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  1. #16
    Senior Member dr chimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron King View Post
    I've worked at bookstores and comic stores and libraries for years now, so I can say that a lot of kids still read comics. However, as has been noted, it's not superhero comics: it's manga or Ninjago or Wimpy Kid or stuff like Anya's Ghost.
    and thats the way it should be. Kid's shouldnt be reading what their parents read / still read. It's like saying hey why arent kids listening to elvis / the stones / what have you - they have their own thing going on - their own sub culture.

    why would we even want them to read super hero comics. Dont get me wrong i enjoy a good superhero comic but they are in the main totally formulaic nonsense. Man usually dressed up as random animal fights plans of megolomaniac dressed up as random animal, gets hopelessly pummeled until he turns it round through ludicrous intervention of fate / scientific mumbo jumbo / vague and poorly explained loophole / wtf moment and repeat ad infinitum. It's like our grandfathers saying her why dont adults watch king of the rocketmen anymore. King of the rocketmen is awesome to me but i couldnt expect to bump into many other adults who think so
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  2. #17
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
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    Sure, variety is great. We should have more of that. Look at the walls of the local comic store and compare how many super hero comics the store has to anything kid friendly, since the only non super hero stuff I see is Walking Dead and those Zenescope comics.

    But honestly, in the long run, if the red white and blue spandex musclemen don't cater to kids, they won't be catering to anybody eventually. I'd guess less than five percent of habitual super hero comic readers got into comics as an adult. The odd Watchmen TPB reader maybe, not many people lining up for the next issue of Batman #0
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  3. #18

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    I guess I am confused because after reading the bulk of DC's New 52 titles, I was sure that they were aiming them at 10 year olds - unintelligent 10 year olds but... ;)

    Kidding aside, I am supportive of the idea behind this post/argument - but I would say 16 year olds, not 10 year olds.

    I started buying comics when I was 9, but the concepts and writing of the best of them were aimed much higher than a 9 year old - and I feel it was this that stretched me intellectually with them.

    I was primarily buying Bill Mantlo's Micronauts and I think that was written at higher than a 10 year old - even an intelligent one. I know that I feel few pangs of immaturity when I recently started re-collecting them and reading them again.

    I've also just started reading a trade of Goodwin and Simonson's Manhunter series, and that was something a teenager could easily enjoy but an adult can feel no guilt in reading.

  4. #19
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    Yes. Because most of the mature stuff I see (not all) coming out of DC and Marvel is incredibly immature. It's like oooo check out these boobs and head explosions! We are so adult! It's like a child's idea of what is mature.
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  5. #20
    The Central Sca-rutinizer Pól Rua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    I think it's safe to say the assumed comic book audience has changed drastically in the last two decades.
    Where the best comics were once aimed at 'the intelligent ten year old,' there is now an overwhelming trend to write toward the middle-aged man.
    That's kinda generous. I'm seeing a vast majority of comics aimed at the misanthropic (and far too often, misogynistic) 15 year old.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    Their are a lot of Superhero comics aimed at ten year olds, they just don't sell very well. I think the Ideal age demographics for superheroes is Junior high aged kids.
    The problem with superhero comics aimed at 10 year olds is that they're MARKETED as superhero comics aimed at ten year olds. "Hey, kids! Here's some special comics just for little people!" Kids HATE that stuff. If there's 'kiddie' Spider-Man and 'real' Spider-Man out there, they want the 'real thing'.
    The ideal situation, if you HAVE to aim your stuff at an older audience, would be to make a conscious decision not to include things to EXCLUDE ten year olds.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    I tend to think 'the intelligent ten year old' encompasses that demographic, too.
    Basically, a comic that's high on action, big on story, and doesn't talk down to the reader.
    I'm also speaking more to the idea that mainstream superhero comics should be aimed at the 10 year old, which wouldn't exclude older readers.
    But it would, IMO, make for better superhero comics.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMikeyD View Post
    Absolutely! Look at Atomic Robo. While it's maybe not aimed specifically at intelligent 10 year olds, it certainly can be enjoyed by them. I enjoy it and so do all of my kids (11 year old girl; 18, 9 and 7 year old boys). While some issues are "to be continued," each is still a satisfying read. I've never heard anyone say Atomic Robo was "too grown-up" or "too kiddie." Everyone just enjoys it at whatever level they happen to be at. That's how I remember super hero comics being when I was a kid.
    Robo is all kinds of wonderful. I love the intro to Volume 6 by Greg Rucka where he talks about reading the first volume, then handing it over to his wife, who enjoyed it too, and then handing it on to his young kid, who loved it too. How many comics can you say that about?

