By G-Man Comments
Who are comics meant for nowadays? I’ve been reading comics for some time now. I know I have change and so has the comic industry. Has it changed for the better? Guess that depends on who you ask. I’m sure every day there are new readers joining the brotherhood or sisterhood of comic geeks. I’ve also come across people who have given up comics for various reasons.
I’ll avoid the typical, “When I was a kid, comics cost only . Most issues average two to three dollars each. It’s hard to limit one’s reading list to just a few comics. For one thing, there’s a lot of good comics out there. Then there’s the crossovers where you’re almost forced to read other books. Finally there’s the X-title syndrome. Once a title reaches popularity, the publishers try to please us by giving us 10 more similar titles.
Cost can be a big issue. I understand there is the issue of rising papercost and printing. As far as I know, not everyone has an unlimited budget. As an “adult” (some may debate that) even I cannot afford to purchase every single comic that comes out. Comics were originally meant for “kids.” The comic industry needs new readers to stay alive. How much are kids getting for an allowance these days? How much are they willing to spend on comics when there are other high cost items like video games or music cds that are vying for their cash.
The major crossovers can be good or bad. Who doesn’t what an extended really cool story involving all of your favorite heroes? But it was Batman in the mid to late 90s that I started getting ticked off. The Contagion storyline crossed over in so many comics. I had stopped reading Catwoman and didn’t always pick up every single Batman title. Yes there’s the choice to not pick up every title but then you’re missing part of the storyline. No Man’s Land is what did it for me. I have up on the Dark Knight just picking up Robin and Nightwing. It wasn’t until the Hush storyline that I returned to Batman. So you can please some readers but could also turn them off.
Comics have also become darker. The whole theme of today’s comics has become almost dreary. I started reading comics because of the love for the characters and their adventures. Look at all the violence today. Has death become a selling factor? Let’s take DC comics. Just in Identity Crisis alone we had the violent death of Sue Dibny (Elongated Man’s wife) along with the revelation that she had been raped by Dr. Light.
Whoa. Heavy stuff. We also saw the murders of Tim Drake’s father, Blue Beetle , and Max Lord.
In G.I. Joe, we even saw the death of Lady Jaye which made Flint become dark, depressed, and reckless. What about Hawkeye’s death in Avengers Disassembled? Is reading about death supposed to be fun?
Language has become more…interesting lately. Sure in real life, a lot of people speak as if they were in an R rated movie, but is it really truly necessary? I recall some recent backlash about something Sue Storm said in an issue of Fantastic Four (I don’t remember at the moment exactly what she said). I don’t have a problem with language but I’m sure there are lots out there that do. It could also limit who should be reading certain dialogue. Yeah it wouldn’t be anything that hasn’t been said on a playground but that doesn’t mean it has to be everywhere.
Partial nudity anyone? Yes there are comics that have that sort of thing all over them. But in Superman 655, we see Arion the immortal, or should I say we almost see a little too much of him (along with his companions). What happens to the kid whose protective parents pick up an issue after they see the movie then decides to ban comics from their house. There goes another potential reader.
Yes times have changed. I loved comics as a kid and still do. Can I share my comics with my kid today? Definitely not all of them.
Comics have become more mature. Perhaps with the high prices and darker themes, they’re not meant for kids anymore. That’s a shame when I think of all the enjoyment I had as a kid.