Many people new to the awesome world of comic books run into the term “indie”, get confused, and wonder what the moniker really means. For that matter, the term indie confuses some veteran comic book fans. There are many differences between huge commercial comic book franchises and independent comics, some glaring and others more subtle.
Mainstream comic books tackle questions such as Batman vs Superman – who will you be backing? Meanwhile, indie comics delve into more thought provoking territory and typically go off the beaten path to explore new themes in refreshing ways. Here’s what distinguishes indie comics from mainstream series.
Who makes them?
We’ve all heard of DC, Marvel, Archie, and the like, and those are mainstream series from huge companies with big budgets for marketing. Independent comic books are typically produced by small companies with much less money at their disposal, smaller niche fan bases, and a small group of artists and writers. Some of the best comics that are now hugely popular started out as indies, but once a series falls under the guise of a parent company and its creators lose control over how their work is distributed and marketed, it no longer falls under the independent category.
Are they all new?
There are many independent comic book series with great longevity that have been around for decades, as well as those from newer artists that are just breaking into the business. It’s not how long a comic book has been around that makes it indie, but the people behind it and how much control they have over their work.
Is one better than the other?
Big name and corporate owned comic book franchises aren’t necessarily better than independent creator owned series, they simply have bigger marketing budgets and tend to be more well-known. Indie comics don’t have sub-par illustrations or story lines, and in fact are often much more innovative than corporate franchises are allowed to be. Those who prefer indie comics typically like reading new stories with characters other than the ones pushed in the mainstream. It’s sort of like the difference between going to a crowded, world famous casino and staying home to enjoy games on 7 Sultans casino — it boils down to what suits your preferences rather than the quality of the comics’ writing and graphics.
What about style?
All indie comics don’t share the same style or vibe, although the term is commonly used to describe series that are grittier, more raw, and more daring with themes and subjects than mainstream published comics. The term indie or independent is more about whether the creators of the series own the rights to it and control the production and the way their characters are used. To put it plainly, you’re not going to see characters from indie comics put onto lunch boxes, cereal packaging, or mass produced into items for retail consumption like characters from corporate owned comic book properties.
Where can I find them?
Just as the internet has made it easier to find sites like 7 Sultans casino, that’s where you can also find a large number of indie comic series. If you have a local comic book shop or bookstore that stocks comics that’s another excellent resource for finding out about new series and discovering long standing ones. Of course, you can also peruse forums and blogs dedicated to showcasing indie comics to find series that you may enjoy reading.