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Archaia Comics Giveaway!

Director of Development Stephen Christy at Archaia Comics teams up with Comic Vine for an incredible giveaway!


Archaia Comics Teams Up With Comic Vine For A Giveaway

Independent comic books are often the result of years of hard work, blood. sweat and tears. They are also one of the most underrated areas in the comic book industry. Some of the best stories are independent comics that evolve gradually from the determination of the creator, and the faith of the independent publisher. The will and the strive to bring a creator developed story to the main stream audience is such a major part of what makes independent comics so special; beneath so many of the stories, there is a deep love for an idea and a creation. The staff at Comic Vine really values so many of the independent comic book titles that often do not receive the kind of exposure that so many main stream titles do. Following the review of " Days Missing #1" a few weeks back, Comic Vine was approached by Archaia Comics' Director of
Development Stephen Christy with the idea to expose the Comic Vine community to Archaia's many titles. After discussing the various ways of exposing our audience to the many of Archaia's titles; Stephen was kind enough to offer 25 care-packages to users who were wiling to write up to two paragraphs on the value of independent publishers. Well, to be honest, he wanted to give them away; I wanted to be difficult and make you guys work for it! The purpose of this is not only to expose you to new and incredible content; but also to have a conversation unrelated to main stream comic books. I really wanted get a discussion started about why independent publishers are valuable, and why it is important to keep them alive and support them as best we can.
The winners of the contest will be chosen at random; so as long as you have at least four to five sentences (and no more than three paragraphs) then you meet the requirements of the contest. We understand that many of our users herald from the world over, and not everyone will be on the same playing field as far as writing skills are concerned. Fear not! You do not have to be an Eisner winner to participate in the contest. We want to hear what everyone has to say, and would like to see as many people involved as possible. As long as we can understand what you are saying, then you should be good! The contest will be closed a week from today on Wednesday, August 26th, 2009. All entries can be submitted in this thread, and you can feel free to also post it as a blog on your personal Comic Vine user page. Please keep additional commentary in this thread to a minimum.

I am really excited over the prospect of co-sponsoring this incredible give-away with Archaia comics. I hope that we get a lot of people involved in the conversation, and I am really looking forward to seeing what our community comes up with! So if you made it this far into the article post, then sit back, relax and enjoy the video! 
Once again, thank you to everyone at Archaia comics and I wish all of our users the best of luck!
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Avatar image for drafta
Posted by Drafta

 Yes, indie comics are important.  I mean, literature is art, and art is about expression, and there is no better expression than unlimited expression.  Sure, Marvel and DC have their own appeal, but there is nothing more refreshing than reading something that is solely the unrestricted imagination of talented individuals.  For me, comics is about escape, and it's hard to escape when you see an asterisk that tells you you have to read twelve other issues to understand what that character just said.  With indie comics, and especially Archaia, this isn't an issue.  And that's why Indie comics are important, to give a weary comic book fan something fresh and liberating from the "normal" comic books.

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Posted by SerjShelldrake

    Independent publishing is a resource many have taken for granted, myself included. Yes, I love the classic hero against the world triumphing over a classic costumed villain, but my true love is the fresh story. Many laugh at me for my near obsession in comic books but why, because the art is in many time beautiful, because it tells a story one may have never read in a conventional book, and if you have you didn't grasp the beauty the creator was trying to portray as you would in a comic. Why read books from independent publishers, because they tell the stories the major publishers won't the stories of love, mystery, suspense, and fantasy that don't involve an overly used hero in a cape and tights. 
   Yes it the tights and the capes that people will remember and tell their kids about, but it's the story of the mouse protecting his colony that's really going to make me think, that's true imagination, stories from one mans mind to another mans ears and onto paper. And independent publishing does that, it lets stories like that come to life, it lets people like you and I tell the stories that are imaginations have been cooking up since childhood, the story we hold dear to our heart but that we fear will never come to life for it's not about capes and tights, independent publishers give us hope maybe the world could read our story.

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Posted by JadedFool

Independent comic publishers are very important to fans of this entertainment medium.  Comics can be about anything and there are many things writers and artists can do with a story to take the reader to new places never previously imagined and on new adventures like nothing readers have seen before.  However, companies don't always want to take risks when publishing edgier or completely different material; especially the major companies.  This is why independent publishers are important.  They will publish strange and outlandish stories and give people the chance to love the amazing tales that can be told.  There should be as much variation in the comic book medium as any other form of entertainment, such as movies and books.  The amount of superhero comics should not out-weigh the other comic genres.  Creators should be able to tell the stories they want to without being limited to telling only a little or none at all.  Through independent publishers, creators can do this.  How can the full potential of something be realized if there is limitation?
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Edited by Liam Bradley


Living in Scotland, where there is virtually no comic community, let alone Indy comic community, I was initially sceptical when I was approached about swapping from mainstream reviews to doing Indy reviews only, as I’d only really been exposed to Indy titles over the last two years.  All my scepticism was quickly shattered when I eventually dove into the Indy Swimming pool. Seriously, I haven't looked back.
I think Indy comics, especially creator owned comics, strips away what's unnecessary in mainstream comics, and more often than not sticks to pure content and storytelling. They give the creators an outlet to let their imaginations run wild and not be restricted by the barriars that come with mainstream comics. The thing I like most about Indy comics is the fact that you really don't know what you're going to get from it, when I open up a Marvel or DC book I pretty much know what to expect. Whereas with most Indy titles I read, I really have no clue what I'm in for.  That aspect of a comic really appeals to me.

