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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Racism in the Comic book Industry Part 2- As seen on TV

Animated and Cinematic adaptations of comics are nothing new. However African-American comic book characters seem to find much more popularity with television audiences today than they do in between the pages of a comic book.

In today’s children’s programming where multi-culturalism is celebrated, Producers can replace traditional characters with minorities on traditional comic book superhero teams like Justice League, The Avengers and Young Justice.

Since television shows are adaptations and not straight translations, producers have a lot more flexibility in working with source material. Because adaptations are inspired by a source, they can change characters or change storylines when they present them to audiences who watch them in other forms of media like film and televison.

And television audiences seem to be accepting of these changes. African-American characters like Aqualad, John Stewart and Black Panther seem to be very popular with younger viewers.

However, this same popularity doesn’t translate into the pages of comics. In that print medium, many of the popular Black television characters aren’t that well-received.

For example, John Stewart became a favorite of many young viewers during his run on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. In that show he was a shown as a confident, capable leader and one of the strongest heroes on the team. His interracial romance with fellow teammate Hawkgirl was one of the defining moments of the series.

But in the comics John Stewart is a fifth wheel behind Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, and even some alien Green Lanterns. He rarely gets any stories. He rarely gets any character development. Most times he’s in space, out of sight and out of mind.

I know The John Stewart written in the style of the JL/JLU Television series could easily carry a comic on his own.

But He’d never get a chance.

Why? Because comic fans would throw a fit. In most White Males’ eyes the only Green Lantern is Hal Jordan. And they only want to buy comics with Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. (Well except for that ten-year period where Kyle Rayner was Green Lantern. But it took years before people even accepted him in the Green Lantern role.)

Aqualad on the Young Justice television series is another capable strong African-American character. Again, in the television show he’s shown as a capable leader and a complex multidimensional character. People who watch the show love the character and his water -based weapons.

But in the comics he’s just an ancilliary character in the larger part of the Aquaman mythos.

However, the potential to write Aqualad as the type of character he is on Young Justice is there. But again, comic fans are traditionalists. They would resist any change that would take the spotlight away from the blond blue-eyed Aquaman they knew for over 75 years.

Black Panther on Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is one of the most complex characters on television. He’s a king, a diplomat, a master of hand to hand combat, and a brilliant engineer and scientist. The cartoon explored the depths of his character beautifully.

While Black Panther is one the most fascinating and complex characters in the comics, his books are never the best-sellers. Critically acclaimed runs by writers like Christopher Priest and Reginald Hudlin didn’t exactly sell in the six figures.

Recently in the comics he was stuck in a poorly written to X-Man Storm. A marriage that ended in one of the worst written divorces in comic book history.

All these African-American characters have so much potential.

But that potential is never actualized until they were taken off the page of a comic book and adapted in another form of media like animated series.

I’m wondering why is it that film and TV producers can find the strengths of an African-American comic book character and comic book writers can’t? Why is it that television writers can write African-American comic book characters with depth and complexity that they don’t have in their comic book source material? Why is it that they can take African-American characters to another level but comic book writers can’t? Why are their works featuring African-American characters fresher than their comic book counterparts?

Are they operating from a different set of parameters? Is it because screenwriters don’t have to follow a rigid continuity of storytelling? I know screenwriters aren’t forced to use all the details of the source material in an adaptation and they can modify things here and there.

But I really don’t think continuity is an issue. Like film producers and screenwriters, Comic book writers have picked and chose whatever stories they wanted to follow. Some have ignored entire runs or part of runs to tell their stories.

I’m thinking it’s more out of tradition.

The comic book world has always been a world of White male heroes. And again, the core audience of White Male comic fans are notoriously resistant to change.

So that popular African-American character on television and gets next to no push from the White Males in editorial.

But this disparity in diversity in between the comic book world and the television world is costing the comic book industry money.

In a world that’s becoming blacker, browner, yellower, and more female, Millions of youngsters are watching these African-American heroes on their TV screens and playing with action figures made in their images.

