Batgirl (2000) #1
What’s wrong [with the comics industry]? … In the late ’70s, all the comic fans decided to get into the business. The problem is, it was a bunch of superhero fans. And an industry that had, up until that point, catered to almost every genre imaginable slowly and slowly was narrowed down and boiled down to a point where it was superhero comics, and that’s all there were. And then they all were writing these comics for each other — not for a mass market, not for young people. And then, as they aged, the content aged to suit their needs. And the idea is, when you’re an adult, you’re supposed to turn to other forms of entertainment, maybe, or appreciate comics for what they were. But that hasn’t been the case. So now we have superheroes that rape, we have heroin addicts, we have all this kind of bullshit that’s been heaped onto these characters that were meant to entertain kids and give them a little sense of right and wrong and adventure. I think it’s so sad. And you see what the strategy has done. … In 1972, Jimmy Olsen comics sold 200,000 copies a month, and it was canceled because that wasn’t enough to keep it going. These days, the best-selling book can barely scrape past 70,000 — never mind the worst-selling books. So let’s take a look at that strategy that’s been applied to this business. How’d it work out? Not too good. And the less people that read ‘em, the more expensive they have to be, and the more cryptic they have to be to cater to that tiny little market they’ve got. That’s what’s wrong.
I think there’s a lot more to it than just that, but damn it if Darwyn Cooke doesn’t make a good point.
Still, I’m not a big fan of ragging on adults for liking superheroes, too.
the vidya gaem industry has this issue as well. you get these ‘ascended-fanboy’ type broskis being hired by the company they fanboy and things get more and more insular, and it’s like an ouroboros of doin it rong.
and because of geek social fallacies, any criticism is seen as this attempt at a devastating attack, and so they close ranks even more if you suggest they do a different thing…
there’s nothing wrong with adults liking superheroes or video games; there is a problem when a particular subset niche market of adults actively and nastily crowds everyone unlike them out of a medium, alienates their audience, and co-opts kids’ stuff to make it grymmdarque…
In case you need cold hard evidence of how comics have not only narrowed their focus but forgotten they were ever anything else, Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso said in a 2014 interview while arguing for more female and POC representation that “Back in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, comics were strictly entertainment for boys.” Not a word about romance comics, about Marvel’s own Millie the Model, about Archie Comics that have always been for girls and boys alike. Nope.
Guild Jewelry has a new shop with some really cool DC Comics licensed jewelry. And they’re offering free shipping! See all the pieces here.
(I own the Batman ring. It makes me feel like I’m married to Bruce.)
Spectre #25 (vol 4)
Man, the Spectre is really one of those characters I want to know more about. Also, lol Ollie. Also, for a hot second, Rucka and Brubaker made Gotham detective Crispus Allen the new host for the Spectre, and I’m really really into characters that merge different sub-genres of superheroes.