Well, back on August 13 Robert Kirkman spoke his mind and it struck a nerve in some circles. Bossman Parkin covered some of the reaction in an August 15 post, but given that feedback continued on into this week, I thought I’d snag some further feedback. Plus, as always, other folks offered up items worth quoting.
“I haven’t commented on Robert Kirkman’s video screed on creator ownership for two reasons:  The pro-creators’ rights argument isn’t exactly news to most Journal readers, and  the notion that a bevy of original works, presumably genre works, that don’t star Wolverine or Batman are going to set the Direct Market on fire, change the buying habits of the Wednesday Crowd or even provide sustainable incomes in the majority of cases is just insane on the face of it. (Kirkman: There’s a reason that most alt-comics types — you know, the folks who’ve been putting their money where your mouth is for two decades? — have been quietly abandoning the DM ship for the past few years.)”
-Dirk Deppey, TCJ.com online editor, pussyfooting (yea, I’m kidding) around what he really thinks of Kirkman’s take.
“I’m not saying he’s wrong on everything. I do agree that comics should be more kid friendly but to do that you don’t need to run off all the older fans just to appeal to a younger audience. Being more accessible to kids could be as simple as less risque clothing on women and blocking out swearing. Not turning Bullseye into an angry clown or making the Punisher fire paint balls at criminals.”
-Seth Breedlove noting that he does not disagree entirely with Kirkman.
“Someone as passionate and knowledgeable about comics as he is should know better than to make such a blanket dismissal. Jeff (Parker) and I have been associated — and proudly — with the Marvel Adventures line for many years and we work just as hard on them as any of our other works, creator- or corporate-owned, to make them the best comics they can be. I would have to say anyone who says that the Marvel Adventures or ‘First Class’ books talk down to their readership — of any age — hasn’t actually read many of them.”
-Fred Van Lente disagreeing with Kirkman’s take that Marvel Adventures books “talk down to kids to a certain extent.”
“I have no opinion on it as I haven’t really thought about it but what I did find interesting were the discussions on some of the various sites regarding that and of course, they venture into a lot of other areas related to the matter. I’m always surprised at how much mis-information gets spewed out from people who really have no knowledge of what they’re promoting as reality. I’m not going into specifics but just a warning that there’s a lot of people who spout their wisdom as truth and they just don’t have any clue to the real events.”
-Gary Reed reacting to the reactions to KIrkman’s video.
“The only thing I’d really object to outright is his assertion that smaller companies don’t have effective promotional arms. I think some of them do. I actually think folks like Peggy Burns and Eric Reynolds are more effective than big company PR people in most cases. Their creators get just as much press as many big companies get for their creators, and in many cases these creators enjoy a just-as-high profile despite not moving nearly as many copies in the overall scheme of things.”
- Tom Spurgeon challenging an aspect of Steven Grant’s thoughts spinning partially out of Kirkman’s perspective.
“The Last Defenders was structured very much like “Batman RIP”, with a whole bunch of misdirection and false preamble leading up to eventual coalescence. The difference is that even if it were the most abstruse, unreadable piece of crap (and I was convinced up until this last issue that that is exactly what ‘Batman RIP’ was), Batman has to work hard to dip below 70 or 80,000 copies, whereas any book selling itself on the strength of The Defenders as a brand-name better hope that one of the creators on the cover is named ‘Alan Moore’ or ‘Alex Ross’. Just the way the world works.”
“I’ve heard (Jeph) Loeb in interviews and he seems like a genuinely nice guy who’s trying really hard to make good comics. This doesn’t make him a bad person. It just makes him a person who created a bad comic. And criticizing his book doesn’t mean you’re attacking him as a person. If everyone, from ‘critics’ to ‘artists’ to ‘fans’ could remember this, we’d all be better off.”
“But am I wrong in thinking that Baron’s self-proclaimed cocaine phase was also the time when he did his best work?”
- TwoMorrow’s The Flash Companion.