But when those who watch these shows go to a comic shop or to a movie they don’t find the characters they see on TV on the comic rack. In most cases they wind up disappointed when they find out their favorite TV character is a white dude in the comics or a virtually forgotten character.

This publication discrimination is costing the comic book industry new readers. Those viewers represent millions of new readers that could pull the industry out of its nearly two-decade long slump.

Television has exposed a whole new generation of young people of color to comic book characters. But if those customers can’t find their favorite characters featured prominently in today’s comic books they don’t buy them. Compound this with the distribution issues comic books have had over the past two decades getting books in retail outlets such as drugstores and supermarkets and it’s clear why the industry is having a serious problem reaching a whole new generation of young brothers and sisters.

With the comic book industry in a time of crisis, it’s time to start making serious efforts to reach out to new audiences of color instead of maintaining traditions to preserve a White Male status quo that keeps it stagnant. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Abortion pills available to NYC High School Kids- WTF?

NYC public High schools are planning on distributing Plan B abortion pills to High school girls. Under the new policy High school girls ages 14 and older can get the Plan B pill without parental consent.

Now contraception has been available at NYC public schools for years. Stuff like condoms.

But this is SICK.

I love how teenage girls can get Plan B abortion pills without parental permission in New York City but they can’t buy a 24 oz soda.

In the eyes of NYC liberals the soda will kill them but the AIDS won’t.

Where are the priorities in New York City?

Damn Liberals.

They strain at a gnat but swallow a camel.

They take the rights from the parent to supervise their children. I thought a child was supposed to be under the authority of their parents until they turn 18.

But in the New York City public school system a child can get birth control pills or abortion pills without the consent of a parent.

Prescription medication.

In the hands of someone without the mental capacity to understand what they’re doing with these drugs or the ramifications of using these drugs on their bodies long-term. A recipe ripe for the abuse of these medications.

I can smell lawsuits in the next 20 years when girls have fibroids, are sterile, or have Ovarian Cancer as a result of their bad decisions regarding the abuse and misuse of these medications.

But The Department of Education says it’s trying to stop teenage pregnancy with this new policy.

Shawn says the New York City Department of Education needs to find another way to stem the Baby Mama epidemic.

This kind of medicine needs to be administered by a professional licensed OB/GYN who has an understanding of how it works. More importantly it needs to be administered by a doctor who has an understanding of an individual girl’s personal pre-existing conditions and medical history.

With all the side effects in adult women from birth control pills, a School Nurse just isn’t qualified enough to administer this medicine to a minor.

Has anyone at the New York City Department of Education thought of what would happen if a child had an adverse reaction to these birth control pills or Plan B?

Again, this is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Many at the New York City Department of Education forget to realize these are CHILDREN. They have big bodies but small brains. Yes, 14-year old is sexual. They’re a bunch of hormones and emotions. Curious and anxious about all the changes transpiring in their bodies.

But let’s understand they’re just beginning to explore their sexuality.

And no one government shouldn’t be promoting minors having sex. I thought that was against the law anyway. Statutory Rape.

Teenagers lack the cognitive capacity to understand the decisions they’re making with their bodies. Moreover, they lack the cognitive capacity to realize the ramifications of their actions long-term. Especially with contraceptive medicines like birth control pills and Plan B.

Again isn’t that why we have those statutory rape laws? Because Minors aren’t mentally or emotionally ready to handle all the responsibilities regarding acts of sexual intercourse?

Hell, there are some adults who can’t handle the responsibilities regarding acts of sexual intercourse.

But too many buy into the hype of social engineering. The messages from Madison Avenue and Hollywood that tell us kids have sex. And there’s nothing we can do about it.

Here’s the truth: Most 14 years old teenagers aren’t ready for sex. Most 16 year old teens aren’t ready for sex. Even some 18-year olds aren’t ready for sex. Sure most kids that age have had sexual thoughts. They have felt the emotions related to masturbation and orgasm.

