The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had massive and catastrophic impact on virtually every corner of the entertainment industry. While the shutdown of production on film and television offerings as well as the continued delay of many much-anticipated new films as a result of public safety concerns tend to get the lion's share of attention, other pockets of the industry suffer as well. The comic book industry in particular has faced some serious struggles as well as stay at home orders ravaged the direct market, with even the production and distribution of comics themselves shutting down for a time. As things begin to open back up, there remain major questions as to how the industry will fare going forward and for Watchmen creator Alan Moore it's new voices rather than the mainstream companies that will help lead comics’ recovery.
Speaking with Deadline, Moore expressed doubt that major comics companies would make it out of the pandemic intact, likening them to having "pre-existing health conditions" even before COVID-19 struck.
"I doubt the major companies will be coming out of lockdown in any shape at all," Moore said. "The mainstream comics industry is about 80 years old and it has lots of pre-existing health conditions. It wasn't looking that great before COVID happened."
He continued, "Most of our entertainment industries have been a bit top heavy for a while. The huge corporations, business interests, have so much money they can produce these gigantic blockbusters of one sort or another that will dominate their markets. I can see that changing, and perhaps for the better. It’s too early to make optimistic predictions but you might hope that the bigger interests will find it more difficult to maneuver in this new landscape, whereas the smaller independent concerns might find that they are a bit more adapted. These times might be an opportunity for genuinely radical and new voices to come to the fore in the absence of yesteryear."
It is an interesting observation and indeed, there have long been concerns that the industry is "top heavy" and with media conglomerates mining mainstream comics for their blockbuster IP. But it is also worth noting that while "genuinely radical and new voices" may have an opportunity to rise as the entertainment -- and even cultural -- landscape shifts thanks to the pandemic, being able to rise at all is dependent on there being a direct market to rise within and comic book shops, like all small businesses, continue to struggle as the pandemic wears on.
What do you think? Do you think Moore's correct about the state of the mainstream comics industry? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.