Jay Bardyla of Happy Harbor Comics in Edmonton, Canada follows up on his previous Talk Back comments (see "Jay Bardyla of Happy Harbor Comics on Comic Book Content") regarding retailer's perceptions of comic book content:

First off, I think I do owe an apology to every retailer who felt disrespected by my "out of touch" comments.  My off-the-cuff, frustrated tone did not take into account the regions where retailers operate, something I
often feel slighted against in other topics of concern.  Even though I've followed the recent librarian firings and issues in the Southern States, it does not take one long to forget that we don't have these issues in Canada (for the most part).

Looking at a more universal picture, I can see how some retailers may have this lack of all ages, superhero comics as a concern.  However, I do wonder if I really had it any better growing up myself in the late 70s early 80s.  I recently re-read some Aquaman comics from the period where Aquaman's brother killed his child, and thought how dark and violent most the themes and deathtraps were even then.  Wolverine was certainly never really that wholesome.  And what about most of the Batman comics?  Are today's comics really that much more violent, dark or inappropriate?  Some are and some aren't.

I do see how some parents would be uncomfortable with starting their child on Batman or Spider-Man these days but I also see many more that are okay with them.  Again, it could be just where we're located and maybe that's part of the problem.  If publisher's did create more core superhero books that were appropriate for all ages, would they survive in this market?  Or is the current tone of most titles dictated by the consumer's dollars?  Can we work with some publishers to shift gears for, say, one year with a high profile character to test the reaction of the public?  Maybe build it around some big event?  Maybe during one of the summit meetings some publishers could invite some retailers to get their feeling of what's works for all ages?

I'm just tossing out ideas because if my ill-chosen words did nothing else, it sparked some discussion that may hopefully push things more aggressively further to making a better marketplace for us all.

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.