KC COLUMN: I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.

Thoughts and advice for the comics industry, inspired by…

KC Carlson. Art by Deb Lockhart.

KC Carlson. Art by Deb Lockhart.

by KC Carlson

Why so serious?

Seriously, can superhero comic books get any grimmer these days? It’s really quite the comprehensive publishing plan to have all your readers constantly feeling suicidal. And you wonder why your sales are falling…

Lighten up, Francis.

Even the grimmest heroes in the movies (think Dirty Harry) fire off a great humorous line once in a while. Why can’t that happen more often in comics? Aren’t we all here to be entertained?

I’m the best there is at what I do and what I do isn’t pretty.

Yeah, that one’s not bad — BUT WE’VE HEARD IT A MILLION TIMES ALREADY!

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Hear me… no longer am I the woman you once knew…

Can no one in comics come up with something good for Wonder Woman without making her an amnesiac, powerless, directionless, like a man, or dead? And yet, when surveyed about what they would like to see in a Wonder Woman comic book, 83%* of today’s fans responded: Bigger boobs. This is why we can’t have nice things.

This. Ends. Now.

Stop Writing for the Trade. (Leaving out important, but redundant, details to the reading of the story as a monthly serial. Or padding your two-issue story so it fills out a trade paperback collecting six issues. Or – artistically – endless action shots which do not move the story forward, but that the artist can sell afterwards for extra income.) Just stop. Either give us the details needed for the story to make sense in the monthlies, or stop publishing the monthlies and go straight to the trade. (Oh, but that would mean no double-dipping, wouldn’t it, publishers?)

Batman: Incorporated

Batman: Incorporated

We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

Just a warning for the Batman: Incorporated concept. Take it from a former Legion of Super-Heroes editor…

Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Publishers and editors, when you’re planning your story arcs for the next few years, and not coming up with anything exciting, why not look at the history of your character/book? Spend 15 minutes thinking “What made this great?” and use that discussion as your springboard. Constantly reinventing the wheel just gives us more wheels. What we really want is a good, solid ride. My favorite cars were always the ones I drove cross-country — allowing me to experience countless new things.

I wish I knew how to quit you.

The lament of many current comic book fans who are not enjoying what they are reading. Just stop. Don’t buy what you don’t enjoy.

Publishers, to turn that around, you don’t always need fireworks. Sometimes all we need is a quiet dinner and maybe some flowers once in a while…

That’ll do, pig, that’ll do.

You’re already everybody’s favorite comic book character. Why screw it up by doing something “high concept” or “sexy”? Be true to your characters and they’ll be true to you.

I’m your number one fan.

Yeah, we all know how that worked out. Don’t just create for that one (scary) guy. There’s a whole lot of us out here counting on you to do great things — don’t operate out of fear of what the obsessives might say or think.

It’s sorta social. Demented and sad, but social.

Comic book message boards — clean up your act. Strive for real conversation and rise above snark. I’d love to come visit more often, but usually after five minutes I’m either gouging my eyes out, pounding my head on my computer, or screaming like ice picks are being shoved into my brain. If I wanted that, I’d just watch Jersey Shore.

Easy Miss, I’ve got you.

You’ve got ME? Who’s got YOU?

Diamond offered to help retailers survive the digital comic market expansion, but does Diamond have a plan to survive it? Does anybody really know how selling digital comics downloads through comic shops is actually going to work?

There’s no crying in baseball!

There’d be a lot less crying in comics if publishers actually published things when they said they would. And by extension, creative people have to get off the message boards and videogames, limit their convention appearances, and actually work once in awhile.

To Infinity and Beyond!

Words to live by for creative people!

You’re not too smart, are you? I like that in a man.

Too… many… jokes! Will… get… in… trouble!

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

As seen in late-night discussions about comic book continuity.

Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?

And why aren’t there more comic books about gladiators, anyway?

Oooh! Somebody stop me!

And one other thing! Writers, you have to stop cribbing catch phrases and quotes from the same 50 movies. It’s really annoying!

KC CARLSON: I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC (or in this case, somebody else) says. Especially that thing that really irritated you.

*not an actual statistic.

“…Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.”