By Beau Smith

Changes. Let’s face it, not too may people take to change in a favorable way. Most of us like to warm up to anything that becomes different in our lives.

Comic books are no different. In fact, most people that read comics don’t like any change at all.

Oh, sure, we talk a good game of wanting things in our favorite comics to change, but the minute they do somebody is cryin’ a river.

The thing that changes most in a comic book is the creative teams. As readers we don’t really have much say so on who is doing a book until they are on it. We can’t vote em’ in, but we can sure vote em’ out with our wallet. Just remember, every time you vote a guy out he is gonna be replaced with a new guy. It always takes a new guy about five issues to get his feet steady in a series.

You’re always gonna get a group of folks that aren’t gonna like the creative change. Most of em’ are gonna do their bitchin’ on the forums or message boards that are all over the internet, and they won’t even use their real names. Thing is, the publisher isn’t gonna really see it. Trust me, publishers don’t have the time to check out the forums? not even on their own sites.

I suggest ya write an old fashion letter to the publisher. Trust me again when I say that the publisher WILL read your letter. They don’t get many letters now that there are no letter columns. Your letter will stand out.

Another major change in comics is with the characters on a book. Once again, there isn’t much a reader can do about that. You can make your pleasure or displeasure known through your wallet, but that takes time.

Changes in characters are the hardest for a reader to deal with. I hate to bring up an old saying, but?

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Let’s face marketing facts, they aren’t gonna kill off Superman, Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man or any of the other iconic characters. Oh, they may piddle with the costume or have them even take off the costume for a little while, but they are never gonna make any major changes to mess with licensing. Licensing is where the root of all money lies for the publisher.

So next time you read where someone is gonna kill off an iconic character, you can rest easy that this is just a ploy for a year at the most.

Second-string characters can and will be killed off and changed. The character Robin is a favorite target for change. Why? Because they can get away with it.

Robin will always be based on what Robin has always been, but they will change the costume, the person or even the gender. You can be that when you see Robin on that 711 Slurpee cup it’s gonna look like the same Robin that has been around for over 50 years.

Sometimes I wish that they major changes would come with the marketing and editorial offices. It’s there I’d like to see more change. New ideas and rules getting bent. The same template has been in effect for way too long. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to see some change here.

Comic book format is another place I’d like to see change. I’d love to see a very cheap comic made in a format that sells for $1.00. I think it’d be a great place for readers to try out new books or get new readers to take a stab at comics without costing them too much.

I know I will pay a higher price for quality comics that warrant a format of substance. I’m not afraid to chuck down $4.00 for a well-written comic book. I’d just like a format that I could take a chance on without it hurting my wallet. I think the “One Buck” format is something that Marvel and DC would have success with. They’ve got deeper pockets than most other publishers. They can afford to do this. Don’t let em’ tell you they can’t.

So changes are gonna happen. The question is can you adapt to these changes? As I’ve said many times here in Busted Knuckles:

  1. Vote with your wallet.
  2. Write letters to the publishers.
  3. Expect change.

Change can be a good thing. Be open to it, but also let em’ know when you aren’t happy with it? after you’ve given it a fair chance. Be a man when you complain. Don’t whine and cry like a little school-girl. This is YOUR comics business, act like it!

This week’s lecture is over. Go forward and do as I say. You’ll be better off for it.

There won’t be a Busted Knuckles next week because I will be in San Diego doin’ the comic book convention thing. If you’re there stop by the IDW Publishing booth and shake my hand.

I aint’ hard to find.

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author


Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin