Why you should want to buy independent comics.

Posted: December 15, 2011 in General

The simple answer should be BECAUSE YOU WANT TO.

Now getting you to want to read them is a whole different story.

Years ago, when the characters that would later become the backbone of the comic book industry were being created, those creators shared an independently(as far as comics are concerned) minded spirit. They wanted to make great, rich characters that would inspire and entertain every reader that gave them the opportunity to do so. It’s fair to say that when you’re introducing something for the first time, and it’s something the world has never seen before AND it’s as great as Spider-man or the Hulk, it’s easier to make that first huge impact. In today’s comic book market, it’s a lot harder to get that same kind of audience reaction. But maybe it can happen. There are definitely more than enough quality independent comic books out there in your shops right now, people just need to gave them a chance.

For a while independent comics were thought of with a negative connotation, a lack of quality. Some people say because the books don’t have the budgets that other publishers do, that the finished product is sub par to everything else on the stands. Well if that’s what you want to hang your argument on, I’ve got the perfect solution- GO PICK UP ONE OF THESE INDEPENDENT BOOKS – The Walking Dead, Chew, Our Love is Real, Shinku, Echoes, Heart, Who is Jake Ellis, Madman, Irredeemable, Echo(Not a repeat just another great book with a similar name) Green Wake, The Sixth Gun, Pigs, The Nightly News, Casanova, WitchDoctor. Trust me I could keep going on and on with the list. But the truth is, if you picked up any one of those books, you would see the quality is just as good as in any big 2 published book. That’s a little bit of a lie, because actually, they’re better.

Independent comics are done for 1 reason- THE LOVE OF MAKING COMICS. The people behind that book are working longer hours, for less to no money to make sure they get their story out there for you to(Hopefully) see. Even if that book gets the “magical movie genie” to come down and buy up it’s rights. Initially that book will cost substantially more than it makes. So those creators go into the situation knowing they will lose money, but with that loss they have the chance that maybe someone will enjoy reading that book as much as they enjoyed making it.

In all the comics we’ve ever read, the heroes are usually self sacrificing, determined and courageous individuals, that are willing to do whatever it takes to defeat the insurmountable odds set against them. That pretty much describes the entire independent comics industry. People who know they won’t make money, or sell anywhere near the same amount of books the big 2 can. But they start out intent on making their book, and getting that book in front of willing readers. But sometimes every hero needs help.

We all grew up on the big name superheroes and their books. And by no means am I telling you to never buy another book from the big 2 again. Buy as many as you like. I’m just saying that you have some great modern day hero’s trying to save your comics making future in the comic shop each and every week. The independent comics creators are out there fighting the good fight to give you something new and fresh. To reinvent what comic characters can be for a whole new generation. But they need help. They need YOU. They need you to make, what may seem like a sacrifice at first, and not get that new issue of Spider-man where he gets his new costume, so that maybe you could try out a book you’ve never read before. But when you put down that Spider-Man and pick up that issue of The Strange Tales of Luthor Strode, you will be glad you did. And maybe if that works for you, you’ll give some others a try.

If you like Superman, go give Irredeemable from Boom studios a shot.

If you’re enjoying True Blood or American Vampire, so give Shinku from Image comics a chance.

There are so many great independent books out there, and coming out in the future that you are bound to find something that hits your sweet spot. And when you do find that title, spread the word. Let other people know what they’re missing out on. Because the truth is, the independent books you read, more times that not, will be telling you a story you haven’t seen before. That’s what great independent comics do. They try and satiate the hunger you have for new material and new entertainment. The reason Spiderman fights the Vulture for the 37th time with a new uniform is because his publishers know they need to dress up the old story to make it look new. Where as if you pick up OUR LOVE IS REAL from Image Comics, and can tell me that’s a story you’ve read before, I will HAVE TO know what type of books you’ve been reading.

I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I was writing this for some what personal reasons. I have an independent comics coming out early next year. It’s called SCAM and it’s being published through COMIXTRIBE. It’s about super powered conmen out for revenge during the biggest heist of their lives. It’s a story I wanted to see, so I made it. I didn’t write a screenplay or try selling it as a movie pitch. I love comics and I’ve never seen that type of story told with them, so I made it. I wrote it and drew it and am proud as hell about it. Issue #1 is 42 pages because I wanted to give anyone who would give it a chance the best bang for their buck. I worked my ass of to make #1 for you guys, and #2 is even BETTER. And don’t even get me started about how insanely awesome #3 is going to be! So yes, I’m invested quite personally in independent comics. Personally and professionally. And I’m willing to bet you would be to if you just gave them a chance.

Below this article is a just list of some comic covers from a few of the best independent comics available right now. I’m sure I’m missing a ton of great ones too, that’s the problem-there’s so much great work coming out it’s impossible to list all of them. Every story starts somewhere, so maybe your story with independent comics can start here.

Thanks for reading and as always feel free to contact me through the site, on Twitter @JoeMulv or by E-Mail at JoeMulveyInc@me.com

  1. Nice to see an independent creator’s voice out there and you bring up some good points. If we don’t support the up and comers we’ll be reading the same damn stories with the same characters for years to come and I personally like variety.

    • joemulv says:

      When you have a character that’s been around for so long like a SuperMan, spier-man etc, it just becomes too drawn out, watered down and repetitive. New ideas and moving forward is was usually propels any industry forward and comics needs to realize that. Maybe the reason DC had to restart was because they had done everything 2000 times with each character and the stories didn’t work anymore. Give me new original and well done content and I’m there.

      Thanks for the reply and reading the article and I really hope you’ll check out SCAM when it comes out early next year.

  2. guarg says:

    you left out one of your best arguments. Most of us have our own personal favorite characters who are not part of the big 2’s original casts, yet the licences are now held by them (Blue Beetle is mine). why not list a bunch of the more popular of those characters and point out to the newer collectors that Indy books is where you find the next big DC/Marvel line up.

    p.s. I am disappointed to see no dynamite love here. over the years since project superpowers came out I have found myself shrinking my DC pulls and increasing my Dynamite pulls. Also, Mouseguard (I forget the publisher off hand) is wonderfully drawn and family friendly, unlike a lot of the listings you have here.

  3. The majority of really good comic books that have been published in the last decade are from companies besides Marvel and DC. I really think that nowadays nearly all of the interesting, groundbreaking work being done in the medium is through the smaller publishers. I hardly read anything by the “Big Two” any longer; nearly every series I follow is from Image or Dark Horse or IDW or Fantagraphics, and so on. And my absolute favorite ongoing series is Savage Dragon by Erik Larsen.

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