Over the 2 years I've been reading Indy comics, I've came across titles that I've hated from the get-go. However I've often found some of the best written works I've ever read. Period! Not just the best comics I've read, the best literary works I've ever read. I'm currently reading more Indy than I am mainstream. Because quite frankly I think the quality is much better at this particular moment. This is why I think Indy comics are important.

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Posted by Pafford

Independant comics are indispensable simply because without them there are no original stories being told and the world of pop culture comes to a screeching, incestuous halt.  
Film, novels, music, modern art -- indeed all of pop culture is inspired by the original stories told by those with a passion for this medium. Those with with the shaman like need to accept the call to action, follow the path of the hero and return with knowledge for their people. This should not be taken lightly.
In the pursuit of riches, one does not pursue the independant comic creator's life. It's art that pays very little and costs very much. A cost both monetary as well as personal. Only those compelled to do so venture here. This is the art that is created after the day job, once the kids are tucked in bed. This is the art of sleepless nights and personal demons. There is no independent comics reporter covering this beat for the the local newspaper. At least painters have galleries and openings and champagne fund raisers. The independant creator has their art, their story and a passion few understand.

If you understand; if you appreciate the work these men and women do; it's your duty to support them -- to offer up your dollars to encourage and promote originality. Truly they can't do it without you.

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Posted by jloneblackheart

What I find important about independent publishers is a different kind of story telling. It is refreshing to put up a comic that isn't full of brightly colored superheroes. Sometimes you just want a story with an unfamiliar character, a different point of view or simply to pick up a book and read a story from beginning to end without having to know forty years of history. Despite whether I like the book or not, I notice a lot of thought and work has gone into these books. Maybe one isn't for me, but some are. Although I mostly read the typical comics, I often want to read good science fiction or something that beings me back to humanity.  A good story goes a long way and nothing is better than finishing a book and having to rethink the world.
Most importantly, independent comics are great because people need choice. I need choice. If you ate at the same restaurant everyday, well, sooner of later you want something different.

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Posted by Adam Michaels

I think a lot of people would agree that independant comics are not just an alternative to the major players like Marvel and DC, but they are a necessity to the industry. I am an aspiring comics writer and I would like to share here the oppurtunities the independant comics offer. The way I see it, if somebody wants to become a police officer or a doctor, they go to school where they learn the practice. They test their talents in training camps or their skills with cadavres and such. Independant Comics are that to the industry. The school of comics is pretty much the independant scene. It's where writers and artists begin and it's where they learn how to hone their skills. Not to mention bringing more fantastical ideas to life. As many classic and timeless stories Marvel and DC have given us, the independants is the place where they REALLY think outside the box.

I personally believe that the independants is a win/win situation for any aspiring comics writer/artist. The reason why is because if you have some wild and really different type of story to tell, this is where you have the best oppurtunity to bring it to life. Another one is that if you dream of working at the Big 2, this is where you will be spotted. Maybe your book won't be read or appreciated by as many readers, but you can bet that some of the ones who do read it are the big boys of the industry. And that could be your ticket to your dream job. This isn't accomplished without the wonderful world of independant comics. It's a proving ground as much as it is a learning curve.

If I may speak for a moment as a fan, I would be wrong to say I prefer Marvel/DC over independant books. But I can definitely say with joy that some of my favorite comic book reading moments is when I step away from those 2 universes and dive into a comic book like Soulfire or any number of mini-series like I Am Legion. It's refreshing and helps me appreciate both sides of the comic book industry, the mainstream and the independant.    

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Posted by Skies327

 Independent comics (and most publications in general) are valuable to me for two primary reasons. The first one being they bring a fresh new aspect to what is on the shelves. I have not read comics long, but I have been there with friends as they sit and probe the comic shelves for something to read. They seem to be dulled by the constant formulaic stories that the big publishers put out. Big Crisis, cross-over, tie-in, collect money. Independent comics are driven by something fresh, and as such have the opportunity to truly stand out as something great. They force people to get outside the bubble of Marvel and DC and see a much different view of the world.
The second reason, to me, is that  Independent publications come from a place of overwhelming creativity and desire. Someone had an idea so wonderful to them that they wanted to share it with the world, be it the comic fans or a much broader audience. That kind of desire makes the world better if you ask me. Granted these people may make plenty of money, which I'm sure plays a part in getting their works published, but getting your idea out to the masses takes immense willpower and determination that I applaud. Whether their ideas flop or flourish, they had the drive to share them with more than a circle of friends, and risk it all sometimes. 
So yes, independent publications really are important. To me they show a better part of a world in chaos, and should be appreciated whether we hate their stories or love them. Whether I get chosen for this or not, I'd like to thank the people at  Archaia Comics for doing something that goes above and beyond simply cashing a paycheck.

