Grotesque Anatomy
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
  Ed Asks: Why Just Superheroes?
Ed Cunard reviews two upcoming small press books, Street Angel and Baraka and Black Magic in Morocco.  I've preordered both of these and, based on Ed's descriptions of the books, it sounds like I'll enjoy them.  At the end of his reviews, Ed wonders why great books like these don't find more of an audience in the Direct Market:
These books demonstrate the diversity in the I/SP scene that I keep babbling on about. Really, I have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that superhero comics are the sales giants of the contemporary comic book industry. Name one other entertainment medium that a single genre or theme dominates the majority of the market, if you can. It doesn’t happen with the music industry. It doesn’t happen with television – despite the glut of “reality”-based programming, a variety of genres are still well represented. It certainly doesn’t happen with movies… Imagine someone who only watches the romantic comedies of Tom Hanks – while that example may be possible, there aren’t enough of those people to make the movie industry decide to only produce Tom Hanks romantic comedies.

So, if you’re one of those dyed-in-the-wool superhero fans unwilling to leave the world of capes and tights for more diverse pastures, why is that? For once, I’m not saying it to be snarky – I really want to know, and I’d like to hear reasoned responses from those of the “mainstream” set. Hit up the Subsurface Communications message board or e-mail me and let me know. I’ve got plenty of hypotheses of my own, but I’d like to hear it from those people who buy nothing outside of the big four publishers.

I'd be curious to know people's reasons for only consuming superhero comics, too, so write in or comment below if you have some insight into this phenomenon (based either on your own preferences and buying habits, or on speculation about others' motivations).

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by John Jakala

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