Earlier today on Twitter I was discussing with a few pals about the current state of comics. One of the points I made (probably too many times) is that comic books are too expensive for kids. I think my experience with purchasing comics reflects that of many fans. Unlike most of my toys growing up which my parents bought for me (because they were too expensive and/or the stores were too far away) comics I bought on my own. Comics were: 1) Available for purchase at a location in walking/bicycling distance and 2) They were reasonably priced. My parents didn’t have much money but I could usually scrounge up a few bucks a week to pick up an issue or two of Archie or Gladstone’s reprints of Duck books. Considering the price and availability of comics now I don’t think I would have become a comic book reader if I was a child now. There’s no way I could have afforded comics nor could I have gotten to one of the two comic book shops in Ventura County.
The point I’m getting at is this: what are the big comic book publishers doing to get young kids hooked on comics? I don’t see many young kids buying comics at my local comic book shop (although it’s an inviting store with great employees). Kids just aren’t buying (or I’m not seeing it). Another variable that didn’t exist back when I started reading comics is that kids have more choices, especially when it comes to video games/internet/etc. Why would a child buy a four dollar comic when for the same price they can buy a iPhone/iPad/whatever game? With so many factors working against kids picking up comics you’d think the big comic publishers would be actively working to build their client base. If they are then I’m not seeing it. It almost seems like they’ve come to the sad conclusion that they can’t count on kids as the future of comic book reading and they’re focusing all their attention on an aging and quickly dwindling adult client.
What do you guys think? Please leave comments.