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Posted by crazywolf

While major publishers have great stories, readers should not overlook the equally if not better stories from indie books. Independent publishers have made such a significant impact in the comic book industry in the quality of their stories. The creators of indie books are truly the every day man or woman fulfilling a dream possessed with the confidence that comes from being a talented writer and/or artist. It is this dream and talent that directs someone to be a publisher of indie books in a highly competitive business with major publishers. 
Any true comic book fan should at least give indie books a look to see what he or she could be missing in this medium. After all the gimmicks, retcons, story arcs, cross-overs and mass marketing of the major publishers, indie books goes back to the roots of what readers want in a comic book. A story that is fresh and original or a story that has not been seen in a long time and is sorely missed by readers. Indie books have a goal of telling a good story that fills a void left by other books that have a goal of getting good sales. 
Major publishers usually have certain limits in the storytelling of most of their books. A story in an indie book can reach unexpected and unpredictable levels of variety with no restrictions. There will always be a place in this industry for independent publishers and we, the fans, will always be their voice.

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Edited by Trauma

I'm going to be honest with everyone that reads this. Lately i haven't really found any mainsteam comics that have interested me. I'm not writing this just to get a gift pack but, i am writing this because it really is sad how underrated some independent or alternative comics are.  Lately i have been liking my comics just like my music....... underground. There is a lot more genres and unique arts in todays indepndent comics that are really and truely more capturing than mainstream comics.  Another big thing is Instead of your same heroes over and over again you get new heroes and new idea's.  
Today I feel like the same idea's are being repeated daily with the comics that are on the big shelves. That is the reason i have been getting independent comics is because it brings a new flavor and something that makes me actually want to take idea's from them that are really creative and put them into trauma. Take for instance the classic Slowpoke or one of archaia's favorites Robotika. What great stories that really just brought something new to the table and had such a great reactions from the people. Through determination and hard work on small titles they turned into a big ones. The same thing applies to all underground comics. 
The thing that i am trying to get across is these independent comics give us readers a breath of fresh air from their exotic arts to thier breath taking storys. Without them we would get tired of the same heroes and stories. Even if they don't have the money they still find a way to get their stories out there and without them i don't think comics would be as big because of repeated mainstream comic stories. Whether i get anything for this or not i am glad i got to get this message out.  

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Posted by grimm

Independent Comic publishers are an extremely important part to the comic community. For one thing major comic providers just seem to push out comics at random just to make a quick buck from the consumers, However, Independent comics take time and consideration when writing and designing a comic because they not only care about their work but they want to make something that people will enjoy. Besides Independent comics have the best ides. Unlike the major comic publishers who take an old comic and slap a new cover on it, independent comics almost always have new and exhilarating ideas. 
I think that the main reason independent comic publishers do so well is because they usually don't make a lot of money compared to major publishers. This means that they aren't blinded by money so they care about their product.

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Posted by FoxxFireArt

I've actually defined this site to others as combination of wikipedia, facebook, and youtube.

"...on the 17th."

It's the 19th. Running a tad late I guess.
One of my favorite series ever doesn't come from a major publishing company, but they do pretty well for themselves. It's Gold Digger created by Fred Perry. He writes, draws, makes covers, and colors his comics. He works on several of his own titles.
I think what you get out of these kind of comics is a much stronger story. In Marvel and DC. You constantly have inconsistent story lines and continuity errors. Just look at Wolverine as one example. If someone could piece together that continuity line in a way that makes sense you don't just deserve a cookie. You deserve the whole bloody cookie jar. Writers often seem to be more interested in making their mark on a series then just trying to tell a good story, or the company wont let teh writer make too many alterations.
Then you have big event stories where they cross over multiple titles, but it's come to the point where every year they do one of these. In the defense of these events. It don't make much sense that other heroes wouldn't get involved when in the Marvel Universe most of the heroes live within the greater New York area. If aliens are invading Manhattan, why isn't the Fantastic Four and Iron Man getting off their rears to help Spider-man? That's why I really liked that the X-Men moved to San Fransisco. It was about time some heroes were based in the West coast. A classically, liberal city like San Fransisco, a place famous for it's tolerance and inclusion. Seems like a perfect fit for a minority like mutants.
The downside to being independent is that you also don't have the structure and the reach of the bigger companies. You are lucky to get your title to all the states or Canada, let alone internationally. You either have the shipping costs, language barrier, or possible translations issues. As was stated during that phone conversation.
Independent company comics can often be more like finding a good book. It might be something that you never didn't arrive there to buy, you give it a try, and reading it can be a moving moment to you.
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Posted by CrimespreeJon

Independent publishers, of comics in particular are essential to the growth of publishing. They are not looking for blockbusters and the books you see verywhere, they are looking for quality books that not only speak to the readers but to the publishers themselves. By not reigning in the writers and artists they are promoting free thought and discussion and these are something every thinking person needs. While comics published by independent publishers do sometimes get popular and evenmake a lot of money, that is a happy side effect. What they are doing is sharing top notch entertainment.  Books like The Boys, Battle Pope and Mouse Guard  don't  really fit the profile for a big publisher, but with the right independant free thinking publisher behind them theyfind and audience and entrance them.
The first independant comic I bought was American Flagg from a little companycalled First Comics. It changed the way I buy comics, and made me look for something that would challange me. This tradition is still being carried on today by people like Archaia, Top Cow, Dark Horse, Zenescope, Avatar and  Dynamite and plenty of other brave souls who aren't afraid to ask their readers to think.

