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Art in the Age of Predatory Capitalism

February 27, 2009

blackcat3      Some years ago, there was an idea called “trickle-down capitalism.” The wealthy would make lots and lots of money, and be taxed very little, but in return they would, in the spirit of noblesse oblige, spread money through the lower classes, funding good works and so on. What a beautiful dream it was! Of course, it was more true then than it is now; these days what we’ve got now is basically the rich looting the poor for everything they can get. 

     I’m surviving, at the moment. That’s the best I can say. But many occupations have become somewhat toxic, and illustration (or comics) for print is one of them. To put it very simply, the amounts paid keep getting worse (they’re very close to what they were in the 1950s), and getting paid at all- by these massive corporations- gets harder and harder. To add insult to injury, the general ‘dumbing down’ of our culture means that it’s nearly impossible to do anything good in an editorial setup, although that’s true of pretty much everything now.

5 comments

  1. well i still love you Michael Kupperman.


    • (Blushes)


  2. I guess I picked the wrong week to give up my job as a patent attorney to pursue a career in spot illustrations.


  3. Not really sure about your reasoning as to the causes, but I plan to purchase your new wares at the earliest opportunity.


  4. Excelsior! to you Michael Kupperman!

    You can bet your greenest gamma rays, true believers, that if you pick-up a copy of “How To Draw The Marvel Way” (I can’t believe that I didn’t insist that the publisher include at least three exclamation marks SOMEWHERE in that title), read it, follow it, practice the lessons therein, lick it, trace from it, hire Jim Shooter while waving it around like a rabid version of J Jonah Jameson, eat it, excrete it, and then finally have it brainwashed out of your consciousness in a Manchurian Candidate type plot, you’ll realize that the “Golden Age” of comic’s exists only as a marketing tool of comic book dealers, Sotheby’s Auction House, and any insurance company that’s willing to cover “collectibles.” Because very few comic creators/artists ever made much money (your HUMBLE, self-same correspondent, having sued and the raked it in from Spiderman flicks not withstanding). My advice? It’s not too late to get an accounting degree from one of the many fine mail order colleges that used to advertise about halfway through every issue of The Spectacular Spiderman.
    -Stan (The Man) Lee



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