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Expanding Comic Book Audiences

13

Posts

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    But that's the thing; it's all one giant shared universe.

    How bout instead of fleshing out this colossal marvel-vese, you focus on good 'ol worldbuilding methods that doesn't rely on pre-existing series? Something completely original.

    Imagine if Spiderman wasn't part of the whole Marvel scope of things, and all of his original villians and allies were the only things that appeared. No Fantastic Four characters. No X-men line-up. No Iron Man and the crew. Not only do they not appear, but they don't even exist. You can have other super or costumed heroes, but they'd have to be something that originally appeared in Spiderman's world.

    It's just one mythos that doesn't rely on any elements of another series. If the system of laws hold up well enough and the writing is strong enough, the big events are phenomenal. You really feel invested in it, and the in-universe unthinkable would hold a lot more weight on things.

    Godfather on
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  • Me Too!Me Too! __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2009
    But they don't rely on other series at all is what I'm saying and you're not getting

    The shared universe concept came from a bunch of previously unrelated characters being brought together as a team

    All of these characters that you claim rely on other series are in fact part of their own worlds, and while yes Spidey and the Torch may shoot the shit and he might go on wacky adventures with the FF on occasion, those things aren't essential to the character and you won't see MJ sucking off Wolverine for shits and giggles

    This is a truly terrible fucking argument because it really does assume that you can't have any interaction between characters without relying on said characters as part of the story forever and ever and ever

    Me Too! on
  • JyrenBJyrenB Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    From most of the people I know, the fact that its one interconnect universe is the DRAW to most of the big American comics rather than the thing that pushes them away.

    But hey, that's just anecdotal evidence so take from that what you will.

    JyrenB on
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    XBL: JyrenB ; Steam: Jyren ; Twitter
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    No, it's not a terrible arguement, and to be honest you're completely steamrolling through some valid points as to why eastern series are gaining ground with that coveted teen/early adult audience and Marvel isn't.

    My original attempt was to paint a picture as to why manga is selling so well with this overall self-contained mythos arguement, but now this is discussion is escalating to whether I "get" american comics or not. We could be trading blows all day, but that's going to throw off the point of this topic and it's a colossal waste of time on both our parts.

    Godfather on
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  • JyrenBJyrenB Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Godfather wrote: »
    My original attempt was to paint a picture as to why manga is selling so well with this overall self-contained mythos arguement, but now this is discussion is escalating to whether I "get" american comics or not.

    Its not about whether you "get" it or not. Its the fact that, at least I, don't believe the reason manga is selling in America has anything to do with it being a self-contained mythos. Everything I've seen and nearly everyone I know that is heavy into manga is into it because its Japanese and that makes it cool.

    The American market just isn't the same as Japan's. Self-contained stories do exist here, and if that were all it took, then things like Y: The Last Man, Watchmen, and all those other series mentioned would be selling a great deal better than they do.

    JyrenB on
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    XBL: JyrenB ; Steam: Jyren ; Twitter
  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    JyrenB wrote: »
    Godfather wrote: »
    My original attempt was to paint a picture as to why manga is selling so well with this overall self-contained mythos arguement, but now this is discussion is escalating to whether I "get" american comics or not.

    Its not about whether you "get" it or not. Its the fact that, at least I, don't believe the reason manga is selling in America has anything to do with it being a self-contained mythos. Everything I've seen and nearly everyone I know that is heavy into manga is into it because its Japanese and that makes it cool.

    The American market just isn't the same as Japan's. Self-contained stories do exist here, and if that were all it took, then things like Y: The Last Man, Watchmen, and all those other series mentioned would be selling a great deal better than they do.

    Go to the Amazon website and look at the bestsellers list for Comics and Graphic Novels. They are almost all standalone stories, or stories that are not a part of the main Marvel or DC universes, except for things like Killing Joke, Arkham Asylum, and other standalone batman books. It's not until you get to #29, Dark Avengers vol. 1, that you really get into the traditional comic series kind of books.

    Really, this is the main point - to existing comics fans, who actually go to comics shops and buy monthly floppies, traditional superhero, shared universe fare sells well. For everybody else, it does not, standalone stories sell better.

    SageinaRage on
  • ScoobaShagScoobaShag Registered User
    edited August 2009
    You hit the nail on the head sageinarage.

