— Mark Andrew Smith, writer of Sullivan’s Sluggers and Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors, challenging the vocabulary we use to refer to comics not published by Marvel or DC. It’s not a new notion that “independent” isn’t the best way to describe a comic; is Powers not “independent” just because Marvel publishes it? Is G.I. Joe or Star Wars independent because they don’t have a Marvel or DC logo on the cover? I like the notion of using terms like “creator-owned” and “creator-driven,” although I don’t see them as interchangeable. Creator-driven, for instance, could be any book that was “driven” by the team that created it; so Starman and The Sandman could fall into that category as easily as, say, Bone. But Bone obviously is creator-owned while those other two are not. Then there are books like Prophet and Haunt that are owned by creators, just not the creators currently “driving” those titles. Navigating, maybe, but not driving. Obviously there’s always room for debate on the internet and the shared lexicon we use is always open to it, but it’s hard to argue with Smith’s sentiment at the end.
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