This is the end. The final issue of Creator-Owned Heroes. A noble experiment by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Steve Niles that I have had the pleasure of reading for the past 8 months, and the honor of reviewing for a few of those months. This book has been a lot of things. It is a magazine that combines original comic stories, experiments in storytelling, art, and design, and introspective interviews with independent comic book creators. It has served as an inspiration to indie comic creators like myself, and it has served as an example that great ideas don’t always make it in today’s industry.
Since the announcement of its cancellation, a lot of people have stepped forward to discuss why it failed, what it did wrong, or what it was lacking. I don’t want to do that. I want to start by thanking these creators for investing their time, money, and hard work in creating something unique and, quite frankly, something the comics industry needs. These creators sought out great artists and tried to do something completely unique in comics; they tried to create a comic that was in itself a community for indie creators. They brought in top-notch creators to talk about their careers, their successes, and failures, their inspirations and struggles, and offer advice for up-and-comers.
Do yourself a favor, go into your comic shop this Wednesday and buy this book. Yes, it is the last issue, but it is still filled with awesome stories, a heartfelt send-off from Jimmy, and 3 of the best creator interviews I have ever read. Then, when you are done reading it, give it to a friend, tweet about it, share it. This book may not have had astounding sales numbers, but it taught me something very important.
Comics are not just about me picking up my books and sitting in my studio apartment and reading them alone. Comics should be about community. A good comic should be something you shout about from the rooftops. I now try to make buying and reading my comics a special experience. I walk to the comic shop, chat with the owner or the sales clerk for awhile, then I go to the coffee shop and read the books in public. I even saw one young man looking over my shoulder at the book, so I gave it to him when I was done.
For as little as it’s worth, thank you, Jimmy, Steve, Justin, Darwyn, and everyone who contributed to Creator-Owned Heroes. You all helped me remember what I really loved about comics. I wish you all the success in the world, and I hope you’ll try an experiment like this again someday.