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Posted by _brandon

Independent publishers are important for a lot of reasons, but the most important has to do with economics. The quality of any goods is increased with competition. The more we have, the better the consumer makes out in end. If we only have two publishers then over time the quality will erode and the price will spiral upwards because they only have to play off of what the other does. Price gouging, cutting expenses and all the other factors that go into creating a duopoly resulting in reduced consumer satisfaction will most likely happen. The indies keep pressure by competing for market share, talent, price and quality. The stronger the bottom is the better health the industry will be in as a result. 
A secondary reason that I think is equally important but not unrelated is the harvesting of new talent. A new creator makes their bones in the indy world, gets the big deal at DC/Marvel then goes back to indy and takes some of his audience with him. That brings sales to his indy title, maybe a house ad for an unknown creator brings readers to their book and the cycle continues. The harvesting of talent creates more competition and raises the quality and the health of the industry.
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Posted by LastSon1027

First off I have to say that I'm not the best writer but I can never pass up a chance to get free comics or talk about comics. When I started reading comics I was only into Marvel and then as I got older I slowly made my way over to DC which is primarily what I read now. But slowly but surely I have been finding myself picking up some independent books. I have to admit I really do like the superhero comics the most but its nice to read something a little different now and then. The great thing about independent publishers is that you can do a lot of stories that wouldn't sell if the larger publishers were run them. I think that large publishers like DC and Marvel are really confined to the universe of characters that they have created and to wander outside of that is confusing to some fans and to others it doesn't seem important enough to bother with while they are following this years big event. That is why publishers like Archaia and Boom are so valuable, they offer a new outlet for artists and writers who have such great ideas like Mouseguard, who otherwise may never get a chance to have their stuff published. If you think about it these smaller publishers are actually doing a great service to comic readers by bringing us these amazing stories that would otherwise be lost. So I would like to thank Archaia for the hidden gems they bring to my comic shop and say keep up the good work.

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Posted by samver1

I haven't really been collecting comics since I stopped about almost 12 years ago. At that time, I was collecting mostly comics from Marvel, DC, Image and Dark Horse. I never really checked out any of the really smaller publishing companies. Over the years though, I have been buying a few books on and off and discovered that most were independent comic book titles. I didn't buy these because they were by the big companies. I bought them because the art and story truly interested me. Because of this I discovered one of my favorite artists right now in Ben Templesmith who wasn't drawing or writing for any of the major publishers at the time.
I can say now that I started actually enjoying comic books again thanks to Templesmith and a lot of other independent artists and writers I've found. This in turn has me interested again in titles from all the other major companies like DC, Marvel, Image, etc. Although, 12 years is a big gap and I really have no idea what the heck is going on with the DC/Marvel universe right now as everything is so different from what it was. I think independent titles are very healthy for the industry as it does help bring in new readers as well as older readers back.

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Posted by JuanNavarro

i think when it comes down to an independant book what is msot important is that it gives a new voice to comics, we get an actual piece of art. Many of the "big" companies out there ar emaking a product, which is fine, but in the end it's made to sell more stuff, and keep you entertained. That fine, and they are some Indy makers who do that too. 
But what is special about any Independant book is to break away, and really give you something more. It can give new insight and wisdom, a better view of something a far, and shines a spotlight on something that's lost in the bustle of big summer events and movie block busters. It's give us a time to breath and to realize a bit. It's truly a chance for art.

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Posted by Pres

I have been reading comics about 5 years, I am twelve, and I do enjoy the big company comics, but what I have found is that the best stories that really pull me in in the first couple of pages are the independant ones. The big company comics often asume that you know alot of the history of that character, which is kinda frustateing. It is so refreshing to open a new story that you saw on the shelf,  you don't know anything about it but don't have to, you just read it and enjoy it and maybe come back for the second issue. The characters are also more creative and real , and seem to have alot of soul put into there backgrounds.That is the beauty of the smaller press comics I have found.I have just recently started reading the smaller company comics and was really surprised at how much I liked them and how much I was buying them. I would be honored if I was chosen, and would love to give some the Archaia comics  a crack!

