Christian Comic Arts Society

A Network of Christian Fellowship for Comics Fans, Pros, and Amateurs

Where are the Christian professionals in the mainstream comic industry?

Searching for like-minded Christians who want to use their art to change the world as God has called us to I came upon this site. As a leader of the Visual Arts Ministry at the Columbus Vineyard in Columbus, OH I am always looking for professionals in varying art fields who wholeheartedly seek out Christ. We have been blessed to host almost a dozen of such people through personal connections and there are more in our area and church, yet, untapped. For more information on our ministry please visit www.VisualSanctuary.org.

However, my personal crusade to find  Christian professionals in the mainstream Comic Industry has yielded few returns. Perhaps some are on this site, but I am also open to suggestions on blogs, magazine/news articles, and preferrably interviews on podcasts, secular or Christian.

If you know of any, please post.

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Wow Alec,

I've been seriously considering having a go next year at trying to break into the super-hero comic market, once I have finished working on the current Christian projects I am doing. I totally agree that the huge majority of secular super-hero material today is totally off, and I guess my thinking was that if I could break into the market, then i could do my part to be salt and light in amongst a lot of darkness. Now after reading your posts and everyone else's, you have me wondering if that is such a good idea. Hmmmm. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights, I obviously have a lot of praying and seeking God's will to do.



Calvary Comics said:
I found this on the 'net the other day. You know things are bad in secular comics when some of their top creators are saying the following (on the first I edited out the profanity; anything in parentheses contains the same general meaning as the original words, but sanitized):

Comic Book Pros Shake Their Heads in Disgust

"I want them to stop catering to the perverted needs of forty-five year old men. I want to stop seeing Batman (fornicating with) Black Canary. I don’t want to hear Batman swearing, I don’t want to see him feeding a boy rats, I don’t want to see characters getting raped in the (posterior), I don’t want to see characters who have been straight for sixty years become lesbians overnight because the writer’s too stupid or uncreative to come up with something decent, I want to see new characters for a new time, and when the industry of superhero comics realigns its sights to the young people it was meant for, I’ll be there with both arms and feet."

– Darwyn Cooke

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2010/09/01/darwyn-cooke-and-the-lesbians/
------
"I get all the DC books free...and don’t read most of them.

"Part of it’s that they’re just not aimed at me — there are a lot of line-wide stunts that seem to affect all the books, which makes it hard to follow them as individual series, but at the same time there’s no apparent interest in building or maintaining a coherent universe. So whether you’re looking for self-contained series or want to wallow in the peculiar glories of a shared universe (and I like both), they’re presented in a way that messes up either thrill. At least for me.

"Add to that the tone of the books, which seems to be overwhelmingly grim, cheerless and bleak, and it’s a sandbox I don’t much want to play in or read about. But like I said, they’re not aimed at me."

- Kurt Busiek

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2010/08/28/a-new-name-withheld-for-the-...
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"Annnnd today was the day I stopped reading super-hero comics. One that I won’t name finally broke me. Collection stops as of now. No joke. It’s not one bad comic. It’s the unbearably last in a long string of bad comics. Just sick of reading the same story 100 times in the last three years. It’s been building. I didn’t say they were all bad. I said I’ve reached a limit."

- Mark Waid

http://twitter.com/MarkWaid/status/18088713004
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Look at this recent JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE RISE OF ARSENAL #3 (published by DC Comics) story transcript. It's remarkably stupid and insanely filthy (again, profanity euphemized in parentheses) :

Writer: JT Krul. Pencils: Geraldo Borges, Kevin Sharpe & Sergio Arino.

Page 1: Chesire shows up to theoretically kill Roy, blaming him for Lian’s death. They fight, and Roy’s thought captions on this page are about how hot she was in bed. No (kidding): ” Next to Kendra/Hawkgirl, Jade was the best in bed.” Chesire has poisonous fingernails that will kill you fairly instantly. She is shown scratching him with those fingernails, though he isn’t poisoned (?), and the scratch marks completely disappear on page 2 (??).

Page 2 -7: they fight, to such scintillating dialogue as “Bite me, Jade.” and “You’re a skilled assassin, but as a mother — YOU SUCKED!”. Roy uses various things sitting around (a tennis racket, a stapler, an extension cord) to battle Chesire — this is apparently Roy’s new superpower, fighting with whatever junk is sitting around, which is excitingly McGyver-esque! Using the extension cord like a whip (which is OK, “She likes it ROUGH anyway”), he ties Chesire up, porn-submission-style. Then they make out, and start to (fornicate)….

Page 8: .. except it turns out that he’s impotent!

Chesire then disappears from the comic without another word or mention of her.

Page 9: Since he can’t (copulate), he decides to go beat up guys. “I need a release.” and “For me, they serve their purpose” he thinks, as he sticks knives in faceless people’s arms.

Page 10: full-page splash of Roy standing over a bunch of unconscious guys. “Much better” says the caption as Roy makes an O-face.

Page 11: his dead junkie friend appears, and talks about the time they double-teamed a “couple of real skanks” in Nashville.

