ARE AFRICAN COMIC STUDIOS BITING MORE THAN THEY CAN CHEW?May 13, 2017
It has been a phenomenal couple of years for the African creative industry! Everyday new studios seem to pop out of the blue and consequently so do new titles. So many talented individuals are contributing their quota and investing their efforts in the hope of building something truly marvelous.
There is so much enthusiasm and hope, and it is quite obvious that it is paying off … but …..you should have been expecting the “but” by now….are we biting a bit more than we can chew?
We have all worked so hard and thankfully we have earned what we have now but we have to admit we are still quite young, small and have a long way to go that said I believe some of us maybe getting ahead of ourselves and this has consequently led to there been a few cracks in our foundation.
The industry we are crafting is beautiful and wondrous but I can’t help but find flaws that I believe are unjustifiable thus this article. A major issue that continues to challenge this rising industry is the inability of it to cater for itself! It constantly requires funds which so far it has been unable to make returns on, some may argue that this is because it is still in its formative years and thus premature, nonetheless I find that it may also be as a result of everyone focusing on one part of the puzzle and neglecting the rest!
A lot of the big names , Comic republic , Vortex comics ,Leti arts and the likes reach their audience through freebies! Most people access their works via the internet and as a result of the industry’s inability to secure a stable, effective and paying distribution system most publishing houses have complains of lack of proper remuneration!
Even the few like youneek studios who are able to effectively sell find problems making the needed returns. A lot of people have said it and I would merely like to add my voice, enough publishing studios we need comic book stores and we need them ASAP! The fans are more than willing to help out , the numerous successful kickstarters prove that but the industry has got to find a way to reach the fans who cannot support through a kickstarter!
That said in light of this development I find it ironic how new titles keep popping up like molds on a loaf of spoiled bread! The big studios like vortex and the republic keep bringing out new characters with their own series while not even one ongoing title has been able to make it up to #15, taking into account that a few of these titles have been ongoing for years I find that very disturbing. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the studios are at their limit, they can only do so much in so little time with such little resources.
That been the case I find it ill advised to continue awarding every new character that someone thinks up his own ongoing comic series! When that happens the result is a lapse in consistency , most fans have to wait at least four to six months for a new issue to drop sometimes even a year, why? because there are so many titles requiring attention and very few resources!
If this continues chances are that fans interested in a particular book would lose interest after a while and that can really hurt sales …which we are not even making at the moment!…If we are going to remedy this situation the publishing studios are going to have to cancel a few ongoing series and focus on the more productive ones!
Aside from that potential investors should shift focus from just production but also see how they can aid distribution. It is time to get serious , relaxing in our euphoria is not going to help us much longer, our artist and writers , animators and game designers need to pay their bills and fill their bellies! If this industry can’t even help them do that properly then it really isn’t headed down anywhere rosy!