I don’t wanna be a prude, and I really do love comics. But if there’s one thing I truly believe from over 5 years in the business…It’s that the comics industry by & large is not terribly interested in kids. Comics exist for kids, but they are not the focus.
And that’s a shame. Comics need to exist for every age & demo, no doubt. But if we’re not funneling MASSIVE amounts of energy into new young readership, then comics will become an even smaller industry. Same as baseball. What 8yr-old wants to watch a 5 hour ballgame?
There are SO many incredible books being made for adults now. But the next generation can’t read those now, and they won’t want to read them in 10 years (in trade form) if they don’t get hooked on comics NOW. You pick up most of your hobbies/loves early in life.
I was once specifically requested to serve as Associate Editor on an adult-level book by a member of the creative team. They said to me…”aren’t you thankful I saved you from that kid shit they stuck you with?”
I like kid shit. If I only had one shit to pick, I’d choose to work on the kid shit. It’s the most important shit to me.
Hope I’m not coming off as anti-adult or anti-continuity. There are GREAT books out now that deserve the audience they’re getting. And while there are some books I’ve never really been into, it would be stupid to not cater to long-term fanboy tastes.
Fanboys (or whatever term u want to use) are the core of the current mainstream comic demo. Their hunger’s gotta be sated. My concern is that if we don’t truly focus on making great comics for today’s kids, there won’t BE fanboys in a few decades.
The weird thing is that comics for kids could be SUCH a cash cow, but we don’t put the effort into taking advantage of this. Comics for kids need to be produced & marketed as big-time entertainment, not as token ghetto comics.
Toy Story 3 was primarily aimed at kids. It made a billion dollars. I’m sure that was a fluke, right? Harry Potter books were a phenomenon before the movies. But that’s an anomaly, I’m sure. Cuz “kids don’t read.”
:) RT @Alejandrobot It catered to children without pandering to children. It was made for adults too. That’s key. THOR: TMA works that way.
Big step is to make comics for kids affordable and omnipresent. Maximum exposure & cheaper alternative to video games. And by omnipresent I mean Wal-Mart, groceries, gas stations, online, everywhere stuff is/can be sold.
Every kid’s got a portable video game player? They all need comics (and regular books) built-in, with an easy way to buy more.
Saying “Kids don’t read comics” should be followed by “Let’s get creative & figure out how to get kids to read comics.” But it’s not. Instead it’s usually followed by “Let’s keep selling to the people already buying comics & hope growth happens magically like beanstalks.”
RT @eliopoulos Can you imagine if Marvel and DC started producing children’s books that could be placed in bookstores next to “real” ones?
RT @DavidGallaher I love discussing the topic of kids reading comics-and I’d love to further it. But it’s “not where the money is” I’m told
Whoever told you that is only right in the sense that the way “kids” comics are currently sold don’t make money…marketing & distribution of kids comics shouldn’t be the same as adult comics. For that to change, priorities have to shift.
Awright, I’m gonna stop with the serious talk for a while. Sorry if I’ve been comin’ off as preachy. Just seems important to me. And I know tweet-bitching doesn’t get change done. Discussion/ranting has to lead to progress.
I look forward to the day when someone with a lot of power looks up & realizes “Hey, what if KIDS read comics TOO?