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 Post subject: Art vs. Money
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:14 am 
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I was going to put this down as a reply in one of the Prequel threads, but this probably warrants its own thread.

Imagine a hypothetical scenario in which no one read Watchmen. Moore wrote the book, Gibbons drew the book, Higgins colored the book, Len Wein edited the book, and DC published the book just as we all know and love it, EXCEPT that the book didn't make money. Nobody even noticed its existence, save perhaps only for those on the outer fringes of comic book geekery.

Given this scenario, consider this: Would it be worth it?

Yes, Moore and Gibbons would have gotten their copyrights back, but what would they do with those? Might DC have looked at Watchmen's failure and been even less inclined to invest in risky endeavors?

I guess what I'm really asking is a variation on the old "If a tree falls" question: If a great piece of art challenges its readers and advances its medium, yet no one buys it, then what has it accomplished?

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 Post subject: Re: Art vs. Money
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:54 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Art vs. Money
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:24 pm 
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The situation itself is inmensely complicated to tackle with a simple answer.

In all honesty, I do not despise, nor reject capitalism, I accept it as part of the natural order in which humanity finds itself now. But I do believe some people give it far more credit than it deserves, specially when it's involved in art. Yes, when we speak of art, we are all aware that capitalism allows for:

1) Massive distribution of the artistic product.
2) Gives extrinsic motivators to the artist.
3) Allows people to make a living of it.

Yet, capitalism also:

1) Degrades the quality of the artistic product by attempting to meet the demands of consumers with an extremely high variance rate of tastes and preferences.
2) Abuses the real workforce of the industry, the artists and writers, by paying them much less than the managers and stockholders, who receive more money for doing none of the real work.
3) De-prioritizes every single artistic criteria in favor of "profit", by considering the latter as the highest standard, the editors dilute the product as much it's necessary to favor the criteria of monetary gain, worst of all ? They have to, because if they don't, the industry perishes, it's a vicious stranglehold and a mean condition in which we find ourselves right now, if something doesn't make money, it dies.

My opinion, in the case of Watchmen, is that I see no reason why I wouldn't have heard of the book if capitalism hadn't impulsed it, comic book readers still have mouths and ears, and they love to share everything they like. To this day, word-of-mouth is still one of the best forms of advertising, and it would've been perfectly present if Alan Moore had kept the rights to the book.

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 Post subject: Re: Art vs. Money
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:14 am 
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I think if Watchmen had initially 'flopped', in the evil capitalist sense, and gone out of print, it would eventually have gained cult status and another publisher woulda picked it up, and the boys woulda made a bunch of dosh because they'd have the rights (which was really the most likely scenario, and probably the contingency plan they discussed down the pub before going back to sign the contracts).

I first borrowed and read Watchmen in New Zealand, in the first compiled edition, just after it was released. It wasn't bought at a major bookstore, but through a hardcore little comic shop, which is where I went n' bought my first copy soon after.

D.C.'s contract was cleverly worded, I'd say, to cover an eventuality just like this. That a rogue left-fielder might be the cash-cow they have wet dreams about. And if that happens they sure as hell aren't gonna let some grimy freaks reap and sow while they miss out.

BUT, there's the equation. There are a hundred titles where the artist and writer and inker get paid the rate, can pay the rent for the month or what have you, and the comic flops and no-one ever hears of it again. ALL commercial creatives work in this grinding gambling hall. Not saying it's ideal, but that's the pulps for ya.

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 Post subject: Rosetta Stone
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:52 am 
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xiaolaotou wrote:
BUT, there's the formula. There are a number of headings where the specialist and author and inker get compensated the amount, can pay the lease for the 30 days or what have you, and the comedian flops and no-one ever learns of it again. ALL professional creatives perform in this farming betting area. Not saying it's perfect, but that's the pulps for ya.


Mister Pain wrote:
BUT, there's the equation. There are a hundred titles where the artist and writer and inker get paid the rate, can pay the rent for the month or what have you, and the comic flops and no-one ever hears of it again. ALL commercial creatives work in this grinding gambling hall. Not saying it's ideal, but that's the pulps for ya.


Is this why I've always heard that English is the most difficult language to learn? Because of "farming betting area?"

I love that bit. "Grinding gambling hall" is a very apt metaphor, but the nonsensical "farming betting area" is fantastic.


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 Post subject: Re: Rosetta Stone
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:28 am 
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Broken Finger wrote:
Is this why I've always heard that English is the most difficult language to learn? Because of "farming betting area?"


This is the first time I have ever heard this.

Though maybe I'm confused, "farming betting area" ?

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 Post subject: Re: Art vs. Money
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:14 pm 
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feliciano182 wrote:
Broken Finger wrote:
Is this why I've always heard that English is the most difficult language to learn? Because of "farming betting area?"


This is the first time I have ever heard this.

Though maybe I'm confused, "farming betting area" ?


Don't be such a party buster.

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 Post subject: Re: Art vs. Money
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:39 pm 
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t3cii wrote:
feliciano182 wrote:
Broken Finger wrote:
Is this why I've always heard that English is the most difficult language to learn? Because of "farming betting area?"


This is the first time I have ever heard this.

Though maybe I'm confused, "farming betting area" ?


Don't be such a party buster.

Probably my favorite term that's not a term at all.

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 Post subject: It's French, Isn't It?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Godziller66 wrote:
t3cii wrote:
Don't be such a party buster.

Probably my favorite term that's not a term at all.


Idioms, right? This is the reason I was given that English is so hard to learn. Just like ex-member xiaolaotou (who came to sell weird shit and hand out free viruses), English is clearly not t3cii's primary language.


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 Post subject: Re: Art vs. Money
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Broken Finger wrote:
English is clearly not t3cii's primary language.


I'm just quoting feliciano, who once called me a "party buster".

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:18 pm 
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t3cii wrote:
I'm just quoting feliciano, who once called me a "party buster".


My statement stands as is.

No, seriously, then it's still about idioms, right?


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