29 January 2009

Girls and Comics

Click on this entry's title to read an interesting article about girls and comic books from Publishers Weekly. Along with insights from folks in the comics industry, prolific children's and YA writer Jane Yolen discusses her relationship with comics and plans for her new graphic novel.

1 comment:

  1. POST #1:
    The following quotation comes from the article:
    Indeed, not marketing to teens seems to be one of the more effective ways of marketing to them. “I think teens are smart enough to know when something has been created for their market and stay way from it,” says Dan Vado, president and publisher of Slave Labor Graphics, whose books such as Jhonen Vasquez’ Johnny the Homicidal Maniac have a strong following among teen girls and were carried in Hot Topic stores for years. “People like me or some other publisher trying to figure them out or trying to market to them is useless, you have to start with a sincere story and creator, or it all goes to hell.”


    This is a fascinating statement, and what a conundrum for marketers trying to capture the lucrative teen market. After all there’s nothing as uncool as trying to seem cool. What I find really interesting is the cross-marketing done in the comic book industry that’s mentioned further on in this post. Gerard Way’s dual career as the My Chemical Romance frontman and comic book artist seems to make him an ideal candidate for the teen girl market. My now-19 year old daughter was a huge fan of MCR a couple years ago; no doubt she would have been a highly desirable customer for his comic book art as well. So what would make a crossover artist like this appealing to teen girls? In the case of Gerard Way, it’s got to be sex appeal. In fact, I can’t think of too many bands that my daughter screeched over while in high school that didn’t feature hotties as the frontmen! Let me offer you a virtual look at the posters on her wall: MCR, Green Day, the Pink Spiders, Hello Goodbye, Blink 182, etcetera. Now, admittedly, with some of these dudes, beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. An old gal like me just doesn’t get the appeal of a pierced lip, but then I’m not the target market for comic books either! I’m wondering if more bands will pick up on the idea of cross-marketing to teens via the comic book trade. Obviously, Way is an artist in his own right, but certainly rock bands could hire artists to produce books for them. After all, back in my day, the Archie series of comic books became a TV show, and then the Archie characters’ fake band actually had a Number 1 hit in 1969: “Sugar Sugar”. Guess who bought that single after reading the comics (and watching the Saturday morning cartoon). Cross-marketing worked even in the dark ages before the Internet; I can only imagine its potential now.