August 19, 2017

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Why Supporting Good Comics Matters: Mech Cadet Yu Promoted to Ongoing Series


Here at Panel Patter, we believe strongly in promoting good comics and, just as importantly, good comic book creators. With so many options out there, taking time to hate-read things makes no sense to us as a general rule. (Though we're only human--sometime we do it, too.)

But there's a larger factor at play. Comics are a business. If a comic doesn't make money, it won't continue, no matter how good it is. Even though comics fans and creators are tied more closely than ever before, thanks to Kickstarter, Patreon, and other systems of funding, people ultimately vote with their wallets, deciding which projects keep going, and which ones don't.

Unless you're a mega-rich comics fan, you have a budget. Which means that every dollar you spend to complain about Comic A after reading it, that means Good Comic B you might like better isn't getting enough support. Worse, if comic A's creator is a jerk, you're keeping them employed.

I can't tell you how much that annoys me personally. I've seen it for decades now. Which brings me to the absolutely delightful news I just got in my inbox, namely that strong support for Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa's new comic from Boom! Studios, Mech Cadet Yu, was just promoted from a limited series into an ongoing.

Here's some of the text of the press release from Boom!:
August 19, 2017 (Los Angeles, Calif.)  – After selling out the week of release at the distributor level (copies may still be available at local comic shops) and drawing rave reviews from all corners, BOOM! Studios is excited to announce that the MECH CADET YU limited series has been upgraded to an ongoing series. 
The superstar dream team of writer Greg Pak (Hulk, Weapon X) and artist Takeshi Miyazawa (Ms. Marvel, Runaways) reunited to deliver the story of Stanford Yu, a young janitor who is unexpectedly chosen to join the sacred ranks of the mech cadets at Sky Corps Academy. Once a year, giant robots from outer space come to Earth to bond with the cadets to defend the world from terrifying aliens known as the Sharg. After he unintentionally bonds with his robot, Yu is thrown into training, hoping to prove he is worthy of being there at all.   
“I’m hugely thrilled and so grateful to all of the readers, reviewers, and retailers who showed the first issue so much love and spread the word about the book,” says Pak. “That kind of word-of-mouth means all the world to an underdog book about an underdog hero and his underdog robot, so thank you so much! None of this would have happened without you, and we're doing our best to make every issue the best and most fun it can  possibly be.”
“I feel like we would just be getting on our two feet with the first four issues, so it’s going to be amazing to see where the story goes and watch Stanford and Co. face bigger threats and become even bigger heroes,” adds Miyazawa. “Stanford has come such a long way already. I hope everyone keeps rooting for the kid!”
I couldn't be happier about this announcement and it's why I'm posting about it. This is exactly what we need to be doing as a comics community. Greg Pak is not only an amazing writer (I loved his work on Hulk and Herc), he's also an activist, working hard to use his status as a well-known creator to bring attention to causes that are trying to make the world a better place. He's extremely talented and a good person. Greg acknowledges the challenges faced by people of color in comics (he's Korean American), and does his best to elevate voices on a regular basis.

Greg and his comics are exactly what we need to be rallying around. Announcements like this give me hope that we're slowly moving in the right direction.

Mech Cadet Yu issue #1 is out now, and issue #2 comes out September 13th. You can pre-order it now at your local comic shop or digital device, and I highly recommend you do!