Man-Size (man_size) wrote,

Comix autonomy

Metrics may disprove my theory but I FEEL like I'm a polarizing creator (not necessary in the negative sense but in the binary sense). In 2010, when I debuted CUBA: My Revolution at Small Press Expo (SPX) my book was met with a distinct "stink" of being produced by DC Comics (Vertigo), even though it could have easily been published by Top Shelf, Fantagraphics or Drawn & Quarterly. It gave me insight into a certain kind of "indie-comix branding" I wasn't wholly aware of. I felt that us die-hard, old-school SPXers (I'd been exhibiting at SPX since the mid-90's) had been trying to infiltrate the Big Two and other "corporate comics" publishers for many years with our subversive content and I was one of the ink-ninja's who cracked the system only to be quarantined into some bizarre section of SPX "sell-outs" or something. It was a paranoid feeling. I can understand if my book was shit but it wasn't (I swear). And, more importantly, it was hardly considered...barely perused. I sat at my corner table for 2-days playing a far-sighted staring contest with invisible crickets while 12-page mini-comix (folded & stapled the night before) were flying left and right. Again, a weird thing for me to witness. I get it. I get that a modern SPX is more about the DIY charge and bucking a certain kind of "old white dude" system. I just thought I had the kind of street credit (I've been an SPXer since its 2nd or 3rd year, hawking my indie-wares) that would forgive my occasional alliance with the Big Bad Two only to discover I had scarlet DC letters scorched into my chest. I don't believe there's an actual line drawn between cartoonists who hopscotch between the Big Two and alternative comix but nowadays you never EVER have had to indulge a franchise comic to read modern comix and make 'em. Hell, you hardly need to know comix history. Who cares? Maybe 2010 was the year that comix became much more autonomous?

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