DC Comics writer Tim Seeley admitted one of the major problems in today’s comic book industry.
Seeley took to Twitter to write, “Boys (ages like 10-17) kinda do need help getting into mainstream comics, because they don’t read them. We’ve essentially given up on them.”
Well, I’ll disagree only in that boys (ages like 10-17) kinda do need help getting into mainstream comics, because they don’t read them. We’ve essentially given up on them.
— Tim Seeley (@HackinTimSeeley) August 7, 2019
Seeley’s tweet comes in response to one from fellow comic book artist Jamal Igle who stated, “Boys don’t need support getting into mainstream comics.”
This post was probably written by a guy who doesn’t know who Ramona Fradon, Jackie Ormes, Jo Duffy, Annie Nocenti, Alitha Martinez are, either.
Boys don’t need support getting into mainstream comics. pic.twitter.com/ELgtf185IJ
— Jamal Yaseem Igle (@JAMALIGLE) August 6, 2019
Seeley’s diagnosis of the comic book industry is nothing new. We’ve pointed out here numerous times that comic book sales are on the decline. (RELATED: DC Comics Publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee Address Decline in Comic Book Industry Sales)
Why Have Boys Abandoned Comics?
Given Seeley’s diagnosis the big question has to be: Why have boys abandoned comics and the comic book industry?
Common answers will be the rise in video games offering a different, more interactive form of entertainment that can capture the storytelling and visuals comics offer. However, there have always been other forms of entertainment in the past, and comics were able to thrive. And as Stan Lee points out in the video below, people will pick up and read a comic book if they are intrigued by the story.
Others will point out that the high price point makes it difficult for kids to get into comics. Not only does each issue typically sell for $3.99 now, but in order to keep up with your favorite characters you have to purchase at least two or three books and that’s not including the almost quarterly crossovers from the Big Two in Marvel Comics and DC Comics.
Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee while discussing the appeal of comics revealed that “children learn to equate pleasure with reading when they read comics.”
It’s quite possible that these young boys no longer find pleasure in the current crop of comics that are being produced by Marvel Comics and DC Comics. If they aren’t finding pleasure and being entertained by the comics, it’s more than likely they won’t continue reading them and as Seeley notes will abandon the industry and medium altogether in favor of one that will provide them with pleasure. (RELATED: Former Marvel Comics Editor Tom Brennan Provides Lesson on Customer Service: Don’t Lecture and Condescend Your Customers)
And if they aren’t finding pleasure in those comics, one has to look at the actual stories being produced in the comics. And the lack of pleasure might come from the way modern comics are depicting their iconic superheroes. As YouTuber Thinking Critical points out in regards to the current Batman series, “Tom King has a real gift for making his characters as annoying as humanly possible with his pretentious tropes.”
I don’t know about you, but Batman and the majority of his supporting cast should never be described as “annoying as humanly possible.”
It’s also quite possible they have vacated the industry because they saw an organized publishing initiative to replace their heroes with younger, female alternatives. Marvel Comics spent the better part of almost half a decade replacing their iconic heroes like Tony Stark with characters like Riri Williams. They replaced Thor with Jane Foster. And they replaced Wolverine with X-23 and Honey Badger.
What do you make of Tim Seeley’s comments? What do you think is the reason why boys might be abandoning the comic book industry?