“…no artist likes to be exploited, precisely because our work is precious to us in ways more important than money, and we want that relationship we have with our work to be respected. Unfortunately, we live in an economy where money is the most obvious measure of value, and so it’s easy to end up focusing on that as the bottom line, as you put it. Often, when you scratch a little deeper, you find that what upsets artists even more is a lack of respect, of being exploited, taken for granted — even when the work we make is earning someone, somewhere a heap of money and luxury…. I don’t believe I have the right to set the terms by which people access my material, nor where they take it from there. Once I’ve written a story or drawn a comic — certainly once I put it out into the world by publishing it (online or on paper), that comic is out there living its own life and interacting with all the people who come across it. It’s like having kids. Once you’ve brought them into the world, they’re not actually your property to do with as you will. You have a very important relationship with them, and you deserve to have people respect that relationship. But in the end, they’re in the world and they have their own life. Eventually other people will have relationships with them as important as yours — and it’s not fair to try to dictate those terms until the day they die.”

— Dylan Horrocks

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • The Panelists. This new group blog unites Derik Badman, Alex Boney, Isaac Cates, Craig Fischer, Jared Gardner and Charles Hatfield under the Comics Journal umbrella. It promises to be an academically inflected, but accessible resource for the kind of quality criticism for which these folk are already known from other contexts. Welcome to the ‘sphere!
  • Tom Spurgeon’s holiday interviews. As he’s done for the past few years, Spurgeon has conducted an impressive round of interviews for the holiday season. Several of them are great reading for anyone interested in the state of comics as an art form and an industry these years. Hunt through his (still unsearchable and badly indexed) archive for the past month Here’s the archive; I recommend the conversations with Joe Casey, Matt Seneca, Dylan Horrocks, Dan Clowes, and Jaime Hernandez
  • Bill Sienkiewicz on Big Numbers. Following up from my earlier post re: this most famous torso of 90s comics, here’s artist Bill Sienkiewicz’ personal and rather painful testimony on what went wrong way back then. Great reading for people interested in Alan Moore’s lost masterwork and in creative hubris in general.