- Posted by Johanna on November 27, 2006 at 1:00 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
For contrast in attitudes in comparison to DC launching graphic novels for teen girls, ICv2 today interviews Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley, who when asked about the female audience for comics responds with a whole lot of double-talk:
Our category’s gotten bigger, but the only genre where we have sophisticated genre development is our superhero action adventure stuff. So looking at the growth in the bookstore business, we can see between the sales of manga and what we’re doing, there’s interest. The bookstore business wants to support that, but we need to get more genres into the category to help drive that growth engine and at the same time, get new readers because of their dedication to that property already.
I think we suspected that when we had the Dark Tower deal. When we announced Dark Tower the first time, a lot of our suspicions seemed to be true. Were we specifically looking to say we need more women readers? Not necessarily. What we’re looking for is what kinds of properties are out there that have a solid fan base that would be excited about seeing that property in our form of graphic fiction. And we think we can translate that into commerce, and bring those people in to read, and then maybe we can get a couple of Anita Blake fans to pick up Spider-Man, and send them over to Mary Jane. That gets them involved in this kind of storytelling, and that’s what we were looking at. It’s great that it’s female readers for Anita Blake, but Hedge Knight’s going to have a completely different fan base. Hopefully if we get enough people involved in this type of fiction, it will help us grow the category and Marvel can always benefit from that type of growth. [...]
I know you’re talking specifically about females, but our thoughts are if we can look at properties that bring more readers to the table that are different demographics than Marvel’s core group, then we have something. If it’s women, that’s great; if it’s sword and sorcery guys, that’s great; if it’s young readers, that’s great; if it’s gamers, which Halo represents, that’s great. It can only lead to a broader mix of consumers, which can only help.
That’s why I kind of went off base with that. The soap opera thing that we did, obviously that was specifically targeted at women and moms, and we’re just seeing what comes out of it. We got great buzz out of it and we’re just going to see what happens in the stores when the stuff hits.
To me, that boils down to “if girls want to read our books, ok, but they’re not going to have much to choose from, and we really want them to read superheroes.” In contrast to THAT, DC deserves a lot of applause. Buckley sounds almost scared about attracting women.