Wired News: How are comics evolving in the 21st century?
Scott McCloud: Right now, the direction of the evolution is outward. There are three big changes going on: the influx of Japanese comics, which is resulting in a tremendous number of younger readers, especially younger females; graphic novels, which are expanding the literary ambitions of comics; and the webcomics explosion, which is the great wildcard in all this. There are a lot of mutations in that territory.
I’m about ready to identify a fourth (trend). There’s a new embryonic movement of all-ages, family-oriented comics from North America: books for tweeners and younger kids and mainstream fantasy books like Bone.
WN: A decade ago, comics were largely geared toward adults. Why did that change, and how is that transformation reflected today?
McCloud: It wasn’t that they were really geared toward adults. It was more that we lost the kids. The superhero fans were just getting older, and we woke up one day and realized the kids had all left. That’s why things likemanga are so encouraging: We’re starting to get the kids back.
Most of the interview, of course, is devoted to webcomics, but I think I’d like to read more of McCloud’s thoughts on the all-ages/YA market.