Shia LaBeouf Isn't Ruining Creator-Owned Comics

Shia LaBeouf is a somewhat reviled man. For some reason people just don't like him.

I'm not going to try to convince you he's good or bad; I don't know him personally. He may be the nicest guy in the world who helps old women cross the street. Or he could be a complete jerk that kicks kittens for fun. I don't know. This isn't an article to attack or defend him as a person or actor.

Some people seem to have issues with LaBeouf making an apperance at C2E2. Well, not quite an "appearance" in the sense you'd expect from an actor like him. Rather, LaBeouf made an appearance as an artist in Artists' Alley. And that in and of itself isn't all gloom and doom as some would have you believe.

LaBeouf isn't the first actor/athlete/star to get an itch to do comics. He won't be the last. The big thing about LaBeouf though is that it's actually him doing the comics--three of them to be exact. A lot of other big name people hire creative teams to do all the heavy lifting. That's not to say all of them go this route, but it's safe to say most do.

Publishing them through his own imprint The Campaign Book, LaBeouf promises that all his works "come from my own tastes and relationships, and are rooted in what I believe in." This is no different than an upstart publisher doing the same, creating books they care about and hope other people will enjoy.

Isn't that refreshing? The fact that he himself is writing and drawing these comics? Isn't is nice that he didn't have press releases issued, trumpeting his appearance at C2E2? No PR team building up hype for his appearance and his works?

According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, LaBeouf decided to go at the last minute. It's possible he did pull some strings to get a table, but reports are that he didn't bump anyone for the table. It's likely there was an open spot anyway and LaBeouf just applied for it and got it.

Not only that, but it seems he was nice enough to pose with convention attendees. People probably weren't stopping because of his comics, but more likely because of who he is. He could've easily brushed them aside and said no photos I'm working. He didn't though.

Creator owned comics are something that the industry seems to be clamouring for more of. David Brothers did this excellent article for Comics Alliance explaining his distaste in Marvel and DC for their Avengers and Watchmen treatment. It's a sentiment that's rapidly becoming pervasive within the industry, where both creators and readers are getting tired of seeing the same characters in recycled storylines.

That's exactly what LaBeouf was trying to provide to interested readers. New material. He could've easily leveraged his status and crammed them down everyone's throats, but he didn't. He got a table like everyone else and attempted to peddle his wares. He wanted people to buy the comics because they were genuinely interested and not because of the name attached to them.

Whether or not his comics are actually good is a debate for another day. People shouldn't trash them though just because of the name attached. You can love or hate LaBeouf, but there's still a chance you love or hate his work. That's entirely up to you and it's your own opinion.

There's no room in a creator-owned world though for hating on someone for trying something new. And actually being humble about it. It doesn't appear that his spot at the show came at the expense of someone else, just like I'm sure his works weren't even the best-selling stuff there.

LaBeouf was just a guy who created a comic that he wanted to share with the world. Is that really so bad?