Comic about Independent comics

Hey all,

Minneapolis-based publication City Pages decided to put one of my comics on their site. It’s a blurb about independent comics vs. “mainstream” comics, which I of course dealt with in a stereotypical, “hurr hurr mainstream means capes” fashion.

Click here to see my comic. Be sure to check out the comics of other MN-based comic artists as well; there’s some great stuff here.

I guess I should take some time to explain my view of independent vs mainstream comics.From what I’ve seen, mainstream isn’t all bad. From my limited understanding though, independent comics generally don’t have a staff on-hand to help with the work; most of them are one person (or maybe two) working on something they originally created/dreamed up in the first place.

Contrast this with the staffing model that many mainstream comics take. The staff may consist of an inker and/or a penciller, a letterer, and a writer (not to mention editors and people for the cover). The property they’re working on may or may not actually belong to any of the working staff, as well (like Superman or Spiderman). With some of the bigger properties, it’s a bit difficult to do anything too daring or experimental; if it’s too far out there, you risk alienating your existing fans. By contrast, independent comics are given more wiggle room to experiment with different art styles and story lines.

Now, I’m painting this picture with a fairly wide brush; there are obviously exceptions to this. Frank Miller was able to pull off amazing stories when publishing under the DC label. He was able to do fairly daring things with The Dark Knight Returns and still managed to do it with an established property like Batman. However, the freedom to experiment with  layout and art doesn’t necessarily come around as often.

If you don’t believe me, look for yourself. Jason Shiga pushes the boundaries of what a comic can be with Hello World, a programmable comic with a choose-your-own-adventure sort of feel. The whole thing is a grocery-related puzzle that the reader is trying to solve, and works absolutely beautifully. I was lucky enough to actually find one a few years back. If you want something you can actually read now, check out his masterpiece Fleep, available online for free.

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~ by Justin on August 11, 2010.

2 Responses to “Comic about Independent comics”

  1. Congrats, Justin! No need to buy a cape – you’re getting famous!

  2. Holy Sh!# man. Thank you thank you thank you for the link to Fleep. You are closer to that level than you think brother. Keep up your indie spirit and keep on writing man.

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