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Posted by stephen.christy3

These responses are awesome! I just figured I'd join in the conversation and say some of the things I Iove about independent comics (besides the FAT paycheck :)! 
Most people who read mainstream superhero comics don't think about where Marvel and DC scout a lot of their talent-- the answer is indy comics. It's pretty rare to see someone break in at Marvel or DC without them having worked on a book for Image, Dark Horse, Archaia, IDW, Boom, Devil's Due, Oni, or any of the other indy companies. Where did Ivan Reis, artist of BLACKEST NIGHT get his start? LADY DEATH for Chaos! Comics. Where did Robert Kirkman rise to fame? Through BATTLE POPE for his own company Funk-O-Tron. What did Bendis do before he launched Ultimate Spider-Man? Some fantastic crime comics like JINX, TORSO, and GOLDFISH through Image. One of the most fun thing about being plugged into the indy comics scene is getting to know and become a fan of a creator BEFORE they make it big, and supporting them and following their career as it takes off. 
Even more than that, the biggest thing I love about indy comics is just the pure variety. I grew up a DC kid and I'll never stop reading and loving superhero comics, but as a fan of comics it's very important that our industry be more than JUST superhero books. There are so many exciting creators and titles out there, and the interesting thing I've found from a publishing standpoint is there's so many people who read MOUSE GUARD or THE KILLER or GUNNERKRIGG COURT who don't read ANY other comics, and by reading those books they've started to get into other great books like SCOTT PILGRIM, ATOMIC ROBO, ESSEX COUNTY, and more.  
It's always scary to go out and try something new, but whenever I pick up an indy comic I'm always pretty satisfied with it at least 90% of the time. And if I'm not, at least I'm happy that I've supported an indy creator. 
Thanks again for all the great responses, guys. I'm looking forward to sending out a bunch of free comics! :)

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Posted by gmanfromheck

Uhm, Stephen, I don't think you're eligible to take part in this contest.  But it's great to hear your thoughts.

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Posted by schoolfew

Independent comic companies add variety to the comic-verse. With the big companies like Marvel and DC you got your superheroes covered with awesome writers. However with big companies come red tape and rules and all the stuff that makes big companies not really fun to work with. Now imagine Warren Ellis working for DC and brings up a story about Superman not agreeing with the policies of the president of the United States and how they declared an unjust war, so the big boyscout goes into the oval office and kills him and the vice president in cold blooded murder. Yeah I know never going to happen. 
However he can go to an independent comic company and create a superman like character and tell his story and he did just that with Black Summer with the help of Avatar Press. Basically what I'm saying is that  with independent companies you aren't going to get the usual hero  storyline. You may get it twisted or even not a hero story at all. A story like Blankets telling the story about someones first love. Variety can be a good thing.....

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Posted by stephen.christy3
@G-Man: Noooo!!! I wanted free comic book! :(
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Posted by No_Name_

These are fantastic submissions, guys! Remember that the contest closes this Wednesday!

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Posted by Trauma
@Babs said:
"These are fantastic submissions, guys! Remember that the contest closes this Wednesday! "
thnks babs
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Posted by cdziuba  Indie comics are an important part of the comics genre because the writers have more creative freedom, and it make the comics that much more innovative.   Without having to adhere to a stricter corporate code, the inventiveness is given free rein. 
Indie comics also inspire the little renegade in each of us, as we stop by the store and try out a new comic instead of the tried and true.  Oftentimes the Indie comic is a breath of fresh air.
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Posted by Chaos Agent

There's one thing about Indy comics that I love: the way they not only embrace talented writers' wild ideas and imagination, but they also motivate it. I've always thought that when deciding what comics I should buy, and by doing so, support shouldn't be based on the main character or characters that feature it, but the quality that the writer and the artist are able to provide. There's an old motto that says that "There aren't bad characters, only bad writers" and I think that with comics such as Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, James Robinson's Starman, among many others it's quite easy to agree with it. Characters like Superman, Batman, Captain America and Iron man, all of which are some of my personal favorites are immortal legends that have been able to sustain themselves through the flow of time. They are some of the biggest guys in the two big companies of comics, some of the few characters that ever since they were introduced they haven't stopped being relevant, iconic and loved by many generations. They've all had their fair shares of good, great, bad and terrible runs that vary from creative team to creative team. Problem is that over the years, many writers (no matter their caliber in their profession or the level of handle they have when writing them) have all apported in one way or another to those characters. With the constant help of directive mandate among others, the characters have had for good or bad being pushed into a great tower of continuity that makes it harder for future writers to use.
That's not a problem for indy comics though, in most cases, the indy comics are creator owned projects in which the company gives the writer and/or artist involved complete freedom to tell their story the way they see fit. Over the few years that I've read comics, I've come to the conclusion that some of the best works of writers are when the editors and company tell the writer "You know what? We have complete trust in you and your abilities in your proffession so go wild with your ideas". This works just as good with mainstream heroes with Grant Morrison's All Star Superman being a perfect example, but fact is, companies that have established long running characters are more reserved when giving freedom to a writer to handle a character the way they want and many times they actually tell him where the character has to go. That's not the case with Indy comics, here there's no "Character X has to go to place Y because in major crossover W writer V will build him for new ongoing series Z". Here the creative team have the opportunity to handle, direct and do with the characters whatever they please and at the same time put a greater effort to prove how great their idea is and why it could easily be transfered to another medium.
Indy comics are an aquired tastes and I have to admit that I read way more mainstream comics than I do Indy but there has also been many more deceptions in the mainstream ones. On the other hand I've tried a few different publishers and I have yet to get dissapointed. I've tried mostly titles of Vertigo with comics like Animal Man, Doom Patrol, V for Vendetta, Books of Magic, The Filth, DEMO and loved them, felt astonished with Image's American Jesus, I kill Giants and the Nightly News, been amazed with Top Shelf's The Surrogates and From Hell, the excellent adaptions of Neil Gaiman's stories by Dark Horse and finally tried (and loved) my first title of IDW with Darwyn Crooke's adaption of Richard Stark's the Hunter. I've read a few indy comics and I'm constantly increasing what I read from them because simply put, I have yet to be dissapointed with it. 
For future reference, the fame that the indy comics' art can't compete with the one of mainstream comics is becoming more and more false, and there are a few ones that I end liking more than the ones put in some of DC's and Marvel's comics.