    As for manga, I used to believe it was because it was japanese that they sold well. Not really. It's mostly because stuff like shounen jump is essentially marvel without the lenghty history or nerdy connotations (well, here in america anyway, so i guess it is elitism one way or another.)

    On top of that, stories that cater to the other fucking half of the human population, i.e. females, doesn't hurt either. In my limited experience, girls outnumber guys in manga fandom 10 to 1, and it's just as hardcore an audience.

    Don't get me wrong, vertigo makes some excellent all-range demographic titles, but it sort of ends there as far as mainstream american comics go.

    ScoobaShag on
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I am so glad guys like Scooba and Sage are on the same page of what i've been trying to convey.

    Five glorious stars each.

    Godfather on
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  • KVWKVW Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Ive never heard of anyone buying manga because it was japanese. Everyone that I've ever spoken to buy it because a) they enjoy it and b) it's relatively cheap. Another is the relatively easy access to it at bookstores where they can browse shelves/spinny rack thingies before buying it. Yes, some comics are there, but the average trade is about $15-20 in comparison to the < $10 manga.

    KVW on
  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    look I can't read manga

    there are not enough capes in manga

    The Lovely Bastard on
  • FaynorFaynor Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Definitely heard of people buying manga because it's japanese.

    untitled-2.jpg

    This girl from my Facebook reads manga.
    She's also really weird.

    Faynor on
    do you wanna see me eat a hotdog
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    look I can't read manga

    there are not enough capes in manga

    ehvKu.png

    Godfather on
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  • ScoobaShagScoobaShag Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Well, by god we got oursleves a sasquatch photo! j/k.

    It's true, weeaboos exist. Nobody said they didn't. I was one, at one point and time in my life, but I got better.

    The point though is that people buy japanese comics for a wide variety of reasons and not just because they are from that country.

    ScoobaShag on
  • ScoobaShagScoobaShag Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Japanese heroes tend to have a lot scarves though. It's like a cape, but with extra functionality during the winter.

    Oh wait, Kamina from Gurren Lagann had a cape, too.

    ScoobaShag on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Gatchaman had the best capes.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • ScoobaShagScoobaShag Registered User
    edited August 2009
    that they did.

    ScoobaShag on
  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Godfather wrote: »
    look I can't read manga

    there are not enough capes in manga

    ehvKu.png

    the hell is that

    The Lovely Bastard on
  • TexiKenTexiKen I'm strong! Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    ScoobaShag wrote: »
    You hit the nail on the head sageinarage.

    As for manga, I used to believe it was because it was japanese that they sold well. Not really. It's mostly because stuff like shounen jump is essentially marvel without the lenghty history or nerdy connotations (well, here in america anyway, so i guess it is elitism one way or another.)

    On top of that, stories that cater to the other fucking half of the human population, i.e. females, doesn't hurt either. In my limited experience, girls outnumber guys in manga fandom 10 to 1, and it's just as hardcore an audience.

    Don't get me wrong, vertigo makes some excellent all-range demographic titles, but it sort of ends there as far as mainstream american comics go.

    Well, let's look at the time frame in comparing as well. Spider-Man, Superman, etc. were created decades ago and are still out today. Of course there is history there, and it is something worthwhile that these characters are still around today because there is something about them that has stuck in people's minds that continue to want to read about them. That is a double edged sword in regards to what can be done with the characters (not to mention company owned) but still.

    Things like Naruto, Dragonball, Pokemon, on top of being relatively new compared to American comics, also had anime and videogames to get out there and bombard people into getting them. They also have the benefit of being relatively modern in terms of art and dialogue compared to Amazing Spider-Man #1. And the internet also helps.

    Ultimate Spider-Man does very well at being that new starting point, as well as Marvel Adventures. The DC and Marvel cartoons also help to get awareness out there. It's just that push to get them into comics that falls flat.

    And I wouldn't disregard that "foreign is intriguing angle" in kids picking that over something relatively American Cheese as Spider-Man. Kids grow up and know who Spider-Man is just through everyday knowledge, it's completely a part of American history now. But seeing Goku punch people in that different style of animation? That's intriguing, it makes Spider-Man in his John Romita pose seem kind of dull. It's not just here in regards to comics and manga but you also see that kind of thinking in other things, like people saying we should be more like Europe just because, for some reason, the exotic and aged history of one culture will somehow translate perfectly over here (as if the notion that a 40 year old in Brussels or Kyoto somehow has all this accumulated knowledge that a 40 year old from Boise doesn't, therefore were should do what they do).

