Comics: Where Pop Culture Goes to Die
Boom! Studios — as part of the new strategy to announce all your big Comic Con news before the show actually starts, because everyone will be too busy while the show is going on to actually pay attention to anyone not a movie, Marvel, or DC — has announced that they will be publishing four new graphic novels written by R.L. Stine starting next year.
Stine’s name is synonymous with kids’ horror, since he created Goosebumps (novels, previously a TV show, and now a movie) in 1992, and Fear Street, “the best-selling YA series in history with more than 100 books published thus far”, in 1989. The series of four graphic novels, with artists not yet mentioned, will be new supernatural horror concepts for middle grade readers. It will begin in fall 2019 and be released through the KaBoom! imprint.
That’s a good brand name to have if you want to get into that market, but… I can’t help thinking that those best-selling brands were established 26 and 29 years ago. If people are picking up comics based on Stine’s name, those customers aren’t kids, but their parents, who remember their childhood reading. I wish the comic industry was more interested in developing new creators (particularly artists) than continuing to exploit decades-old brands.
“I’m so lucky to have been able to scare so many generations of kids,” said Stine. “Now I feel lucky to be going just beyond Goosebumps to a whole new medium of fright and chilling laughs. I’m hoping that Boom! is the sound of an explosion of fun in a whole new world for me.”
Playing Devil’s Advocate, we won’t know which of today’s creators will have had been successful until the next generation of gatekeepers try and monetize their brand. Today’s superstar is tomorrow’s one-hit wonder.