Integrity in Comics Industry dead at 35 after a long illness; mourners asked to burn X-Men comics in lieu of sending flowers
Comics Should Be Good has just learned that all of the independent comic book companies associated with artistic integrity and the literary comic book movement (Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly, Top Shelf, and Alternative Comics) are announcing officially that they have sold out and no longer care about pushing comics forwards.*
"Yeah, all we care about is cash now," Gary Groth, Fantagraphics Impressario said in a press release. "All that artistic integrity stuff was fine and good when I was in the middle of a feud with Harlan Ellison, but now that that's over, I'm tired of the charade. That's why I feel confident in announcing that we're cancelling all of our original, creator owned series and replacing them with 80s toy license comics," a license which Fantagraphics purchased from IDW "for some bootleg copies of old Hammer horror films, a doodle R. Crumb did on a napkin, and one of the Hernandez Bros. cousins, Chuey, I think his name is," Groth said.
"Look, I love Eightball, but Dan Clowes is just too slow in coming out with it, so we're putting him on Bumblebee Adventures, giving him eight inkers, and making him follow Howard Mackie's scripts to the letter. I mean, some Clowes is better than none, right," Groth added.
"We're having money for dinner," Kim Thompson added enthusiastically, while running around wearing a pirate hat made of money and sporting his new diamond crusted teeth.
When asked what this would do to their series of classic reprints, Groth went on to say that "We will continue to publish Peanuts books, but we've decided to fire Seth as the cover designer and bring in some people with more mainstream flair. So, starting with the next volume, get ready for Michael Turner's totally hot version of Lucy, Alex Ross's majestic version of Charlie Brown, and a special hologram variant cover of Snoopy as the Red Baron!"
The other companies, who always just copy Fantagraphics anyway, quickly followed suit. I would quote them, but D&Q's statement was in French, and CBSG has a strict Francophobia. I think they've got Adrian Tomine doing a Micronauts revival, except they're all mopey and hang out in San Francisco or something. Top Shelf's was mostly about how awesome it will be to have Jeffrey Brown drawing a How I Met Your Mother serial for their Giant Size CBS Monday Night Comedy Line Up anthology, which will also include a must read Alan Moore/Eddie Campbell version of Two and a Half Men where Charlie Sheen's character is eaten by a snake and Jon Cryer talks about magik a lot. There's also going to be an Owly/Dora the Explorer team up book for Burgas to hate. And, really, not even Alternative Comics cares what they're doing, so I won't bother telling you about how they somehow have Evan Dorkin writing an American Pie tie-in. I don't know why either, but hey, it worked with Bill and Ted.
This development shockingly leaves Image Comics as the only comic book company committed to original, creator owned comics, without any licensed books.
"We're just as suprised as everyone else," Image Publisher Erik Larson said.
Meanwhile, Boom! Studios' new editor-in-chief Mark Waid was his usual staid self.
"I told you! I told you Fantagraphics were just as bad as the rest of the comic book industry! It only took 15 years after they finally canceled Amazing Heroes for me to be proven right! Kurt Busiek owes me ten dollars!"
Kurt Busiek declined comment, except to say that "Busiek wins; how hard is that to figure out, Waid?" before going off to try and make Superman tie in to Amazons Attack, 52, Countdown, Final Crisis, and, for some reason, Genesis.
Looking for reactions from the blogosphere was fruitless. Good comics retailing champion Alex Cox said he was too busy throwing gasoline all over his store, for some odd reason, to comment. Noted comics activist Alan David Doane, when asked for comment, said he was too busy trying to find some rope and a high tree to talk right now, but that we'd all be sorry. Joe Rice, of World of Awesome, took out his agression and sorrow on his class of adorable inner city students. He's looking at 10 to life. Ed Cunard just disappeared in a flash of smoke. Dirk Deppey's blog crashed from the irony. He was last seen heading towards the Mexican border with a crate of semi-automatic machine guns and enough whiskey to inebriate a horse. Tom Spurgeon has decided to become the world's greatest journalist covering other niche artforms, like origami and airbrush van art. Milo George just didn't care.
As an aside, Johannah Draper Carlson objected to the phallocentric, sexist, and misogynistic nature of the previous list of art comics friendly bloggers. But then again, she does that with every list, so that's lost all meaning. She then went back to arguing with the When Fangirls Attacks lobby about whether or not it's stupid to try to eliminate sexism in superhero comics.
In fact, the only blogger who could be reached for comment who might care was Dick Hyacinth, who said the following.
"My blog's just going to be about Mixed Martial Arts and critical studies of Rob Liefeld comics now, I think."
*Comics with a "-cs" not an "-x", because I am not talking about underground comics and am not a dork. About this.