    Back when I was reading comics as a young 'un, they were all over the place!
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  6. #21
    Oddball Cartoonist! Scott Shaw!'s Avatar
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    I've been writing and drawing "kid's comics" for years; before then I wrote and drew underground comix. I never limit my vocabulary or concepts to an intelligent 10-year old. I write with the same principle that the folks who wrote the classic Warner Bros. cartoon shorts: if they thought it was funny, their audience -- from kids to adults -- would think it was funny. I especially keep that in mind when I write variety of SIMPSONS comics for Bongo.

    I recently finished writing and drawing half of the first ANNOYING ORANGE graphic novel for Papercutz, which is based on the ANNOYING ORANGE show on Cartoon Network (which I also work on with gags and storyboards.

    As for modern superheroes, who knows? Every time I try to read a typical Marvel or DC comic, it seems like they're not intended to appeal to anyone.

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  7. #22
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
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    That's the right way to do it Scott, and I think that's why the attempts Marvel and DC currently make with their kids line stuff isn't selling all that well. They insult the kids intelligence. Kids can comprehend a good story just fine. Remove the tits and cannibalism and write the story as good as you can. No need to make it a PSA on how to cross the street. I've read a handful of kids comics that were flat out awesome, some of my favorite comics. Many more that may not be intended for a strictly kid audience, but nothing in them would confine them to an adult only audience either. That's just fine as well.
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  8. #23
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    I think a better way to put it would be: Should mainstream superhero comics be something that both adults and children can enjoy?

    Some of the better DC and Marvel's of the past occasionally dealt with more mature themes, but were still written in a way that the average kid could "get it". They weren't being written down to (in the better comics anyway) so an adult could enjoy it as well.

    Now today there are still comics like that, but a good amount of Marvel and DC is catering towards the older audience they have at this point.

    Would anybody be okay with handing a kid a copy of one of the recent Wolverine stories where he is tricked into graphically murdering all of his illegitimate children?
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  9. #24
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dupont2005 View Post
    I grew up poor. I don't remember dime comics but I remember dollar comics. I remember mom being willing to buy me one a week. They did give me hours of enjoyment. Years of enjoyment actually. They were read and reread and traced and retraced until they were falling apart.
    Which raises the question of how much disposable cash kids at various socioeconomic levels have these days. I grew up poor as well, but even so my weekly allowance of 50 cents in grade school allowed me to buy two or three 12-cent comics or a 25-cent giant & one regular comic, plus the requisite coke (10 cents) &/or candy/ice cream cone/chips (5 to 10 cents). And memory (not necessarily reliable, of course) tells me that for every comic I bought, I read four of five others while sitting at my drugstore of choice & consuming the above-cited snackage. (The three grocery stores that also sold comics weren't nearly as conducive for sitting & reading, of course.)

    That, of course, was in the late '60s. For a kid these days, two regular-priced comics plus junk food would equal ... what ... $10? That's assuming they live in a burg big enough to support a comics shop, which certainly wouldn't have been true for me. Do kids in poor families have $10 a week to toss around these days, even if they want to spend their pocket money on comics rather than any number of other options vying for their money?

    I'm sure that makes digital comics at a very reduced or nonexistent cost even more appealing, though I haven't the slightest idea of where computer ownership kicks in, socioeconomically speaking. (Looking back, it's unthinkable that we would've had one, even if the household variety's existence hadn't been nearly three decades in the future.)

    I'm asking because I have no idea, not having any kids of my own & not really having any friends here with kids. When I had stepdaughters, they were slightly older than what we're talking about (mid-teens), & we were I suppose middle class, rather than poor; in any event, I have no idea what sort of allowance they got. Not to mention the fact that that was a quarter-century ago.
    Last edited by Dan B. in the Underworld; 11-20-2012 at 07:15 AM.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

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  10. #25
    Elder Member zryson's Avatar
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    I see kids at the comic stores sometimes. Usually with an adult watching on, they don't go for the superhero comics like Batman or Superman. I don't see that much at all. The ones they like are Archie. Ben10, some Cartoon Network series aimed at kids. Mostly they only have enough money to buy maybe 1-3 comics each visit. While superheroes are very popular, as witnessed with the success of the movies, it doesn't cross over much into the comic books and comic books are becoming increasingly a niche market. I think in my lifetime certainly (provided I live to a ripe old age) the market will be very different then, as will the medium. It's different now to what I remember growing up. There aren't as many outlets. Not as many people buy them. And when they do its usually adults 20s-40s.