Many have seen naked bodies and become excited. And most of them know that the penis goes into the vagina. They’ve seen sex acts in pornographic movies. And many want to try those sex acts out to see if they can do them like the porn stars.

For them sexual intercourse is similar to a child seeing a stunt on a TV show and copying it. They don’t understand what they’re doing or why they’re doing it, they just want to do it because it’s cool.

Teens know all about the mechanics of sexual intercourse. But they lack a full understanding of the expression of human sexuality.

Yeah, teens may think it feels good when they have sex. But they don’t understand why it feels good. They don’t understand the emotional or mental components that are involved with sexual intercourse. They don’t understand the sexual energy two people share when they connect their bodies. That sex is a joining of mind, body and spirit. An expression of the love two adults have for each other.

Instead of promoting the use of Birth control pills and Plan-B pills. NYC public schools should be educating kids about how their bodies function and how to express their sexuality responsibly.

Yes, it’s natural to be sexual and explore one’s sexuality. But some of these 14-year old girls who will be seeking out these birth control pills and Plan B pills are so poorly educated about their bodies and how they function they don’t even know where their clitoris is. Others don’t even know how to clean their vaginas (just use warm water, no soap or anything else.) A few actually think babies come out of their backs. A handful don’t even know how to use tampons. They think a period is just something that goes at the end of a sentence.

I think it’d just be better to just educate young girls about their bodies. So they can be better informed when they make choices regarding sexual activity when they finally become ready to participate in sexual intercourse. Unfortunately most Americans are so ashamed of talking about sex and expressing their sexuality that they can’t even talk about sex with their spouses let alone their children.

And because they think it’s speaking evil to talk about sex to their children they come up with extreme solutions like offering birth control pills and Plan B abortion pills to children instead of talking to them.

Instead of Birth control how about we start promoting self-control. 14-year olds don’t need birth control pills or Plan B. They need to focus on Math, Science and the SATs.
And The New York City Department of Education needs to focus on making schools safer instead of trying to distribute dangerous drugs to children.

If the New York City Department of Education is serious about preventing teenage pregnancy, we need a Plan A where young girls focus on getting a comprehensive education about the reproductive process, sexuality and healthy sexual expression similar to our European, Asian and Canadian counterparts. When people have knowledge they can empower themselves to make responsible choices with their bodies.

I suggest parents start by directing their daughters to an educational website like so they can start getting that comprehensive education in sex and sexuality. Maybe if more teenage girls in New York City understood had a comprehensive understanding of how their vaginas worked, then they wouldn’t become pregnant.

Part 2 of the Racism in comics will be up next week. I had to write this article. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Racism In the Comic book Industry Part 1- The Static Shock Conspiracy

It’s a known fact that the comic book industry is one of the least diverse trades in the United States. However to explore the issue of race in comics I’m going to need to break it up into several articles. In the first installment I’ll be exploring the Static shock Conspiracy. 

In 2000 Kids WB! launched Static Shock, an animated series adaptation of Milestone Media's 1993 comic series  Static. 

Static Shock was one of the most popular cartoons on Kids WB! Especially with younger viewers in the much coveted tween and teen demogarphic throughout all four of its seasons.

It was one of the highest rated animated series to feature an African-American lead character. 

But from the beginning, many white comic fans didn’t like the show. They thought it cartoonish and childish.

But kids loved it. It soon became one of Kids WB!’s most popular shows.

But the show couldn't get funding for a season 5. No, somehow there wasn't any money for new episodes. 

And when the show ended in 2004, there was no DVD release of all four seasons on DC’s Classic collection. Meanwhile other animated superhero shows like Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans, The Batman, Legion of Super-Heroes all got full season DVD releases of their entire series. 

Even the Marvel series X-Men: Evolution got a complete series release.

All fans of Static shock the show got was a single DVD of the first six episodes in 2008.

