It’s that “thankful” time of year, so this is when I talk about what’s happening in the comics industry that I’m grateful for. After all, Thanksgiving is happening this week here in the U.S., so let me talk briefly about a few things I’m happy about!
THE INDUSTRY CONTINUES!
Change continues to be a constant in the comic book industry. If someone would have told me just a year ago that DC AND Marvel wouldn’t have Diamond as their primary distributor, I’d have said, “No way!” Well, it’s 2021, and “Way!”
I know comics shops that are having to adapt to ordering comics and related materials from Lunar and Penguin among others now but, truth be told, many shops ordered gaming and other wares from other distributors even when they said that they preferred to order from only one company. Really!
But it’s important that your LCS get product for the best price they can so they can sell it to you and, yes, make a profit! I know, I know—local shops sell books and such only because they LOVE comics. And if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you!
I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the changes, either. In 2022, I bet we’ll be surprised at what the industry is seriously considering that we haven’t heard about yet. Just what I think (and sometimes hope) they’re up to is something we’ll consider in a future column!
THERE ARE SOME GREAT COMPANIES OUT THERE!
I know that society is changing in many ways, and it’s true about the industry, as we just talked about. But it’s also real that there are many great companies that we may not have discovered yet.
I love many companies out there, including DC, Top Cow, Source Point Press, and Bad Idea, to name a few. But for me, 2021 will be the “magnetic” year that I discovered Magnetic Press. The “stories that stick” company really grabbed me by the “short and curlies” this year, and my reading is so much the better for it! I bought a LOT of product from them both from their website AND from their Kickstarter projects! (They actually completed a $100,000 project there this year!) They also sell great stories through comiXology, and if I ever want to sample a book before I buy it, I can often do that through this digital company. You can also order their books through your local shops!
I always enjoy variety in my reading, and I’ve often loved European and other books because they tell stories in different ways than we tend to do it in the U.S. And I really treasure that! If I had to pick Magnetic Press books to recommend (tough for me because I love so many of them), I’d probably start with Waluk (how I discovered Magentic), Klaw, Paris 2119, Monolith, Stay, Fraternity, Ashes of Pan, Streamliner, and Orphans… just to name a few. Just amazing storytelling!
I also hope you got the chance to find other great new books!
ALL AGES CONTINUES ITS UPWARD TREND
This year was when I found more all-ages books in the big box stores, as they are called. There’s a Target store near me that has several aisles full of these series’, and I often see kids to adults browsing there with me! Now if we could only get comic books there along with these books!
As I mentioned last year, I particularly enjoy DC’s younger reader titles. I tend to buy all of them through my LCS. I’m always continuing my search for other YA books that engage my imagination, so we’ll see what else I discover in 2022.
I always draw courage from the Harry Potter series of novels, when bookstores would open up late on Friday nights to sell those books to families just after midnight! Kids buying books to read! I want to see more of that, and especially comics!
INDIE COMICS ARE GROWING IN POPULARITY
While the “mainstream” comics companies are continuing to make strides when it comes to moving forward after the pandemic, I’m always impressed by the progress being made by Indie comics… you know, the books NOT made by the big comics producers.
I’ve helped several Indie creators in the past several years, offering my editing abilities and some advice along the way. I was interviewing one Indie leader for my weekly podcast once, and I pointed out to him that, on the cover of the debut issue of his excellent hardback, the word “blood” was not spelled correctly. It was “BLOOOD,” and that extra “o” drove me nuts! I couldn’t let that go, so off-air, I pointed it out to him. Thank goodness I did because nobody else, for whatever reason, had noticed it! Phew! We all have to help each other!
The thing about Indie books is that they don’t have to hit the reset button at the end of each issue so another creative team can take over next month, if needed. In fact, some even kill their main character a few issues in! You’ll NEVER see Marvel or DC do that!
If you want storytelling that does things you don’t expect, I highly recommend Indie comics!
OTHER POINTS I’D LIKE TO MAKE
It’s almost become unnecessary for me to mention, but the trend for more female creators and characters has really taken root! On my podcast, I never ask woman creators about it any longer! Still, we need even more progress along these lines!
Crowdfunding continues to bloom, making comics we would likely not get to read available to fans like me. Kickstarter remains the biggest, with Indiegogo second, but there’s a new website making its presence known, and that’s Zoop.gg. I happily discovered them this year! If you haven’t checked them out yet, I highly encourage you to do so! Some big names as well as those who will be popular ones in the future are making things happen there!
Streaming services are fast overcoming “regular” TV networks. For instance, this year I have become a big fan of HBO Max, Paramount +, Apple TV, and am looking to get into Disney +. I’ve been watching more Peacock TV since they made episodes of the animated Cleopatra in Space available. I love that show—it’s based on a successful Indie comics series, of course!
I’M THANKFUL FOR MAJORSPOILERS.COM
Each year, I need to express my thanks for the ability to share my opinions and to create podcasts for fans here at MajorSpoilers.com.
We still haven’t returned to what we considered “normal” just a year or so ago, and I know a lot of friends who don’t venture into their communities yet. This makes websites like this critical when it comes to keeping up with genre news and opinion. I do my best to create columns and podcast episodes that are truly worth your time and effort to enjoy. We have the chance to share our thoughts and read a diversity of opinions, something I consider more important than ever!
MajorSpoilers’ Head Honcho Stephen Schleicher and the rest of the people on this site really work hard at keeping us all up to date. No matter where we are when it comes to being safe, we need to stay aware of what’s happening, and MajorSpoilers is an important resource when it comes to learning what is going on in the comics industry and related genres! As always, thanks so much, Stephen!
What do you think? What’s going on in the comics industry that you are happy about? What would you like to see change? Feel free to share your opinions below! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and I thank each and every one of you who reads my columns and reviews or listens to my podcast episodes! You really make my day every time!