Look, I don’t know why it is that I get bent out of shape more easily over injustices in comicbookland than in sffland, but I pretty much do. I’ve certainly identified myself as a SFF reader longer (although by only half a decade or so, probably), but somehow comics tend to hit me right in the outrage.
Here is today’s link hitting me in the outrage. The short version is that it’s Mark Millar (whom I have met and who is *insanely* charming in person), Todd McFarlane, Len Wein (the dude who created Wolverine) and Gerry Conway (the dude who killed Gwen Stacy) say “comics are a boys’ club and if women are objectified, hey, we only follow society, we don’t break new ground, it’s always been this way.”
In a fit of anger I snarled “Wow. Dear Mainstream Comics Industry*: F*ck you. Now all I want to do is launch a female-led superhero comics line,” on Twitter, which inevitably got a washload of supportive tweets in response.
Look. I have *thought* about this. I have thought and thought and *thought* about it, and honestly, I genuinely believe I’ve got the skill set to do it. But it would be to the exclusion of all else, and despite the cheery “this is a Kickstarter waiting to happen!” thoughts, the reality is that I’ve been a comics fan most of my life and in that time I’ve seen plenty of superhero lines come and go.
The problem with starting a superhero *line* is that you bloom too big without having developed a sufficient fan base, and then you shrivel up and disappear (hello, CrossGen! shit, even *ElfQuest*, which *had* a fan base, bloomed too big and collapsed under its own weight). Starting with a *line* is mental. You start with a comic, *maybe* two, but probably one because this is a risky and expensive business (go read about my Dabel Debacle for just a *taste* of the expenses) and yes you might get a Kickstarter to soften the financial blow but mostly you’re still going to want to go with one title, digital only in this brave new world, and kill yourself getting a fan base in place so you can *afford* after 12 or 18 months to edge your way into a second title, maybe spun off in the same world, maybe a different world, who knows, and if you’re freaking fabulously lucky, five or ten years down the line you might have five or even seven strong-selling titles in your line–
I have thought about this. And yes, of course I’d love to do it, but despite appearances, I do recognize certain limits of practicality, if not enthusiasm.
Perhaps now is the time to launch the #TakeAChance Kickstarter, as a statement against the man. Or against those men, anyway…
*To be fair, the mainstream comics industry is doing some cool female-centric stuff right now, including the Red Sonia stuff, the all-female X-Men team, CAROL FREAKING DANVERS, OMG!, etc. These guys are not the whole of the industry, but they did land right in my RAAR zone.