Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

April 27, 2012

Go, Read: No Sympathy For The Creative Class

A bunch of you have sent in links to this article by Scott Timberg about the way that creative professionals are viewed. I think it's a good piece and has something to say to comics within the context of a lot of troubles across entertainment and the arts in terms of finding ways to financially support its practitioners. I think Timberg's writing is strongest when he talks about a mercantile fundamentalism involved with the way a lot of people see making a living in the arts: if you can't make money at it, there's something a bit wrong with you, or at least the path you've chosen for yourself. That can be tough. One of the places where comics is instructive on this subject is found within the current debate of creator rights issues and the economic part of that general critique of comics. It's something to suffer the disparaging eye of your peers when what you do simply doesn't make enough money to support your full-time pursuit of that aim as a vocation; it's another when it does, only it's not you that gets to make the money you're generating.

I would love "seeing creators rewarded" become the primary value of the industries that support comics, and any innovation we see on the business side of things serve that value, as opposed to a general boosterism that rewards whoever is canny enough to exploit whatever hits and when. I'd also love to see greater value placed on the act of making art aside from the economic return. I'm not waiting up for either, but I think those are things worth fighting for and celebrating when we achieve them.
posted 4:35 am PST | Permalink

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