Comics and BIG Changes - Visionary's CCO Weighs In

Your New Captain America Is Sam WilsonWith many of the recent newsworthy developments in comics the last few days, I thought it might be apropos to post some thoughts on these kinds of events, such as the Death of Archie, Falcon Becoming Captain America, and the new Female Thor. They come after the debut of the new Ms. Marvel and a good while after Miles Morales.

First, all the outrage spewed at these changes before the actual books are even printed is a sad testimony to fandom. The blatant racism and misogyny are downright shameful and a blight on the industry, so, please engage the brains, disengage the hate.

Now, let's dig into the why.
Are these 'stunts' to increase sales? Well, I wouldn't call them stunts, but of course they are sales strategies at a certain level. These publishers are in the business to make money. They have expenses to cover in creating these books so everything they do will always at least be looked at through a lens of sales numbers. They are far better ones, in my opinion, than lenticular, 3-D, scratch-n-sniff covers that worked sometime back.

Are they more than mere PR / Sales strategies? Yes. Its been clear on a lot of fronts that many of these moves have been pushed for by creators involved, and they also clearly represent a growing awareness in comics that we as an industry are 'growing up'. Its become clear both as a profession and comics as a creative medium, that we need to become more diverse, more inclusive, and more representational. I think the creative community is responding to that and doing it how we know best: by telling stories. So in that case, its wonderful to see and we should support it.

Doesn't that make them rather agenda driven? Maybe, maybe not, who knows the various reasons behind each, but, in general, part of the wonder of fiction is how it holds up a mirror to help us better see ourselves, and to inspire and challenge us to be and do better. So, in that case, maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Archie is shot down, protecting a gay man, powerful stuff that solidly hits the issues of gun violence, gay-hatred and the ongoing 'shootings' crisis escalating in our country. These are things we hear the moral outrages on and yet when they simmer, the special interests groups, lobbyists, and naysayers ensure its business as usual. There is a reason all those folks blasted this story publicly, because stories teach, stories challenge, stories can lead to change.

It's the same with introducing these new characters showing more diversity. The racists, homophobes, and sexists have come out in force, because it scares them by showing how civilized culture continues to leave them in their outdated vendettas.

Well then, why not create new characters to show this new awareness? Well, that's happening too, and has been for some time. Characters who were originally part of some under-represented groups and were more unfortunate stereotypes in the past have been moving past that superficiality into more modern and developed people. New characters have also debuted.

But a very important point here is by taking these iconic characters and bringing change, even if temporary, is that they make headlines. Its intentional that the links above AREN'T to the publishers, but major news outlets covering those events.

Again, yes sales. But, I'd like to think a good part of this strategy is also a group of intelligent folks saying, "you know, let's not just sell a gobstock of books, let's send a message." These characters make news, make debate, make opportunities to bring out the ignorant, so the rest of us can see it for its ugliness and maybe just be a little more disenchanted with allowing ignorance and make changes ourselves.

So, I embrace this wholeheartedly, I will avidly support those titles and changes. I will promote them anyway I can to the best of my ability. I am also thankful to all the haters who will help ensure others will do the same.

Why? Because these kinds of changes are important to me for the message they send, and if sales are strong, which they will be, it will lead to more, and that is a good thing.

Visionary's Summer Conventions

Check our EVENTS Page for Full Details on All Upcoming Shows!

Visionary will be attending our two mainstay shows this year!

GENCON INDY – August 14th-17th
Visionary Co-Founders C. Edward Sellner and Charlie Hall will be in attendance, as we join up once more with Pinnacle Entertainment for a great Deadlands show! Books will be on sale, and we’ll be announcing all the latest on the comics, books and new TV series!

BALTIMORE COMIC-CON – September 5th-7th
This year will be our biggest Baltimore show ever! Headlocked will be the star of the show, with the latest TPB Headlocked: The Last Territory available, and special guest Jerry “The King” Lawler in attendance! Series creator Mike Kingston will be your host!

Saturday, September 6th
- High Noon Partner!
Join us for an exclusive BCC Panel event, as we roll out all the latest news on Deadlands, from comics, upcoming novels and the recently announced TV show in development.
More show details, exclusives and announcements for both shows will be rolling out over the next few weeks! Stay tuned!
There's a great article by Heidi MacDonald over at Comics Beat, which includes a great graphic about the market and its amazing growth this past year. Basic news is, overall market returns showed a marked increase with the previously mentioned digital sales hitting $90 million and total sales up to $870 million. Despite the growing digital market and book store sales, comic shops still carry the bulk of those sales, which I'm hoping is translating into most shops doing well. Great to see! Goes to show comics are building their markets in all arenas, and the success of one is the success of all.

Welcome to a Visionary Summer!

Ever worked hard on something for a long time, wondering if it would ever pay off? Ever wondered if you really could live your dreams and make it real? This summer, and the rest of this year is going to be that payoff for Visionary! A lot of the groundwork we’ve been laying for the last several years is coming together in exciting new opportunities that just keep getting bigger and better, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! We’ve hinted at it over the last few months, planted a few teasers, but now, its time, time to start slowly pulling the curtain back on everything coming!

This won’t just be the big payoff for us, but also for all our fans out there, the ones who’ve rooted for us, and supported us in all our efforts, from our digital sales, to loyal convention fans, to our wonderful Kickstarter supporters. You folks have made this happen, so we hope you enjoy it all!

Join us on our main site, this blog, and all our ancillary sites,
social networking etc. as we overhaul our look, our content, our brand, and start rolling out the best year ever! We’ll be running new features, posting new content, teasers for new comics, and be doing contests, giveaways and other promotional fun all to get everyone as excited as we are.

This is going to be truly Visionary!