Currently going viral amid the comic book community on Twitter is a video from a comic book store owner who blasts the writers of DC and Marvel Comics.
The comic book store owner of The Comic Book Palace from Massachusetts, Glenn O’Leary, has more than a few things to say about the writers not caring about the fans, characters, and source material anymore and blasts them for injecting themselves into the material.
“Most of these new writers don’t have the love of comics like these older writers had. All they care about is ‘how can I put myself in the book?'” he says in the video which has been viewed over a million times.
The comic store owner adds, “No, we don’t care what you would do if you were Iron Man. We don’t get who you are. You are writing Tony Stark. You are not writing yourself in a book. If that’s the case, write your own comic with you in it. Nobody will read it because nobody cares. People grew up loving Peter Parker, loving Miles Morales, loving all these Captain America. We don’t need you to put your input in it. Just write Steve Rogers. Don’t write ‘what would Steve Rogers be if I was Steve Rogers,’ that’s not how it works.”
O’Leary continues, “But that’s again how most of these new people write nowadays. That’s why most of the stuff is shit. Because we don’t care what you would do because we don’t care about your life whatsoever. Just write a book. Get paid for what you do. Get paid for what you are supposed to be doing and make it a good story.”
Update: Mark Millar will be talking to the owner on YouTube on Wednesday.
“Talking to Glenn tonight on my Millar Time Youtube channel. All I’ve seen is guys pile on him for expressing legitimate concerns about his biz and I hate seeing people bullied. Looking forward to a proper chat & hearing his story in depth,” tweeted Millar.
Update #2: Talking to Millar in the video O’Leary said, “I’m a retailer but I am also a huge fan. I’m saying just as a fan that I just want to read a good story. That’s what I really want. It’s funny because it’s a catchphrase we use a lot ‘just tell me a good story’ but you know something, that’s all we want. I want to be able to open up a book and look forward to reading, especially a mainstream comic again, and getting the feeling that you always got from it. So much has just changed.”
Watch the video:
— Ty (@DefNotTy) December 3, 2023
Industry vets react
Following the video going viral, industry veterans reacted to the footage, some with opposing opinions, including Jamal Igle, Gail Simone, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Mark Millar.
Gail Simone reacts:
“This is a tiny clip of a much longer video,” tweeted Simone who seems to play it off as just “good fun.” She continued, “This gentleman has had his story thirty years. My hat is off to him and I have watched his videos and they’re good fun.”
Jamal Igle reacts:
Jamal Igle, however, blatantly attacks the owner and mocks him.
“Who is this…lovely..individual,” he tweeted. “He’s gonna be real shocked about how all comics have been written and how writing in general works. His business is dying because he refuses to change with the times.
Igle added, “There’s a simple rule in sales: Showing contempt for the product, shows contempt for the customer. Don’t do it. Sell everything like you love it.”
Igle continued, “Seriously, he reminds me of a few of the old guard guys who used to run shops here in NYC from stores that smelled like stale cigarettes, mold and urine, uncleaned, sloppily stocked. Those guys either went out of business, died, or both. There used to be a shop called Comics Plus in Park Slope. The owner was a miserable old man, his incontinent mother spent everyday smoking cigarettes in the store, smelling like urine. He had two employees in the years Iwent there, and reluctantly carried indy books.
“The place hadn’t been cleaned since they were forced to downsize around 1997 and finally closed in the early 2000’s,” said Igle.”
Jimmy Palmiotti deletes tweet
Jimmy Palmiotti offered his two cents but deleted the tweet following backlash.
“It is something I tell newer writers all the time, read all the history of the character and understand their motivations and why the audience fell in love with them. It will help you understand who they are so if you change everything about them, it’s in line with who they are,” he said in the deleted tweet.
Palmiotti added, “Deleted that post because of the bad energy it was bringing. Amazing how some people can’t have a civil conversation anymore. I enjoy hearing both ends of an argument but it has to stay polite.”
Mark Millar comes to defence of comic store owner
“This vid had been everywhere the past 24 hrs & rightly so,” tweeted Millar. “The rest of us are armchair generals declaring news from the front. Comic Retailers are in the trenches and seeing EXACTLY what’s going on. He’s clearly passionate about the direct market and upset what’s been done to it.”
A fan also mocked the owner, “Ok but does he have to look like a live version of the comic book guy from the simpsons?”
Miller shot back, “That’s unfair. It’s snobby to look down on someone because they don’t dress/ look as cool as you want. This guy has been working hard on behalf of publishers and creators for 30 years and deserves to have his opinion listened to.”