'Blog Post

How comics are going south

Piece from a Facebook post of 12/9/2018

REACTIONS & REJOINDERS

How comics are going south
Fri December 14, 2018
Piece from a Facebook post of 12/9/2018
What you’ve got are a bunch of people who are in a marginally remunerative business only because they love it, each intent on establishing a personal legacy. So everyone who contrives to find himself in a position of some influence takes it upon himself to make massive changes.

The problem is that what they are building upon is an enormous heritage of popular culture and public awareness, the kind of foundation no amount of money can buy. Clark Kent is a more prominent journalist than Isikoff, Woodward, Hanity and Edward R Murrow for heaven’s sakes combined. Superman is more famous than the president – whoever is president. So when you walk into that house intent on changing everything you’re going to get blown away pretty surely.

The key is not to impose your notions of immortality on an immortal icon, but simply to build on the heritage in place. That’s what works. Nothing else does. The character's origin has been told and retold by better storytellers than you. So add to it; don’t start by throwing it out.

Listening?

Brian Minor
Wed Jul 10 2019
7:18 PM
Oh so true!

I wish they would just tell stories.

Maybe a whole story in one issue!

Enough the angst and doubt.

I myself gave up on mainstream comics way back in about 1992 or so. Started a family, had to make a choice, comic books or them!

The family won!

B.

Mike Baron
Wed Jul 24 2019
7:18 AM
You tell 'em, boss.

Sam Gunning
Mon Sep 16 2019
5:17 AM
A profound, accurate summation of the problem plaguing the contemporary comics industry. It's precisely my feelings on the topic, though I couldn't have phrased it nearly so well. Mr. Maggin has correctly diagnosed the egocentric disease, and prescribed the remedy, in one fell swoop. Sadly, the compulsion to "reinvent the wheel" in a literary sense with so many legendary characters in popular culture is too irresistible for today's writers and artists. I'm not against a natural character development if organically consistent with a character's established history (And, YES, I believe in reasonable continuity), but it seems so many story arcs, punctuated by the ubiquitous crossover epics, all reek of "shock and awe" and "unprecedented change" to the extent that these elements BECOME the story, again and again and again...and they lose the essence of the hero and supporting cast in favor of their "take" on things. I could say lots more, but I've vented enough. Hopefully, the "big 2" (or is it 3 now?)will remember how their icons got so popular in the first place. And by the way, Mr. Maggin, while I'm here, THANK YOU for so many moments of heroic escapism and enjoyment over the years!

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