blog on our website at: https://www.chainlinkproductions.net/ Because of how many more people we've been reaching out to, our next post will fully explain what ChainLink Productions is, who's all involved, what our plans are, and why transparency is important. Stay tuned!