Friday, July 07, 2006

Komic Kids

There was thread about comics for kids the other day on a message board..here's some of my thoughts..excuse the typos and spelling..it was free flowing...


I could write a long post on this..but I'll try and keep it brief.

1.) There are two comic worlds. Comics written by adults for adults and comics written for kids.( Manga, Archie, Simpsons maybe Spiderman sometimes).
The comic industry has painted itself into a corner by catering to the adult consumer of superhero fantasy comics.

They don't make comics for kids anymore. If they were clever they would find a middle ground ala Manga and Harry Potter. Instead they juice as much as they can out the shrinking audience. That's why the prices are high on comics..because they are not trying to sell to mom and dad..they are selling to adults with disposable income. They don't care..because...

2.) ...they are not in the business of getting new viewers/readers..that's the job of the comic properties once they go into other media..movies, video games. etc...
The comic books exist as a cheap form of property maintence...that's it...that's all...If you look at Marvel..they have gone through most of the big properties they have...within the next five years I think they will have used up much of their ability to crossover into other media...have you noticed how there are not many new characters being created?...because they are only out to exploit the existing library they have and own. They don't want to do a movie based on new characters because they want to profit off the ideas they own 100%. This does not make them evil. It just puts them in a certain business..and comics as a viable art form is not their business....the future readers of comics are not their concern...So don't fool yourself...As far as the Big Two are concerned it's not about the fans or the readers or price points or availability....it's about selling the ideas to larger media outlets...comic book publishing is just a neccesary evil to keep the concepts in play. Sad but true.

3.) Comics need to be in libraries and schools, bookstores, markets. etc. This would take a shift in content and format. Tradepaperback style format. All ages content. No cussing..no sex..no heads getting blown off...so pretty much everything from the 90's wouldn't be there...manga is way ahead of the curve and until the big two or a small company that understands what kids like and has the commitment to the kids market...it's going to be up to Naruto to bring in new readers....
Everyone who sits down and reads a comic..boy, girl..adults...anyone..they love them...and they should...comics are an amazing form of entertainment...the statistics show..if you read comics as a kid you will read them as an adult..all I can say..is thank God for Naruto..who is selling 2000 mangas a week in Borders alone...a whole generation of readers is being grown through the manga craze...

So there is a future for comics for kids ...it's just going to be manga...


That being said....all it takes is one comic to have that Harry Potter level buzz and every kid will be reading American comics again...but who is working on that..and who is going to publish it...

After I finish my current graphic novel...my next series is going to be an all ages series...I think it's up to the comic artists and writers to set the path for comics...the Big Two aren't...




The next post is a reply to someone saying that they don't think All Ages comics are cool and will interest kids..

here is my answer.






I don't think it has to be either or in terms of "All Ages" vs. "Adult" comics. It's not like TV shows or movies make just one type of content. I think there needs to be comics made for kids..and I'm not saying Captain Carrot that talks down to kids..I'm saying Harry Potter or 80's style Marvel books..interesting and engaging and fun..with some depth..just no sex and crazy violence...

The industry needs to expand and learn to target their demographic...make some comics for teens and some for adults..and God forbid some for woman...come on...a Legalos (sp) book would bring in every teen girl and crystal rubbing fan girl for miles around..or some some teen drama stuff that's funny and fun..either way..less skulls and guns...I love guns and skulls and @$$ whupping...but it's not for everyone and right for every age...

The die hard fans are dieing out...that's why the industry needs to move beyond Superheros...Crossgen tried to do it..but I didn't buy one of their books..they all seemed boring to me...If you are going to do it..do it with some excitement...it's going to take some Walt Disney level vision to make it happen...

In the end the industry lives and dies with the quality that the creators bring to it...so I have faith that the industry has enough creative minds to solve the problems that it faces..the first issue beyond that is getting the money into the hands of the artists..so they have the resources to make changes...that's why I loved Image so much..it put the control into the hands of the artists and I'm all for that.



I'll be posting more of my thoughts on this as they develop..

more later..


remember two things..Save an Indie..Kill a cape...and give kids your old floppy comics...they will appreciate them..


KA-lifornia

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