Robot 6

Rest in peace, Creator-Owned Heroes

Creator-Owned Heroes #8

Well, crap.

Jimmy Palmiotti has confirmed that despite recently adding Darwyn Cooke as a regular contributor, Creator-Owned Heroes, the comics magazine he created with Justin Gray and Steve Niles, will be ending with next month’s Issue 8. In an interview with Bleeding Cool, Palmiotti talked about why he thinks the experiment failed:

…I don’t think there is a clean answer … People thought they were getting fewer comics in the book since there were so many articles and interviews, when in fact there was the same amount of comic pages, if not more, each month. I was told that new characters cannot work in an anthology format; I was told the names involved were not big enough, how the logo didn’t work, and how there were to many articles and so on. We took all these comments to heart and as you look at each and every issue, you see that we moved the logo, shrunk the logo, added comic pages, moved the placement, added new talent, and so on. Some very generous pros gave me advice and others told me the book would never find an audience because the Big Two companies are putting out too much product, etc. The reasons go on and on and I am sure the posts after this piece will show what each person thought killed the book.

I’m not going to try to guess why other people didn’t buy the series, but I admit that it took me a while to give Creator-Owned Heroes a chance. As I said in my review, I initially misunderstood the format and thought of it not as a magazine, but as a regular comics anthology (albeit with a ton of back-up pieces) that would read better in collected form. Once I realized that I was missing the point, I gave it a try and loved it.

Shortly after the cancellation was announced, Twitter exploded with a ton of #SaveCreatorOwnedHeroes tweets, but the magazine’s Twitter account ultimately posted,”Hey everyone, thanks for the love, but I don’t think it’s in the cards. Maybe next time. #ItWasAGoodRun”

It was a good run and Palmiotti, Gray, and Niles should all be very proud of it. I’m sorry to see it go.



Perhaps more, or better, promotion was needed because I didn’t even know about it and I really like those creators.

One of the big questions these days is whether it’s worthwhile to compete in the periodical market against massive multinational multimedia conglomerates that have the infrastructure to produce on a regular basis. I would argue that it isn’t. I understand what these creators were trying to do (terrible title and all), but it struck me as trying the same thing (only one anthology magazine has really managed to stick around in three and a half decades of trying) and expecting a different result.


I don’t care how jam-packed each issue was. It all comes down to price, and if I’m not going to buy a $4 Marvel book, I certainly won’t buy one that’s over $5.

I feel the price of comics is what’s driving the bulk of us away from trying new things.

This is too bad, it was a VERY creative and good idea. Loved the Phil Noto stuff.

Yeah, I only heard of it once it was announced on Bleeding Cool that it was ending. Lack of significant promotion is likely the culprit. I’d have checked it out too (and still might) if there are issues left at my FLCBS.

Most of the sales associates there had never heard of it either!

@Matt, the price isn’t an issue if there are more pages. You’re literally buying more. Dark Horse Presents is $7.99 and there are usually 6 or more separate stories (even different genres) in that book. You get what you pay for–so stop blaiming the cost.

@Matt, the price isn’t an issue if there are more pages.

You know…I don’t think that matters to some folks. All they see is the price.

I remember a LOT of whining about the pricing of NEW FRONTIER, even though they got the page count of three books for the price of two.

“I don’t care how jam-packed each issue was. It all comes down to price, and if I’m not going to buy a $4 Marvel book, I certainly won’t buy one that’s over $5.”

Am I missing something here? Every single issue of Creator-Owned Heroes is priced at $3.99, so I don’t understand where Matt came up with “over $5.”

I’d never heard of this book before and it sounds like the kind of book I’d gladly buy.

But- because of the lousy state (IMO) of monthly comics these days I’ve gotten out of the habit of making a trip to the comic shop. Five years ago I’d stop in at my LCS once a week. Two years ago I cut that to once a month. Now, I’ve stopped off at the LCS once in the last year.

This is the kind of book that might have kept me interested in stopping by and shopping for comics.

Too little, too late, for me anyway.

Sadly, my local comic shop has only been ordering one copy (the one on my pull list). I don’t think many people knew about this comic.

The current comics market needs to be razed. Marvel and DC, as corporations, need to be lobotomized (via the lobotomization of their parent companies). Then, AND ONLY THEN, would comics such as Creator-Owned Heroes stand a chance.

Argh!! This was one of the books I most looked forward to every month! Thanks for the fun run, guys.

I believe the problem lies with the retailers. Most of them buy the products they “think” their customers will buy. How can you buy a book your retailer doesn’t carry? As for promotion, that’s a huge problem in the industry, anyway. There is none to speak of.

I knew about this book because my local store carries it. But he’s an open minded retailer. It’s sad to see this go. I was hoping to work my way into it at some point.

I was very sad to see this stop. There were a few issues i thought with how it was promoted [a bit to inside the bubble and for all the effort not as aggressive as it could have been], but Jimmy mentioned on the boards they had a good 4 to 5 thousand core readers, respectable numbers for a new series still just finding it’s ground – but could not afford to keep it going for now even so. Not enough $ coming in to go around to make sure people got paid properly seems to be a key issue for the crew.

So when i see folks complaining about the price, and not even the one it was but a higher one that is still cheep compared to what people blow on other junk, i kind of want to slap that person around a bit. Yes, you get what you pay for deadbeats. :P

Frankly this is half the reason i’m putting out a premium quarterly comic and not a cheep monthly floppy. Rather grow a readership willing to support my work than try to appease junkie mentalities. #everythingwrongwithcomics

Damn smiley should not be smiling, that’s a disapproving tongue!

The book cost $3.99 and had more pages than any dc or marvel title…but whatever. The bottom line was a lot of retailers didnt even order it, so it was almost impossible for people to get it.

It is available at COMIXOLOGY on digital, for anyone willing to give it a shot. every penny goes to the creators involved. Thanks for the kind words.

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