Remember all those awesome, creator-owned, independent, iconic, American/Canadian comic series of the 1980s and 1990s? You had Cerebus, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, American Flagg, Concrete, The Crow, Flaming Carrot, Madman, Hellboy, Sin City, Bone, and more. (I’m certainly not counting the Image founders’ series because those were as corporate and mainstream as anything released by Marvel or DC.)
So, what happened? I don’t really see anything like this today. Sure, there are a lot of creator-owned things published by indie press after 1999 but a lot of it is by mainstream guys moonlighting in the slums or just trying to get hired by Marvel. Walking Dead is certainly iconic at this point but it doesn’t seem as unique or graduated from the mainstream as the series listed above (or at least, as different as they seemed to be when they debuted).
Am I wrong? Am I just missing this stuff? Has the landscape just changed so that my outlook is outdated? Help me.