The LA Times sure seems to be arguing so. I’m not quite sure, however, that I buy the tone of the article. A highlight:
There’s gold in them there funny books! Comic books and graphic novels are all the rage in Hollywood, and you can sense that, for a younger generation, a new sort of viable career path is emerging. That or it’s just the latest way of piling up rejection letters before shuffling off to corporate America in defeat.
At least my read on it, at any rate — comics are a sort of next-best-thing for aspiring screenwriters, novelists, etc., and much more “viable” [read: easier] to get into… which is pretty far from the truth, at this point.
Names like Brad Meltzer (novelist of the Tenth Justice), Aron Coleite (writer for Heroes), Jodi Picoult (author of Nineteen Minutes), Damon Lindelof (writer Lost), Jon Favreau (director for Iron Man) — all these people wrote comics work AFTER their mainstream hits. Of course, you clearly don’t have to start out in movies and novels, as there are lots of people who get their breaks — but just remember, Brian Michael Bendis pounded the pavement for nearly a decade doing indie books before making it huge with Ultimate Spider-Man.
Meanwhile, you’ve got studios buying properties from dedicated comics scribes (Steve Niles’ 30 Days of Night, Greg Rucka’s Whiteout, and it seems like every time you turn around someone is buying a Mark Millar story). The only two anomalies: Brian K. Vaughan’s transition to film with Lost (he still does a few books, but not quite as prolifically as before), and Radical Comics, which creates comic book properties with intent to film (and even then, a decent number of them are from Hollywood, too). In short, the pool may be smaller than Hollywood, but that sure doesn’t make breaking into comic book writing easy.
But anyway, that’s my read on it (and I’m probably reading a little deep). The newsy bit of the article may boost your spirits: Mediabistro is offering a $350 course on Comic Book and Graphic Novel Writing, taught by Simpsons Comics writer and UCLA prof David Seidman. If you’re interested, sign up quick — the course starts April 4th.