There have been claims that comics are no longer for children but for adults. Comics are no longer even targeted at children, nut more at an older crowd to consume. To some people this is blasphemous. To some people it makes sense. Yet, to some people the idea of reading a comic is juvenile. Which is it? Are the comics still juenile and they have an lder audience. or are comics no longer targeting children which is why the audience age now skews a big older than one would expect.
Target Age of Comics
Yes, there are comics that are designed for adult audience. Yes, most comics, even ones that are not targeting an adult demo are a big more mature. I believe that comics are targeting a young adult to new adult demo. They are reaching a group that is old enough to not be babied, yet not always so old as to be fully adult. A YA target in many ways makes perfect sense. It pulls in the audience of younger people, while still having adult enough themes that actual adults can still enjoy the genre. In many ways the YA genre really is the genre for everyone to embrace, but I think I’ll save that discussion for another day. The point is, by being YA there are still relevant topics to both a younger and older crowd. I’ve heard claims that
Why is YA a Great Target for Comics
It would be foolish if comics targeted young children in this modern world. Sure, I believe there could be some great stories designed for children. There could be versions of characters that operate in their own way to entertain a younger audience. However, for most comics, a YA target really is the perfect range. Since it is capable of reaching more people it can bring in more profit. A YA comic title can entice teenagers and also adults. The comics can then focus on darker subject matter that wouldn’t be appropriate for a younger demographic.
Comics are not cheap any more. The average comic costs $3-4 a pop. That’s for roughly 30 pages of content. it isn’t cheap. For people wanting to get into comics it is expensive and you are not going to see little kids getting into it because of the price point. A logical parent isn’t going to buy a six year old a comic because most would either discard or destroy the investment. Not to mention they are released serially, which means the audience must be old enough to have interest to come back to something when the next piece is out. A slightly older audience can actually afford to buy the comics and then maintain an interest in coming back a month or two later for a new issue.
The Contents of Comics
We already discussed that the target for most comics appears to be YA and why its a good demo, but it’s important because of the contents of the actual comics as well. If comics were targeted at younger children they types of characters we would have and the way the stories would be released would be entirely different. A super sanitized version of the current heroes and stories we see now in comics would be less interesting to the comic reading community as a whole. At the very least, it wouldn’t have as wide a reach as it currently does. Instead, we get comics that treat its readers like they can handle the consequences of what happens in many of these comics. They face enemies that may be unrelenting or amoral. Even in non-superhero based comics there are subjects that are touched that are designed for an older audience.
What do you feel like the target demographic of comics is?
One thought on “The Comic Book Audience”
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