Are super heroes holding comics back?

Are super heroes holding comics back?

Take this Warren Ellis quote.
"...clear away the majority of the 80 to 90% of all monthly comics publications that are in the superhero genre. Otherwise we’ll never see what we’ve really got. I’ve said before that the superhero’s cultural and economic dominance of the medium is the same as walking into a bookstore to see nothing but novels about nurses as far as the eye can see. I don’t doubt that there are excellent nurse novels in there. But the fact that in our nightmare bookstore, 90% of all books published everywhere are about nurses tends to choke off all other genres and a literary mainstream."

Are the majority of comics just going to regurgitate the same worn out ideas/characters and never end/evolve?

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I want a comic about a man who has sex with his mother.

>short answer
>long answer
Nobody is stopping anyone from writing or selling non-superhero comic.

Okay but it's a radioactive mom and the man has to wear spandex afterwards.

Absolutely not, no one is holding writers at gun point and saying that they can only write capeshit. They are free to write whatever book they want if they are free too. In fact, most modern cape writers have none capes books, and in most cases they're better. What he's complaining about is a supply and demand market, people buy more super hero comics because that's the majority of the medium's favorite genre. Especially considering the niche community that comics actually are.

The Sensational Incest-Man!

it's entertainment. their prime motive is to make a profit, doing what works best.


if anything i think it's the opposite

everyone's trying to deviate from capes that there's a lot of new and different shit being made

Really, didn't help the CCA stamping down on Horror comics. I liked the variety of old comics, Horror, romance, Adventure, you'll only really see those genres explored in indie comics, now.

Nah, people just buy what they like if a non-cape comics isn't popular that isn't Marvel/Dc/etc fault, besides stuff like Saga,TWD, and fables did amazing

>you'll only really see those genres explored in indie comics, now.

No, not at all. Maybe you should look into companies that aren't the big two (who even then occasionally do books like that). The only reason we don't see any good horror books anymore has nothing to do with CCA (Not like anyone gives a shit about that anymore), it has to do with the fact that a comic is the shittiest format to pull something like that. Not impossible, but super difficult considering you need suspense to pull off horror and being able to see what happens on the page ruins it.

Instead of complaining, I have a constructive/creative proposal: let's name some things you can do in comics that you can't do in TV/movies

Perhaps some brainstorming will reveal what great potential the medium has that isn't being explored because of all the people who are only using it to do special effects without budget constraints.

Here's the full article

What would you guys say the capes to everything else ratio is in comics?
80/20 about right?

I disagree, I think Horror and comics get along great.any moderately talented artist who knows how the medium works can capture and direct the attention of the reader.

There just aren't that many people that want to read or write about nurses, whereas there ARE a ton of people who love reading and writing about superheroes. There will also forever be more variety in books because you don't need to have any drawings to go along with it, you just put your story on paper and publish it, that's it.

Maybe the quote is out of context, but that just makes Mr. Ellis seem really idiotic.

There's more variety in every other medium. ex: television, podcasts. Imagine if TV today only showed sitcoms like Big Bang Theory and 2 Broke Girls with slight variations because it does numbers.

False-equivalency. There is a high demand for other types of shows on television, and I would bet any amount of money that if low-brow sitcoms were the only thing on TV, they suddenly wouldn't be so popular.

People simply don't want other types of genres in their comics.

yeah but it's getting better. hopefully it'll get to like TV where the big 2 and superheroes are the equivalent of cop and dr shows

>What is TV from it's creation until the mid-90s

Regardless of the fact that you may agree or disagree that cape comics are dominating and hurting the medium, that Ellis quote is fucking dumb.

>Are super heroes holding comics back?
Comics themselves? No.

>Are super heroes holding comics back?
Comic creators? Sometimes. Some creators are afraid to spend all their time and energy on non-cape comics, because if nobody buys those comics then those creators will go broke/lose the house/starve/die.

>Are super heroes holding comics back?
The mainstream perception of comics? Yes.

Superheroes are the only thing keeping comics alive. People on the whole in America don't like comics, they like characters and properties that have comics made about them

Well, Ellis is pretty idiotic.


I'm certain there must be a comic adaptation of Oedipus out there already.


Moongirl could have been a great SoL about a misunderstood genious girl if it wasn't for capes


Comics Code changing shit and DC, marvel, et al running over others publishers fucking murdered whole genres of comics, like romance, horror, and crime.

Comics are more diverse in genre now than in forever, and even then most of them sell very poorly compared to superhero books.

>Really, didn't help the CCA stamping down on Horror comics.

This is the correct answer for the American industry in general. Morons like this don't know shit about the history of American comics.

There used to be a great diversity in the American comics industry. Capeshit, sure, but you had war comics, romance comics, horror comics, scifi comics, crime comics, etc. And they were HUGE sellers up until the mid 1950s.

The CCA killed all that. Almost overnight it snuffed out entire genres. But the biggest problem wasn't the immediate loss of creativity, it was that it permanently and maybe irrevocably changed American attitudes towards comics. It branded comics as just kids' stuff to be ignored and even mocked by mature adults.

Meanwhile, in Europe and Japan the comic industries were allowed to continue growing and maturing, and consequently comics are viewed there with more respect. This isn't some weeb jerk off, of course there are shitty and childish comics in Japan, but there's also at the possibility of works being taken seriously. Same in Europe where in France they can be highly regarded.

So I'd say superheroes are a symptom, not the disease. The disease is the general attitude towards comics that keeps the general public from taking them seriously. That actually does seem to be changing very slowly in the US (you'll see major publications like the NYT discussing Daniel Clowes or Chris Ware or the like now and then), but I'm pessimistic that there will ever be a change big enough to make comics respectable in the US.

