An Analogy to Understand the Decline of the American Comics Industry

The problem with starting a comic publishing company is that there are many assumptions made by the ill informed about the history and business of comics that are simply false.  For example, in a desire to go off and make the price of comics cheaper than they are right now, fans will suggest  that the publishers switch to cheap newsprint rather than the higher quality paper comics are printed on. This, by their thinking, would lower the cost of production, therefore allowing the companies to lower the price.  Any investigation into the actual costs would suggest that switching to newsprint would not appreciably lower the costs  of making comics; for most companies, this is waste of time.

Another assumption  that’s widely held among right leaning comic fans is that leftists are a significant part of the decline of comics. This is also false.  The obnoxious  leftism that really drives people away in substantial numbers only really started happening in 2010, and there’s evidence that sales and general influence started to significantly decline in 1960. By the way, the amount of open leftism was very small in 1960, and the problems that caused huge declines in circulation (in this case, a  limited mindset on the capability of comics and the stupid business decisions that resulted) were in every single company during those years.

So in order to help people who perhaps aren’t as familiar with the overall history and business of American comics as to the relative insignificance of leftism in the cause of massive problems,  I’ll use an analogy to help understand how relatively unimportant they are.

Imagine that there’s a house. It’s a nice large house, with some parts more developed than others,  but a pretty good house nonetheless.  Then, one day, a fire starts in the house. It starts small, as all fires do, but then it gets larger and larger until it consumes most of the house in a fiery blaze.  Then some pyromaniacs come along; they see the fire, and decide to fulfill their desire to see the house continue to burn by getting gasoline to pour onto the fire.  When the gas is poured, they hoot and cheer as they watch even more fire come out of the house.

The leftists are the pyromaniacs, and the comics industry is the house. Any investigation into the cause of the fire will have to label the pyromaniacs a secondary cause and go into the house to determine the primary  cause or causes.   Just kicking out the leftists, but failing to significantly change the industry and the culture surrounding it would be like stopping the pyromaniacs but failing to put out the fire.  It would be Pyhrric victory which would be extraordinarily difficult to recover from.

Leftism is responsible for a great many ills in our society, but  always remember that it is possible for an industry or institution to decline simply because of a combination of incompetence  and stupidity.