Loyal readers will know that I’ve been covering the decline of the American comic book industry for some time and noting that readership has primarily been dominated by Japanese Manga. American comic book companies like DC and Marvel have been shooting themselves in the foot for years as they allowed social justice and woke culture to infect their characters and storylines to the point where they’ve become unreadable.
But while many of us have been content to complain about it and abandon American comics altogether, YouTuber Eric July (aka YoungRippa59) decided to do something about it. July began working with artists and writers to create the “Rippaverse,” a new comic universe with fascinating new characters, fantastic storylines, and a focus on escapism, something that the big comic book companies lost sight of long ago.
What no one, including July, anticipated was the response he would get from comic book fans. In little more than a single day, July raised over $1 million for his project.
July uploaded a video to his channel where, clearly flabbergasted, he thanked those who helped him raise that money and gave some insight into what the future holds.
What kind of story can we expect out of the Rippaverse? According to the site, it involves a little ranch town in Texas and a man who left his superhero days behind him:
Avery Silman was once an entry-level hero known as Isom in the city of Florespark, Texas shortly after gaining his special abilities. A certain event had him hang up his suit, and now he stays on the outskirts of the city, living as a rancher.
Avery’s sister, Altona, gives him a call and wants him to visit an old friend by the name of Darren Fontaino. Another family friend that was interning with Altonta has gone missing and she last heard that she was dealing with Darren. But Darren has much changed since he was hanging out with Avery when they were young. He’s a cold-blooded shot-caller and one of the most feared men in the city.
This visit turns into one of the longest days in Avery’s life. Around these parts, people call ‘special beings’ Excepts. And unfortunately for Avery, he has the luxury of running into some of them. The Alphacore and Yaira have their own set of conflicts. A man built like a tank by the name of Santwan reappears and he’s had previous confrontation with Avery. So what happens with Avery and Darren’s meeting? Who and where is the family friend? Just grab Isom #1: Ill-Advised Pt. 1 and find out for yourself!
This sounds like a far more compelling story than what they’ve reduced Superman to nowadays, which is a caped carrier for “the message.”
I’d say July’s success in fundraising this much money this quickly would be a wake-up call for the comic book industry, but in its current state, I’m not entirely sure it’s capable of receiving the message it should. Not that it would matter at this juncture. It’s clear that solid storytelling is no longer a skill the big comic book companies possess. I have far more faith in July and his team.
Apparently, many others do as well which explains the insanely fast funding for July’s project.
We do not need the Old Guard. That’s what this pre-order campaign highlights.
Their model is archaic. We had No inorganic mega-corporate push or placement. All the promo has been from our amazing corner of the internet.
— Eric July (@EricDJuly) July 12, 2022
Teaming up with July is artist Gabe Eltaeb, the former DC comic artist who left the company over their treatment of, not just the superheroes, but the creators. Eltaeb, a man of North African and Libyan descent, became disgusted when they began treating him like he was a victim strictly due to his skin color.
It’s going to be fascinating to see what comes down the pipe, but one thing is for sure, escapism is making a return. Hopefully, this hails the beginning of the return of the American comic book industry, but under the guidance of people who actually are in it for the stories and the art, not the politics.