The Good, The Bad, & This Kid: “Epic Conspiracies”
By Josh Stone
I really thought I was going to let this one go, but the introduction in last week’s ATR made me change my mind. It’s not like Markisan to start off a column complaining rather than pimping sites that support SBC, so I was taken even more by his rant against Marvel’s Epic line. Or should I say, Marvel’s Cancelled Epic line? Like I said, I was going to let the issue slide, because it’d be too easy to bitch about it right now, but I just can’t do it anymore. So, I’ll take the lead of Mr. Naso, and let you all know how I feel about Marvel’s decision with Epic.
It’s the most fucked up thing to go down in the comic industry in a long time! When Marvel first said, “Send your stuff, we care,” a lot of people were hesitant, and a lot of people called them paranoid for that. What now, bitches!? Marvel went and proved a bunch of fans right, and in the wrong way. This is going to have some serious effects on them down the road. Not only have they pissed off a bunch of people who took the time and effort to send Marvel their work, but they’ve showed the fans that they don’t really care about them. I know most companies don’t give a flying shit about their fans as long as they spend, but once the company actually lets the fans know they don’t care, well kiss the money goodbye.
I was going to write a one-shot and send it in for the Epic line, but a little voice in my head said, “Don’t waste your time.” I read a bunch of published creators going on and on about how struggling writers should not pass this chance up, and how the “paranoid fan-boys” need to stop being so untrusting and give it a shot. Still, I felt that Epic was a joke, there was a strange catch that I didn’t want to be a part of. How thankful I am that I finally listened to myself. I’m sure there are a bunch of other struggling writers thinking that same thought for the past few weeks. Marvel, the number one comic book publisher, taking original series and story ideas from unpublished and unproven writers? Yeah, that doesn’t sound shady. I want to know, of all the asses saying people should do this, who actually believed themselves? Were these published writers being paid? We all know how money hungry writers are.
Not only did Marvel make themselves look bad via press releases, but they also shot themselves in the foot with a little column called, “My Epic Journey.” Mike San Giacomo has been writing his column over at Newsarama ever since his project, “Phantom Jack,” was selected by Epic. So, anybody who wants to see the effects Marvel has had on the aspiring creators can click the link HERE . Also, look back at some of his early columns, you’ll note the change of attitude. Do you think Mike is ever going to consider working for Marvel after being jerked around like this? I don’t. So, it’s only one person, right? Marvel can have any writer they want. Well, Mike will make more friends then he already has, and they’re not going to want to work for a company that told their friend where to shove it. I don’t mean any disrespect here to Mike, but I was never really excited about his book, it doesn’t seem like my thing. That said, now that he’s moved it to Image, I just might pick it up, just to help the sales. Speaking of Image, Mike was very fortunate to get his project over there, I feel sorry for all the other creators who might be stuck on Marvel’s sinking ship.
I’m a little torn. Whenever; or if ever, Marvel’s Epic anthology comes out, I want to get it. Only to support the creators who just got fucked hard by Marvel. On the other hand, buying that book will just put more money on Marvel’s evil plate. It’ll be a game-time decision. I know I sound like some raving fan-boy; or Tim Harnett (which might be worse), with all the Marvel bashing I’m doing, but I can’t help it. I’ve never been one to bitch about Marvel, I grew up reading Marvel, but I can’t stand by and bite my lip on this move. All the other “stupid” decisions Marvel has made over the past several years have nothing on this. Everything else was on a more professional level, where Marvel owned the characters and the writers had other means of work. Here, most of these series were “creator-owned,” and they all were by relative unknowns in the industry. It’s going to be hard for them to find another outlet, plus they’re probably a little jilted by the whole ordeal. The biggest comic publisher in the world just backed out on their agreement, and left them face down in the dirt. I have a hard time believing Marvel is so poor that they had to back out of Epic. I probably buy enough Marvel books to keep them in business. Even if they are broke, the Epic line just might have brought in some bank. The books weren’t even released yet, and they already cancelled them. That just doesn’t make sense. Marvel seems to do that a lot; cancel a book that hasn’t had a chance to prove it’s self. Now, I know I’m no business major, and I don’t have any experience in publishing, but I just don’t see the logic in that kind of business move.
Perhaps the worst thing to come of all of this, is for the other comic publishing companies. Since Marvel told everyone at once that Epic is no more, all those projects are flooding the smaller companies. There are already very few comic publishers who accept unsolicited submissions, now when all these projects come rolling in, just about everybody will be shutting their doors. I don’t think that’s fair at all. It’s not fair to me, and it’s not fair to any of the other creators out there who didn’t waste their time with Marvel. We’ve all been working on projects to send to the smaller publishers all along, now all these Marvel rejects might cost us our chance. I hope people are smart enough, and responsible enough to not bog down all the other publishers with your ex-Epic submissions. If the story needs to be tweaked at all, you should just forget about it. Then again, it might not be that bad. A rule for most publishers is, that all submissions must be complete. They want drawn, inked, and lettered comics. If most of the people who submitted to Marvel could do that on their own, they probably wouldn’t have bothered with Marvel in the first place. All we can really do is hope for the best. Before the column ends, I’d like to send my condolences to all the creators who were screwed by Marvel.
The Good is currently on vacation. It’ll be back next week. I want to know where The Good gets all this vacation time.
So, I returned to bitching; I’m sorry. At least last week was peaceful. Take care, and I’ll see you all in seven days. ‘Til next time…
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