Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed the article. Just to address a few of your points…
I read this as well, and personally I'd disagree with them. Not 100%, but I think comic books' popularity could still have been much higher than it is now had the post 90s crash had not totally wiped out all but the direct market. Kids will love any form of entertainment as long as its 'engaging' (sorry, nebulous term) and they love comic characters as they do video games, but they just can't get to the damn things. News vendors hardly carry the books any more, leaving it to select book stores, which aren’t exactly viable for many children compared to newsstands.The creators of Judge Dredd/2000AD have recently stated they personally believe the decline in their circulation over recent years is entirely down to computer games popularity. You can't argue that computer games aren't vastly more popular than comics... But think about what things might have been like before computer games existed.
The reason I think this is pretty simple: Harry Potter and Manga. Manga has grown so much in the last 5 years it's insane, because they're easily purchased and very readable. Kids LOVE them, videogames or no. If American and European comics had the same readership as Manga, me and the hundreds of other Western comic book creators out there would be very rich But our distribution is far weaker.
Then we have Harry Potter – a BOOK. Barely a picture outside its cover. Yet it does frightening numbers. Sure, it's a huge multimedia franchise now, but it started just from having words on a page. All while videogames were blowing up and making noise. It's not a common thing, true, but its an exception that disproves the rule – all my younger cousins (girls from 7 to 11 years old) read Harry Potter and when they're done they switch on their DS' and get down to videogaming. Yes, gaming cuts into reading circulation, but they're far from mutually exclusive – they can survive very well side by side IF the audience can reach both equally. And for me, that's what it comes down to. Comics cant be accessed easily by kids compared to games. Which is pretty ironic seeing as games are often 10 to 20 times more expensive, regardless of 'completed experiences'.
Of course, everyone has their own take on this, but this is mine
Yeah, same here. I love the diversity. I still also have my Choose Your Own Adventure/Fighting Fantasy/Lone Wolf books too. They actually helped me want to write for a living AND get involved in videogames. So you can partly blame Jackson and Livingson for making you spend time on my featureComics have grown up in recent years because the kids who were reading comics 15+ years ago are now themselves comic writers/artists/creators. We are part of a generation that is somehow still able to engage in the past-times that we used to have as kids - because we've been able to make those past times and hobbies grow up "with" us. (I don't see myself ever stopping playing computer games or reading comics - then again there are computer games and comics that appeal to me now because they deal with adult themes - unlike in my parents time, comics were for kids back then).
Hmm, well I wouldn’t agree that comics don’t make a lot of cash – they don’t make a lot of cash in comparison to some other mediums in the entertainment industry, but there's enough, especially for the big characters/books. Mark Miller makes a mint for what he does at Marvel, for example. Artists make even more, but obviously their input (in terms of books per month - the artist workload is still higher) is smaller for a larger commitment. Merchandising makes the money for the company, very true, but it would be quite misleading to say movies create the interest – the character interest has to be there for the movie to be made in the first place and there's a protracted process in selecting characters for big screen adaptation. Many movie makers go to comics because the creative freedom is that much greater, even though the money is less; it's a far more innovate industry, which is why so many film companies are leeching comic book creators into their ranks and buying so much comic inventory.Comics don't make a shedload of cash. Licencing popular characters from comic books is where the money is... In movies, T-shirts, mugs, toys etc. But its the Movies that create the interest. The industry was almost bankrupt in the 90s - marvel almost went under. (Its been said taht the comic book industry is the "character development industry" - or something to that effect).
The crash of the 90s by the way, was through investors playing silly buggers and market saturation, more than anything else – the industry started feeding off itself and then decided to shoot itself into the bargain. Hubris and overconfidence rather than the fault of the medium itself. Gaming just so happened to be there to tapdance on what it thought was a grave.
Very true, and as with what Rolex said, this is a good point. XIII and Ultimate Spider-Man were very 'true' comic games in that respect. Although many devs tend to meld both film and comic inspiration together, so it's a line that's blurred somewhat.Another point I'd like to make is that there aren't that many "true" comic book games... Think about all the comic book video games that have emerged in recent years. Are they comic book games - or mostly games of comic book movies?
As mediums they try to play to what they're good at, but many games do indeed boil down to what Rolex said – a scrap to the next boss (not that this isn’t entertaining – I played the original Punisher arcade game last month and fell in love… so awesome). Many have a very strict framework to stay within, so that never helps and publishers worry that deviation from films too much makes the gamer unhappy. There's yet to be a full blown comic book game where decisions can truly influence your outcome, but adventure titles are perhaps the closest to that, BioWare being the main developer to explore such routes. I just don’t think the RAM and internal memory for consoles is there yet for that sort of scope, and it would probably cost a bomb too. But if a dev does something like Hotel Dusk but for Wii, expands the gameplay possibilities and makes us truly feel we're 'changing the game' I think we could end up with something truly special. Would take a hell of a lot of work.
Poor Cap *pours liquor in his honour*I'm gonna go petition Ion to make a comics lounge now.
What did everyone think of Cap America getting "capped". (lol @ own cheesy pun)