When Shawn wants to watch the other 40+ episodes where Static teams up with Batman & Robin, the Justice League, Green Lantern, Batman Beyond and Superman he has to go to his old VHS tapes. Others who didn’t have VCR’s or Tivo have to go the bootleg route on eBay to see these episodes.

To add insult to injury, Justice League, Batman, Batman Beyond and Superman all got brand-new expensive boxset compilations.

But still no Static shock DVD boxset to complete the Timm-Verse. 

There’s a gaping Hole in the DC animated universe. And I think it’s due to racism.

On the licensing front, Why didn’t anyone want to make action figures of this popular show? Why didn’t DC take the time to license this potentially popular brand?

At the time Static was on, Jackie Chan Adventures, about got toys from Playmates. And Jackie Chan got lower ratings than Static. 

Yet there were no action figures for the more popular Static Shock. Just promotional toys from Subway.

Why wouldn't anyone want to capitalize on this popular license? Don't companies want to make money? Isn't the only color that matters is green?

I'm thinking they didn't like the idea of promoting a positive Black male image in mainstream media. Especially with impressionable young minds. 

No, the perpetuation of the image of a clean cut Black kid isn't good for White Supremacy. 

And when the Milestone universe was integrated into the DC Universe there was no push to launch a Static solo ongoing series.

But it would have been a great opportunity to capitalize on the popularity of the TV show. A great opportunity to reach all those tweens and teens who still recognized him from the show. A great opportunity to have him team up with numerous characters in the DC Universe. A chance to reach those younger readers the industry desperately covets.

Instead the character was buried in the directionless Teen Titans comic. On paper, Static in the Titans would have been a great way to reach those youngsters and expose them to a larger cross-section of the DC Universe. It’d have been a great way to introduce kids to Robin, Superboy, Wonder Girl and Kid Flash.

But it wasn’t capitalized on due to the poor execution of the concept.

Maybe the rape and murder of Sue Dibney took priority.

In 2009 at the height of the popularity of the DC Universe Classics line there was speculation that Static was to be included in a Wal-Mart exclusive wave.

Again many comic fans screamed bloody murder at the thought of including Static in 6” figure form. They complained that he would take a valuable slot from an obscure character who would never be made into figure form.

But this was a popular character with tweens and teens. A popular character with casual customers. Someone with strong brand recognition. Someone who could have moved bulk units. Someone who could have been a wave leader.

But instead of Static we got Kamandi a year later packed at two per case. Who sold poorly. So poorly he pegwarms to on Wal-Mart shelves to this day.

Comic fans finally got a Static figure in a boxset this year. But this was the future Static from Justice League Unlimited, not the classic version of the character many kids saw in his own TV series. And definitely not the classic version of the character from the comic.

In 2011, DC Comics launched another Static Shock series as part of its New 52.

Cancelled in 8 issues it was one of the poorest selling titles of the New 52 relaunch.

But personally, I believe it was sabotoged from within by editorial. By editors who refused to let John Rozum, the late Dwayne McDuffie’s friend write Static in a way that was true to the character. A way viewers of the TV show and the 90’s comic series remembered him. Instead they re-wrote the character to reflect their vision.

And I also believe it was sabotaged by an editiorial dictate from Dan Didio. Didio insisted that Static be moved to New York City. However, Dakota was to Static what New York was to Spider-Man.

The move was the equivalent of Moving Peter Parker to Phoenix Arizona or Denver Colorado. Where’s a web-slinger supposed to swing from webs like Tarzan in a place where there are no tall buildings? And How’s a kid supposed to maneuver a Static Saucer in a city without his principal rogues gallery villains or supporting cast?

Dakota was an essential part of the Static character. His city was one of his supporting characters. And his rogues were distinct to that city.

There’s an opportunity for Time Warner and DC to make so much money on the Static property. But do they want to make those dollars? Do they want to reach those new younger readers?

Or do they want to promote White Supremacy?

