I think thats where we are in Comics. The "Now". Very few care about longevity. Leaving a creative voice that hopefully will be heard for decades after you are dead and gone.
Don't you wanna make a lasting contribution to the Industry you claim to love? Don't you wanna share your Original thoughts, Visuals, and Ideas with your Fanbase? Hell, with the entire industry and beyond? I do.
Like most of us who are working professionals I got into the business with high hopes. Hopes of getting to draw and work on all the cool characters. The BIG GUNS!! So that i could be popular. So that i could be famous? Respected? Revered? Envied? Maybe even hated?
My point is, that your short sight hopefully will get sharper, and interested in the long run instead of the sprint as you get older and wiser. Hopefully you have an original idea rattling around in your head. Maybe even 2 or 3! Or 10. I guess from early on, I was never content to just draw whatever I was offered. I was developing Original material before I ever got mainstream, or Indy work 22 years ago. But I took ANYTHING I could get. All of it. Did my best to provide my Editors with good material, and always strived to get better. All the while, scheming, and biding my time. Planning, and pushing the envelope as far as I could, without burning myself down. I had my share of success, and plenty of failure,, to be sure. But you never know what will work unless you try.
I think what I did was do as much mainstream work as I could get, as high profile as I could get, and then pushed those successes into attention for an Original Idea. A creator Owned Comic, in the parlance of our times.
And I have been lucky, and blessed. People liked what I did, and seem to like what I AM doing with my Original material.
But I am not saying that I dont wanna do anymore company owned work. That kind of work has been good to me, and my Family. But I guess I am saying It's never been enough. Imsaying that It's not enough to be the 435th guy to draw Batman. I know cause I have been that guy. I am always chasing that next new idea. The thing that rattles so loud in my head, that if I dont do everything within me to make it a reality, then I will go insane.
I also think that there is a big difference between the term Creator, and Artist. I know this isnt a popular notion but I don't care, you think about those 2 words and you figure out what you think they mean, and who does, and who does not deserve either title.
If I shopped at any given comic shop, or any outlet for your Comic Book purchases and all they EVER had were Superhero book after Superhero book, and little to nothing else to choose from, I think I would ultimately start seeking my entertainment elsewhere.
Wait! That is what's happening. For a long time now. So why haven't I sought my entertainment elsewhere? I love comics too much to leave. And I DO think that I can affect change, even in the smallest way. By doing new books that are Original material. And that people wanna read. Thats the other main point here. I am not abandoning the Big 2 to forge my own way in the world, and shit talk the mainstream. I have done my share of Creator Owned stuff for smaller publishers, but I have always pitched, and been lucky enough for DC to be open to Original material from me and take a chance. So I am riding the fence really. All I can hope is that with every Creator Owned book I do for DC, Marvel or whoever it may be, if it's successful, it'll make it just a little bit easier for someone else to get in the door. Or just make it easier for DC, Marvel or whoever to look with open eyes, and say , "Yes, I think we are gonna give your book a shot!"