Not sure how birth rates got pulled into things here, but....okay.
Dont we have a problem with over population right now? So if the birth rate declines a bit, wouldnt that actually be a good thing? And I cant imagine that comic sales would be hurt all that badly. For one thing, a substantial birth drop would take at least a generation right? And regardless, comics arent really aimed at kids anymore.
Either way....it doesnt really have anything to do with the topic does it?
Oh, and Americans dont hate sex. We love sex. I mean, seriously, we abso-frikkin-lutely adore it. Worship at its altar. Its just extremely taboo (for some reason) and we arent supposed to admit that we, personally, enjoy it. But we dont do anything, and I mean anything, without sex somehow being involved. T Mobile's add campaign? Nothing to do with phones. You dont even see a phone in the commercials. At all. Just a hot brunette, a motorcycle, and lots of pink.
By the way...that chick? If she can act, just might make a decent Diana. No Linda Carter, but still.
And yes, the question is not "IS Diana bi/gay" but rather, "COULD she, and if so, SHOULD she be?" And if so, what would it take for you to accept it?
Oh, as for heroes who are "against" gays....I dont know for sure, I dont think Ive ever seen it brought up, but I can imagine Guy Gardner not being very comfortable with the idea. I dont think he'd be straight out "against" it, but I dont know if he'd be comfortable hanging out at a gay bar.
As for the questions about the industry and how it moves forward in the digital age....I have tons of ideas, and ultimately have no clue at all how comics save themselves. Its a conversation I would love to have. In another thread. :) Or hell, this one, if no one minds.
There are many adults that read comics, including myself. I've been reading comics (and yes, of course WW) since 1973. I started young. I "grew up" with comics as comics themselves "grew up" with me. The target audience has been getting older and older, and I believe this is where the problem lies somewhat. It is very unlikely (although possible to a meaningless degree) that an adult that never read comics while young will start now. By the same token, because the comics are being aimed (intellectually and artistically) to an older audience it makes it a little more difficult to hook an 8-9 year old. This, added to some of the topics brought up by Gael (outlets having dwindled) is also responsible for slow declining comic-book sales. I think it is a shame that a mere 45000 people are buying Wonder Woman, for example. You could fit that many people in a partly-empty football stadium -- from the entire country. This is scary to me for the business.
I think the future of Marvel/DC depends largely on the films being produced. Last i checked, Avengers raked in over a BILLION dollars worldwide at the theatres not even counting DVD sales.
Surely, distributing comics are your local 7-11's and grocery stores on spinning racks like they used to many years ago would MAYBE increase sales... but I don't know what that would do to the Direct-Sales stores, and I'll leave those stats for someone else to jump in and analyze.
Lastly, and MOST obviously.. is the ever increasing outlets for entertainments medium(s) that compete with peoples' attention for entertainment. Tablets, iPhones, and Androids anyone? Wii? Xbox?, fill in the blanks.
Hell, PC's didn't even become a household commodity until the early 90's. The industry needs to act, and they need to do it soon. I'm just hoping it's not a lost cause.
They have dictated when we move ;)
- Used to live in a mobile home with a small comic room. Comics moved to the hallway. Came home one day to find them in the kitchen. We moved.
- Next came the townhouse with a back bedroom. Comics moved to the guest room. Came home one day to find them in the guest bathroom. We moved.
- Had a house built with a larger bedroom for the comics. We have between 90 and 100 longboxes stored 3 deep. I'd rather sell them than move again ;)
But I just can't bring myself to spend *more* for a digital book than I do for a paper one. Maybe after we retire and can wait a month or so when the prices drop? I dunno, but right now, I couldn't switch to digital if I wanted to. The Husband is a railroad conductor who reads in between trains, but they're not allowed to carry electronics on them (no phones, iPads, etc) even if they're stored in the 'off' position while the train is moving.
However, there are some books I read that he doesn't (and vice versa) and I have a nice Kindle Fire. I'd be tempted to switch to digital on those books if the price came down :/
Well, Rob's right about everything he said. A market focused on older, established readers, alternative (cheaper) choices for entertainment, plus the general slow death of print, it all adds into the problem the comics industry is facing. Along with other factors I havent mentioned and likely have not even thought of.