Pages 12 & 13: His daughter dead, and his dead friend prodding him, Roy decides to jump down off the rooftop in full costume and buy some heroin from a street dealer.

Page 14 & 15: he smokes heroin and nods out, in a two page spread.

On the same thread, the readers were informed that the classic Spider-man villain, the Lizard (Dr. Curt Conners) ate his own son in a recent storyline.

http://archives.tcj.com/messboard/viewtopic.php?t=7970

The above Comics Journal thread is called "Comics aren't for kids anymore. They're for sick people." You know things are bad when even that crowd is crying foul.
DC just recently cancelled their Wildstorm Comics imprint as well as the Zuda online comics (a new talent showcase), and laid off several Vertigo editors. Sales are down, and a lot of talented freelancers who once drew for Marvel and DC can't even get work there anymore. The secular comics industry is simply too crowded as it is, and I'd expect more downsizing in the near future.
Here's a recent article about some of the changes at DC:

http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/09/dc-entertainment-plans...

I read online that in August, 2010 no Marvel or DC comics titles sold over 100,000 copies per single issue, and that over 45% of them sold under 15,000 copies per issue.
Maybe they should charge less per comic if they want people to buy more. I pay $8AUS per comic these days, it's ridiculous. Now I buy 2, maybe 3 comics a month where I used to buy heaps. Can't afford it when you're raising a family. But then, maybe it's not the price, maybe people are realizing that the content is rubbish, so they aren't buying the comic.
Should the Lord tarry in coming, I believe we'll see the transition from print to digital within five years. And those professionals who have their Christian material ready when that time comes will, if they're savvy and alert, be able to "ride that wave" much like those fledgling secular bands who had music videos in heavy rotation in the early MTV days. Digital versions of comics cost much less than the print versions do, and they'll soon be the preferred medium, since you can store thousands of them without filling the house with boxes.

It seems the Christian bookstore marketplace hasn't yet "gotten it" as to what graphic novels are, and who their target audience is, or the fact that their secular counterparts are, at times, treated as a legitimate art form (and literary form). Perhaps the digital venues will succeed in reaching the audience that the "brick and mortar" shops failed to do, especially once digital is the norm.
Wow- I didn't realize DC was dropping Wildstorm. They just cancelled CMX earlier this year and MINX, I believe last year. Just a few years ago they had more imprints, and now it's maybe just DC, Vertigo, and Johnny DC [if that can be counted as a separae line].

Matt- it's an interesting comics world we live in. I can't believe their that expensive in Australia! [tho i understand the currencty exchange, etc.].
But this is the basic break up of pricing- less comics sell, so companies raise their prices- to maintain profits, but then people buy less, which in turn raises prices again- that or other cost cutting measures are taken, such as lines being dropped and people loosing jobs... so it's a bad cycle overall, with various factors dwindling it down...
Getting back to the original topic of this thread - I've met some believers in this field who have not been mentioned yet. Contact me off board at my email address (should be available on my page here) if you'd like to know who they are.
Hmmm, why the covert briefing, Carl? Surely fellow believers in the secular industry wouldn't mind being outed, so long as they're not working on material they shouldn't be (which is most often the case, sadly). There are a few names I didn't mention for that very reason. Even worse, I can think of a number of people who once worked on Christian comics, people who claimed to be followers of Christ, who have since renounced Him as Lord and Saviour, and who have dived into working on the filthiest type of secular material you can imagine. "Ye shall know them by their fruit."

Years ago I received a phone call from the editor of a very well known and successful line of comics who, after we talked for a bit, began to break down and weep. He admitted to being a backslidden Christian and said, "I don't know why I'm even working on this stuff!" It was eating at his soul. I told him to get out of it, to quit his job and do something else. He didn't take my advice. Some time later we spoke again and he was hard as stone. He had shaken off all conviction. What a tragedy. He had become like Esau who, after he had sold his birthright, had no way to repent, no way to change his mind.
Calvary reported: "I read online that in August, 2010 no Marvel or DC comics titles sold over 100,000 copies per single issue, and that over 45% of them sold under 15,000 copies per issue."

Wow...what a dramatic change from 20 years back (when I owned a pair of retail shops) and the best sellers sold regularly from 100k to up to a million per month, and the threshold for cancelation for a series was 45k or less for the big two.

For contrast, when I secured my first book trade distribution contract, (in 2005), the person who signed me (who was a veteran of the trade...helping to develop the Christian arm of Ingram), told me that a best seller in book trade was typically thought of as one selling 10,000 copies.

bob-
www.headpress.info
I'll be very interested in seeing how digital comics do (in terms of sales) when they become the norm. When and if anyone has any numbers, especially from the bigger companies' titles, please do share them with us. I'll keep my eyes open, too.

Alec
It truly is an amazing change, Bob. When I did my first issue of Daredevil back in 1990, we did 93,000 newstand, and then an additional 30K+ in the direct market. At 127,000 copies sold, I don't believe we broke into the top 50, and this was a year or so before the comic sales went crazy.

Blessings,

Lee

P.S. Good seeing you (albeit too briefly) in NY. Hope you and your tribe had a good time!

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