It’s looking like DC doesn’t mind minority characters. Just as long as they don’t become popular enough to wind up on their A-list with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. As long as they stay in the background like Mr. Terrific (also sabotaged) and Black Lightning everything is OK. But when they start getting popular like Static and Ryan Choi’s Atom, there’s a passive-aggressive attempt to squash them by editorial.

Even though younger readers want more stories featuring African-American, Latino, and Asian characters. And it’s clear they don’t mind reading stories featuring characters of different races and cultures. An entire generation of Kids who grew up on multicultural shows like Power Rangers, Winx Club and another is growing up right now with multicultural media like Monster High. Kids who don’t see themselves reflected in the pages of a comic book.

But see themselves reflected in YA fiction and Manga.

Unfortunately, DC Comics continues to pander to the small niche audience of white males instead of the larger audience. An audience big enough to reverse two decades of declining sales.  

But until comic publishers like DC Comics start making serious efforts to diversify their universe they won’t reach that growing audience of readers of millions strong. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Exposition is NOT a Writer’s Best Friend!

In today’s competitive book market, a writer can’t afford to spend time writing long blocks of prose. With books competing with the fast pace of movies, television and the internet, the more time a writer takes to paint little details in a  picture with words is time that a customer will be lost.

In nineteenth and early twentieth century a writer could get away with long paragraphs filled with blocks of colorful prose. A writer could spend entire paragraphs describing furniture, the lushness of the green grass on the lawn or the exquisite tailoring of the embroidery on a gentleman’s waistcoat and his tailored English suit.

They could take several chapters to introduce a series of ancillary characters before getting to the main characters and their storylines. All people had been books. There was no Television, no movies, no internet or cell phone games and apps vying for the attention of the reader.

But write like that today in the face of all that competition and the reader puts down the book. No one wants to spend a hundred to two hundred pages waiting for a writer to set up the story. There are just too many things to do.

Today, a writer has fifteen pages to establish their story and all the characters. Twenty at the most.

A writer today has to understand that there isn’t much time for exposition. Every second is precious and a few lost in a long rambling paragraph can mean the difference between a sale of a book or a reader picking up another authors’ title.

I know many writers want to tell a character’s backstory to get the reader involved in the story. But there’s a time and a place for it. At the beginning of a story a reader wants to have three questions answered:

Who is the main character?
What do they want?
Why should we care?

Once the writer answers those three questions, they’ll have established enough of a plotline to get the readers’ interest and compel them to read more. Then the writer can fill in the details as they move the story forward.

Too much exposition keeps the reader from having an enjoyable experience with a story. If a writer adds too many details, it prevents the reader from using their imagination and making up pictures in their heads of what’s going on between the lines of the pages.

It also prevents the reader from making their own observations regarding the actions of the characters. When a reader is immersed in a story they don’t want everything explained to them down to the last letter. They want to come to their own conclusions about characters and the action they see transpiring in front of them. Leave something to their imaginations!

Part of good storytelling is writing just enough. A writer has to have enough confidence in their characters to let them move the story forward.

Always remember less is more. Less details let a story have more of an impact on the reader. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Denial of the Comic Fan

Here's a little thing I learned about people while working at STRIVE 12 years ago
The definition of Denial is:


Denial isn't a state of mind in the comic book industry. 
No denial is  away of life there. 

When people like myself try to present the comic fan with facts they try to minimize that person’s information. Then they try to turn said person presenting them with the facts into the villain with deflections, shaming tactics and other manipulative tactics

In fact, some Comic fans are in such denial about how bad things are they reach for the cheap seats to deny the sad state of the industry.

In their deluded eyes things are changing because sales are going up, up, and away. A handful of books hit 100,000 sales for a few months and they think things are going to get better. That comic sales will go back to the old 1980's numbers


It’s just the calm before the storm.

Here’s some things comic fans need to ask themselves If things are going so well, why do comic titles reboot every 24-36 months? Why have there been so many new #1 issues of since 1997?

