Any demand for a superhero/villain industry analyst?
Booms and busts: Mark Millar talks about his theory on the cyclical comic book industry. Since the beginning of the Golden Age in 1935, the industry has been operating in a twenty year cycle. A sine graph with ever larger max and mins. I got into collecting a few years before the largest boom ever hit the industry and pretty much walked away after the biggest bust in the industry (moreso because of my lack of time at CMU than the quality of the industry). I semi-jumped back in during my latter years in college midway through Jim Lee's return to the industry with the Hush storyline in Batman.

During the early 90's I felt the creators finally overshadowed the characters (somewhat sad turn of events). I followed the infamous seven who left Marvel to form Image and patiently put up with their unprofessionalism. Art was great, writing was wack. Too bad Valiant went belly up. They should have merged with Image since their writing was so good and their visuals lacking.

I remember going to a convention in NYC and getting several items signed by Rob Liefeld (yeah I was blinded, he can't draw for $h!t but I still bought his titles) one of the items I got signed was this black and white button with a big 'i'. Didn't know what it was at the time, eventually I put two and two together and realized that it was the Image comics logo. Can't believe he ever got so big... I mean, even Gehry has more talent than this guy. That's how much Liefeld sucks.

Anyway, I digress. We are in a boom stage right now after the fallout of the mid 90's. A lot of it has to do with Hollywood's backing and subsequent poaching of the industry. We've gotten an influx of fantastic creators from other mediums such as the TV and movie industry too. I'm still surprised that Marvel is still independent. Figured some media conglomerate would grab Marvel for cheap to make use of all those characters. But now that Avi Arad has left Marvel to form the movie producing arm, guess Marvel will remain independent.

In the midst of all this, the digital realm still remains a mystery to the industry. They haven't fully embraced it and everyone's still too focused on trying to make money by licensing their characters to crumbling Hollywood to develop anything on the WWW. Skip Hollywood, connect directly with the fans on the web and figure out how the Internet can benefit the company, character, fans triangle. Stan Lee tried... but I guess he was ahead of his time or the execution just wasn't there. Has anyone seen the show Who Wants to be a Superhero? Bleh.