Feb 2, 2011

Hey, That's My Cape! – Powell's Diversity Vid, Help or Hurt?

Fans and creators alike seem divided over The Goon creator Eric Powell’s video promoting new ideas and diversity of genres in comic books. Before I continue, if you haven’t already seen it, well you’re out of luck. The video has now been set to private on YouTube, a move I’m severely questioning as it shows, in my opinion, a lack of conviction in seeing your movement through. I’m going to summarize its contents as best I can for you while discussing the topic. I’d much rather let it speak for itself but well, them’s the breaks.

Powell has created The Creators Front For Diversity In Comics, now just The Front For Diversity In Comics apparently (there’s a Facebook page if you’d like to join). The video itself? It has shock value. It reminds me of the negative campaigning we see each time the elections role around. It works to a point, but is it the right way to get your message (which is an important one) across? Because something this crass can have the opposite effect and turn a lot of people off. Either way, Powell’s message is clear - publishers, creators and readers aren’t doing enough to ensure diversity of genres in comics.

If you haven't seen the video, read all about it and my thoughts about it's impact in this week's Hey, That's My Cape! at Newsarama.

4 comments:

Ken O said...

There are things I agree with and disagree with in the original video but I love that it spawned an upcoming Creator focused column by Niles. I also liked Steve's approach to lets talk positively on good things and stop worrying so much about the bad. There is a lot of negativeness on comic forums and such (I'm not saying your columns are negative) it would be nice to see them become a more positive place even for a little while.

Amber Love said...

I think who don't know Powell are shocked by his vid content. I've read one issue of the Goon and found it crass & unappealing despite being attracted to the art. I've heard him speak at comic con. He's just a bit on the potty-mouth side of things. His content may have been in really poor taste considering that this week the government redefined "rape." I do agree with his message while not his metaphor: there ARE other books besides DC & Marvel superhero books. But they keep the industry afloat and they bring in the money. A lot "indie" creators including Powell, cash a paycheck from the big two to pay their bills so they can go on with their lesser selling work. And is Dark Horse really indie? Or Image? I don't consider them indie. Small press shops like Archaia and Bluewater are "indie" and they're in Previews. There are tons of publishers OUTSIDE of Previews that readers never hear about. #buygoodcomics

The Nerdy Bird said...

I also love what Niles is doing Ken, I think it's exactly the right kind of method to get people more interested in different types of stories.

Amber, yup Dark Horse and Image are independent publishers, it's just that Dark Horse is the largest one there is and has so much name recognition now a lot of people forget they are still not owned by a corporation. And they've managed to pick up great licenses along the way. But you're right, there are a lot more smaller publishers who don't get the attention. Like the hashtag. :)

If anyone would like to read it, Powell has posted an explanation of why he took the video down: http://www.facebook.com/notes/eric-powell/my-video/178754798833147

CDerosby said...

That just sounds weird to me that Dark Horse and Image are still considered indie after a few decades in the business.

I know they're technically independent and all, but to me, the term "indie" has a certain unestablished, maybe unpolished, working out of your garage trying to break into the business connotation to it. These guys are definitely established now, and I had thought they were even when I was picking up my weekly titles at the local shop back in 1994 or so.

I guess when I think indie guys, it's more along the lines of the local guys printing up 100 copies at a time on their work photocopier or in their basement. Guys dropping off stacks of books at the local comic shop, student unions at colleges, bookstores, coffee shops, anywhere that will let them.