CBR (Comic Book Reader) had a post on the number of comic book publishers who have gone out of business and it's titled: "15 Defunct Comic Book Publishers"
Someone pointed this out to me so I thought it was good that someone other than me mentions this. I clicked the link...the companies listed:
Charlton, Wildstorm, Awesome, Eclipse, Caliber, Comico, Defiant, Malubu, Pacific, Fox, Harvey, EC. Qualty, Fawcett and Dell. Do you know just how many decades ago some of those closed? Really?
Is CBR just not bothered about Independent comic publishers or are they not considered because they are either not four colour in some cases and not big sellers so therefore are not worth bothering with?
Image Comics and Dark Horse are not "Independent" publishers and they make quite a lot of money so, especially with the re-adjusting of the industry and sales, stand as two of the "Top Four" -DC, Marvel, Image and Dark Horse. Far too many comic buyers and comic industry mouthpieces want you to think that Image and DH are "Independent" for various reasons:
(1) They do not want you to start buying true Independents as you may decide they are better than full colour mainstream comics. That would mean -
(2) All four companies lose money. They would not like the mouthpieces then and the mouthpieces have very vested interests so -
(3) Ignore the small grass roots publishers and the small pressers unless someone from there gets picked up by one of the "real" companies then that can be pushed as genuine interest so their asses are covered. This means that -
(4) The comics industry "club" maintains order.
The comic 'fans' say "I support Independent comics -I bought two image books and one Dark Horse book this week!" and then grin widely and when you point out that they are not Independent publishers its "What do you know -everyone knows they are Independent....cus we've been told so!"
How many comic publishers that are not DC, Marvel, Image or Dark Horse do you know? I have shelves and boxes full of Indie publishers comics -really, boxes full. Independent comics, Small Press the lot.
And there sit those Indie comic publishers muttering "We know. We never ever get any mention online or publicity!" And then they stamp their collective foot. But do you know what? the reason for that is your own faults. You never thought I was going to punch the industry mouthpieces and fake comic fans and you would get away, did you?
You see, back in the 1980s to mid-1990s Small pressers and publishers wrote and talked to each other. Review copies were sent around. Everyone knew who was publishing what -it was mutual collaboration. Then came the internet and all the "closed ranks" that stopped anyone not in the private cliques from getting attention.
Since the 1980s -in print and online- I have reviewed and pushed Independent and Small Press comics. It is why you never saw DC or Marvel books reviewed because they had all of the publicity. And I have never -as you will know if you have read this blog for more than a month- confined news and reviews to English language only. The bigger publishers (Titan, Casterman, etc. ) take advantage and why not?
Year-in and year-out at events and even on You Tube videos I would hear "We never get any publicity or reviews of our books -its always DC and Marvel! No one bothers with us whine whine whine". I read this online. At one point I got two comic stores to take Small Press books and the publishers well and truly fecked up. Never contacted the shop, never sent in new books -this gave the store owner the chance to say "I tried and it got thrown back in my face. No more!" And quite rightly.
I tell people: "Send your zine/comic and I will review it!" And out comes the whine "But that means I have to send you a copy in the post whine whine whine" Look, you are not selling any books or have sold some but have a box full in the corner going moldy: sending a copy does not guarantee you a sale but you increase your chances of selling when 2-4 or 5,000 people see that review on CBO or via one of the social media the posts are put through. But you do not want to write an address on an envelope and put a comic in it and then post that off because it is too much effort for you.
You cry and whine about no publicity or sales or even that you are going to have to stop publishing then whine about how it is your fault.
Decide whether you are really serious about publishing comics and want to sell them. If you do then make the effort or go away. You just want to publish for fun then that's okay.
No matter what you are -Independent or Small Press. No matter whether your comic is just a photocopied book or a soft cover or hard back book. No matter what language or country you are in. If you want people to see your book and want to try to succeed as a publisher all you have to do is send a copy of the comic/book. Put in details of how people can order, cost, etc., and that's it. You have at least taken one step.
How many Independent comic publishers can you name? Can you name any of those that have gone out of business in the last year?
Are you a real comic fan or faker -do you want to really support small publishers?
Are you a real comic publisher or playing about -do you want to not be remembered and added to that secret list of unknown publishers who have vanished?
Make your choices.
I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and absolutely no pdf or online file share links.