ANDY FISH is a comic book artist

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

To My Author and Artist Friends

Working in the comics industry you get to know some really great people-- people who are so talented you just wonder how it is they walk this same planet with us-- and this goes for all creative careers.  I know an equally talented number of creators who can't find work.

Creators who USED to work on the TOP books in the industry.  Books that have been made into successful film and television projects and these people have been pushed aside for no reason other than they are considered past their prime.  Stan Lee was on the outs with Marvel for a while-- STAN LEE.  The guy who CREATED nearly the entire Marvel Universe and he was on the outs.  The same thing happened to Jack Kirby and other giants in the field.  For most of them they are lucky that they end up being rescued by a young buck company that helps them get some other projects going-- but for some of the others they just leave the field.

And that takes us to todays message:

Work on your own projects.  Characters you own.
Put the blood and the sweat into the next great character and reap the rewards when that movie version becomes a blockbuster.

Dave Sim put it best when he said (and I'm paraphrasing here) if you want to work on Batman create your own take on Batman and publish that.  Why play in someone else's sandbox?

Two of the biggest (and smartest) creators in the comics industry are Mike Mignola and Todd McFarland.  Both capitalized on their popularity in mainstream comics and then launched their own characters-- Hellboy and Spawn respectively.  They created their own publishing empires.  Mignola with Dark Horse Comics (who specializes in creator owned properties) and McFarland with Image Comics.

Does that mean NEVER work for a major company's characters?  No, of course not.  You have a great Iron Man Story you want to do-- go ahead and pitch it.  Hell, I've got a KILLER Aquaman re-boot on the shelf that I'm chomping at the bit to send over to DC-- it's just my bad luck that the latest run is pretty successful so it may never see the light of day.

But don't put all your eggs into a basket with a company that offers zero job security outside of that short term contract you signed.