    No one can just accept that things are different between countries. It doesn't make them worse, or better, they're just different.

    TexiKen on
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  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Godfather wrote: »
    look I can't read manga

    there are not enough capes in manga

    ehvKu.png

    the hell is that

    The King of Snipers.

    Godfather on
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  • SlicerSlicer Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    TexiKen wrote: »
    ScoobaShag wrote: »
    You hit the nail on the head sageinarage.

    As for manga, I used to believe it was because it was japanese that they sold well. Not really. It's mostly because stuff like shounen jump is essentially marvel without the lenghty history or nerdy connotations (well, here in america anyway, so i guess it is elitism one way or another.)

    On top of that, stories that cater to the other fucking half of the human population, i.e. females, doesn't hurt either. In my limited experience, girls outnumber guys in manga fandom 10 to 1, and it's just as hardcore an audience.

    Don't get me wrong, vertigo makes some excellent all-range demographic titles, but it sort of ends there as far as mainstream american comics go.

    Well, let's look at the time frame in comparing as well. Spider-Man, Superman, etc. were created decades ago and are still out today. Of course there is history there, and it is something worthwhile that these characters are still around today because there is something about them that has stuck in people's minds that continue to want to read about them. That is a double edged sword in regards to what can be done with the characters (not to mention company owned) but still.

    Things like Naruto, Dragonball, Pokemon, on top of being relatively new compared to American comics, also had anime and videogames to get out there and bombard people into getting them. They also have the benefit of being relatively modern in terms of art and dialogue compared to Amazing Spider-Man #1. And the internet also helps.

    Ultimate Spider-Man does very well at being that new starting point, as well as Marvel Adventures. The DC and Marvel cartoons also help to get awareness out there. It's just that push to get them into comics that falls flat.

    And I wouldn't disregard that "foreign is intriguing angle" in kids picking that over something relatively American Cheese as Spider-Man. Kids grow up and know who Spider-Man is just through everyday knowledge, it's completely a part of American history now. But seeing Goku punch people in that different style of animation? That's intriguing, it makes Spider-Man in his John Romita pose seem kind of dull. It's not just here in regards to comics and manga but you also see that kind of thinking in other things, like people saying we should be more like Europe just because, for some reason, the exotic and aged history of one culture will somehow translate perfectly over here (as if the notion that a 40 year old in Brussels or Kyoto somehow has all this accumulated knowledge that a 40 year old from Boise doesn't, therefore were should do what they do).

    No one can just accept that things are different between countries. It doesn't make them worse, or better, they're just different.

    To expand upon the anime angle, pretty much every manga that's halfway popular eventually gets an anime, which no doubt in turn helps out the sales of the manga.

    This doesn't usually happen for American comics outside of the obvious mainstream stuff like Spider-man, Batman, etc etc you get the picture. Comics that fall in the realm of B or C-list in terms of popularity can hope for an appearance or two in one of the A list shows at best. I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make, but I bet that if someone like Iron Fist were to get a cartoon, it would certainly help with the comic's sales.


    As for the whole comics being tough to get into thing, I never really tried getting into the main continuity of Marvel and DC until a few years ago, and I started on Avengers Disassembled which was probably not the smartest move. I thought it was alright even though I didn't know the 40-some year history of the Avengers. I was able to infer enough from the dialogue and such that even if I did not know the histories of every character on the team, I could still enjoy the story.

    I've found that a good majority of the time, if a past event is important to the story in any way it's usually referenced anyhow. I think I can count the number of times I've been genuinely confused because I lacked knowledge of previous works on one hand.

    I suppose what I'm trying to say with that is that nowadays it's not that hard at all to get into American comics as long as you can spare just a tiny bit of effort.

    Slicer on
  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA
    edited August 2009
    i can't bring to mind where i read this, but recently i saw an interview or something with a writer (i kind of suspect it was ed brubaker, but now i'm not sure) who talked about how american fans tend to believe that, when they see a character on the page, they need to know all the character's history for his appearance in this context to make sense. in reality, if you need that knowledge then it's symptomatic of bad writing. everything that the story needs you to know should be contained within the story itself. the example that was used in the piece was watchmen- if alan moore had actually gotten to use all those old charlton characters, then many readers would have been annoyed at "needing" to know all the backstory and previous appearances of captain atom, blue beetle, the question, etc, but because they were characters created new for the story, audiences just accepted the information given within the story as enough, because it was enough..

    i think that attitude doesn't help, though i'm not sure how to solve that problem. i think you run into the same issue in any medium really. some people didn't want to go see the new star trek movie because they didn't know anything about spock, but you don't really need to know anything about him.