Fixing it is, in all honestly, a problem for brighter minds than mine. But it seems to me there are a few things that would help.
So the superhero genre is actually more popular now than it was when I was a kid. The movies, the video games.....comic book characters are a huge thing now, and have been for over a decade; ever since the first X-Men film hit. But they're not popular in comic books. So we need to get all those people playing Arkham City and watching The Avengers to start reading comics.
Okay. I just wrote several paragraphs covering marketing, add spacing, price drops, and suddenly realized it doesnt solve the real problem. So I deleted the whole thing. The real problem (one of them anyway) is that no one gives a damn about print anymore, no one is going to hunt down a LCS, if they even have one nearby, and no one is going to wait a month or more for the next issue, or pay three to four bucks for a single issue when that cash could get them four apps for their iPad.
You go digital. Drop monthly shipping completely. I know, I know, its harsh, and I love my LCS too, I'd hate to see what that would do to them, but if you want to save the industry, those printing/shipping costs need to go. That right there could (maybe) put comics back in the price range of kids on allowances and teenagers working crappy jobs after school.
And instead of dropping an issue once a month, you drop it once a week. You nickle and dime people to death. They wont spend four bucks for a single issue of Batman once a month, but they'll be far more likely to drop 99 cents each week, and you end up with the same amount of content.
Speaking of price....making it free just **might** work out, if you can get some solid backing from advertising and sponsors. Its how movies work; you tell Burger King that if they help finance your work, you will make sure that Tony Stark absolutely loves their value meals. Lots of free online comics work this way, and while those are generally smaller scale businesses, the model might still work with a few adjustments. Free weekly DC digital comics!
And evolve the art form. I like how DC slides the digital stuff from panel to panel, and I like what I saw of Marvel's attempt, with the changing focus and whatnot. Digital comics should end up looking more like motion comics or stop-start animation. Depending on how things work out, voice acting might even be a valid investment. Think about it, not only would grumpy old fans get to complain about the writer and art team, but also the voice department! We could bitch about whoever did the stand-in for Superman because the normal voice guy had the flu that week! Odds are that is way too much, but this is just hypothetical, and would certainly increase interest in the genre. But its not really going to work.
On the print side, you focus on original trades and collected digital. More stuff like the Earth-One line, stuff you can pick up without needing decades of backstory for. And you can branch that out. Do stand alone trade stories for all ages. Rated R Batman tales for the guy in his early twenties or late teens. Kid friendly stuff. Something for everyone, sold in book stores right next to the rest of the sci-fi/fantasy books, and you sell that on Amazon and Kindle and whatever else.
And screw continuity. That rated R Batman trade might follow its own continuity, from volume to volume, but it doesnt have to have a thing to do with the kid friendly trade volume/s. And it doesnt have to be connected to the weekly digital release either. These characters are nothing more than ideas, and continuity as it works in comics right now is nothing more than a chain around the industry's neck. History is good, yes; it allows you to build upon what came before to make a more well rounded product. But it doesnt have to be so absolute.
>pant pant pant<
okay, I think Im done now.
Its like, the cartoon Batman and the movie Batman and the comics Batman are all Batman, but they're not the same Batman, and everyone accepts that and rolls with it just fine. People dont ask why Christian Bale didnt refer to his fists as the "hammers of justice" in the films, nor do we question why Two-Face is still alive and kicking in the comics when he clearly died in Dark Knight.
And with the example I listed, we're never going to see the Mature rated Batman from his series of original trades cross worlds to team-up with the Batman from the "normal" weekly issues (which would essentially be replacing the monthly comics) so the need to explain the multiverse is even less important.
What Im trying to say is, we over-think it. We need reasons and logic, and its completely silly when we try to apply these things to people in spandex who can fly and toss tanks around. Comics, at some point, started taking themselves too seriously when they should just be concerned with telling a solid, entertaining story. If that happens to contradict an old story that happened in the past, who cares? Continuity should not trump entertainment.