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'I Actually Give A Damn': Eric D. July Comments On State Of Comic Book Industry

'Do You Want To Have Actual Enthusiastic Customers Or Do You Want A Bunch Of People That Pretend To Like It'

YouTuber and comic book writer Eric D. July criticized the state of the comic book industry suggesting the industry was taken over by “idealogues” and others who were never fans of the source material.

July, who recently launched Isom #2 through his comic book company the Rippaverse, detailed his frustration with the comic book industry in a Wednesday video.

“The American comic book industry is not in a good spot,” July introduced the video. “You may think that the rise of the comic book movie in the 2010s nullified this, but that was never the case.”

July said the comic book movie boom “masked and diluted,” and in some respects “amplified,” problems within the overall comic book industry.

“Instead of using the growth and popularity in comic book movies to grow the comic book industry, comic book lifers stepped aside and allowed it to be taken over by people that were only using this to advance their careers,” he continued, citing writers who were never fans of the source material. “Others use comic book characters in movies as their vehicle to tell their own story, no matter how much it neglected the source material.”

“You allowed the industry to be taken over by Hollywood and ideologues instead of actually growing in the publication market,” July said, adding that major comic book conferences, including San Diego’s annual Comic Con, had become derailed by not focusing on actual comics. “Most of the attendees probably have never read a comic book in their life, and it doesn’t interest them aside from showing off their cosplays.”

July criticized legacy comic book companies like Marvel and DC comics for a lack of transparency regarding actual product sales saying they “failed to convert normies into lifers.”

“It was as if the industry were nerds that were just glad to be included in the affairs of the ‘cool kids.'”

“Your medium was somewhat the ‘in’ thing, so you let [them] use and abuse you. For the first time, people pretended to care about you and your profession,” he continued. “You became addicted to the likes, retweets, and confused that with genuine interest. So as the billion dollar movie gets made, you are still broke, eating your cat’s food, and waiting to be paid for a commission that you completed months ago.”

“And now you’re about to get thrown away like an old toy as they scream ‘super hero fatigue,'” July said, criticizing the recent comic book trope of multiverses along with rebranding and reboots of legacy characters, adding genuine lifelong comic book fans hated the current trend of the industry for it’s “social and political” reasons.

“It’s not always because those are actually the politics you adopt, it’s because it fits the views of your new handlers,” he continued, saying it was “expedient” to “go along” with the industry’s current business practices. “Those of us who have found a way to make this lucrative in terms of the industry, you present as if there’s something nefarious going on.”

July said legacy media either “ignores” independent comic book company successes or attempts to “delegitimize” them.

“You cannot eat retweets,” he said. “Do you want to have actual enthusiastic customers or do you want a bunch of people that pretend to like it?”

July also touched on comic book shops that sell “everything else other than comics,” citing the Rippaverse had brought in over $5 million in sales since their 2022 launch.

“I actually give a damn about this industry,” he said, adding he wanted to see the industry grow and thrive. “I want my customers to have fun … the anticipation, the enthusiasm … friendship from a fandom that will grow for years.”

“Where people leave their politics at the door and create something special,” July said. “No matter how much the out of print media grows, it’s still about the comics.”

July suggested legacy comic book companies may be on their way out of customer favorability, saying creators and retailers would need to choose between sticking it out with legacy companies or “drop the ideological bullcrap” and help save the comic book industry.

Last summer, Rippaverse announced their debut comic Isom #1, which garnered over $3.7 million in sales during it’s initial preorder campaign. Isom #2, which launched earlier this month, has currently garnered over $1.6 million in sales.

Isom #1 and #2 are written by July, drawn by Cliff Richards, and colored by Gabe Eltaeb.

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