I consider myself very fortunate to belong to the community of comic book readers. It’s a group of people with big imaginations and a love for adventure. Best of all, they’re not at all afraid to talk about how much they love the books they’re reading. That being said, there’s an issue we all need to be made aware of. As with any community, the only way it can sustain itself and grow isn’t only by bringing in new members, but by bringing in new generations to carry on the legacy of everything that’s been built before them.
Today’s comic book world has become increasingly dark. That’s fine as we’ve gotten some really great stories out of it, but as a father, I wouldn’t want my daughter reading something like Batman (who was my absolute favorite growing up) or The Justice League. Not to say that these aren’t great titles or single them out, they’re both on my pull list and I love them, but they aren’t at all kid-friendly. Look at the shelves of books at your local comic store and count how many books are kid-friendly. The number probably isn’t very high, and that’s not a good thing. Without a good selection of books geared towards children, the number of people in the community I love so much is going to continue to go down. Sure, with the success of the movies and TV shows comic books will probably always have some sales, but if you look at the numbers now compared to 30-40 years ago, comics are selling a FRACTION of what they were back then. Some of it can be attributed to a lack of availability, but parents don’t want their kids reading the violent, adult content in today’s books.
There’s room in our community for both worlds, but we have to do something to bring in new readers and the only way that will happen is if we as a community make it known that that’s what we want. My idea was to include a 12-15 page insert with the monthly adult title geared towards kids. Something closer to a one-shot story, but a way to establish the character stories and continuity until the reader is old enough to take on more adult titles. What are your ideas? Post them in the comments and link this to your friends and get in on the discussion!