  11. #26
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    I see no point in aiming comics at ten year olds who no longer have any interest in buying them, while alienating older fans who actually do.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dupont2005 View Post
    You really have to do what used to be the norm. Make them cheap, put them in grocery stores and gas stations, and make them kid friendly.
    That's not financially viable anymore, and hasn't been for thirty years.

  13. #28
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony ingram View Post
    That's not financially viable anymore, and hasn't been for thirty years.
    Somebody needs to tell the idiots at Archie to stop doing financially nonviable things before they retroactively go out of business 3 decades ago.

    From a quick check of Lone Star's recent listings, looks like the Archie digests I see at checkout counters at grovery stores & such retail for $3.99. That's pretty much the same price as a regular ol' comic that I assume offers about 1/100th of the value for content.

    The comparison isn't really apples-to-apples, of course, but the digests' apparent success would seem to indicate that the basic concept actually isn't fundamentally absurd.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

  14. #29
    MXAAGVNIEETRO were right The Black Guardian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolworthy View Post
    The fact that superhero comics now need separate kids' versions is an indictment of lack of creativity in the medium, IMO.

    The best stories work on different levels, just like Pixar movies. Nobody would define a Pixar movie as aimed at ten year olds, yet ten year olds love them.

    I am also tempted to comment on the fallacy that adult must equal sex, blood, and opaque stories. or the even more common fallacy sex blood and opaque stories are the only way to tell adult themes.

    All great national epics work on multiple levels. From the Bible to the Iliad, from the Thousand and One Nights to the Brothers Grimm. They can work as pre-school stories, horror stories, subjects for scholarly debate, and everything in between. As for examples of comics that work on multiple levels, well I don't want to be boring and predictable, but see my sig line. :)

    In my opinion, anyway.
    Funny you mention those classic examples, all of which have adult and kid versions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chazro View Post
    Comix used to be for kids, they also used to cost a dime. I remember being able to buy a 1/2 dozen and have change from a single buck! The comix industry couldn't survive if they aimed their product at kids again, kids can't afford them!
    But when they cost a dime, so did a lot of other things. Kids today have at least as much disposable income than they did in the 60s.

    Quote Originally Posted by dr chimp View Post
    and thats the way it should be. Kid's shouldnt be reading what their parents read / still read. It's like saying hey why arent kids listening to elvis / the stones / what have you - they have their own thing going on - their own sub culture.
    Meh. My daughter listens to the Stones and Beatles, on top of her own stuff. Kids should certainly be reading what their parents did.

    why would we even want them to read super hero comics. Dont get me wrong i enjoy a good superhero comic but they are in the main totally formulaic nonsense. Man usually dressed up as random animal fights plans of megolomaniac dressed up as random animal, gets hopelessly pummeled until he turns it round through ludicrous intervention of fate / scientific mumbo jumbo / vague and poorly explained loophole / wtf moment and repeat ad infinitum. It's like our grandfathers saying her why dont adults watch king of the rocketmen anymore. King of the rocketmen is awesome to me but i couldnt expect to bump into many other adults who think so
    Bah. You're defining superhero way to narrowly. Everything my daughter was into when she was 10 was superhero. And I grew up on King of Rocketmen and the like. Comics seldom appealed to the masses after the age of 10.
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  15. #30
    S.P.E.C.T.R.E. destro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    Somebody needs to tell the idiots at Archie to stop doing financially nonviable things before they retroactively go out of business 3 decades ago.

    From a quick check of Lone Star's recent listings, looks like the Archie digests I see at checkout counters at grovery stores & such retail for $3.99. That's pretty much the same price as a regular ol' comic that I assume offers about 1/100th of the value for content.

    The comparison isn't really apples-to-apples, of course, but the digests' apparent success would seem to indicate that the basic concept actually isn't fundamentally absurd.
    Yeah this is what I have never understood. I keep hearing that grocery stores and convenience stores won't stock comics, it isn't viable, etc...and yet I see multiple Archie Digests at these places every time I'm there. Somebody is buying these things. And I still maintain that if a kid sees an Archie Digest next to a Batman or Spiderman digest...well the kid is likely to go for the superhero.
    Last edited by destro; 11-20-2012 at 10:43 AM.
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