No superheroes allowed.
While I was working on the conclusion of my previous webcomic, Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, I was thinking about what I was going to do next. I knew I was done with the fantasy genre after having worked in it for over a decade. Science fiction and superheroes were the next genres calling to me, so I combined the two and started drafting what would eventually become STAR POWER! Since I had worked exclusively in webcomics for over a decade as well, I began to poke around comic book publishers to see if my sci-fi superhero idea would fly (no pun intended). Before I submitted anything I made sure to read submission guidelines, and one restriction was very common across most of the indie publishers:
I wasn’t about to change my idea just so I would have a slightly sort-of better chance of a publisher looking my way, so I went the tried-and-true webcomic route for STAR POWER. We’re three years in, we don’t have a publisher, and I think we’re doing just fine.
But that restriction made me sad. No superheroes. I still see it when I poke around indie comic book publishers. Whether it’s because superheroes are too mainstream these days, or indie publishers want to focus on the countless other stories that comics can tell, superheroes are taboo unless you work for Marvel or DC, or you can get Image Comics to notice you. And I get it. If you’re a small publisher looking for an audience why would you publish a genre of comics that are totally dominated by corporate interests? You have very little chance to compete with those machines, and they have their audiences locked down.
Or do they? I still believe in superheroes. I believe superheroes are our modern mythology and belong to all of us, not solely corporate comics or cinematic universes. I believe there are people out there sick of the countless reboots, endless crossovers, the mind-numbing parade of huge events, and bad decisions made when editors get in the driver’s seat (i.e. One More Day). I believe there are people out there who want superhero stories with the soul of an indie comic, and I believe we’re on that adventure. Thanks to webcomics we can tell the story we want without an editor getting in our way or a distributor screwing up our release schedule.
Our story happens to be a superhero story, and if no one wants to publish it then we’re going to do it ourselves. This is the story in our hearts and no one can make us compromise that.