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Edited by Jean_Luc_LeBeau

Sometimes storylines of many of the major comic book publishing companies seem to get a little bit stale ;) There is something about the long winded and drawn out major story arcs that can really put off a person who may have previously left comics for a long period of time essentially making it more difficult to pick a book up again. Many independent publishing companies allow readers the opportunity to fall into a comic and get sucked in without having to know the individual history of every one of the characters in the entire comic book universe that are involved in a big event ("52," "Secret Invasion"). I like that independent publishers allow an outlet for readers who may be unfamiliar with comics to get involved in a fantastic story without having to do a ton of research in advance. One of my favorite comic book series is in fact an independent title; Mouse Guard.

Independent publishing companies are special and need our support because they support creator owned ideas and get them out to the masses. It is much more difficult to get an independent idea published by one of the bigger companies (DC and Marvel for example,). There is also the issue of restrictions on content. I feel as though a lot of the independent publishing companies give more creative freedom to their creators and allow them to tell the kind of stories they want to make. Writers are not bound by a certain model or formula and do not need permission to use a character 6 months in advance of the release of a specific title.

So often indi publishers are where so many of the big names get their start, and I am glad we have the choice to choose between superhero stories and original titles.    

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Posted by iggysaysno

Independent comics are so valuable because the best ideas won't have a million dollar backing so to speak.  I love to see the individual ideas in these type of comics and the new types of characters they bring to society.
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Posted by otakudante

Without independent publishers new talent wouldn't be discovered so easily. New talent is definitely needed to keep the comic book industry thriving, and without the independent publishers comic books would sooner or later run out of popularity. I am a faithfull comic book collector and I have found that comic books from independent publishers are sometimes even better than those from mainstream publishers. I don't know about other collectors, but I prefer a wide variety of comic books, and without independent publishers the variety of what you could find would be greatly limited. Independent publishers are very valuable indeed.

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Posted by rantzo

Everyone loves a good story. Independent publishers give readers a chance to read about stories that may not be published by the bigger companies.  If readers don't get to read these stories, we will never know if these stories inspire people and entertain them.  Keeping independent publishers alive gives the storytellers a job, and it keeps the stories alive. What more can a reader ask for :)

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Posted by MJ Styles

             First and foremost, I have to say I love this website.   It’s not the incredibly thorough articles on superheroes, or the really interesting reviews, it’s the fact the Babs and G-Man are so unbelievably in love with the comic book industry.  

In fact, this makes a perfect transition to why I love independant comic books.   The strength of the Independent comic book scene for me, is the fact that when I read an “indie” I really feel connected to the writer.   It’s because of the writer and artists unbridled resolve that this issue (or graphic novel) is in my hand.   Take Jeff Smith’s Bone, for instance.   Smith was so determined that he even published the first couple of issue of Bone out of his garage!   This determination and strive to succeed is something I feel is lacking in the “non-indie” scene.

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Edited by Sovereign Son

I have always looked at Indie comics as the back bone of what we as readers enjoy, These overlooked and over worked writers and artist all had to start somewhere and it is a very hard leap just to jump straight into Marvel or DC. for instance look at Image, Made by creators for new blood and old alike. What i have come to notice is that even as small compaines they are willing to take that chance on a random concept, From animals points of view, to the  plain crazy antics of a former MI6 agent who has gone a little if not a lot of the farm yard, to vampire CIA agents who only want to eat cow meat while all this time being limit to a small USA state! How could DC or Marvel ever push a story like that in their world.... But with that they can also be more realistic and dark or bring us great stories such as a small mouse wanting to protect his land/ world. The Independent world has more magic to it then any of the bigger companies could think of, thats why they are always stealing their artist and writers XD. I actually change my statement they our not the back bone, Indie comics is the blood of this industry! Without them the comic world would be about heroes and villains and not about that mouse or talking lion, The magic is there we just wait to turn the page.

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Posted by Zombielunch

Independent publishers are valuable to the industry. They take chances on ideas that publicly traded companies might not find fiscally responsible to. Creator-owned titles seem to be more cared for by their makers. Independent stories aren't necessarily shackled to continuity and fan expectations. It's a freeing experience to read some of these independent titles, going in expecting nothing and being pleasantly surprised. 
From a wannabe creator's standpoint the hope independent publishers such as Archaia comics gives us that we can possibly be published with our own original ideas. 

