Alex De Campi is one of my favourite modern day comic book writers. She also happens to be a movie and video director, a social media node, and pretty much everything asked of her, with a history that includes writing My Little Pony comic simultaneously with the sexploitation comic Grindhouse. She is also one of the people working on my new favourite superhero universe, Catalyst Prime.
I consider her series with Carla Speed McNeil, No Mercy, from Image Comics to be one of the medium's highlights in recent years. And her most recent series for Image — Mayday — was off the scale, as well. She created the "infinity" model of digital comic book storytelling. Her "Uncanny Valley Girl" articles for Bleeding Cool should be required reading for anyone wanting to create digital comics. Or create anything. She is, frankly, one of our best.
She is the closest current comic book creator to being the new Alan Moore I can think of.
However, while I understand that she ensures her artists get fully paid, it's not so easy for Alex. And because this is Alex, she doesn't hide behind platitudes, she says what she thinks — which is why she isn't currently being approached by Marvel or DC.
Now, every creator's circumstances are different, and I am aware that there are special ones at play in this case.
No Mercy was a comic that never caught on, but Image continued to publish long after another publisher would have cut and run. But is that itself an issue? When I last interviewed Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson, I asked:
Rich: Do you think you are sufficiently aware, say, of your creators' financial situations?Eric: Well, we all want the creators we work with to succeed and although I don't consider their personal financial situations my business, we do all make it our business to track the financial progress of our titles and advise them on best practices.
This is the kind of thing I was talking about. It's just that creators don't often talk about it. Alex De Campi does because she is as fearless as her work. If only more publishers were as brave.