I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you’re right smack dab in the middle of a change in comics. Let me be the first to tell ya, it ain’t a good change.

In reality there are a few changes goin’ on. I can honestly say that most all of em’ ain’t good. Not good for you, not good for me and most of all, not good for comics.

Let me get this straight with ya right off the bat?this ain’t sour grapes or some old guy in the industry cryin’ about the state of comics.

Nope.

I pride myself on knowin’ what’s goin’ on in comics and always have. I’ve never let my personal tastes get in the way of what’s best for comics. That not only cheats me, but it cheats comics as a whole.

Right now in comics we’re seein’ a change in “popular creators” Some of the most creative and professional writers and artists are bein’ shoved outta work by editors that are always lookin’ for the flavor of the month. Let me tell ya?the flavor don’t taste good either.

If you’ve written a bad novel, a grade B movie, been on a terrible reality TV show or used to be the boot lickin’ flunky for a minor league celebrity then you could have a future in comics.

Look around the landscape of comics and you’ll see what I’m talkin’ about. Editors are lookin’ for any brush with fame that they can get. It seems that they’ll hire anyone that has had 15 minutes of really crummy fame. On the other hand, if you’ve ever handed a job in on time, done a great series of stories or even worked for a company for over 5 years, your career could be out the door.

Editors don’t want dependable guys that can meet deadlines and be entertaining. They all think that they have to go outside of comics to find talent. In reality what needs to be done is to gut the editorial staffs of most publishers with a sharp hook. If you look hard at the editors for most publishers you’ll find that most have no training or background in editing. Most were fans that got a job as a gofer for a publisher and by stayin’ under the radar and not rockin’ the boat managed to hang on to their job and through the process of elimination and got to be an editor.

Granted not every editor fits this discription, but sadly it is the case most of the time. Before they were an editor they were the clerk at Blockbuster or writing a fanzine in Eudora, Arkansas.

By hirin’ all this outside talent we’ve seen a real strip mining of characters in comics. The history and building blocks of these characters have been perverted and twisted to give this new creator their own personal cheap thrills by addin’ “Their adult flavor” to the comics. What it really means is that editor is star struck enough to let this new creator do whatever the hell they want to do. Even if it means draggin’ the character through the mud.

It’s an ego party you don’t wanna be invited to.

Look around and read some of the comics that are comin’ out today. I think you’ll find that characters that you have loved and enjoyed readin’ are being raped and cut apart by these low talent ego maniacs. If the creator is commitin’ the crime then the editor is the wheel man for this robbery.

If these new creators are supposed to be so famous for all the work they did in another field of entertainment then why are they still workin’ in that field?

Because the other field figured out that they had no talent and won’t give em’ any more work. That’s why.

To be a good creator in comics you have to know comics. You’ve gotta have respect for what has come before. You have to know how to pay that respect and still move the characters on in a manner that will not only pay tribute to that character, but still give that character dignity.

To be a good creator in comics you have to know the business. You have to know that what you’re creating has be good enough for retailer to sell. It has to be good enough for readers to want to buy it and feel that they have spent their money wisely. At the dinner table of comics there are more mouths to feed than just your own.

Think about these great comic book characters that you love so much. Are they bein’ treated right by the current writers and artists that are doin’ em’? Is there a respect being put forth on these characters? Are you as star struck as some of these fart catchin’ editors?

Think long and hard about these comics you’re bein’ asked to buy. Are these YOUR characters or hollow, four color shapes of what they used to be. When you read the menu YOU decide what you wanna order. Don’t be force fed somethin’ you don’t wanna eat.

After you read this week’s Busted Knuckles you may or may not agree with me. But lemme tell ya this, I’ve been in the business a long time. I know what goes on behind closed doors. I get information that the regular fan on the street doesn’t get. I hear the things that most folks in comics don’t want you to know. Thing is if I think you’re getting’ the smelly end of the stick I’ll always let ya know. Will that piss some of these guys in comics off? Yeah it will. My answer to that is too bad. They can’t prove me wrong or whip my ass so I’m not really worried about em’.

I ain’t hard to find.

Your amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
http://www.flyingfistranch.com


About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin