Buddy Saunders of Lone Star Comics in Arlington, Texas read the recent Talk Back from Mary Alice Wilson of Dark Star Books (see "Mary Alice Wilson of Dark Star Books on All Ages Comics") and has some further thoughts on the subject of "all ages" comics:
Sometimes I find myself trapped in the same myopia that plagues the comic industry in general. We are so focused on our little, narrow world we've made for ourselves that we argue the wrong points. It matters little if
today's comics are for kids, all ages, or adult (in either the good or bad sense) if no one reads them. It takes a Mary Alice Wilson to bring me back to reality.
Quoting Mary Alice, "In my store, for teens, I'm having to go more and more into prose books. Somehow, the major publishers looked at Harry Potter and Twilight and said, "hmmmm... something's going on here. Those books sold beyond belief... what can we create that is at least similar in tone and complexity?" And so we get Percy and the Olympians. We get the 10 volume Pendragon books. And we get my current favorites, Hunger Games and Catching Fire (one more volume to come!). There are literally dozens of other young adult series that the kids are eating up. And the younger ones are being well served as well. Get a Simon and Schuster or Random House catalog and look at the array of product for the pre-teens. I just don't understand how come if the publishers of books can figure it out, the publishers of comics apparently cannot."
As Mary Alice points out, the book industry isn't content to marvel at the wonders of its own navel. Book editors seek, buy, and successfully sell an incredible range of material aimed at every kind of reader, not just young males. The comic business would likely be doing much the same today if fans hadn't taken over. It's fun to write and draw and edit what you personally like, but doing that has put comics in a ghetto it may never escape. And I say this as a fan who was gung ho for that very transformation from day one. But now I wonder. Sure the inmates have taken over the asylum, as Frank Miller likes to say, but the downside is that the public finds our antics less and less interesting.
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.
'Back to Reality'
Posted by ICv2 on November 30, 2009 @ 12:00 am CT