Mark Millar (pronounced “miller”) has set up a submissions process for a talent search.
I’m pretty ambivalent at the notion.
I’m a true believer that the cream will rise to the top, and that you don’t need permission in order to create comics. Even though you can look at Comixology Submit and see that the place has little to no curation so that the comics there don’t have a professional polish, no one is saying that they shouldn’t exist. If comics were a permission-based industry, then we’d have a lot of creators who just wouldn’t be here today. Jobs are too scarce.
At the same time, I do believe that creators need helping order to gain wider visibility. This is where people like Millar come in. Their curation validates the work of the creators, giving them a stamp of approval.
It’s a celebrity endorsement, which I’m essentially against, but I can also see the need for them.
(To my mind, there’s a difference between a need and shilling. Michael Jordan saying you’ve got a great comic and people should read it: needed. Michael Jordan saying that a Big Mac tastes great and you should buy one: shilling.)
In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be a need for a talent search like this. There would be enough money to buy the books and attention given the books that everyone would be happy. That’s not the case, though, because there is no perfect world.
Millar is pretty popular, and the attention that his talent search will garner will give him loads of scripts and art that will just be bad. Even those who are clearly not ready will submit, just so they can say they tried, even though they know they won’t get picked. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It’s going to clog the system and slow things down.
I know that there will be winners. I know that they will be worthy. I just wish there was another way for them to get noticed.