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Posted by TheWhiteHand

Independent comics are the best thing about the comics industry.  Don't get me wrong I do enjoy a few of the bigger guy's comics but the vast majority of my weekly pull list is from the independents.  I get a much broader range of stories and art, stories where I dont have to have invested years of my life keeping up on larger and larger story arcs.  If it wasn't for the independents giving newer writers and artists a shot we would simply be seeing more of the same over and over.  If it wasn't for the indy comics I think the comic industry would be in far worse shape than it is now.

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Posted by Crescendo878

In any form of media, be it movies, art, or literature, aspiring artist are always searching for that one determining factor to allow for forward progress. This desire does not simply stop with the indie community of writers, filmmakers, or artist. Professionals in their respective industries seek forward progress as well. But anyone looking to progress into these industries will surely come to realize that nothing comes easy. There are only so many set apart individuals who can truly proclaim to be part of something immense and special. There are only so many who can up with the ideas and concepts to drive their industry forward. It is then that we realize how truly remarkable indie publishers are, specifically in the comic book industry.

These publishers look to take risk. They look to discover the undiscovered. Reveal the magnificence, passion, and raw talent of those who have the gift, but perhaps not the resources available to them to get their work noticed. With these so called “amateur” writers and artist, we see innovation, and that forward progress we seek. And as such, major party members take notice. That is to say, major publishers and industry workers see what the community is doing. Bearing all this in mind, we can say that it is the indie publishers who drive the industry forward.   Without independent publishers, we are without forward progress. We are without innovation, and we are without the passion and love for something truly unique and special.

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Posted by Fresh0133

What is the value of independant publishing?  First and foremost, having a medium and the ability to distribute that medium in a comic industry full of editorial mandates, Major Corssoverver, and 10 Events a year where a comic book creator has the freedom to tell the story they want to, present the vision that they originally intended without 12 editors breathing down their necks is quite frankly beyond value. 
In an industry where I see 12 Wolverine books, and now apparently 84 Deadpool books a month come out how refreshing is it to take a break from the super hero world and pick up something completely original like a Mouse Guard or a Chew?  The success of those books is proof that if you put something interesting out people will read it, no matter the genere.  A book doesn't have to have Wolverine or Batman prancing around it's pages to be good.   Heck, it doesn't even have to have superheroes or violence in them to be good.
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Posted by chacha6581

Independent publishers are an extremely important and valuable asset to the comic community.  They endure an individuality that more mainstream publications can not provide. Stories are told that may have been missed by the mainstream. Independent publishers provide a comic voice for those that would ordinarily be silenced by huge company's that are not willing to think outside of the box. 

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Posted by grizzlywilliam
@Babs: Indies are the land of innovation and non-traditional storytelling.  It's the same across films, music, illustration, fine art, or books; small scale artists are always more likely to push an envelope that mainstream artists are not.  The risk of massive financial loss is not there, so creators feel free to explore those subjects and methodologies that would turn people away.   
Let's talk about our definition of mainstream here too.  The way I see it, mainstream media is a product that is concieved, from the get-go, to make a profit as a sellable item.  It's the same as a tshirt or a blender or a car.  If you make a weird tshirt with 1 arm or a blender shaped like a football, you're immediately alienating part of your potential consumer audience.  That's not a bad thing, it's just a fact.
What makes indie comics important to me is that they offer a voice to stories we wouldn't see in a market-driven lineup.  Even in the indie branches of the larger publishers, you're still only seeing a few genres getting covered; action, action-horror, scifi-action, action-suspense, comedy (probably action).  You're not going to find an intimate tale of personal growth or a mindbending yarn about risque subjects there.  And with that leash of financial responsibility comes a desire to please your audience rather than challenging them.  Writing to make a profit is always writing to appease.  Indie creators need to make a profit to live, but they understand that the profit is not as important as the work itself.  And the work itself is not always great, there are just as many cliched indie books as there are cliched superhero rags.  But the difference is that the gems of indie creation are pieces that have a truly powerful emotional impact because they are raw and unburdened by legacy or expectation.   
The best indies are souls laid bare in art and writing, mingled to open the reader into a sort of dreamlike expression of the creator's vision.  Without these books, we'd only have words and pictures telling a story we'd seen a hundred times over.
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Posted by mona lisa's smile

ok, first post..yup a newb! 
i've always been a fan of collecting to begin with - but more so am the type of person that likes to 'dig in the crates' so's to speak. not simply grab for the mainstream ideals.. 
i then enjoy being able to share my 'finds' with others - i dunno, maybe i am a showoff :P but i really love turning someone onto something that i know is QUALITY and NEW! 
and the independent publisher is open to new and original ideas in storytelling. 
i haven't always stuck with comic book collecting to be honest, only grabbing an issue here..and there..*ducks flying objects* 
because of what felt like an over flooded market of similiar if not the same ideas .. continued. 
refreshing to grab a new story, issue #1 and follow along.. 
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Posted by toonboy

