03 March 2008

Kids Aren't Reading (Superhero) Comics Anymore...

Comic books (and you know I mean superhero comic books) seriously need new blood in their readership. We old folks won't be here forever and we need them kids to take a look at the stuff Marvel and DC are offering. But these kids aren't doing that, are they? Oh, they're reading all right just not the comics the Big Two are churning out. They rather read manga (nothing wrong with that) or they are reading novels with all those words and hardly any pictures in them (shock! horror!). Why, in the name of everything that is holy, aren't they picking up Batman?

Many reasons have been suggested: the ever increasing price of a 'floppy' (4 bucks for an ad-filled magazine? fergedabouit), just-wait-for-the-trade mentality (Guilty, yer Honour!), no comic shops nearby, comics no longer sold anywhere else but a comic shop (I used to be able to buy comics from the local grocery way back when!).

But here's another reason that I can think of but is hardly ever suggested: the superhero comics are repeating the same stories ad nauseum. How many times are we going to read about Batman foiling Joker's latest insane killing spree? Yet another mutant massacre? It's been done. Also, the sheer amount of history and continuity is just too overwhelming for a kid to just come in and start enjoying the books. Besides, the old stuff weren't that interesting. Try reading a Marvel ESSENTIALS or a DC's SHOWCASE phone-book size reprints. Good Lord, most of them are repetitive nonsense. As a piece of comics history, sure, those books are a nice way to look at the past but give them to a comics newbie and chances are he/she will look at you funny. Most people who enjoy these reprints are the 30, 40, 50 year old comic fanboys holding on to their memories of the days when everything seemed cheap and fresh.

The kids are reading. They're just not reading the good ol' superhero comics. Maybe they are more sophisticated than us?

Eh. Whatever, I'm just shooting the shat here. I'm not really worried about comics going out of business. I don't think it ever will. Maybe it will evolve. But to hear Marvel, DC, Dark Horse et al. announcing they're closing shop? Naaaw, not gonna happen. Fingers crossed.

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