The San Jose Mercury News, in preparation for WonderCon later this week, has an article up on the aging comic fan:
In 1989, the average age of a customer at Joe Field’s comic book store in Concord was 18.
Today, it’s almost 30. Moreover, Field estimates that buyers under 18 account for less than 20 percent of his sales.
Field’s experience at his shop, Flying Colors Comics, is anything but unique. The comics business has learned to survive and grow by appealing to adults instead of kids. And that has opened the door to increasingly mature and edgy material, some of it within famously mainstream comics.
This is probably my favorite quote:
“Comics,” Field says, “are still a flea on the rear of the entertainment elephant — including TV, movies, advertising and video games. Comics creatively dominate the other media, but they’re far behind from a business standpoint.”
This one from Lee Hester of Lee’s Comics was kind of a gem as well:
“We have a small readership base, and I’m okay with that,” Hester writes in e-mail. “I’m so small that Wal-Mart will never try to crush me.”
Thank god for small favors. The Merc also spoke to Brad Meltzer about the infamous Identity Crisis rape scene.