I said some volatile things earlier on Twitter, and I was contacted a shitload for interviews, and quotes, etc... thought I would put down all of it Crystal clear here on my Blog, to set the record.
See, all this shit happening to Gary Friedrich is just the tip of what's about to be one big fucking Iceberg. Remember Steve Niles and me asking and BEGGING, ALL YOU FREELANCERS to hook up with us and let's get organized as a group? Well, it worked and it didn't. There was a great deal of support, some of which surprised the hell out of us. Some of the rejections we got from people we thought were a lock, were shocking too. We have volunteer Legal Counsel, Web Designers, and an assortment of Artists all involved in varying stages to help out with the cause. But it stalled. Just like it has EVERY other time that anyone has tried. Steve is still there on Twitter -@steveniles, and I am too - @tonyfingharris, It just kinda fizzled, and I cant even tell you why. But make NO mistake. This is just the beginning people. The big 2 are now TOTALLY CORPORATE. Period. We as a group of individuals with no connection officially beyond working relationships and personal ones have NOTHING. No solid foundation from which to build. No strength in our numbers. Hell we aren't even a community, not really. Just solo acts. Any Bond we have as a group, is delicate and any structure is tenuous at best.Unless this changes, in a BIG WAY, we are in trouble. What's next from Corporate comics? And how far will they strip us of any rights that we might have left? Sub-par page rates( ask any artist to figure his Hourly rate vs. page rate ), no health insurance, Hell! NO benefits AT ALL. Precious few,qualified, Editorial Squatters, minimal royalties ( and for Colorists, none at all ) absolutely NO consideration from the company for being loyal to them for years, trying to build whatever history you can with them. We as creators are as disposable to the larger companies ( even though they have built their respective empires on our fucking backs) as Comics were intended to be at their Inception. Cheaply produced and printed Pulp Goodies, that by the way- Changed Pop-Culture forever, and outlasted every ones expectations. And NOT because of publishing Houses, or Banks, or Carpet Bagging Celebrities or Mr. EIC of the week or month or decade. But because of Me. And every other guy or gal who has been at this longer than they can imagine. Who have sacrificed personally, professionally, lost friends, been Black-Balled( Fuck you Editorial, we know it exists) , rediscovered, lucky, or just plain fortunate, or deserving. And most of all, to all of us who live a primarily painfully solitary existence chasing a muse that we seldom catch up with for the yearning of a few minutes of bliss, lost in art. THEY, WE, I, am the reason the Comic Book Industry has endured. Selflessness, true love of the medium, not wanting to be rich, or to be greedy. Just to be, OK. To be able to take care of our families and create. Little of that( unless you are the "Hot-Artist-Of-The-Week-Month-Year") comes our way. We are working stiffs, looking for that "Right" project, that rings true with everyone, and takes us all the way. That's why I have moved in and out of Creator Owned work EVERY time the opportunity came to me. I knew that's what I ultimately wanted to do. So I paid my dues, took all the work that came my way, and parlayed that success into personal work. Again, no Hellboys in my Portfolio. But very respectable, successful creator Owned work. And LOTS more to come. But that's the point. We are creators. So we create. Some good work, some not so good. But you keep at it, cuz you haftoo! It eats away at you from the inside, until you spill it out onto paper. Creator. I think this word has been thrown around TOO liberally in the last 15 years. More of you reading this( Newbee or seasoned Pro ), are Creators too. Developing, Scheming, paying your dues, waiting. You just haven't done it yet.You have not yet taken that plunge. I envy you. You can never get that "First-Time" feeling back. Its always a rush, but DAMN!
But we deserve, whats coming to us. In the form of proper credit, AND compensation for what we create, if not outright ownership. We as Freelancers, and the guys and gals coming up, and the future of our Ilk, will be no better off than we, unless we make a move to improve things, and not be the Lowest paid, Red-Headed-Stepchild-retard-Artist, that the Art World, and world of Entertainment keeps in the basement, sliding us a plate of Slop under the door, when they feel like it, and DAMMIT! We should be thankful for that.