Wednesday, April 28, 2004

On the recent calls for activism 

There's been a lot of talk online recently about getting active to rescue (or prevent the need to rescue) titles like Wildcats and Stormwatch. What I have to say runs contrary to the current push, but now is as good a time as any to present it.

Those of you who are interested in activism will get a lot more bang for your buck if you put your energy into supporting small press and self published titles. Let's say that a well-organized and sustained push could raise a book's sales by five hundred or a thousand copies. That's not enough to keep a corporate publisher from cancelling a moribund series. It simply doesn't represent a big enough slice of their expenses. But that same increase on a small press book makes an unbelievable impact. It can push a book out of the red and into the black, It can significantly increase the buzz on a title, making fence-sitting retailers more likely to order that all-important first copy, and most importantly, it can keep a cartoonist working on his or her comics instead of moving off to do commercial art.

So, to those of you who want to make a cause of a comic, I say pick a worthy black and white title - something you can really get behind like Finder or Scooter Girl or (your favorite indie here), and make that the beneficiary of your activism. It may be almost impossible for a small clique of fans to change the fate of a color comic from one of the big publishers, but the economics of small press publishing are such that a relatively small number of fans can make a very big difference.

Reprinted from a discussion on Millarworld.

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