Here’s Keath Patterson’s prescription for the comics industry:
“Since Manga is in better shape than Marvel/DC can I offer a solution about the big two?
“Hmm – I’m not sure how doable my wish for the industry is since they tend to play it safe by structuring everything around what their existing base wants rather than risk trying for new readers, but a good start would be to bring in artist and writers who are outside the comics world and then let them draw/write what they want rather than making them fit into predetermined story arcs. The comic world has become so insulated it’s like a continuous series of inside jokes and specialist knowledge which is unhospitable to new readers. Since there’s no real money in comics it’d be hard to attract established, top level talent from other fields (who aren’t already fanboys), but there are lots of up and coming writers and artists who’d probably be glad to take on the challenge if only for the additional exposure. And if they want to have Wolverine fight a talking banana, for God’s sake just let them do it – the fanboys will buy it anyway to keep their runs complete and just maybe they might pick up some new readers who like the zaniness. Mostly tho I’m hoping the new talent would bring good, non-traditional stories to the table so it’s not just another issue of Hero A fights Villain B for the 500th time.
“Anyway – it just seems to me that crap like Final Infinite Crisis on Infinite Final Earths appeals to fanboys only, whereas something like Paris by Watson/Gane could appeal to pretty much everyone. It’s the lesson the Big 2 still haven’t learned from manga.”