"I want to see wild work, even reckless work, cartoonists trying out new approaches that don't even look like they have a chance in hell of being successful. This atmosphere of caution is not only keeping the form stuck 20 years in the past, it's losing us nearly every reader who passes."
I was going to use this in my column this week, but it ended up not fitting in very smoothly. But, man, those words seem to apply to mainstream, direct-market comics today, don't they? Except for the notion that anyone "passes" by the comic rack. Nobody even sees comics anymore unless they go into shop specifically looking for them.
Of course, these days the argument is that the superhero market becomes smaller due to attrition, and "passes" could mean people dying off. But if the comic book market loses "nearly every" reader who "passes," does that mean that there are comics in the afterlife? Is that where "Brother Power" and "The Inferior Five" ended up?