Comics Legend Jim Steranko Predicts End of Floppy Comics & Shops

 

Jim Steranko has had a dozen successful careers in his lifetime including comics scribe, musician, filmmaker, novelist, illusionist, illustrator, escape artist, and even a historian. At the ripe young age of 81, this native Pennsylvanian still has very strong opinions and has continued to voice them online and across the full spectrum of media. His insanely popular Sunday Night TNT Twitter sessions are a hoot, and always filled with sometimes poignant, and frequently polarizing opinions.

 

Now, with the ongoing pandemic forcing Diamond Comic Distributors to shut down operations, albeit temporarily, proverbial dominoes have begun to fall resulting in DC Comics scrambling to find a distributor for their products. Comic shops are closed during the pandemic and have been forced to shut down or sell their goods online, increasing their work loads for less money. Steranko, a legendary comics creator in his own right, shared some thoughts last night regarding where he thinks this is all headed.

 

 

Jim Steranko is no stranger to how the comics industry has grown, adapted, and evolved. He landed his first comics industry gig over sixty years ago, back in 1957 with Harvey Comics. Within a few years he began his groundbreaking tenure at Marvel Comics in 1966. The co-creator of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. Steranko also wrote and drew Captain AmericaThe HulkSuperman, and The X-Men eventually earning the nickname “The Innovator.” Steranko also continues to make appearances at international events to exhibit and dialogue with fans while developing more than 100 intellectual properties that have cemented his status as a revolutionary creator.  He knows the industry, and knows it well.

 

 

 

Comic shop owners may bristle at this kind of talk, but he has a point. And while Target and Walmart have experimented with comic anthologies recently, it still hasn’t been the success DC hoped for. In fact, many of those same comic shops certainly have some of Steranko’s work in their back issue bins, on their walls, and may have even pre-ordered Steranko’s next highly anticipated Marvel tome. Coming this May, Marvel Comics celebrates the creator with Steranko Is…Revolutionary! King Size which showcases Steranko’s complete tenure on Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD collecting Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD issues #1-3, #5 and material from Strange Tales #151-168 and features work from fellow legends Jack Kirby and Stan Lee (and of course it’s also available digitally). Yet while Marvel celebrates the man, Steranko doesn’t pull punches when he comments about his former publisher as well.

 

 

 

This living legend sees a future where not only comic shops, but the major comics publishers will possibly close their doors after making poor decisions based on competitive business practices. Even more interesting was Steranko’s assertion that he sees indie comics pursuing the crowdfunding market in order to survive, which is a prediction we’ve been making for a long time.

 

How do you think local comic retailers can thrive in a post-pandemic world? Is the coronavirus bringing the print era of comics to a close? Is digital really the future of comics? Is Steranko being insightful and prescient once again or do you want to say “okay, boomer”? Ignore the man at your own peril.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, I recommend you reach out to your comic shops and order some comics, maybe even this “Steranko Is… Revolutionary”, or grab it digitally, and be sure to follow Jim Steranko on Twitter. He’s never boring!

 

Chris Braly

I'm a collector, a speculator, and one opinionated, based geek. My friends call me Braly, but those who know me within the hobby generally refer to me as Bralinator. I can be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several other comic book nerds. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly

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