Chuck Dixon, widely considered one of the greatest comic book writers of all time for his creation of the villain Bane and his runs on The Punisher and other high-profile titles, has bad news for fans of today’s books as well as superhero movies in general.
Nothing lasts forever.
Dixon was a guest on the Milo Yiannopoulos Show podcast this week, and the outspoken conservatives had a lively discussion on politics in the industry and how Chuck Dixon’s views have likely “burned every bridge left to burn.”
Dixon has adapted Peter Schweizer’s bestselling novel Clinton Cash to comics form, so he’s aware there is “no going back” at this point.
As a result, he left all cards on the table when taking down what he views to be a liberal slant in the industry.
Near the end of the show, the conversation turned toward the rise of “social justice” in comics and how DC and Marvel seem to be wanting to change genders or ethnicities of long-established characters just for political correctness’ sake.
This, according to Chuck Dixon, played a role in the downfall of comic book sales. The reason they’re not righting the ship?
“Because they’ve chased so much of the readership away. People simply stopped reading comics when they voluntarily pulled comics off the newsstands in the 1990s and became a boutique industry exclusive to comic shops.”
— The Politic Manager (@TPoliticmanager) August 5, 2016
Chuck Dixon believes that “not good decisions” followed, which he said he could tell from looking at his royalty statements.
“I knew from my royalty statements that a lot of my earnings came from casual readers picking up a comic now and then,” Dixon said, adding that his royalties shrunk by 80 percent, and the industry never was interested in getting any of those readers back.
“They are only interested in the shrinking fanbase that they have.”
To this, Yiannopoulos, who recently made headlines for getting banned from Twitter for allegedly bullying Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones, wondered what would happen to the comic book industry once the superhero movies cycle ended and stopped “propping up the industry.”
“There’s no sense worrying about it. The game is over,” Dixon said, adding that yes, the superhero movies cycle will eventually come to a close.
“And there is already noise at both major companies, because they’re owned by international conglomerates, ‘Why are you doing new comics? You have all this stuff that on your own you could just reprint?’ And because the comics aren’t profitable publications, the parent companies have every right to question that and say, ‘Why aren’t you more popular?’ Everyone knows who Thor and Iron Man and Batman are. Why don’t the comics sell more? Because they’re crap. That’s why they don’t sell more.”
— #GamerGate Trends (@Gamergatolizer) August 5, 2016
While it would be easy to say that Chuck Dixon has sour grapes due to political differences with those in his industry, it is important to note that Dixon is still a highly paid and sought after writer. He has worked with IDW Publishing — one of the biggest in the industry outside of DC and Marvel for quite some time — and his contributions to the now legendary Batman: Knightfall saga are undeniable.
If this is what he has seen from the comic book industry in the last couple of decades — and if the superhero movie well does dry up — then it’s possible that comic book fans could see a future without new Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, et al.
But what do you think, readers?
Is Chuck Dixon right to say the superhero movie cycle will end, and if it does, do you think it will be the end for DC and Marvel’s new books (as well as many professional writers and artists earning a living from them)? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via DC Comics]