Runaway Imagination on the Back of a Wild Mare / the Delusions of a Modern Audience


(Note: This came about from a conversation with Dale Lazarov, whose comics can be found here  – talking about this speech by Eric Stephenson).

I am very aware that I am not a comics writer.

Nor am a filmmaker, a book writer, etc. The only creative things I do are columns for various people, where I might, if I’m in a good mood, listen to my editor and write the lyrics to Filthy Orphans songs. Where I might ask a few poet/musician friends of mine to read through and tell me if what I’m doing is what I think I’m doing.

Beyond that very small group of people, I don’t answer to anyone. The lyrics are what they are. They’ll change if I feel like it, and that’s really all the input that goes into it.

I imagine every other creative person worth a damn is the same. They have a vision in their head they’re trying to get across via their chosen medium.

Therefore, when people who aren’t involved with the work who aren’t aware of the entire thing proffer their opinions, they’re irrelevant, because 1) They don’t know the whole thing and 2) They’re not writing it, so it doesn’t really matter what they think beyond ‘Are they buying it?’ and not even then, really.

I’m more than aware that modern comic audiences have deluded themselves to the point that they think a comic ought to be written for their tastes and their tastes ONLY, but that’s obviously madness. Even the lowest selling book has to have a couple of thousand of readers to survive, and there’s no practical way to incorporate all of those desires and notions of how the book SHOULD be written into one title, assuming none of those people contradicted each other in the first place.

So when I read online commentary along the lines of ‘This is dragging’ or ‘Needs more She-Hulk, LOL.’, I despair of a point where writers actually start taking this kind of delusion seriously.

No comic was ever written to make me happy. Or you.

The short answer is ‘Yes, I think there are obviously titles that appear to have lost their direction, but I can’t see the whole thing, so right now, it doesn’t matter what I think.’

Sandman took the piss for 20 odd issues, though.

One comment

  1. But as ever, the counter argument is 'Cerebus'. It's so vast that one can have a valid opinion on different chunks (and often do).


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