This is an archive of me defending my friend after they got a weird ask on Tumblr. This is about the battle between indie and mainstream comics.
The bad ask in question:
Maybe you’d have more success as a mainstream comic artist if you actually applied to places like Marvel and DC. Maybe if you actually worked toward changing the things you don’t like instead of just blaming it on ‘muh patriarchy’ you could make a difference for yourself and other comic fans. If you make what these companies want to sell, and do it well, you’ll get in. You cant just go in yelling about the mainstream leaving you by the wayside. If you don’t like something, do something about it.
My friend’s response:
I AM TWENTY-THREE, I’VE BEEN DRAWING COMICS FOR ONLY TWO YEARS
I’m also a white cis queer lady who went to a fancy art school and lives in the USA, HMMM 4/6, NOT BAD AT ALL, I’D SAY. ROCKIN’ THAT PRIVILEGE, EVEN. WISH I COULD USE IT MAKE A MORE COMFORTABLE LANDSCAPE FOR MY PEERS. WORKING HARD FOR THIS EVERY DAY.
Making what these companies want to sell doesn’t work because what they want to sell, nine times out of ten, is reeking festering bullshit.
The independent scene is NOT the wayside, it’s where the most interesting, revolutionary, and wonderful stories are being told today.
Well maybe our dear friend (the asker) has a point, but we must all ask ourselves: will DC or Marvel accept me even if I apply? It’s not like they give 100% of applicants a 100% chance, and that’s the problem.
Why should DC and Marvel be the two pillars, the standard, the only way to make a change, for us to be a serious comic artist? We also must ask this.
DC and Marvel are American, and mostly hirely American/British people; will they suddenly start hiring Polish, Latin-American, Malaysian, Indian, mainland Chinese artists? We apparently cannot succeed in our local environment with our own publishing houses without having to get into DC or Marvel first so how?
Ok fine maybe I get accepted in DC/Marvel, awesome! But there is a difference between ‘making what they want to sell’ and ‘selling what they want to make’. As two mainly conservative companies (as all empires are) where do you think they stand?
Our friend talks about the importance of the mainstream in bringing alt works to light; well my dear friend alt movements can become the FUTURE mainstream, and that is where we are heading soon, but then why should alt movements comply to the CURRENT mainstream in order to be the FUTURE mainstream? Isn’t the appeal of the alt because it is alt? Here’s a kind of hypothetical situation to see my point here: So if I am a revolutionist and I want to make a change, I must comply to the current government, must become a member of said government, by acting like the government itself, despite the government not sharing my standards (and in this situation I have to follow their standards to make a change!!!). It surely doesn’t make any sense.
Reimena Yee is a graphic novelist, artist and flamingo enthusiast.
She writes and illustrates quite a few webcomics and graphic novels. When not making books, she lulls away her time with essays on craft, life and experiences in the publishing industry. Some of her thoughts of art and life are rather unstructured and will evolve over time as this blog matures, as they should be.
Currently committed to being Alexander the Great's death doula. Is a nerd for all things spooky and historical.
Melbourne / Kuala Lumpur
French Book Tour, January 2024