- Posted by Johanna on June 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm
- Category: Comic News
To reassure comic shop retailers concerned about the recent relaunch news, DC is holding a series of meetings around the country. Word has begun to spread that the news includes mention of the new readers they hope to attract to comics, which has been characterized as 18-34-year-old males.
That’s not particularly surprising. That’s the demographic sweet spot in lots of media, including movies, which corporate comics are now mostly a feeder system for. DC’s older male audience is aging out, and younger men are considered hard to reach consistently. That’s considered a hole, an opportunity to be a medium that does hit that audience, which would help pitch comics to ad buyers (as we know they’ve done in the past).
The news that this is the DC message has upset some fanwomen (see the “males” link above), who feel left out. Their hope was that the DC message of greater diversity extended to females, but that appears not to be the case, as already seen from how few women are working on the new titles. I suspect it’s another example of “change, but not too much change” thinking on the company’s part — they want new readers, but not enough to break out of the ghettoizing idea that “superheroes are for boys”. Women read a lot more than men do, and as manga has shown, that includes words’n'pictures formats. But the guys running DC and making the decisions still don’t know how to reach outside their fan boxes, even if that audience is eager to spend money with them.
That angry post concludes
I’m pissed off (and I’ve heard from many others today who feel the same way). I think it’s time to consider whether the money I spend on DC is best spent with a company more into me. What do you think?
I think women should not buy products that annoy, offend, or marginalize them. But I also think that it’s easy to say “boycott” and hard to follow through on — if you’re interested in the item in the first place. Fans of all stripes have a long history of complaining while continuing to spend, which is part of what DC’s counting on. So this likely won’t happen, and even if it does, it won’t have the desired effect, because DC doesn’t see its female customers in the first place.
Now, want to send a message? Buy Wonder Woman #1 and ONLY that during the DC relaunch month. Buy extra copies of that title for your friends. Show consumer power by spiking sales on one particular title. In the meantime, watch this and be mesmerized (via elfgrove, another annoyed fan):