Says the guy who created this
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So, do you think crossovers will ever evolve into wine and cheese dinner parties? I think I'm a little more generous than you towards the concept of the company event, but I'll openly admit they haven't done much to prove that the event comic has much in the way of artistic value. Is that surmountable, or is it always just going to be a garish, vapid marketing ploy?
I think company events can be fantastic fun. Alan Moore's never-made TWILIGHT OF THE SUPERHEROES could've been great, and THE AGE OF APOCALYPSE was well-done. But really, the best crossover company events; KINGDOM COME, EARTH X, and so on, are all set in parallel worlds and futures in order to allow them to actually be substantive on the level that they desire. That said
, there are fine in-continuity crossovers as well such as TERRA OBSCURA and THE ULTIMATES. But in both cases, the characters in those crossovers had no other titles and thus had no status quo to keep. But as for an in-coninuity crossover that works? I can't really think of any. The best are simply inoffensive with no changes. The other's pretend like they've changed the world when they haven't (CIVIL WAR, FINAL CRISIS) or they change the world in a fashion unbecoming to the world they inhabit, such as Wildstorm's recent post-apocalyptic event which makes no sense when one of their major titles, GEN 13, is all about teenagers skateboarding in La Jolla.
The best in-continuity crossover I can think of is TWILIGHT OF THE SUPERHEROES because Alan Moore understood this problem of changing-without-changing, self-contained-yet-epic-in-scale and combined a possible future as a dire warning for the present, involving everyone in the DCU.
It's really hard to do right, and it's one of the reasons I'm so wound up by them because they're very, very hard to do well, and if you can do them well, one every five years is plenty. Instead of quality, we're getting quantity and it's just the complete inverse of what these things are about.
I think we already have a contender for that position. Image Comics has been poised as a healthy alternative to DC and Marvel for a long time. I'm not convinced that comic book movies draw credibility or fan base to the medium. I think if comics are going to become more popular and well regarded, it's something the companies are going to have to do for themselves, and books like Chew and Godland are the best option for that kind of growth.
You convinced me a while back that it isn't up to Marvel or DC to diversify what's on offer in the comics world, and I still agree. Image wants to kinda be
DC and Marvel, as does Dark Horse. I would suggest that Oni-Press is a much better idea as a contender because not only do they produce completely different material in terms of content, but their business model - only pocket-sized black and white 200-page graphic novels - is completely different.
Really, I think any boom, creative or financial, is going to owe more to the rise of the digital comic. We're a hair's breadth away from having a digital model where artists and writers can bring their product directly to the customer, where prices can reach something more tenable for the elusive "new reader", and where these new readers have a convenient means to try comics without venturing into the sub-culture caves of comic shops. There's a lot of tortured talk about the dying comic shop and while I love my LCS, I think any chance at breaking the DC/Marvel Diamond monopoly is going to have to come from circumventing the direct market.
Unfortunately, people have been talking about this revolution for over 10 years, and I think the dying LCS has more to do with a lack of ability to gain new readers than it is to do with the idea that comics are a super-popular medium elsewhere