In the publishing world Cosmopolitan didn’t have to reboot. Neither did Vogue. Even Playboy for all its bankruptcy issues the last decade still hasn’t had to reboot and relaunch with a new first issue.

But Marvel Comics titles have had multiple relaunches since 1997.  DC Comics has had four reboots in one decade.

When a publisher has to cancel and restart a magazine with a new first issue it’s a sign that the business is in trouble. That it’s not reaching readers. That it’s not appealing to customers.

And when a company has to constantly cancel and restart magazines it’s a sign that a company is in serious trouble.

Why do I say this? Because I’ve seen this cycle before. Four times over. As I wrote before in why comic reboots fail article, Things always go great for the first 25-50 issues of a comic relaunch when the A-list creative team is on board.

Then the wheels fall off the bus when that team finishes its run.

Books collapse around the 50th or 60th issue. These days they fall apart around the 23rd issue when a secondary creative team is put on the title.

For all those naysayers, notice this: Not a single relaunched title from Marvel or DC reached 100 issues. And the relaunches later into the decade didn’t even get to 50 issues Some didn’t even get to 36 issues. No title can sustain itself long-term or build on the last run of a single creative team.

Then there are those who try to say kids read comics.

Where are these children?

Because I don’t see them when I’m out and about.

When I visited Jim Hanley’s Universe here in New York a two years ago, the place was practically filled middle aged white dudes in trench coats.

In fact there were so many White dudes in trench coats at Jim Hanley’s Universe it felt like I was shopping in the Empire Erotica sex shop down the block.

I was so creeped out by my experience there I decided to NEVER go there again.

Seriously, I haven’t seen a kid in a comic shop since oh….1995. Hell, the last time I saw kids at a comicon was 2009.

And most were congregated around the Manga and the video games, not at the comic displays for Marvel and DC or at the comic vendors.  No, those comic book displays were surrounded by their fathers and grandfathers.

Where do I see the kids at Barnes &  Noble when I visit there? Checking out the Manga. Or they’re in the Independent reader section with their Moms and Dads.

The only people looking at the American graphic novels and the comic compilations are….Well, no one.

The same fools who say kids are reading comics also come to me saying Kids read comics like Bone and Diary of Wimpy Kid.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Man that’s reaching. Really Reaching.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is Illustrated Independent reader fiction. No matter what the listings say it’s NOT a comic book. No matter what awards comic book people give it it’s NOT a comic book.

And Bone….Man, please.

Bone has a cult following. A small one at that.

But Bone ain’t Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Bone ain’t even Static Shock.

Bone won’t be the comic property that’ll revive interest in American comics. That’ll bring new readers into the American comic book industry.

If Bone was so popular with kids it’d be a licensing juggernaut. Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles It’d be a property strong enough to get kids running into comic shops asking for that title. It’d be selling hundreds of thousands a units a year.

Over Ten years after Bone Debuted and it’s still an obscure independent title. Nothing more, nothing less. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a self-published indie comic in 1986 and by 1989 it was a licensing juggernaut worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Here’s the litmus test for Bone: Ask a group of kids age 6-12 about the following:

Ben 10
DragonBall Z
Monster High
Harry Potter
Or Disney Princesses.

Then ask them about Bone. Count the number of befuddled faces you run into.

If Bone were as popular as any of those properties it’d have a TV show. DVDs. Action figures by a major manufacturer like Mattel or Hasbro. And those toys would be sold at major big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Toys R’ Us and Target.

When was the last time Bone had toys? 1998? 1999?
And they were comic shop exclusive.

Comic fans need to GET REAL.

Here’s what the over 35-set wants to deflect attention from: The horrible truth about the comic book industry.

Where are your products at commercial retail? Where are the comics at the racks on Target? Where are the comics on the rack at Wal-Mart? Where are the comics at the supermarket? Where are the comics at the Rite-Aid CVS, or the drugstores?  Where are the comics at the newsstand?  You know the places where kids GO ON A REGULAR BASIS? 