    Servo on
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  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I agree there. I prefer my stories self contained and that can stand alone. I hate having a comic that I really enjoy, but can't really loan out to more casual comic reading friends, because it simply doesn't function without reading a bunch of other shit first.

    ManonvonSuperock on
  • ScoobaShagScoobaShag Registered User
    edited August 2009
    double agreed.

    ScoobaShag on
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I agree there. I prefer my stories self contained and that can stand alone. I hate having a comic that I really enjoy, but can't really loan out to more casual comic reading friends, because it simply doesn't function without reading a bunch of other shit first.

    This sounds suspiciously like silver age comic books. Batman has three issues to stop an eccentric bank robber with the power to control time or some shit and then we never hear of this time stopping bandit again. He's locked up forever.

    emnmnme on
  • ScoobaShagScoobaShag Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Right, but since we have historical evidence of that mistake, we never have to make it again, writers can make better self-contained stories because they have this wealth of crap that they can look back on. Once again I'm going to refer to All-star Superman as an excellent example of a self contained storyline that doesn't have to reach on into infinity and I'm sure there are writers who can even do better than that given a little effort and criticism from their audiences.

    ScoobaShag on
  • blanknogoblanknogo Registered User
    edited August 2009
    I think one of the big issues I faced when I started buying comics again (just recently) is determining where to really jump onto a book or series and what comes next in a book or series.

    Jumping on is difficult because there's really no way of telling on most covers what is the first book of an arc or the third (and so on). It wouldn't be too difficult for the book to have a 1 of x on the cover and that would really help people pick it up.

    What comes next in a series is difficult too when you have a story running through multiple books. This why moving all the Spider-Man books to Amazing made so much sense - I don't know to pick up Spectacular Spider-Man 63 after Amazing Spider-Man 400, but it makes so much sense to buy Amazing 602 after 601. What this means is that continuity is fine, but I really need to be able to pick up New Avengers 33 after 32 and understand what's going on without buying Dark Reign 4, and so on. Oh, and the solution to this definitely isn't new #1s. That just confuses things especially when the publisher decides it wants a big number rather than a smaller number a few years down the road. Suddenly someone about to pick up Amazing Spider-Man 70 is confused about why it's Amazing Spider-Man 500. (please note I am just pulling these numbers out of thin air).

    This becomes difficult with trades too and the completely bizzare way Marvel does things (unsure about DC). If I want to read Fantastic Four, I might pick up the Mark Waid hardcovers (titled Fantastic Four 1, 2, 3). But if I want to keep going, there certainly isn't a Volume 4. What comes next? It's nearly impossible to find out. It would be great if there was a bit of streamlining in the trades.

    Basically, this is all a very poorly structured way of saying that continuity is fine, but a little bit of understanding for how readers try to approach comics would allow the publishers to fine tune their publications to accommodate this.

    blanknogo on
  • Me Too!Me Too! __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2009
    Servo wrote: »
    i can't bring to mind where i read this, but recently i saw an interview or something with a writer (i kind of suspect it was ed brubaker, but now i'm not sure) who talked about how american fans tend to believe that, when they see a character on the page, they need to know all the character's history for his appearance in this context to make sense. in reality, if you need that knowledge then it's symptomatic of bad writing. everything that the story needs you to know should be contained within the story itself. the example that was used in the piece was watchmen- if alan moore had actually gotten to use all those old charlton characters, then many readers would have been annoyed at "needing" to know all the backstory and previous appearances of captain atom, blue beetle, the question, etc, but because they were characters created new for the story, audiences just accepted the information given within the story as enough, because it was enough..

    i think that attitude doesn't help, though i'm not sure how to solve that problem. i think you run into the same issue in any medium really. some people didn't want to go see the new star trek movie because they didn't know anything about spock, but you don't really need to know anything about him.

