I've been reluctant to weigh in on the ComicsPro position paper that has been generating a lot of discussion of late but since we have been one of the publishers who have sold advance books at shows, several folks have asked us for comment so here we are. I know it's probably difficult for retailers to believe, but I actually do very much see both sides and have never quite been able to reconcile them. I will try to explain this...
The latest Inkstuds interview features a fine talk with three fellas I consider friends but also have great respect for as writers and thinkers about comics: Jeet Heer, Tom Spurgeon, and Dan Nadel. It starts off a bit shaky - the show doesn't even start until ten minutes in, and then Dan and Tom are both late and the dialogue kind of stalls all over again when each one joins. But once they get going it's a great, thoughtful listen.
Why was this story even written? This is the worst kind of wag the dog journalism about comics that I can recall reading recently, and while I'm not surprised that the NY Times ran with it, I'm a little surprised that the author's c.v. includes the Believer, which is one of the very few mags I go out of my way to read, even about things that are totally out of my wheelhouse, because I respect their editorial vigor. This story is degrading to the Times and Believer. Platinum Studios is the worst kind of intellectual property grindhouse, a shell corporation of creativity that exists for no reason other than to profit off of media manipulation exactly like this, and only proliferates for the same reason. Scott Rosenberg had as much to do with Men In Black as your average "Stan Lee presents" story from Marvel over the last 30+ years; besides, MiB was what, 15 years ago? Platinum is as creatively bankrupt as Rosenberg is morally. But because he can manipulate sales charts at EW through sheer capital investment, Rosenberg is a mover and shaker and worthy of NY Times coverage. Lazy journalists are the only reason that Platinum even exists; despite working in the comics business for nearly two decades, I've never heard Platinum's comics discussed by anyone in the industry, or even in fan circles. Rosenberg's reputation in the industry, however, precedes him, going back to his days as a comic book distributor in the 1980s. Yet Platinum keeps popping up in newspapers without really doing anything, despite a rather ignominious past for Rosenberg. And yes, sometimes the reporters solicit opposing views from folks like Gary Groth, but that's still just paying far too much attention to a creative and commercial sham. Platinum is market manipulation via huge capital, obatained through dishonesty and/or sheer luck over a decade ago.
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