The UK Comics Industry Gets What It Wants

Seriously, I have said in every piece I have written on the UK comics industry and the state it is in that we, as comic creators, must act if we really want to keep the industry alive.

In a previous posting I asked how countries smaller than the UK and less well-off had managed to keep or build up a comics industry.  I also pointed out that Print On Demand publishers were doing well. POD was an aside and no issue.  Lew Stringer wrote, after stating he knew nothing about POD but had been told it was the way to go:

“There is a difference between making a profit and earning a living though. No doubt someone as high profile as Donna Barr does it but for others, unless they sell a substantial number of P.O.D. downloads it still won’t pay the mortgage.”

I responded, for reasons explained further on, in a very annoyed manner:

“For gods sake: DO YOU WANT AN INDUSTRY WHERE YOU CAN STILL GET WORK?

YES?
NO?

Those are the only answers required. Don’t try to distract from the shit state of the industry by trying to get onto POD. You are either “Yes lets save our industry” or “No. Don’t care so long as I get paid” Simple as that.

YES?
NO?”

To which Lew responded:

“YOU brought up the topic of print on demand Terry. If you don’t want a polite discussion about the topics you raise, I suggest you disable your comment boxes.

Good luck with being the self-appointed saviour of the industry.

I’m out of here.”

In other words, Lew, like so many others out there, could not counter any of the points I’d made based on facts.

In response I wrote:

“Well, now I’ve a “Saviour” complex because I want to keep the industry we both work in alive?? With the help of people IN the industry? I never knew.

To make sure my memory was correct I checked all the items I’ve posted on the faults in the UK industry and where the blame lies and how it should be corrected. EVERY comment you’ve left has been “the bosses are okay” and “Its not like it was in the 1960s”.

READ what I’ve written.

I had hoped that as a UK creator you might have said “Yes, I’m on board let’s talk about how we can save the industry” but no. I want to make sure creators today and in the future HAVE an industry. That makes me insane with a saviour complex?

People in POD publishing are doing very well and to start a topic “I know nothing about this but am told its the way to go” and end with “Okay, a high profiler might make it work but no one can earn a living from it”? You need to get out there and FIND OUT. POD was an aside comment. I’m not discussing POD but saving the industry even if only because I can walk on water and am insane!

“I’m all right, Jack -I’ve got work” and doffing the cap to editors/publishers won’t do much. Did it help when Panini were told by Disney “no more original UK material”? No. People sat around and moped about the blow to them.

As the self-appointed Saviour (you’re right -no one but me could do it!) of comics I’ve asked UK bloggers and comic creators to come forward, discuss what we can do.

Lew, if you had offered just one minor positive point it would be great. If all other UK creators act this same way then I really will have to practice raising the dead.”

There is this “I’m all Right Jack” attitude amongst UK creators of their getting paid work, albeit getting less and less, so don’t rock the boat.  Sir knows what Sir is doing when in fact “Sir” doesn’t as is indicated by the utter mess in the industry.

Why, why, why, why is it so impossible to try to be positive about your own industry or even to say “Yes -let’s save the UK comics industry”? It’s easier to say “You’re being rude to me I’m out of here!”

Cowardice.

I can write that because, it seems, I have a Saviour Complex.

How are the French managing to do so well?

Why are translated Franco-Belgian books selling better than anything the UK produces?

Can creators get together and form a comic publishing house?

How can we promote a new line of comics -how many do we need to print?

THOSE would have been good points.  Constant sitting on the fence and defeatism gets us nowhere (sorry, I actually forgot the Saviour Complex and wrote “us” then).

The professional creators I’ve spoken to/exchanged emails with all qact this way. Those that do agree will not even contemplate offering any form of support comment on CBO. Why? “We don’t want to upset the bosses”.

Seriously? Will the bosses send you support cheques when you can no longer find work?

Personally, I’m going to do what I have to even if it means climbing a mount and dividing four comics to entertain 4000.

The negative comments and snide remarks that pop up on CBO I know what they are about.  The time to be counted has come and gone.

RIP British Comics Industry -they just didn’t give a damn.

But I shall rise on the seventh day to rant no more.

Yeah, I could get into this saviour complex…..

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