In the latest issue (August 2010) of Wizard, Mark Millar is interviewed about his new series entitled Superior, among other things. Superior is supposed to be the 21st century version of Superman or Captain Marvel with his own real world flavor of weakness (no spoiler.) I like the concept, anyway.
He says he’s bringing the enthusiasm he would bring to writing Superman but never expects to ever write a Superman book. And the interview dwells on Superior being creator owned. It also mentions Millar quoting Stan Lee about not liking other people writing Spider Man or Fantastic Four stories. He wished that other writers would create their own heroes and failed to understand why they didn’t.
And it struck me that webcomics are seemingly more personal and intricately tied to their creator. I don’t know of too many web projects where the writer was switched or even where an artist was swapped out (though the latter happens sometimes.) The vast majority live or die by their creator’s whim and effort.
Can you imagine if switching out creative teams was the norm on webcomics? Who else could create Copper or Smash or Schlock Mercenary other than their creators and do them justice? Another creator might create a great comic based on your favorite comic too, but no one can easily jump in and replace the original creator. I’m sure you will agree the difference is usually obvious when creation of a strip changes hands on a newspaper strip.
No doubt someone will remind us about a successful counter example in the webcomic world, which is okay. I don’t recall one but it might be interesting to examine a test case or two.
Hats off to all those who create great comics in any media. You’re irreplacable. Keep up the good work.