Mark, what's your public stand on the demise of Runaway? I consider it a great tragedy -- and representative of the dire state of the comics industry today. Old timers like you and I just don't have the stomach for this industry's crap any longer...
I'm reluctant to go public with my opinion of the current comics scene on the heels of Runaway Comic folding because it could sound like sour grapes if I am honest. But since you asked -
The problems with the distributors and the buying patterns of stores and fans are common knowledge, so let's skip all that.
The tastes of alternative comics fans today are baffling to me. There, I said it. Now I am officially an out-of-touch old fossil.
I don't really have any ax to grind here. The comics industry is pathetic, but the cold hard fact is there is just barely a market for variety out there. Jim Woodring should sell many thousands of comics. Or, more to the point, many thousands of people should buy Jim Woodring comics.
But they don't. Even the mega-stars of indy comics barely make a profit on comics. Even Peter Bagge went to DC (and what's up with that now? Has he left printed comics completely? I just don't know...)
As for me specifically, I'm clearly too esoteric for either the mainstream or the indy community to really grasp. That sounds like I'm saying "I'm too good for those cretins" but I'm not. It's not a badge of honor, it's just a fact. My stuff is too all over the map.
Eh - I knew it was an experiment. It was fun. Now it's time to move on.
Fantagraphics was fair and square with me. You know what to expect from them and that's what you get. I think they treated me as fairly as any cartoonist who creates a marginal book that they don't know what to do with. I don't expect them to keep publishing it just because it's good. Hell, I won't publish it myself and lose money, so why should they?
Seriously, I don't think it has anything to do with our age, Steve. This industry's crap is just a reflection of the fact that most people don't crave comic "pamphlets" as entertainment any more.
So this means you're abandoning the Montgomery Wart storyline in Runaway? Hey, if you have something cooler in the pipeline you'd rather spend your energy on I'm all for it, but I'm going to miss not being able to find out what happens.
Not abandoned. Put on hold. You'll see when you get the comic.
Here's one of 4 pages of comics I found by an unknown cartoonist. The other 3 are better, andf there's a great little story that goes with them, so TUNE IN TOMORROW!