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WAITING FOR TOMMY
By Richard Johnston

RICHARD JOHNSTON: Peak and slide is good business, responding to the needs of the market, and growing them. Boom and bust is irresponsible business, and will cause more harm to the industry overall. Responsible business loses peaks and troughs but keeps business higher that it otherwise might be. Brownism vs Thatcherism.

NICK BARRUCCI: Those that don't remember history are doomed to repeat it! Let's make great comics! Let's present them to as many people as possible. Let's not f**k up again and then produce sh*t.

MARK MILLAR: Exactly. The bust didn't come from people hating comics; just people hating three sh*tty Thor comics every month like Nick said. I've noticed some negativity on the boards about this already, but I think it's the inherent self-loathing that can sometimes come with such an optimistic field -- some guys genuinely don't want the success because it means letting cool kids in to play in their little gang. I think that group is shrinking, mercifully, but the doom-sayers are still out there.

It's all about timing. Brown was lucky (as was Clinton) to be in office when the markets were breathing out. Whoever's in charge when the markets are breathing in takes the sh*t. The global economy, like the comic-book medium, is a living organism. Comics breathed in through the fifties, the seventies and the nineties and breathed out in the forties, the sixties and the eighties. We're due another good time in just the same way that the global economy is f**ked for the next ten years. It's impossible to bring in an end to boom and bust. It's what keeps world markets alive and has done all the way back to Adam Smith.

[Well, this was a red rag to my bullish nature. I didn't study politics at University for nothing. and Millar didn't write political journalism for nothing either, sadly. But most people weren't interested in that kind of thing.]

BRIAN BENDIS: I was working in a comic store during the bust, the bust came from one thing, speculation. Guys with jobs, everyday guys, buying multiple issues looking for quick cash return, they didn't get it and moved on, I watched it, nice guys, normal guys they banked on the Image/Valiant crossover, it didn't pay off and they left.

They had no appreciation of the art, story or characters.

Now we have readers, the readers need a morale boost. They need to feel cool.

[I wasn't listening. I was off on one.]

RICHARD JOHNSTON: Mark, the economy here has been breathing in for a few years now. Our economy has (so far) weathered the storm. It did this by Brown knocking off the edges by paying back debts, not cutting taxes and not increasing public spending during the boom.

Brown has spend the last years fighting Adam Smith economics and has (to some extent) succeeded.

[Mark Millar continued talking on two fronts.]

MARK MILLAR: See, I mostly hang out with guys who don't read comics. I grew up with guys who don't read comics and what's interesting is that, between 87 and 91, I had them all reading comics. I started them on Dark Knight, then Watchmen and all the usual sh*t we all love and, before long, they were all picking up two or three books a month. Then they just gave up because they couldn't trust the brand-names anymore. The companies got greedy and had their pals writing 5 times as many books as the market needed and when customers can't trust a brand they bugger off. Marvel should be Calvin Klein, but it ended up being a discount store label. Who wanted to shop there?

But step back and look at the big pic, Rich. All Brown did was continue the same mixture of monetarism and Keynesianism that Thatcher's chancellors did and, for the most part, chancellors have followed for 150 years. Like Nigel Lawson, he was in the right job at the right time. He paid off debts because there was an economic surplus-- just like Clinton's guys. World trade was good. However, that's changed and that's why Britain's economy is2 years away from being f**ked along with the US economy, but it's all necessary to perpetuate capitalism.

What's interesting is that comics perform quite poorly in good times and very, very well when things are tough (wars and economic downturns). We've had our recession during the golden international economy. This is another reason why I think we're primed for insanely good times because we're an avenue of escape as the world economy disappears down the sh*tter next year.

Thank God for Bush. What's bad for Earth is good for us!

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 Continued Here...

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