    He's right though

    You can read a good story without knowing anything, if you can't then it's not the industries fault, it's a terrible story and a bad writer

    Does knowing all kinds of stuff make it more fun yeah but it isn't and shouldn't be necessary

    I just really like knowing Spider-Man's favorite brand of undies (Fruit of the Loom)

    Me Too! on
  • TexiKenTexiKen I'm strong! Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    That's true. I never read Villains United, yet I was able to read that Secret Six mini and it was all laid out for me to understand. I've never had the need to read that mini because Simone did a good job making you know all you needed, and continues to do so with the Secret Six ongoing.

    TexiKen on
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  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA
    edited August 2009
    Me Too! wrote: »
    Servo wrote: »
    i can't bring to mind where i read this, but recently i saw an interview or something with a writer (i kind of suspect it was ed brubaker, but now i'm not sure) who talked about how american fans tend to believe that, when they see a character on the page, they need to know all the character's history for his appearance in this context to make sense. in reality, if you need that knowledge then it's symptomatic of bad writing. everything that the story needs you to know should be contained within the story itself. the example that was used in the piece was watchmen- if alan moore had actually gotten to use all those old charlton characters, then many readers would have been annoyed at "needing" to know all the backstory and previous appearances of captain atom, blue beetle, the question, etc, but because they were characters created new for the story, audiences just accepted the information given within the story as enough, because it was enough..

    i think that attitude doesn't help, though i'm not sure how to solve that problem. i think you run into the same issue in any medium really. some people didn't want to go see the new star trek movie because they didn't know anything about spock, but you don't really need to know anything about him.

    He's right though

    You can read a good story without knowing anything, if you can't then it's not the industries fault, it's a terrible story and a bad writer

    Does knowing all kinds of stuff make it more fun yeah but it isn't and shouldn't be necessary

    I just really like knowing Spider-Man's favorite brand of undies (Fruit of the Loom)

    no i phrased that poorly. i agree with him, totally. i think the attitude that doesn't help is believing that a story doesn't work unless you know all a character's backstory.

    Servo on
    newsigs.jpg
  • Me Too!Me Too! __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2009
    OK yeah that works

    I submit as anecdotal evidence myself

    My favorite characters are 70s and 80s b-listers

    When I started reading comics two of the first books I picked up were Moon Knight and Nova's Annihilation mini

    I loved both of them. And all I knew to start came from one single issue of Moon Knight from when I was a kid (which I now own along with the rest of that arc) and one issue of New Warriors from when Richard wasn't even Nova because of Garthan Saal holding all the power

    But I saw those books and went yeah those dudes are cool and I read them and they were awesome and they are some of my favorite things now

    Me Too! on
  • ScoobaShagScoobaShag Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Kind of the same for me. I'm pretty sure Swamp Thing is a B-lister superhero title, but alan moore did an impeccable job turning that title around. Not to mention the original run sucked, so it didn't really do you any good to look back on the early stories that len wein wrote.

    Though it should be stated that the original run did feature the amazing artwork of Berni Wrightson, so it does have some redeeming qualities

    ScoobaShag on
  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Swamp Thing did have the help of two movies, a live action tv show, and an animated kid's show so in the 80's I really wouldn't have considered him a B-lister.

    Now, yes.

    Then, hell naw

    The Lovely Bastard on
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The action figures from the animated show fucking rocked. I had the one with the foot trap, and the hand on the retracting string, and the glow in the dark one, and the fall apart one...

    ManonvonSuperock on
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Holy shit, nostalgia flashback. Yeah, those were awesome. I had the the camouflage, climbing, and snare arm Swamp Things, as well as Skinman, and Dr. Deemo, who I won in some kind of local write-in contest.

    Munch on
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I bet comic books would sell better if they inject more politics into them.

    http://accstudios.com/

    emnmnme on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Obama comics actually ended up being surprisingly profitable.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    you know, I never had any of the Swamp Thing toys

    The Lovely Bastard on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I had the one that fell apart. It was pretty cool until I realized how hard it was to incorporate falling apart into my superhero fights.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    wait how hard could that be to incorporate

    The Lovely Bastard on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    wait how hard could that be to incorporate

    Pretty hard, I guess. I mean it's really only a useful talent to have in a swamp. Otherwise people are just going to shoot at the nondescript pile of plant matter that you turned into.

    And sure you could set the fight in a swamp, but then you need a reason for Cable, Spider-Man, and Apocalypse to all just show up at a swamp looking for a fight.

    Robos A Go Go on
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