50 Comics Positives In 2012: Book Contracts More Difficult To Come By; Cartoonists Sticking With It
There's a thread that runs through a lot of convention comics talk and interviews right now -- it's certainly something that's been a part of about 3/4 of the meals I've shared with cartoonists this year -- that a recent, inexplicable era of generous contracts from major book publishers to what seemed like almost random project from unproven creators has settled into a more modest, reasonable set of expectations and rewards. Some comics-makers have bailed, the kind that one cartoonist told me you could almost predict would stop making comics the second it stopped bringing them the attention they desired. But others have dug in, releasing some of their best work for smaller presses or even on their own initiative. If you consider the period of the 1900s through 1920 a rich one for comics-making like I do, one thing that stands out is how many different starts some of the great cartoonists enjoyed before settling into their best work. We can hope for the medium's sake that this kind of restless creativity may be back.