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Monday, September 1, 2008

Robert Kirkman's Call To Arms

Writer Robert Kirkman's video editorial on Comic Book Resources raised not a few eyebrows. Some call his statements messianic and arrogant, while other see the point of his concerns. There are also others who go down the middle.

When Kirkman encouraged creators to pursue creator-owned stuff, I believe he's more concerned about a creator's longevity alongside the work. People know Batman, people know DC, but hardly anyone knows who created the Dark Knight. Of course, one would get more mileage working for Marvel and DC, but my impression is that aspirants see the big companies not as means to a greater end, but as the end itself. And that way of thinking kills any career.

A good number of writers and artists have ceased to work for these companies, and the sad part is we hardly hear from these writers and artists. It's as if they've fallen of the edge of the world into the pages of a retrospective. These creators have been unable to maximize the leverage they earned during their stint in Marvel/DC to fuel their career development.

While one should be good (and sellable) enough to handle the more popular properties, creators should realize that the major companies are mere stepping stones, valuable additions to one's resumé. But one should have a plan for what happens after.

After all, the main purpose of any job is to help prepare you for the next one.


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