TCJ Gary Groth on the black-and-white boom/bust

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous
    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >The Turtles was originally a parody-of-sorts of Frank MIller's Ronin and nobody knows why the parody outsold the book it parodied.

      The speculation theory he heard is plausible, and could've happened, but if it were speculators alone I don't think the comic would've gone into multiple printings or maintained its momentum.

      I think it just had more to do with the TMNT (even just that first issue alone) having more appeal to the audience than Miller's Ronin. That's neither a good thing nor a bad thing, but Groth sometimes forgot the audience doesn't always shares his tastes.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Gary Groth, thinking his opinion is the only one that matters?
        Say it ain't so!

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          In fairness, a bunch of the titles he eviscerates in this article really are pretty bad. Some are just okay. That said I'm pretty sure Solson's Buckwheat Comics was never published, it only exists in ad form

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        TMNT became insanely popular because it was a parody that came out precisely when comics were in dire need of a good parody. It was a "perfect storm" of comic book cliches at the time.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I think it's not just that, there's also another thing that

          >>The Turtles was originally a parody-of-sorts of Frank MIller's Ronin and nobody knows why the parody outsold the book it parodied.
          Why did Chainsaw Man out sell the original manga it got inspiration from? (I forgot its name.)
          Because relatability and eye catching concepts help attract a audience.

          brought up
          >Because relatability and eye catching concepts help attract a audience.

          Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the TMNT in 1984 (just going by the first issue, since that was what Groth was talking about) visually distinctive from a lot of Marvel and DC and some indie stuff? Like the only thing maybe close to it would've been Cerebus, Albedo (which only had a #0 issue out at the time TMNT #1 launched), and Howard the Duck. But even TMNT #1 felt more distinctive than those, even if the art was crude by the standards of other comics.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        TMNT became insanely popular because it was a parody that came out precisely when comics were in dire need of a good parody. It was a "perfect storm" of comic book cliches at the time.

        The article is obviously old at this point, but I think that history has proven that TMNT had real staying power and was more than just a passing fad, or driven by shady market forces. Groth isn't alone isn't alone on the Turtles though, a lot of critics at the time were seething over its continued success. It just had that sort of polarizing effect.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Yeah you can see this in Howard Chaykin's Hey Kids Comics where in one issue he covered what was going on in the 80s, with various stand-ins for actual comics creators being either dismissive of the TMNT stand-in or repelled by it

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >>The Turtles was originally a parody-of-sorts of Frank MIller's Ronin and nobody knows why the parody outsold the book it parodied.
        Why did Chainsaw Man out sell the original manga it got inspiration from? (I forgot its name.)
        Because relatability and eye catching concepts help attract a audience.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >I forgot its name.
          bump for interest

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            this

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            this

            Googled it apparently it's a popular enough factoid that I could just do that, it's Abara.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Read it when I was reading Nihei a few years ago, is Chainsaw Man any good?

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >Abara
              Oh, okay.
              I liked Abara well enough, but my disappointment with Fire Punch has stopped me from reading Chainsaw Man.

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous
    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This part where Groth is critical of Eclipse is interesting to read side-by-side with the history of Eclipse on the wiki page:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipse_Comics

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Interesting

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I think he may be on to something with the Pacific purchase (and there's also getting the rights to Miracleman and other Warrior stuff, which he didn't mention), but I wondered if the flooding was also a factor in Eclipse trying to cash-in on a lot of stuff.

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Thanks, OP.

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Thank you

  10. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The period he's talking about in his old column is an overlooked one because it kind of explains how indies lost ground during the late 80s/early 90s before the rest of the market crashed

  11. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    He talks like Fantagraphics weren't one of the first to jump on the b&w funny animal trend

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      They did but the thing he's really bemoaning is shitloads of TMNT knock-offs. He praises Fish Police for not being amateur level. Also keep in mind he wrote the original article back in 1987 and was still thinking highly of Cerebus.

      Most of his ire seems to be directed at Silverwolf, Solson, Eclipse, and Scott Rosenberg/Eternity/Wonder/Malibu/etc

  12. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I sincerely hate Gary Groth. He has done more damage to independent comics than any other individual person

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      How so, by founding an indie publishing company that has stayed in business, or by publishing a critical magazine with virtually zero influence on the industry? I'm not saying the man isn't an obnoxious snob, and and he certainly seems full of it in this article, but I don't see him or Fantagraphics as poisoning the market in any way either.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        NTA but he goes too much into the opposite end of capeshit. In the end he's just as moronic as the most braindead Image guy but for the opposite reasons.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Fantagraphics in and of itself is fine. But in TCJ Groth has a special brand of viciousness reserved for other indie comic publishers and creators. He then has the gall to act like he and TCJ are the only ones in the industry with journalistic integrity despite the glaring conflict of interest involved with saying these things in TCJ while owning Fantagraphics.

          Sure, I get that. I agree, even. I just don't see him having a huge pull on the indie scene outside what his own company publishes. TCJ doesn't really seem to matter that much in the grand scheme of things, so it doesn't seem right to say he's ruining comics even if he's an ass.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Fantagraphics in and of itself is fine. But in TCJ Groth has a special brand of viciousness reserved for other indie comic publishers and creators. He then has the gall to act like he and TCJ are the only ones in the industry with journalistic integrity despite the glaring conflict of interest involved with saying these things in TCJ while owning Fantagraphics.

  13. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Excited to read this bc I’ve heard “they’ll save money and comics by switching paper and to b&w” forever and it just didn’t sound right

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Back in the 80s, it was possible (TMNT was black-and-white for a long while). But I think the black-and-white boom in the 80s was why comic shops shied away from most b&w indies for a long while.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      In regards to that, that ship sailed a long time ago, and I doubt this decades-old article is really relevant to the modern era of publishing (most of it is just Gary kvetching about how awful all the other publishers are anyway).

      If slashing costs is your business plan today, there's no newsprint or cheap ink involved. You go digital, and that's that, because digital is hands down the cheapest method of distribution currently.

  14. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Groth is a moron about everything

  15. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The B&W boom (and bust) was the beginning of the end of indie publishers in America. Cinemaphile doesn't seem to know much about the history of comics before the speculator era, but indie comics were fairly prolific in the early-mid 80s and sold decently. A few years later most of those publishers were out of business.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I get annoyed a bit when I see the usual "it was because of the CCA" or "It was because of the 90s crash/Diamond" responses because there's like a shitload of things that went wrong with the American comics industry, not just those

      The b&w boom/bust is one of many, many things that fricked shit up.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I was just reading Nexus last night and I bought a complete run of the Elementals earlier this year. There were so many good indies that just evaporated. Many of them fell into rights limbo after the crash and vanished forever.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        There are also the more well-known ones like V for Vendetta and Miracleman.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Speaking of Elementals, has Andrew Rev responded to Willingham's claim of placing the Elementals in the public domain? DC actually bothered to respond when that happened with Fables.

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