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ErikJLarsen Crisis on Infinite Earths was the comic book equivalent of New Coke--a product nobody asked for but the powers-that-be decided we wanted.

And I'm going to try and find the argument he had with Gail Simone a while back on how the comics industry is failing because it's not aiming towards kids, but says he doesn't think Image is part of the problem cause it was never aimed at kids.

He also had a lot of bad stuff to say about C2E2 despite not actually being there.

EDIT:

@kurtbusiek thing is--most Golden Age guys were all over the place. Kirby was at a mess of now-defunct publishing houses. Nice to get that.

#C2E2 was, I'm told, not that well-attended. Next time--how about a name that actually says COMICS and advertising locally? Just a thought.

While I saw #C2E2 banners all over the web--there was, I'm told, no presence in Chicago. Also--a show the week after paying taxes? Really?

The name #C2E2 was a bit cutesy--and most people didn't understand what it meant. That's a problem.

Of course--I want them to succeed--I want a good show in Chicago and Wizard World seems to be shriveling up. It used to be a fantastic show

When it was the Chicago Comic Con it was second only to San Diego in size. It was a huge show--well organized and attended.

Problem is--if the vendors don't make money they might not return, @gary_m_miller I'm sure it was GREAT for the fans who attended!

An under-attended show is great for fans--shorter lines--more time with creators--all good. But if the vendors can't make money--that's bad

@DeWayneFeenstra I did not. I'm in California. I go to maybe five shows a year.

I've gotten mixed reports on #C2E2, @Tsumiaki --the fans who attended had fun--dealers and vendors weren't loving life though.

I have no idea what C2E2 stands for, @PAULIENYC I was told at one point but I forget

Chicage Comics & Entertainment Expo. CCEE=C2E2 --ghaa--that IS too clever for its own good.

From what I understand C2E2 was in the city and inaccessible to public transportation, @matthewdyer

Like I said, @darthkramer I wasn't at C2E2 so I can't say directly what the deal was--just passing on info--can't guaranty its accuracy.

I contend that NOW is the best time to be buying comics simply because there's so much available--including the best of the past.

But I don't get that holy fuck I've gotta read this NOW sitting in the parking lot two seconds after buying comics feeling from anything.

When Miller was on Daredevil, Chaykin on American Flagg, Byrne & Claremont on the X-Men and Simonson on Thor I couldn't wait to read 'em.

There's nothing that gives me that panicked urgency these days.

It's great that there are all of these collections available--but monthly comics were the one thing that gave me that rush.

These days the one mag that has me leafing through it immediately is the Jack Kirby Collector--but that's a different kind of thing.

When Jack was actually doing monthly comics THAT was a great time to be buying comics.

There really aren't comics like the comics I read as a kid. My kids don't read comics at all. Few do.

Comics these days are aimed at older readers pretty much exclusively--or little kids--there aren't all-ages books.

Comics were a lot more accessible and self-contained, @nelsonblake2 --when I read a random superhero comic now--I feel lost.

And the argument with Gail Simone:

I'm just curious, @erikjlarsen. Do you feel Image bears any responsibility for the problems of the industry that you talk about?

To some degree, @GailSimone we stepped up the coloring and made comics more violent and aimed at older readers--not that they were mature

@erikjlarsen, not trying to be snarky, just an honest question.

At this point--the dam is broken and Image isn't the force it was, @GailSimone I just focussed on getting out good books.

@erikjlarsen, again, fair enough. I only ask because it seems like you were in a position to do something about all this stuff at one point.

@erikjlarsen, but I don't remember the imprint being hugely different at the time.

It was, @GailSimone it changed a few years into Image as creators left or were kicked out. The Image of 2005 was VERY different from 1995

Right, @erikjlarsen, but it didn't address the stuff you're talking about here, right? You didn't do lots of kids books, for one, right?

I'd argue that that's never been what Image was about, @GailSimone that's like singling out Vertigo for not doing kids comics.

I always thought of Image as the stepping stone between Marvel and Vertigo. Edgier than Marvel--less "mature" than Vertigo

@erikjlarsen, didn't you get to help decide what Image was about? Everyone can say what's wrong, few are in a position to make the change.

Not really, @GailSimone I can only approve books that are pitched. It's not like Marvel or DC where the publisher can force sweeping changes

It's odd, @erikjlarsen, you make it sound like Image is a bystander rather than a participant. Is that fair? Not accusing, but it seems odd.

No. That's not fair, @GailSimone and Image is not one being with a central person in charge with much power. Hard to articulate in 140

Okay, @erikjlarsen. I just have read a lot of these comments by you and wondered if you included Image in your assessments. No, I guess. ;)

Honestly, it's hard to, @GailSimone while DC & Marvel can get real direction from a head Image really can't because books are creator-owned

It's not as though a publisher can come to Image and say "from here on out all books are all-ages" and have everybody comply.

It still seems odd, @erikjlarsen. You're saying Image couldn't make it known they wanted quality kids' titles?Image can't effect ANY change?

We have, @GailSimone and little materialized. We have published kids titles--they were not supported.

Wouldn't many other publishers say that same thing, @erikjlarsen?

