Robert Kirkman Creator Activism

Robert Kirkman Comics and franchises Walking Dead Invincible

If you can’t remember what Creator Activism is look at this visual summary graphic here by Image Think. They recorded into a nice visual summary map of what was said.

  • The bottom line is not to give everything up your creations to platforms holders.
  • Defend Your Creations Value yourself
Creator Activism by Robert Kirkman Visual Summary
Creator Activism SSSW 2015 Robert Kirkman Visual Summary by Image Think

SXSW 2015 Interview

SXSW 2015 Robert Kirkman Interview Creator Activism

The guardian has a good summary on the talk from 2015.

When I think about creator activism it reminds me of not being a digital share cropper. Right now with NFT the new form of share cropping it’s making artist churn out more for these platforms.

I feel if you have a character story, or IP you are developing or maybe thinking about developing, I think it’s important to know what’s in the best interest of the property. You never know what might happen. Whether it shoots 🚀 to the moon 🌙 or not.

While Robert Kirkman talk is for top creators working in the Marvel and DC Industry, I feel that as a mid to low level creator it’s something to take heed too about having your creations best interest. Not to quickly give your creation aways to other platform holders.

If you have the chance to work with the top studios I think go for it but if not than it might be for everyone. If there is something you want to see maybe making your own creations is the path. I think there is nothing wrong with the corporate Transmedia model he dislike but I do agree that how the Transmedia work is more organic, create in the medium you like and are best suited for which for him is comics, maybe for me it’s games.

I remembered he gave a Creator Manifesto 10 over years ago when he left Marvel? But I am not sure how this prediction panned out, there is a podcast that discussed this though a bit old but relevant. And other link here on Reddit.

Podcast Episode The Robert Kirkman Manifesto Word Ballon Comic Podcast

How Invincible got made

Recently Robert Kirkman released his TV show Invincibles on Amazon Prime something he wait and learned the skills on walking dead to make his own tv show. He also used a lot of leverage he created for himself at his owner Skybound to produce these properties. I think he is just using Amazon Prime as a distributor of his films not as a co-owner of the property.

Creator Owned

I am in the process of reading up on Transmedia, Entrepreneurship and Startups, though I am not so sure if “Creator Owner” idea will apply to every creator. It does sound like an Entrepreneur Startup to me.

I still see myself as a part-time creator. But hope someday this can expand into something bigger. If you are making something of an OC or Storyworld there is something to think about where it can possibly lead to 🛣🛤

One thing I admire about Robert Kirkman is he and Todd McFarland are one of the few that still own their own series it’s not easy being a creator but if you can build an asset for yourself that is something you can monetize off.

It’s also important to work with others he calls it “Good Nepotism”. I feel once you get out of making just a single medium you have to employ the help of others.

I do know when the metaverse hits the same sharecropping problems will be there, creators in the future will need to look our for their creations Best Interests.

Going to leave the end with this quote from an article about the event.

In the age of “content creation” being used as an umbrella term for artists, writers and animators to contribute their art for commercial use almost anonymously, it was refreshing and delightful to hear a industry leader advocating for creator activism. “Defend your creations”, “have value in yourself”, and “keep your creation’s best interests in your heart”.

Austin 360 Article


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