Are you experienced?

Misery loves company. In the world of comics, success loves company as well. No matter what one’s professional tie, one loves to see the industry thrive as a whole—as long as one has made it crystal clear exactly which company began thriving first.

Image’s Experience Creativity campaign has been a rousing success, and DC has plainly patterned itself to follow in those clearly marked footsteps, at first quietly with a series of photos on the DC website, followed by a well-documented promotional flurry for the San Diego Comic Convention. I’m fond of both campaigns. One, it is important to allow creators to promote themselves outside of their projects. It fosters good will. Two, putting faces to names illuminates the issues we still have regarding gender and racial diversity within the industry. Comic characters have gone far beyond four colors; comic creators still struggle to get beyond one.

Image, DC, and Valiant have been in full huckster-mode as of late, dominating the comic news cycle and flooding social media sources. Since I find the deluge amusing rather than annoying, they must be doing something right. Though, hilariously, it has not resulted in one sale on my end. My purchases from the companies in question were the result of quiet conversations with creators and company representatives at conventions. I think it makes the case that various marketing avenues and approaches are required.

The remaining publishers seem content to simply coast on the success of their brands outside of the industry (movies, video games, etc.) or settle comfortably into second place in the advertising race. This is not to say that companies such as Marvel and BOOM! aren’t producing quality work—they are. They just don’t seem to toot their horn with as much aplomb. However, I am certain all of that will change a mere two weeks from now.