The Comics Journal board asks: “What’s with the indie snobs, man? Huh? HUH?!?“:
“This weekend at the Baltimore comic-con I happened to notice something interesting. My table was positioned directly across from two back-to-back booths that could be described as the ‘home base’ for indie-comics at the show. Throughout the duration of the weekend all of the big names in the indie scene that happened to be at the show would repeatedly convene in this area. I’m not going to name any names, but they were artists, publishers, journalists, chairpersons, etc. The ‘elites’ of our little microcosm. Being in my position allowed me to do my fair share of people watching, and like I said, I noticed something. Not one of these ‘elites’ spent two seconds at a single artist alley table looking, talking, or familiarizing themselves with the 40-50 self publishers at the show.
“I’m not upset that I was personally ignored. I really don’t kiss ass anyway, most of the time I make an ass out of myself in these situations because I have too much fun with people. I didn’t even realize this observation untill the car ride home. It just struck me as weird that these people would rather be little-fish in the big pond than big-fish in the little pond.”
The response from others is cautious:
“I’ve noticed the same thing over the years — the bigger alternative cartoonists tend to distance themselves from the unknowns. Is it a case of ‘these peons can’t help my career’? Or ‘I’m tired of them trying to get me to help their career’? Who knows. In either case, they don’t need to wade through Artist Alley themselves to discover the next rising star to induct into their group; that task can fall to their publishers.”
“That’s not comics, that’s EVERY field. I think that you’re looking at it pretty cynically. I don’t think it’s a case of ‘these peons can’t help me,’ but the latter point IS a contributing factor…but not quite as hostile… These are human beings. They have a right to attend the show in peace and when they are walking the floor, they have a right to go where they want. More established industry folks will undoubtedly have friends and accquaintances in the industry and at the convention, when they’re not working, they’ll want to shoot the breeze with them… Comics are visual. Yes, it is possible to see that you’re not interested in certain comics from a distance. And then one can keep his or her distance accordingly. Absolutely. Nothing personal, why should they get artists’ hopes up and why should they be made uncomfortable by people’s desires if they weren’t interested from the get-go?”
“[T]o play Devil’s Advocate, how come you don’t get mad at all the sad-eyed self-publishers and DIYers up and down Artist’s Alley for not making better comics that people might have more interest in stopping to look at or buy?”
Everything gets put in perspective by the following comment, of course:
“Years ago I was at Motor-Coty Con promoting my crappy comics. Billy Dee Williams was about four tables down form mine. That fucker never once stopped by. Buncha bullshit! I’m the whole reason Lando was even there!”
Wise words, my friend.