Columnists

Steve Englehart: Full of Reach and Astonishment
Friday, February 26, 2010

Politics & Comics: Strange Bedfellows
Friday, May 23, 2008

Almost Famous, Again
Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Cockrum Scholarship
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Random Notes from the Edge
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Remembering Steve Gerber
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dead Artists Society
Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Year's Resolution
Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Last Days of Dave Cockrum
Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Library
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bob Layton: Man & Iron Man Part II
Thursday, March 2, 2006

Bob Layton: Man & Iron Man
Friday, January 27, 2006

Bill-Dale Marcinko: Dead. Again
Thursday, December 15, 2005

Don Perlin, “Mr. Reliable”
Thursday, December 1, 2005

Industry of War
Friday, November 25, 2005

Hard Heroes
Thursday, November 10, 2005

Protocols of the Elders of Marvel
Thursday, October 27, 2005

Guess Who’s The Jew?
Friday, October 21, 2005

Gene Colan: Grand Master
Thursday, September 29, 2005

Royalty Roulette
Thursday, September 15, 2005




Who's Who in the CBU 2010

"Clifford Meth is one of the most brilliant writers of dark fiction out there today." --Bud Plant Comic Art

"Meth is a dangerous writer. He doesn’t seem to care if you like him." --Neal Adams.

Clifford Meth is a recognized comics historian and the author of The Invincible Gene Colan available soon from Marvel.

Visit "Everone's Wrong and I'm Right" the Clifford Meth blog.

Michael Netzer: Party Animal

Print 'Michael Netzer: Party Animal'Recommend 'Michael Netzer: Party Animal'Discuss 'Michael Netzer: Party Animal'Email Clifford MethBy Clifford Meth

Michael Netzer is nothing if not an interesting man. And sometimes his ideas are so far outside the traditional comics wrapper that they frighten industry insiders. I’ve seen it happen. But Netzer’s latest brainstorm might actually tip the scales on the side of market potential. Are you ready for this gang? Next stop: Washington.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about creator publishing and I came to the conclusion that we should get all the creators together and form The Creator's Party,” says the former Batman artist turned social-spiritual activist. “We should aim at taking the White House for 2008.”

Are you kidding me, Mike? Nope. He’s not kidding.

“Just a declaration of such an intent by comics creators would get enough media attention to give us the push we need to start publishing,” Netzer explains. “We'd then have four years to put forth our platform through comics stories, calling on Democrats and Republicans alike to join us in a national unity government. By their very nature, the comics we produce would be some of the most controversial books in the history of the industry. And they'd sell like hotcakes outside of comics fandom because they’d be aimed at the American and world populace at large.”

Still sounds far-fetched? It did to me, too. But consider the pitch: If enough big-name creators (or even a few of the key ones) were to consolidate their “power” via combined fan-bases, the media would be on it like white on rice. At least for a few hours. Indeed, it wasn’t long ago that a group of popular creators did pull off a successful coup de’tat, and the result was Image Comics. Now, at the end of the day, wasn’t that all about creative control (and money?)

“It all has to do with presenting an image,” Netzer posits. “Many entertainment media creators have much to say about the state of world affairs, but it's only intended to inspire a raising of public consciousness. Rarely do creators take the ball in order to affect a change.” Netzer offers examples like Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger as folks who emerged from the arts and used their entertainment appeal to capture votes. “These men showed that the power of a personal image can change the course of an election,” Netzer explains.

It’s true that comics creators often have potent social messages. Further, they share a sometimes powerful medium. This unique approach, Netzer believes, would allow them to put forth the image of being a serious contender with a fresh approach to problem solving. Says Netzer, “The novelty of such a phenomena is that it gives us a springboard that other mediums can't offer.”



Netzer’s website, with its messianic tone, has brought the artist some intense criticism. Though fully aware of the context in which his messages are often received, Netzer pushes forward. He honestly believes that a conglomerate of creators can change the attitude or spirit in which global decisions are made; that such a group can do so via a unified stance against all social and economic injustices. That the strength of this group originates in its profile and ability to make huge profits.

Of course, this being Michael Netzer, all profitability aspects of the guerilla-marketing campaign are subordinate to ethical and spiritual goals. “Capitalism was never meant to allow the powerful few to socially, politically and economically enslave the rest of humanity,” he says. “But that's what it's effectively doing. Our job is to show how everyone can prosper more when the basic premise of success is for all humanity. That must govern our decision making.”

How is this achieved in comics? “Via stories and books that put forth these ideas,” says Netzer. “When the people demand righteousness, politicians will have no choice but to listen because there'll be a lot of money in it for everyone. We become the magnet for the most profitable merchandising machine in history. And that is how we can make a difference.”

According to the Netzer plan, by 2012, comic creators could be forming an international unity government. “Even if by some weird fluke the party doesn't make it into the Whitehouse, we'll have sold more comics in these four years than in the last quarter of a century combined.”

Profitable comics? A lofty goal indeed. But not take the White House in 2008? Geez, Mike? What are the odds of that?

Clifford Meth



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