Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lucas Has Inspired Me

Lucas Siegel put up an AMAZING blog post about how fucked up "comic book journalism" can be. If you haven't read it yet, please do so immediately and then please come back.

(in borrowing from Mr. Siegel's opening, though he inspired me to post this, nothing I say in this post is officially endorsed, corroborated or agreed upon by Lucas)

Let me add an example to just how fucked up the kind of control that companies want to have over content.

I was covering a panel at a convention. Let's say it was in NYC. It was a pre-public opening panel where the top dogs at major publishers were talking about the state of the industry.

One particular big wig made mention of plans to offer comics digitally online in the not-so-distant future. Someone nearby to me asked me to confirm that I had just heard the same thing (which, of course, I did). They, also, checked with a gentleman sitting behind him, who just so happened to be a marvelous PR representative from the same publishing company that was currently being represented at the podium.

And so it was established that three people heard the exact same declaration from a major publisher about their upcoming Digital Comics. Unbelievable, right?

What? You don't think it is unbelievable that three people confirmed hearing something that was clearly said?

Oh...I forgot to tell you: it wasn't said. Nope. I was informed by a third party hours later that what we heard said ON MIC AT THE PODIUM OF A PANEL ONLY FOR INDUSTRY INSIDERS AND MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA wasn't said. Nope. Damn that tinitis. I never knew it could make me hear imaginary statements of a publishing plan that didn't exist.

One of the worst things about this incestuous set up? That when, miracle of miracles, a site defies a request to pull something, because they received the info from a reliable source that was not part of any privileged information they received directly from the publisher...some publishers spread false accusations of that site breaking an agreement to some true believers that then take that info and Beat it like a drum.

That's right: there are plenty of people out there that are all too happy to shit on the next site on behalf of a publisher, both for how it might make them seem better in comparison and stave off the publisher from putting the screws to them for something in the future.

By the way: while I'm sure you can divine which publisher the particulars above refer to, I am in no way suggesting that other publishers don't pull the same garbage. I just don't have first person experience with it from them.


  1. There is so much BS in the way comics are "reported" on that it makes me feel like taking a stroll through Capitol Hill just to get some fresh air.

    I mean, whats with all the secrecy and hush hush on a business plan? i say get the people excited by letting them know about whats coming down the pipe.

    Digital comics? Awesome! plant your flag fast and say you did it first. Cool creative team coming aboard? get it out there and let the hype build itself.

    You dont know how many times i have been at a con and the answer to "What book will you be working on next?" is always some form of "I cannot say just yet". Stupid.

    I know this all spawned out of some Twitter comments by Joe Q and Tom B not appreciating how things are just copied and put on sites, but i think this whole festering pot of bullshit has just been waiting to be tipped over for a while now.

    You know what, maybe Kirkman is right in saying that the indies are the way to go, atleast they are mostly happy as hell to get their stuff out there for people to know about without some brown nosing and a western grip handjob in return.

  2. I asked one of the guys at Blog@ directly about the whole issue of permission. They have the emails with Cebulski where he gave them permission to post his tweets FIVE DAYS before they did it. How Marvel can legally keep saying Newsarama didn't have permission . . . I have no idea.


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