We have a plethora of comics WRITERS, all with varying skill sets. But how many are truly CREATORS? I don’t mean “let’s take the same old tired thing and put a new spin on it for the umpteenth time”, but the “let’s do something entirely new” kind of thing.
Even the most popular writers out there now just rehash (Green Lantern, Kingdom Come, Skrull Invasions, Civil War, Crisises, etc.) characters and concepts others have let go while the best we get is new and sometimes interesting takes on existing concepts.
Where are the creators outside of indie books?
The rest of the fans wonder if the problem is really with the writers and artists, or everything else:
“If there are comic creators, would the companies really allow them to create something brand new, and if they did would any of the readers in the market actually buy it?”
“You also need to consider the business realities of creating characters and titles from whole cloth. If you create a brand new character or concept for Marvel or DC, the company owns it 100%. If you did that same character as a creator-owned property at another company, or for an imprint like Icon, the creator ends up owning the lion’s share of the property, and reaping the benefits. In other words, if Robert Kirkman had created Invincible as a Marvel book, he would reap very little benefit from it beyond what he’s paid to write it. Since he created it as an Image title, he gets all the benefit from it. There’s very little incentive to create something new for Marvel and DC (Wildstorm and Vertigo creator-participation options aside) — it’s like giving away your ideas. There are just too many other options (Image, Dark Horse, Top Cow, Oni, etc.) where you can retain all or some ownership. That’s why you rarely seen “new” creations in the Marvel U and DCU.”
“Sean McKeever and Mike Norton created the character Gravity for Marvel and the only things I read online were reactions from fans that compared the new character to versions of existing characters. It was a fun take on a young hero gaining powers, but vast majority of the audience stayed away from that mini-series and jeered it from their keyboards at a safe distance. Paul Jenkins’ Sentry is often called Marvel’s newest version of Superman. The comparisons aren’t easy to escape, even when people are creative or inventive… I think it is far more difficult to find open minded readers than it is talented creators at Marvel and DC. If the bigger companies have to mind the bottom line more often, they have to generate the material that sells the most.”
Is it a chicken and the egg situation? Does the superhero market want new ideas, or more of the same? I know which way the cynic in me leans…