You're reframing the argument, @GailSimone I wasn't talking about kids comics to begin with.

And while Image DID change the game when we were HUGE it isn't possible for us to change it back now that we're not.

It's very difficult to put the toothpaste back in the tube. In the '50s comics were self-contained and there was zero character progression

Now readers feel ripped off if the status quo of a book doesn't change. They feel a book is spinning its wheels.

That kind of continuity comes with a price--it makes books very inaccessible. But our audience demands that.

Do we dare buck that trend and do more accessible books at the risk of alienating the few readers that are left?

@erikjlarsen, I'm not trying to trick you, Erik. I know you're sincere. And I appreciate the honest answers.

I'm not arguing, I was just curious. And @erikjlarsen is answering perfectly reasonably.

All-ages, then. It doesn't change the question...do we curse the darkness forever or light candles, @erikjlarsen ?

I can control one guy--and one book, @GailSimone and I know that I've made a sincere effort to.

@erikjlarsen, okay, take Image out of the equation--are there any publishers you think are doing a good job widening the market?

Sincere effort to what, exactly, @erikjlarsen? I think everyone appreciates what you've done with Savage Dragon. But sincere effort to what?

Make it less steeped in continuity and less aimed at mature readers, @GailSimone at one point it was the only superhero book with swearing

Ultimately, it all comes down to you and what you can control. I can control me and my one book. I can't control anybody else.

Well, I have to get back to work, thanks for answering my questions, @erikjlarsen.I'm not sure I understand any better but it's appreciated!

The group of us wanted to do the kinds of comics that we wanted to read--we still are, I think. Nothing wrong with that.

If everybody changed what they did in a reaction to what we did that's their doing, not ours.

I think all of us should just be trying to do great comics.

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Basically, Marvel and DC do everything wrong and Image does anything it wants, and that's okay because Image was never meant to be for kids.

Do I agree that there should be more all-ages books out there? Sure. Do I think that Superman's main book should be similar in tone to Billy Batson and the Magic of SHAZAM!? Fuck no.

I like the guy, I'll continue to support him, but I can't listen to his thoughts on the industry anymore.

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Marvel and DC both need to grow the fuck up, especially DC. Violence and rape don't make your comics mature, they make you look like a bunch of jackasses.

I'll be honest, I don't read comics to see rapist zombies to come and attack and murder people, I read them because in concept they are supposed to be fun. Violence used in context works, violence for the sake of violence is just shit. Most of the stuff in BN I enjoyed, as it had to be done, when you have an event called Blackest Night, it can be all fun and sunshine and Larfleeze speaking for the audience, you need the blackness for the light to come through.

But fuck it, I read what I enjoy, and any shit I don't care about does not get either my time, or my money.

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Marvel and DC both need to grow the fuck up, especially DC. Violence and rape don't make your comics mature, they make you look like a bunch of jackasses.

For me, Marvel's neverending event-driven soap opera crap is worse.

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This isn't my pro-Marvel stance coming through here, but I'd rather have one event after the next over the kind of violence DC pushes.

I didn't mean the events themselves, I meant the complete lack of story resolution.

The DC violence doesn't bother me because I don't read the randomly violent stuff like Cry For Justice.

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Yeah, outside of Cry for Justice, DC isn't that violent. And Marvel is really coming back to me as a company I can like again. Siege looks to be resolving itself in a cool way, and outside of the X-Books, things are generally looking up.

I really think both companies are doing some really good stuff right now, I'm pretty high on both sides for the first time in a couple of years.

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Red Skull threw a baby out of a window.

They have Sentry ripping people in half all the time.

DC isn't the only one doing it.

I think it's more that DC has a more fanciful cartoon vibe, so seeing heavy violence feels more out of place.

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I'm not saying Marvel doesn't do violent stuff, but there's a difference between Red Skull chucking some random kid out of a window and Prometheus killing the much-established and beloved Lian (and Star City).

And as far as I can recall Sentry has only ripped two people in half: Carnage and Ares. If there's more, pardon my mistake, but that's not "all the time." (I'm not excusing the ripping in half. I simply took issue with the quoted text. But again, I admit I could be wrong. For all I know The Sentry's done it half a dozen times.)

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They were the cornballs for so long that when they finally started doing things that Marvel's done for years, they're suddenly ruining comics.

I don't really see how character development = violence.

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I think the fact that DC is less "real-world" (and rightly so) than Marvel makes gore look ridiculous.

I actually have avoided reading Cry For Justice just because of that Red Arrow arm-ripped-off panel.

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I don't see why Marvel gets a free pass on the violence, I really don't. I'm really attempting to remain neutral here, because I'm really warming back up to Marvel, and I like a lot of the stuff they're doing, but it's about the same across the board.

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I'm not saying Marvel doesn't do violent stuff, but there's a difference between Red Skull chucking some random kid out of a window and Prometheus killing the much-established and beloved Lian (and Star City).

Throwing a baby out of the window isn't that bad because it wasn't an established character? Really? Lian will be back. Star City already is. That baby won't.

