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Old 08-03-2006, 12:48 PM   #1
Tyrant's Heart
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Comics for those who don't read comics

Here's a challenging question for readers:

How do you make comics for non-comic readers? What sort of comics would you make for them?
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:05 PM   #2
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Honestly, I don't think the problem that most non-comic readers have is with what comics are as opposed to what most people think comics are. Because of this, I think the answer lies more in getting non-comic readers to actually read some comics and break any stereotypes they have about comics. I also think that if someone is opposed to "comic books" that even though when they think of comics they will most likely first think of superhero books and disregard them as being for a young audience, they will probably apply this bias broadly and disregard the entire format. Therefore, it is unlikely that writing anything in the comic book format (even if you are intentionally trying to reach those who do not read comics) is going to draw anybody in because they probably won't pick the book up in the first place. I don't want this to sound discouraging, I think comics are a powerful medium with infinite potential and the only problem for them is that most people don't know it yet.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:08 PM   #3
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First of all, introduce them to something that goes beyond their preconceptions of what is found in comics. A few years back, I introduced a buddy of mine to PREACHER and he ended up reading all of my TPBs after never having read any comic previously. Another friend recently asked me about Y The Last Man, because he had read somethng about it in some magazine somewhere. A lot of people that haven't or don't read comics, do so (or don't for that matter) because they believe they are just juvenile cape and tights adventures for children.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:10 PM   #4
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Comic strips.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dano
Comic strips.
dano, you're my hero! Short, sweet and to the point every time, (grammatically speaking of course!) Seriously, I truly think that just promoting the hell out independant comic books - internet, libraries, book stores, shopping malls, posters - any and all ways available, to make them know to Mr and Miss/mrs Everybody would make a difference.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:25 PM   #6
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How abouit actually telling stories and not making floppies. Time and time again its been shown that non-comic readers prefer GN/TPB length...and there's a pretty good case that they also prefer manga-sized (paperback, really). Why? Better odds of picking it up in public.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:26 PM   #7
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No, I'm being serious!
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:38 PM   #8
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I'll speak from experience:

Don't offer superheroes. Watchment and Dark Knight may be amazing works, but to a non comic fan all they see is spandex!

Do offer a genre they already like: horror for horror fans, sci-fi for sci-fi fans, etc.

Don't overload them with trades, but don't give them only the first issue of a 24 issue arc. A complete story that's easily digestable.

That's worked for me!
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Old 08-03-2006, 05:35 PM   #9
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Old 08-03-2006, 05:42 PM   #10
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Porn.
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Old 08-03-2006, 07:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComradeTim
Honestly, I don't think the problem that most non-comic readers have is with what comics are as opposed to what most people think comics are.
Bingo.

That said, don't underestimate the power of porn.

Anyway, it kind of seems to me that you think there aren't many comics for non-comic readers. But if you look, you can find a comic about anything, or close to it.

As for comic strips, look in my signature for one that might appeal to those who appreciate sex jokes, dark humour, and assholes.
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Old 08-03-2006, 08:22 PM   #12
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I honestly think some people stay away from comics because they don't want to be labeled a geek. Or a nerd. Or a fanboy/girl.

Even in movie magazines, when they review films based on comic book properties, they nearly always have a sly dig at the fanbase of the original, usually something like "of course, the costume change caused the geeks to inundate the message boards at blah blah.com". In all honesty, we don't help ourselves in this respect.

We really, really need to lose the stigma. I can't, for the life of me, think how that's possible. Seriously, who in their right mind would voluntarily join the ranks of the derided? You see Joe Q on the Colbert Report? People were laughing when he was describing Civil War. It's great that Marvel got that mainstream coverage, but when you take a step back and look at what he was doing, Joe becomes... well, he seemed geeky even to me.

We all take it so seriously. OK, not all of us, but there are lots that do. It's impenetrable (sp?) to non-comics readers. It's probably the reason that Maus has gained the literary status that it has, because it's OK to read that one. It's safe. My college tutor told me so. Different rules. Just don't get caught up in that tired old superhero stuff. (Pretty much what I was told at college, by the way.)

Oh, and I don't mean to take anything away from Spiegelman with that comment. It's rightly regarded as a masterpiece.
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Old 08-03-2006, 08:57 PM   #13
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I gave one of my teachers the first two issues of We3 and I said MOrrison was the modern Philip K. Dick. It worked out well.
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:03 PM   #14
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As has been pointed out, the question asked is all wrong. The question should be "How do we draw a [insert genre] fan's attention to a [insert genre] comic book?"

Truth be told, comic books DO have a stigma due to the market being dominated by superhero books published by the "Big Two". Here is where I see the problem. The "Big Two" have a strong following based on tradition and history. When DC or Marvel try something new or different, fans follow. Even some of Vertigo's stuff, stereotype-defying as it is, is often read by people who were fans of comic books to begin with.

So, to answer my own question: I have no flippin' idea.
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Fly
As has been pointed out, the question asked is all wrong. The question should be "How do we draw a [insert genre] fan's attention to a [insert genre] comic book?"
No, really, that is my right question. I meant, what sort of comics that you as a creator would like to make for the non-comic readers?

The question is inspired by what Nintendo is doing. They claim they wish to create games accessible & fun for non-gamers, for they see these non-gamers as an untapped market for the gaming scene and wish to capitalise that. They really proved that with the release of Nintendogs & Brain Age for the DS.

So what about comics? Would creators create new comics for the non-comic audience besides introducing current non-superhero comics?
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