Occupy Metropolis, a leaderless movement designed to protest injustices in the comic book industry, continues to swell as comic book readers unite in mutual dissatisfaction.
The movement has no stated goals, no leaders, surprisingly large amounts of disposable income, and a shared love of comic books.
While the movement may seem like an easily ignored “loud minority”, individual members have used this attention to highlight various issues that many share. Common demands from members of Occupy Metropolis include:
- Affordable comics;
- Comics that reach all ages;
- Well written stories that are not shoe-horned into crossovers;
- Comics that reach all genders;
- Art and stories from classic creators;
- Comic shops not staffed by a-holes and bitches;
- An end to the derogatory and insulting treatment of comic book bloggers and news sites that do more than post press releases verbatim and run endless positive press for major companies;
- Comics that reach all races;
- Solicitations when the work is in-hand;
- Creative retailers who do not rely on expensive exclusives, withholding stock to charge more, or guilt trips and threats of a post-comicalyptic wasteland to encourage shoppers;
- Stories aimed at children, but that don’t talk down to them and can even be enjoyed by adults;
- Editors that discourage story padding, decompression and “writing for the trade”;
- A celebration of continuity and history that isn’t a cheap ploy to increase sales for milestone issues;
- Digital comics that don’t cost as much as print comics;
These demands are not all-inclusive, and differ from member to member.
“It’s simple math. One percent of the comic book industry controls 50 percent of its wealth of characters and story. This 50 percent also dominates 80 percent of the market share,” said Michael Mangrum, a 27 year old collector wearing a retro t-shirt from Target featuring the Avengers.
“We are the 34 percent market share that DC had before the relaunch, and we’re protesting the one percent, Johns, Didio and Morrison, that leads the company into ruin,” said long-time comic fan Joey Metzler. Metzler claims he will wear a hand-sewn Batman suit to every comic fan gathering as a testament to his love of the industry.
Some members of the group were also confused about whether being in the one percent or the 99 percent was admirable. “I’m the one percent that likes Brian Michael Bendis’s Avengers for the writing and not because it’s the book Marvel hangs all of its big crossovers on,” said Brandon Hatchett. Hatchett and several friends then spent 20 painful minutes attempting to engage in witty banter where nothing was accomplished and several jokes fell flat.
The Occupy Metropolis group has dealt with internal conflict since its infancy. Several members of the group were outraged at the reference to Metropolis, a city that exists only in the fictional DC Comics universe and suggested the movement take place in a real location, like in New York City, which is co-owned by Marvel Comics. This spin-off group, Occupy Wall Street, though in operation for less than one month, has received substantial press coverage while Occupy Metropolis has been largely ignored.
At one point, organizers considered the name “Occupy LCS”, referring to “local comic shops”, but this was scuttled after a heated General Assembly on Twitter whereby many expressed sadness about not having a local comic shop to occupy. Still others were unsure how to occupy Amazon.com, and a particularly depressing group pointed out that they would have occupied Borders, but will not set foot in Barnes and Noble.
A similarly themed movement titled Occupy Gotham quickly disbanded amidst fears of poison gas leading to insanity, fear and possibly death.
“I get that they’re angry, but what the hell do they want?” said Axel Alonso, former actor on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and current Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics. “Yesterday some jackass was angry with me because I wouldn’t read his pitch for a Black Cat/Doctor Who crossover. Today, I send an intern down to the street to get me a kebob from a cart, and he tells me he was attacked at gunpoint by a psycho who forced him to eat the kebob and then ran off with my money! Look, here’s a website all about how Cyclops is being a dick. Madness.”
A large contingent of Occupy Metropolis supporters will converge in New York City at a “Comic Convention”, aptly dubbed “New York Comic Con” in hopes of setting forth an agenda for the year, discussing what made every year before this one great, and voicing their current displeasure to industry professionals in structured Q&A sessions, and after purchasing merchandise or artwork at individual booths.
As a concession, and to ensure peace and tranquility at this “convention”, attractive women have been hired by many companies to dress in costume and pose with convention attendees.