ComicsPRO, a meeting of comic book direct market retailers (you know, like the owner of my local comic store, where they know me by name and ask me to understand that they know better than to attend ComicsPRO and thus leave the store undefended against my feeble burglary attempts) is occurring right now in Atlanta. And yesterday, Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson gave a speech to the attendees.
This speech is the kind of thing that keynote speakers give to make the owners feel proud, strong, and less likely to be plowed under by ComiXology the way your local record store, where they knew you were irritating and asked you to understand that vinyl sounds warmer than digital or get the fuck out, was decimated by iTunes. And it certainly did that, with references to how graphic novels are the one type of paper-printed book that is apparently in a growth mode, and how in a world seemingly enamored by comics, it is still the local comic store that is the best place to obtain a wide variety of books.
This is a good message. I like this message. I think I’ve established over the years that I don’t like trying to navigate comics even on a tablet, and that I like my paper comics, and that about the best part of my week is on Wednesday nights at the store, shooting the shit with the other regulars and the owner, who knows me by name and asks me not to threaten to fire feces in front of the paying clientele. We picked the location of the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Home Office in no small part based on its proximity to the comic book store. That and its proximity to dive bars that accept questionable behavior, but that’s not the point.
The point is that Stephenson also used his speech to shit on Star Wars, Transformers and G.I.-Joe comics. Which has a lot of fans whipped into a screeching hate frenzy.
And I am kind of one of them