And as far as I can recall Sentry has only ripped two people in half: Carnage and Ares. If there's more, pardon my mistake, but that's not "all the time." (I'm not excusing the ripping in half. I simply took issue with the quoted text. But again, I admit I could be wrong. For all I know The Sentry's done it half a dozen times.)

Ok. Twice. Those are the only two I can recall but I wouldn't be surprised if there were others.

To be fair, DC did a story about the rape of a character as the catalyst for one of their major stories and the people that didn't like it have decided that every thing DC's written since has been about rape as well, so you'll forgive my hyperbole.

They were the cornballs for so long that when they finally started doing things that Marvel's done for years, they're suddenly ruining comics.

I don't really see how character development = violence.

I don't see how I implied that it did, nor am I defending the violence, but it's ridiculous that people are acting like it's a strictly DC problem.

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...Both companies still have people with super-powers in tights, hucking cars at each other, right? Because I think calling DC more fanciful than Marvel is really just splitting hairs at this point.

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I'm not saying Marvel doesn't do violent stuff, but there's a difference between Red Skull chucking some random kid out of a window and Prometheus killing the much-established and beloved Lian (and Star City).

Throwing a baby out of the window isn't that bad because it wasn't an established character? Really? Lian will be back. Star City already is. That baby won't.

And as far as I can recall Sentry has only ripped two people in half: Carnage and Ares. If there's more, pardon my mistake, but that's not "all the time." (I'm not excusing the ripping in half. I simply took issue with the quoted text. But again, I admit I could be wrong. For all I know The Sentry's done it half a dozen times.)

Ok. Twice. Those are the only two I can recall but I wouldn't be surprised if there were others.

To be fair, DC did a story about the rape of a character as the catalyst for one of their major stories and the people that didn't like it have decided that every thing DC's written since has been about rape as well, so you'll forgive my hyperbole.

They were the cornballs for so long that when they finally started doing things that Marvel's done for years, they're suddenly ruining comics.

I don't really see how character development = violence.

I don't see how I implied that it did, nor am I defending the violence, but its ridiculous that people are acting like it's a strictly DC problem.

People.

I am agreeing with Dubs across the board here.

This conversation needs to stop.

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They were the cornballs for so long that when they finally started doing things that Marvel's done for years, they're suddenly ruining comics.

I don't really see how character development = violence.

I don't see how I implied that it did, nor am I defending the violence, but its ridiculous that people are acting like it's a strictly DC problem.

Sorry, thought you were referring to Marvel's implementing of character development while DC remained without continuity.

And on the Marvel and DC front, I don't give Marvel a pass. I've been a Marvel Zombie pretty much since birth, but I've slowly watched them turn from a company that wanted their fans to feel like they were part of a club to a corporate entity that doesn't give a shit about that anymore. The meaningless deaths in the wake of their events are just a bonus.

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...Both companies still have people with super-powers in tights, hucking cars at each other, right? Because I think calling DC more fanciful than Marvel is really just splitting hairs at this point.

No, DC really is less "real-world." I mean, look at Blackest Night. It's essentially a story about the emotions of life fighting back against the very concept of death. Would Marvel ever do something that crazy and abstract? Probably not. They'd opt for a much more socio-politically-relevant story like Civil War, Secret Invasion, or Dark Reign.

DC is more mythological and symbolic; Marvel attempts something closer to pseudo-reality. The narrative laws of DC's universe are entirely different than Marvel's, for many reasons.

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I don't think either company should get a free pass for the explicit violence. The Sentry ripping people in half really bothers me. I'd be horrified if my kid came across that book. And the violence in Wolverine and things like that? It's been a series of writers trying to do the next big thing for years.

As for DC, they seem to have gone off the deep end with this shit, all starting with Infinite Crisis. But "Cry for Justice" was so beyond the pale that it has made people very uneasy. Roy getting his arm ripped off? Disgusting, as are all the scenes of his flesh-eating virus-infected stump, come to think of it. But if you read his nightmare sequence from "Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal" it's ten times worse. This sick fuck actually plotted and published the last moments of Lian's life. That actually made me fucking ill.

My daughter enjoys superhero stories. I feel awkward when I explain to her that most of the superhero stuff Daddy likes, she can't see. I buy superhero movies and she can't watch them. She likes the Justice League characters, but I can't even tell her about, like, the last five years or so of their lives? I don't want these companies to censor themselves, by any means. I just want them to realize that there's a difference between an honest, realistic story that has violence and a story that's built around gratuitous violence.

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DC is more mythological and symbolic; Marvel attempts something closer to pseudo-reality. The narrative laws of DC's universe are entirely different than Marvel's, for many reasons.

Sorry dude, but I can't buy that. Marvel's biggest comic of the moment is about a battle between hundreds of superheroes and villains taking place on an island floating over America which happens to be Asgard, home of the Norse gods. At the crux of that, the strongest superhero of them all has just turned into his Lovecraftian alter-ego, just after murdering Ares, the Greek god of War.

Marvel has more street level heroes, yeah, but one of them literally sold his marriage to the devil, and Marvel's grittiest street hero of them all is currently a nightmarish combination of undead man and machine.

I like Marvel Comics a lot, almost as much as I like DC. But I don't get this concept that Marvel is more realistic.

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