Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I think this says it all... 

Steven Grant relays this account (link from Dirk):

A woman I know who used to work in Marvel editorial just got a job teaching, and when she announced to one of her classes – eighth graders – that she used to work at Marvel, one student said, to general consensus, "Their comics suck."

The good news is that there doesn't seem to be any stigma anymore to being a kid and publicly admitting you read comics. The bad news should be self-evident.

I think that sort of sums up part of the issue that Marvel/DC have to deal with in regards to kids. Manga has managed to partly break the stigma of reading comics, but a lot of American comics retain the stigma. I have some hope that Sentinal and Runaways can do OK in digest form, but they will still have to fight that kneejerk reaction of people used to ignoring the company.

Grant goes on to discuss how Marvel seems to be unfocused, with having so many of the same characters going on at once in various lines. Personally, I have to agree with this. Ultimate Spider-Man may be a great place to start, but how many people can realize this when greeted with all the various Spidey stuff on the shelves? I can't help thinking this puts a lot of them at a disadvantage for people, for instance that just watched the movie. I have some idea of Spider-Man, but I wouldn't have any idea which of those Hulk books to pick up back when they had a bunch of them on display in bookstores. And that's with the limited number of titles actually showing up in the bookstores.

He then discusses the print-to-order policy, which I'm still a bit fuzzy on the details of how it works, but it sounds like it is hurting retailers, something we really don't need at this stage of the game!

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