Michael Tierney of Collector's Edition in North Little Rock, Arkansas read Jay Bardyla recent Talk Back response to Steve Bennett and "all ages" comic book content (see "Jay Bardyla of Happy Harbor Comics on Comic Book Content") and had this to say:

Jay Bardyla recently wrote about how he thinks that any retailer who feels that today's comics are missing out on sales to youth is "out of touch with the industry."  This seems to be a common response to the growing litany of concern from retailers like Buddy Saunders, myself and others.  It's easier to imply that we don't know what we're talking about, instead of addressing the problem.  Blame the messenger and ignore the message.

A better response would have been "this is a perfect example of how markets differ."  I'm glad that Jay has success with the current mix of content, and with "dozens and dozens" of All Ages titles.  Chances are that some of those "dozens" of books aren't considered appropriate in every market.  There's probably a big difference between the Bible Belt, where Buddy and myself operate, and other markets with different demographics.

But, in my experience, "dozens" of All Ages comics just isn't growing my market.  I find it pathetic how few comics are available to the All Ages market.  And the comics made for the older audience, as Buddy pointed out, are often more immature than mature.  The fact is, in my market All Ages titles massively outsell Mature Readers Only titles.  While there are Mature Audience books aplenty, they just don't sell for me.  This is why having more All Ages material is so important to me, and others in similar markets.  It's what we can sell.  But we're only getting "dozens" of them.  And that isn't growing our businesses.

And please, let no one confuse All Ages with Kiddie Books.  Kiddie Books simply don't sell for anyone.  No reader likes to be talked down to.  All Ages simply means "accessible to All Ages, and entertaining to All Ages."

The simple fact of the matter is that I'm in business to sell comics.  It's only natural that I would want more of the kind of material that sells for me, and will help me grow my next generation of customers.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.