Woah, I don't often see Owl get pissed off at something where he wasn't the victim

Forgot to add, this attitude is why the points people are trying to make about the great diversity of comics available today don't matter. Yes, there are tons of non-capeshit available now, but the attitude created by the CCA prevents them from getting any real traction. Comics are dismissed as kid crap so most people aren't going to bother with any comics, and only a fraction of those who do will see anything but capeshit because it came to so dominate the market post-CCA that they've become synonymous with American comics to the point that even many comics readers are barely aware of anything else.

Ellis's problems with superhero books hasn't seem to stop him from happily cashing Marvel and DC checks for decades.

>Nobody is stopping anyone from writing or selling non-superhero comic.

Customers are. and the Direct Market stores for not trusting customers to buy non-superhero stories.

outside of tpbs, the best selling non-superhero stories sell on par with pretty mid-level superhero shlock.

This guy got it.

For information, both Mangas and European comics (BD in french) went under the same kind of censure and regulation.

But somehow, we got lucky enough to not stick to a peculiar kind of comics unlike americas. We could have been "stuck" with adventure Spirou/Tintin type comics.

However, superheroes are more and more popular, both in Europe with lot of parodic superheroes comics and even in Japan (My little hero academia is the best exemple).

Superheroes is a popular genre, as was martial aritst and ninjas back in the 90'

Yes. That's why god invented webcomics and manga.

He was a victim in that strip. He had to look at mainstream comics.

Such valid criticism from Megg, Mogg and Owl, the paragon of sophistication and mature, refined taste

>Are super heroes holding comics back?

Comics are doing fine, it's Diamond's monopoly that has crippled the US market and the US market alone.

>you'll only really see those genres explored in indie comics, now.

Normal comic markets globally are dominated by adventure comics for kids, user, and they generally offer the whole range of stories and then something specifically national you won't get anywhere else. The US market is just fucked up.

He's right, but there's not really anything we can do about it.

Superhero comics dominate the genre because most comic readers like reading superhero comics. Most comic readers like reading superhero comics because to start reading comics, you have to be interested in what's out there. Most of what's out there is superhero comics. Why? Because most comic readers like superhero comics...

We can't shut down businesses or force them to operate at a loss for ten years in order to diversify the medium. The only way to break this cycle is for a non-standard comic to shock everyone and bring in a lot of readers from outside the current reader base, and so far, that hasn't happened.

the other problem is that when other genres are attempted to be explored within the confines of the superhero genre, it usually results in low sales, regardless of critical acclaim.

See stuff like Lemire's Animal Man, Soule's Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol in most of its incarnations over the last 30 years.

>Are the majority of comics just going to regurgitate the same worn out ideas/characters and never end/evolve?

Yes, just like all other forms of entertainment and artistic media.

Ad hominem aside, how exactly are cape comics innovating? Making Iron Man a black teenage girl, making Thor a girl, having Black Falcon sub for Captain America, Wolverine dies and is replaced by a girl? That's not innovation, that's pandering none of these characters are enriched by those changes. The major argument against cape comics is that while there are certainly great ones featuring spectacular artists, writers, and stories that get to the heart of a character or show us something worthy of admiration that's not true of all of them; it's , Or the alternative is the equally safe Manga that kids lap up No indie comics aren't being stifled out of creation, and no they aren't the greatest thing to hit the scene. However some more representation might help. Web comics try to fill this gap, but there are other pratfalls there.

>Author loses interest and stops
>Author goes bonkers
>Author starts thinly veiled soap-boxing with self insert characters
>Author panders to aggressive fans and compromises the material
>Merchandising, Merchandising, Merchandising
>The author is Jeph Jacques

I don't think indie comics are the end all be all, but they've dominated the market for decades and leave other genres out in the cold in mainstream.

>Mfw a girl who had this pic as cover rejected me
Still hurts my pride.

It's time you start reading hentai.

Comics seem to be the most stagnant, no?

>people buy more super hero comics because that's the majority of the medium's favorite genre.
Isn't that a circular problem? Most readers start reading comics by reading cape comics and because they like it, they want more of it so big companies sell more cape comic.
Of course, a lot of kids who read a cape comic as their first comic and didn't like it, barely read any comics later. Which end up building a low diversity in the tastes of the readers and most of them wanting the same thing: capes!

>Same in Europe where in France they can be highly regarded.
Not really. Professionals sure do but a BD is still something that parents and uncle/aunt/grandparents buy for their child/nephew/grandchild. Things might be changing with nowdays 30 and 40 years old people but that was how it was for a long time. And the market is quite small for with its own brand of comics.

>There just aren't that many people that want to read or write about nurses, whereas there ARE a ton of people who love reading and writing about superheroes.
Imagine a world where the first novel most writers read as a child was about nurses, because 90% of novels were about nurses. And they like it so much they decided they wanted to become novelist and write their own stories. About nurses.
Now replace novels with comics and nurses by superheroes. Ring a bell?

>You only see horror in indie comics
>No, you just have to look into indie publishers

Not really. Its just like with television, if you only watch main stream cable networks you'll never discover anything better. Its up to you as the consumer to branch out.

You don't see horror anywhere.
It's a dead genre and been that way for a very long time.

You've got at least two genres on mainstream cable networks: cops stuff and comedy.

Nah TV got better. Before if you wanted quality there was only HBO. Now there's FX, AMC, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, Netflix. Mr. Robot's on the USA network.

90% of everything is shit and 90% of consumers have shit taste.