Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Comics for decades were comfortably accepted as written or intended for children, and any step out of that was considered abnormal if exciting and good. The market for comics therefore was young, and anyone older reading and buying comics was considered, young minded if not less than bright. Over the years as the medium of comics grew more efforts were made to make comics more mature as both the art standards and story standards improved.
The maturation of the comics world came at the same time that the world of youth matured, in response to the US involvement in Vietnam. That era found people of all ages becoming more divided in values, between young and old, liberal, left, conservative and right, and Democrat and Republican. The Civil Rights Movement added a degree and layers of turmoil to the cultural stew, rightly, and all of the world seemed to turn upside down. Comics grew up slowly, with small steps, but by the time of the middle 1980s and Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns comic books reached a plateau of mature content, that has not returned to former levels. This meant something, along with the shedding of Comic Code Values and self censorship, the comic book industry would begin to shed young readers, as it focused more and more upon the comic book buyer with money to buy weekly comics, ... the 18-28 year old males. Over time as the market became more and more specialized in content and sales efforts, so too did the readership becoming smaller and more hardcore. In recent years this trend has become extreme, with the sales being more aimed at an elite audience and the buyers being fewer in number.
Children can find comic books in stores now, but rather than being able to pick up anything they have to use considerable parental help, or comic shop guidance to finding the grail of their quest. Thanks to my efforts with my son he has a collection larger than my own, but, not too many parents have time for that. Well I have the solution for that. GRAPHIC CLASSICS. They put literature in the form of comics, allowing adults to read great even maturely aimed stories, and kids to be able to read these great works that due to the medium are perhaps easier to digest, that cause their own interest in both comics and literature to grow. I really cannot see a better tool for getting kids into books, and getting adults into comics.