No Conventions for Old Men

A friend of mine who calls himself Mookie composed a post bemoaning the lack of originality that he has seen in his convention forays.

http://www.starpowercomic.com/fan-art-is-everywhere-and-its-making-me-mad/

While I don’t go to nearly as many conventions as Mookie, I can confirm what he is seeing in the ones I do attend.  Fan art and fan compositions for sale do sure seem to overwhelm the sales floors.

I’m torn on this practice, because on a purely business standpoint, I understand why artists and creators are doing this.  As much as the public bemoans the “remake and/or sequel” of our entertainment industry, they sure as hell are supporting that trend where it matters (with their wallets).  People are risk-averse by nature, and dropping money down for something they don’t know much about is a big risk… they want things they already know they like.

Originality in our entertainment isn’t particularly rewarded, and never has been.  I won’t lie when I say what little niche I’ve carved for myself is almost entirely due to fan fiction, and the bleed off that I’ve gotten from people who have seen it and decided to give my other work a shot for it.

That said, fan work really should be the key that unlocks the door, not the one that keeps you in the room.  There doesn’t seem to be much point for a creator to simply use what someone else has done (especially when you aren’t giving a cut to the person you’re effectively stealing from).  You’re not a creator at that point… you’re just a copier.

I really don’t see how that would be particularly fulfilling or even all that lucrative at the end of the day.

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