Top Cow Publishes T&A Comics, Maybe Other Things. Mostly T&A, Though.
In a recent editorial at Newsarama, Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablick took a moment to remind everyone that Top Cow is a T&A comics publisher. No, wait — he wanted to address the “preconception… that Top Cow only publishes ‘T and A’ comics.”
This might lead you to believe that he is about to tell you about all of the non-T&A titles that they publish, which isn’t what happens. Instead, he explains that sex is used to sell a lot of things, and just because they’re selling sex at Top Cow doesn’t mean that those stories can’t be good. And you know, fair enough. I’m sure it’s possible that a comic about Clothesfalloff Girl could still have a really compelling narrative, but that doesn’t actually change the fact that it’s still T&A.Let’s consider pornography, for a moment. It’s a different animal, to be sure, but it does share a fundamental focus on visual, sexual titillation. In general, most porn develops only the thinnest and most idiotic of plots to set the stage for its titillation, but someone could certainly argue that it’s possible for porn to have good stories. In fact, if we’re including porn comics in this discussion then I know for sure that it’s possible, because I’ve read “Lost Girls,” which is both definitely, definitely porn and meticulously, artfully plotted and drawn. So, yes: It’s absolutely possible — if uncommon — for porn to have well-crafted stories, but even if it does? It’s still porn.
Alan Moore was more than happy to claim the pornography label and attempt to rehabilitate it with superior work, and if Top Cow would like to do the same, then more power to them. But when Sablick says that Top Cow isn’t just a T&A publisher — it has books with good stories! — that actually implies that T&A books don’t have good stories, which is the opposite of the point he was trying to make.
The most bewildering part of the article comes when Sablick wants to know why people don’t call out Marvel and DC for dropping T&A on covers like there was a fire sale on ass at the softcore store. Well, the reason why people don’t complain about T&A at Marvel and DC is OH WAIT THEY DO. They complain about it all the time.
But even ignoring the other inconsistencies, saying that Top Cow is unfairly labeled as a T&A publisher because it puts out books that are exceptions is like saying that Marvel is unfairly labeled as a superhero publisher because they occasionally put out “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” If you really don’t like the T&A label and you’re uncomfortable being identified with it, then perhaps you need to reassess whether making T&A comics is really for you.