A while ago, The Factual Opinion opened its doors to let me present my piece about the indie/mainstream dichotomy called The Big Fusion. It serves as a historical checklist and a criticism of the scene’s current aesthetic and monetary relationship with corporate properties. The healthy discussion, oftentimes critically sound, that occurred can be found in the comments section (which also includes a response from the guy who arguably started it all, Tom Devlin).
I must make clear that when I say “criticize”, I don’t mean “condemn”. I like superheroes fine and I certainly don’t wish them to die and I still read/draw them from time to time, but I’m also free to point out what I think is weird in the industry, what I think is off, or what I think is just plain wrong.
In loosely related news, I also interviewed Jason Latour over at The Comics Journal. We got together earlier this summer to discuss all things comics. I was particularly interested in asking Jason about being a young cartoonist working within the modern infrastructure of commercial comics. We dig deeper than mere brand loyalty; there’s a genuine passion at work here, and Jason tries to bring that to the table.
In regards to brand loyalty… I worked at a comic shop long ago and one of my co-workers was an older adult, had another day job, was well read, educated, etc. He had been a long time comic book collector, too, but he bought TONS of crap. I mean, on Wednesday he would just pick one of everything and would actually read/follow every single comic (as opposed to simply collecting). I would always rib him about his shitty taste, and only because he knew that the comics he bought were shitty. Every week, this habit stumped me until he explained it. He said he saw these characters as family and friends, that sometimes they go through rough patches but they eventually (hopefully) come back strong. No matter what, he made clear: “You don’t stop being their friend. You follow them through thick and thin.” That sorta blew my mind. Still does.
I relate to that kind of loyal obsession but, man… sometimes you just have to have a falling out with your friends.