And How many comic shops are there in America? A thousand or less. In the late 1980s early 1990s there were 10,000 comic shops.

How many people are in the United States? 330 million.

The best selling comic moves 100,000 units these days.

Let’s do the math: 330 million people – 100,000 comics = 329,900,000 people not buying comics.

That math doesn’t add up to profitability for a comic book publisher.

Nor do the demographic numbers .The Median age of a comic book reader is 35 and inching towards 40.

25 percent of comic book readers are 65 and older.

And here’s the horrible truth about the Median age of 40 in demographics. It’s the KISS OF DEATH IN THE BUSINESS WORLD.

When a product has a median age of 40, corporate types begin pulling the plug on said products. When TV shows have a median age of 40 they get CANCELLED. In television appealing to the over 40 crowd means a TV show is a FAILURE.

That’s why soap operas are dying. The median age was 18-24 in the 1980s now it’s 40+ today and shrinking.

It’s the median age when car companies like GM, Ford and Chrysler begin discontinuing products. For them It’s the median age of OLD people driving stale ass Buicks and Cadillacs, not the sporty Camaros, Cruzes, Mustangs, and Chargers that younger buyers covet when they see young hot guys and girls driving them rolling on the road.

No one wants to drive their father’s car. That’s why there’s no more Oldsmobile or Pontiac.

Why do companies hate customers 40 and older? Because consumers over 40 are considered old and set in their ways. Unwilling to take risks on new concepts. Unwilling to try new products. Unwilling to spend money. Hard sells who are stingy.

In the business world customers over 40 are considered a LOSS. There’s no way for a business to expand appealing to them.

And the comic book business is headed in that direction as we speak.

With a median age of the American comic reader headed towards 40 and soon to be 50 in 10 years there’s no place for the market to expand. The audience is just getting TOO OLD to sustain.

In the next 10 years it’s going to get harder to sell comics. Especially in places like comic shops.

Which is why I’m so passionate about reaching the younger reader.

Some say that the industry is doing things to reach the younger reader.

I’m sorry that’s a LIE.

Sorry the industry isn’t doing enough to reach the kids. There are 20 million kids in the US that haven’t heard of a comic.

Then there are others that say people 18-24 could share comics with their kids.


Most comic readers are MEN.
And most 18 year old men aren’t fathers.
Besides, Most men and women 18-24 are just starting their lives.
At that age, most young adults today are stuck with thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Others in low-wage jobs that pay on average of $8-$10 an hour or at the most $35,000 a year.

On such limited incomes Who has the MONEY to buy comics at $4.00 a copy?

Every young person I hear from says their main priority is reducing their student loan debt. Or focusing on another degree.

No one is thinking about buying comics except a handful of Old White males from Generation-X who refuse to GROW UP.

In addition to the limited incomes and the high prices, what mom in her right mind is going to let her husband share comics featuring rapes, mutilations, profanity and sexual content with her children?

I’d like to know who so I could report them to the local child welfare agency for neglect.

Today’s comic books are totally inappropriate for children. I’ve seen content so graphic I wouldn’t even recommend them for some adults. I really think the people writing drawing, editing and publishing comics today have some sort of mental health issue.

Why am I writing this? Because I want today’s comic fan to take off the rose colored glasses. It’s why I write any of these articles.

Change only comes when people acknowledge the truth about themselves. And Change can only come to an industry when the people in it acknowledge their approach to business DOESN’T WORK.

But God told me this industry will never change. That the people in it are FUCKED UP.

In such denial they literally have to see Time Warner shutting down DC comics or Disney shutting down Marvel comics to WAKE UP.

I love comics, but I have to wash my hands of them. I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again It’s a lost cause.

Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be fanboys. Because fanboys wind up living in your basement with about 20 longboxes and 700 action figures. That’s no way for a man to live.