Who needs independent comics!  
Who needs all those wanna be artists and writers trying to work they ever lov'n hearts out to deliver a half crazy idea or pages that look like they were done in crayon. Why spend hours and long nights plotting. scripting, doing thumbnails over and over to get that scene out of your head and on to the page, hopefully to capture just as how you saw it only to come close, but that's ok, you want to see this come to life. You want so bad to see this story in print and sit behind that table that you spent money on at the local con and have people stare at you as they pass by with a short glance or maybe slow a little and then look up and smile at you as they move on to get in line at the Mignola table near you.  
At the end of the long weekend, you sold a little, you had some people like what you do and encourage you to keep on going. You even share some stories with others that are trying to pimp there wares like you. Maybe they are hoping to get the attention of bigger publishers so that they may take you into there fold because they see promise, they see determination and talent. Maybe you can become another Terry Moore, Jeff Smith or Scott Pilgrim? 
Maybe not, in the end what matters most is that you feel apart of something bigger than yourself. You give back to the very soul that lives and breaths in this industry. You fell in love with it. You know it will always be there for you whether you are successful or not. The big two maybe the sparkling towers of this great kingdom, but we are the foundation at which all of this grows and builds from.

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Posted by ncsdave

In my early years collecting comics, I was all about Marvel and DC. But as I matured as a reader, I quickly grew bored with mainstream titles. My collection is now predominantly indies. Marvel and DC know what sells. They have a proven formula and stick by it, with rare exception. The independent publishers bring us the comics that truly take chances and stretch the boundaries of story-telling. Imagine if Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had started as an Archie or Marvel book. It would have been no where near as quirky or cutting edge as it was. (Actually it probably would have been much like the saccharine children's cartoon that aired years later.) Comic book publishing is a brutally competitive industry, and I am always sad to see indie titles that I have been following or whole indie companies bite the dust. Support your independent titles and watch some amazing story-telling talent deliver us their true artistic vision unhindered by corporate meddling..

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Posted by chromiumman

i think independent comics are the most important part of our industry.  indie comics are really the only place where new and different ideas start.   
marvel and dc are too mired in super-hero comics.  if we ever want the industry to grow, we have to produce more non traditional comics.  westerns, science fiction, fantasy, war, historical, romance -- the only way to grow the industry is to look beyond the current genre.  indie comics do that.
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Posted by No_Name_

I like what I'm seeing so far! Contest ends tomorrow at 12 PM pacific time. (That would be 3PM in New York, my old stomping grounds) get your submission in while you still can!

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Posted by Witkoa61

I'm completely new to the entire comics thing. I had no interest in comics until I became a fan of Zachary Quinto on Heroes. I followed what he was doing and the partnership that his company has formed with Archaia. I was following Quinto on Twitter and noticed him communicating with Stephen, so I started following Stephen of Twitter. I remember one twitter (?) that Stephen did detailing what it takes for an artist to pitch their material to an independent publisher. It really opened my eyes to how hard these artists and their publishers work to provide the public with new and interesting material. It's been fun watching a new company, Before the Door, enter into the comics business.

I haven't actually gone into a comics store and made a purchase but I do intend to. I'm actually looking forward to next year's release of "Lucid." The descriptions that have been provided so far make it sound like a story I would enjoy reading. I may sneak into a comic store before then, if for no other reason other than, to look around. The one good thing, I feel, is I have no bias toward independent publishers or not. It' all new to me.

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Posted by gatorgalen

Independent publishers' main contribution is the freedom they have to create and explore new characters and storylines.   Without the need to maintain an overly-defined, established character, writers can think outside of the box.   While they may not generate the most revenue, they help inspire the imaginations of future writers and contribute to the field as a whole.  Mainstream publishers are forced to consider new character types and techniques that debut and become popular in independent comics.  Along the same vein, independent comics give talented writers themselves an opening to display their talent and get a name for themselves.  Everyone can agree that independent publishers play a vital role in refreshing the field of comics as a whole.

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Posted by spectre615

Independent publishers are important for the simple fact that we get exposed to talent that otherwise we might never get a chance to see. They are the the breeding ground for expression that is often shunned by the "Big" publishers, expression that gives us all the opportunity to enjoy stories untainted by heavy-handed editorial interference. They give voice to those that might not be heard.

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Posted by ehancock

While I have been an avid DC reader and often a few specific Marvels - the big crossovers and all the hype of continuity that gets quickly dismissed when they sense a new story to generate more $$ - makes me glad for the small independents - they dont have to toss in characters for any editorial Mandate or to cast off interesting characters or to avoid certain plotlines to appease another writer or to avoid stepping on anyones toes. 
However the bane of the small indy is finding them - I am constanly searching for that one issues of the indy and was really upset recently  to visit a comic shop and be told that my best bet for indies was to go online as they did not want to carry them. Shame on you.

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Posted by No_Name_

Contest is closed. Winners will be announced later this afternoon. Winners will be chosen in a raffle. Thank you all who participated and good luck!

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Posted by theolotto

We need indie comic publishers because they give creative people a chance to share their talents with the world. Someone has to allow all of this untapped talent to be published and inspire others to follow their dreams. Everyone has to start somewhere, but if no one's around to give them a chance, humanity will lose it's opportunity to show off these peoples' talents.
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Posted by No_Name_
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