Five Doughy Middle-Aged Men and One Apeshit Criminal Explain the Funnies
Ever wondered who is in control of the destiny of modern comics, and whether or not they should be?

(1) Diamond, (2) DC, (3) Marvel, (4) Pantheon, (5) Yen at "Publisher's Weekly" Forum HERE

"Publisher's Weekly" got them all together in a room and asked them some hard-hitting questions: such as "is this cool or what?" Clearly, they had better things to do, but this is still something you should see if you have comic book dreams and ambitions, or if you are a novelist and you need a reason to drink today.

NOW, I am no government attorney, but here we see something fascinating: the producers, distributors, and shop owners are all controlling the product from the top down, even making sure shops are in "DESIRABLE NEIGHBORHOODS," according to the Diamond guy.

Seems like the writers and artists ought to be involved somehow in the creation and distribution of their product. Especially for comics, which is a medium built on blood, ink, and despair, as far as I know. Shouldn't that be the direction we are headed? Retribution?

Comics are selling better than ever. And I'm sure it is hard to direct a market that has as much stigma as funny books. But YO -- DC, Marvel, Diamond: you should probably fire everyone in this room if you ever want to see Batman next to Bataille. These guys have the artistic vision and business sense of porn; not literature. These are the exact same guys you see directing porn movies. Especially the Diamond guy. That guy is definitely into the kinkiest stuff that is legal.

But what do I know? I have no love for modern comics, with few exceptions. If it were up to me, comics would be run by the fiat of Chris Nicholas, who runs the STAPLE! Independent Media Expo, and who likes independent comics so much that he is engaged in a lifelong street fight with these bastards, who probably don't even know he exists.

THE FICTION CIRCUS: You are an impressive man, Chris. How come you do not have a girlfriend?

CHRIS NICHOLAS: I think the REAL question here is, why are there other less-impressive men who DO have girlfriends, wives, and warm-blooded pets, and what does this say about the ultimate fate of the human race?

THE FICTION CIRCUS: One time you stared at your fish tank for a whole day straight and came up with seven new ideas to fight for independent comics. It is legend.

CHRIS NICHOLAS: Legends are smoke, and you should never "smoke" crack. It is, however, really good.

THE FICTION CIRCUS: Man, you weren't high on crack then. You were redlining with rage. Tell me why. Tell me why you work so hard for us.

CHRIS NICHOLAS: Why does the sun rise? Why does the rain fall? Why does muh feets hurt? Some things, they just do.

THE FICTION CIRCUS: So, Chris -- you know I don't know anything. Why is the comics world so cutthroat and full of these assholes?

CHRIS NICHOLAS: Little known fact: The modern comic book evolved from recruitment pamphlets used to fill positions on pirate and privateer ships in the 1700s. Because most of the target audience could not read, a pictorial method of informational communication and well -- lying -- had to be developed. These proved very popular and almost as effective as the time-honored tradition of "Shang-Hai-ing" persons to fill a vessel's crew, and also became useful as a conversational tool among the crew themselves, who might be of many nations and tongues.

THE FICTION CIRCUS: There are CLEARLY so many people who like comics that everyone involved should be rich as demons, and not just these five ugly men in a little room.

CHRIS NICHOLAS: Pay attention! Almost all of today's modern comic book creators are the direct descendants of these sea-faring adventurers, and, while many have never so much as set foot on a ship, or even outside, a lot of them do retain the brigandly attitudes, and often the cutlasses, of their forebears. This seems to be a condition endemic to the industry, and one not wholly undesirable, as it keeps at bay the fops and dandies.

THE FICTION CIRCUS: You have remarkable restraint. If you have a letter of marque, you should use it to board and sink "Spiderman." I fucking hate Spiderman.

CHRIS NICHOLAS: Someday they will all get what is coming to them.

THE FICTION CIRCUS: Who are some artists you want to come to STAPLE!, but who won't return your phone calls because they think they are too fucking special? The independent comic lover must know who does not value them. Name names.

CHRIS NICHOLAS: A bunch of stuck-up motherfuckers! I won't sully my fingers by typing out their curs-ed names, though I admit I have written them in blood on the altar in the basement. I think maybe they're really just scared, and if not, well, they should be.

THE FICTION CIRCUS: Fuck comics for a minute. Who do you like to read when you aren't reading comics? I know you. You have good taste, sometimes. Tell me what you are reading these days.

CHRIS NICHOLAS: Because of STAPLE! I have not read much in the last couple months and am looking forward to doing some. I got "Notes From Wondermark Manor" from David Malki there and just tore through it. Brilliant.

Just started "Richmond: Scenes In The Life of a Bow Street Runner", looks very interesting. Fiction based around the proto-police of 18th-19th century London. No one knows who really wrote it, and I like that.

Of course Stephenson, but you knew that. Have some books by Michael Dibdin and Kurt Wallander on deck - mysteries set in Italy and Sweden, respectively. Also picked up "The Once and Future King," by T. H. White and "The Dragon and the Unicorn" by A.A. Anastasio, both of which are Arthurian legend-fiction stuff, and "Baudolino," a recent Umberto Eco novel.

I had loaned out my Mervyn Peake book after getting about 1/3 through it, and I would like to get it back now. Whoever has it please return it.

Posted by miracle on Tue, 18 Mar 2008 06:33:28 -0400 -- permanent link

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