Image Comics Publisher ERIC STEPHENSON talks some truth about comics gimmick bulls**t

Eric Stephenson.

Eric Stephenson came out to address ComicsPRO retailers today, and the Bro Who Ushers In A New Image Renaissance was lobbing bombs. Just giggling as he laced his right-hooks with truth serum. Burying his knuckles deep in the sloppy stomach of comic book excess. His remarks give me somewhat of a boner. But I’m a child.

Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson took a shot across the bow at not just Marvel and DC in his address to the ComicsPRO retailers meeting in Atlanta Friday, but also Dark Horse, BOOM! Studios and other s, denouncing the practices of renumbering series, event comics, gimmick covers, licensed comics based on cartoons and films, and charging up to $7.99 for an issue.

ComicsPro is an influential trade organization of comic book retailers whose focus is to advocate for its members in matters of business, promotion and other concerns unique to those from whom most of us buy comics. At the beginning of every year the organization hosts a meeting — a convention, really — where ComicsPro members attend symposia and meet with comics publishers and other business partners to exchange ideas and discuss the major topics of the year ahead.

Stephenson encouraged the gathered retailers to stop thinking about comics in terms of the “big two” or “big three,” and instead  focus only on whether comics are bad or good.  A view of comic books as nothing more than superhero comics — properties about which most people in the public at large have made up their minds in terms of whether they want to watch them in films or read about them in books — is a myopic one, he said. Naturally Stephenson referred largely to the comics he happens to publish when citing examples of titles getting it right, particularly with respect to the topic of reaching audiences beyond existing direct market customers.

Throughout the address, Stephenson expressed a belief that further investment in non-superhero, non-licensed comic books would result in a bigger audience for American comics, and consequently increased sales for direct market customers.

[Comics Alliance]

Who am I? Some thirty-one year old moderately decent teacher slash full-time completely incompetent human being. So when I criticize comic books’ less savory characteristics, it’s just another dumb ass with no leg to stand on. However when Eric Stephenson swings at the blights adorning the lips of comic books’ lovely mouth, he has cache. Which means when we’re totally in agreement about what those crappy aspects are, I feel momentarily like I’m not a complete dumb ass. (The feeling fades.)

For the full transcript of his haymaker city, hop on over to Comics Alliance.