Artist Michael Netzer has worked in the comic book industry for five decades, racking up credits in both mainstream and independent titles.
But now, Netzer is taking a stand. He wants to save the comic book industry, and he feels that publishing Goliaths DC and Marvel are hurting the industry by focusing on becoming nothing more than media licensing warehouses rather than publishing.
And he’s filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission.
Read his full report after the jump, and if you love the comics medium, you might seriously consider clicking on the link to sign his petition.
DC and Marvel Comics have founded and headed the comic book publishing industry, a business and an art form that have become loved and sought after world-wide, though they have not prospered in America. We call upon DC and Marvel to turn their attention back to the business of publishing comic books and allow it to thrive and grow.
Since the 1950’s DC and Marvel have shifted their business attention into the intellectual property arena, the licensing and merchandising of their properties, where they make the overwhelming majority of their profits today.
As such, these industry leaders, owned by Warner Bros. and The Walt Disney Company, no longer need a vibrant comic book publishing business to be especially profitable in the same way that book publishers do. Yet DC and Marvel continue to dominate the distribution and marketing of comic books and exercise a choking monopoly (or duopoly) on the sales and public perception of the viability of comics.
Comic books are distributed through a monopoly distributor and are sold only in specialty shops. Most such store shelves are saturated with comics published only by DC and Marvel, leaving little to no room for any of the diverse independent publishers. This suffocating promotions, distribution and marketing system enforces a tight lid on the growth of the comic book market, perpetuates a false perception of a commercially non-viable product and stifles the growth of the business of comic books for everyone else.
In so suffocating the comic book business, DC and Marvel also perpetuate a severe injustice toward comic book writers and artists who create the properties and content that the world has come to love through films, television shows, toys, games and countless other products. Because comic book sales continue to flounder and fall, only few artists and writers are able to find employment producing them. The rest are left to fend for themselves in a brutal independent market, or find other vocations altogether.
We call upon DC Comics and Marvel Comics to turn their attention back to the comic book publishing industry – and release their strangle-hold on the distribution and marketing of comics, so that other enterprises would have room to grow.
We call on the industry leaders to exhibit a greater sense of responsibility with the great power they have over the industry – and to return to exemplify the values of truth and justice towards comic book writers and artists who provide the fuel for their enterprises to flourish.
We call for an end of the reckless endangerment of the comic book publishing business by DC and Marvel Comics.
To sign the petition, go HERE!