Major congratulations go out to Fred Gallagher for fetching an amazing $1200 for his drawing "Broken Miho" on Ebay. This is a huge success for Fred, and it looks very well upon the future of all comics.
I think about comics as much as Mr. Scott McCloud does, (I like to think I'm more realistic about it, but that for you guys out there to decide), and I'm starting to see a lot of similarity between indie comics culture and skateboarding culture. I think you're gonna like this one.
Just about anyone can pick up a skateboard and move forward on it. Just about anyone can pick up a pencil and draw some sequential art. A bunch of those who pick up either will get really into it, and practice it all the time. A portion of those will turn out to be really good at iteither by extensive practice or by amazing natural abilities. A few of those folks will decide to dedicate time and chutzpah towards showing their talents off to the public. And out of all that, you get only a couple of people who can turn the whole thing into a career. Tony Hawk. Pete Abrams. Bam Margera. Fred Gallagher.
Two problems arise in all of this that even I in my infinite optimism can not deny. First, I like to believe that I am not competing with anyone to become a successful comic artist. However, when statistics seem to suggest that only the best-of-the-best get to make a living, how can an artist not become competitive? Secondly, in both the skateboarding and comic examples, could it be said that each artform is only truly appreciated by the artists of that form? Before the popularity of Tony Hawk's video games, the skateboarding culture was largely underground and unappreciated. Now that everyone with a game system can identify a misty or a 900 indy, the culture is much less mysterious. However, is it possible for comics to penetrate that obscurity? The superhero genre accomplished this to an extent, but at the same time drowns out all other comic genres. It is capitalism at its finest, I suppose.
I guess what I'm trying to figure out is if the success of a few comics will lead to the success of comics as a whole. Will MegaTokyo open the market for indie comics, or will smaller comics be crushed under its weight? As for the answer, I don't even have a prediction. From my point of view, its up to the artists, the promoters and the community. It could easily swing either way.
Thanks for reading. When I rant like this, its to get you out there to make your own opinions, so intelligent counter-arguments are always welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org.