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Old 08-12-2017, 02:43 PM   #30
Green Lantern
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 656

Diversity is not bad business, because those 'different' people actually exist and want entertainment. The problem lies in the direct market system. The comic companies and retailers, in their shortsighted foolishness, destroyed the entry point for new fans.

I'm willing to go out on a limb and bet a good number of the people on this very forum got into comics because they saw them at some place they would go to, which was not a comic book shop. Maybe a drug store. Maybe a supermarket. Places many people of many diverse backgrounds regularly go to. This is why probably many people here started reading comics in the '80s, '90s (granted in parts of this period, the direct market enjoyed fad success that would not last), or maybe even sometime before then.

The direct market is meant to cater to the existing comic fan, most certainly not to reach out to a new reader. Because the products adapted to become the best to sell in that environment, they further alienate new people not only with their location, but their content (confusing crossovers, reboots, and the like.

The reason minorities won't rush to comic book shops is because during the time comics were easily accessible to new people, in a variety of ways, the publishers, for the most part, only focused on white heroes. Thus, a white customer base developed, and because comics greatly struggle to reach new customers of ANY background, that's all the mainstream comics have. The same customer base that developed decades ago, many of whom got into comics because they saw them in easily accessible places.

So, the point is that appealing to people of different backgrounds isn't bad. It can be done poorly. Rather than bringing that out as the problem, it is much more beneficial, intelligent, and honest to address the root problem, which is comics' stagnate and dwindling readership. That is what is REALLY the bad business. Not the diversity stuff. If comics could reach a large enough pool of people, and not have to rely on gimmicks that come to the detriment of the new and potential new fan, the companies wouldn't resort to turning Iron Man into a black woman, the prices wouldn't be so high for a single comic, these crossovers likely wouldn't be running amok like they do now, and so on.

No decent entry point for new readers (meaning new readers SEEING them and then finding them appealing) = hardly any new fans = a plethora of problems for comics. Appealing to the dwindling group of good ol' boys who ARE used to putting money on the table as opposed to the potential new fan is only putting a band-aid on the problem, and maybe delaying the inevitable a little while longer. BUT, I will admit this. As long as the direct market system is going to be the primary way to sell comics, it is wiser to appeal to the good ol' boy, because he's already used to it and spending his money there. But the important thing is looking at this with a big lens will show this system is broken.

Last edited by Star-Lantern; 08-12-2017 at 02:58 PM.
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