Wither Kids Comics?

Ever notice that comics are becoming more an more adult-themed? The article Hey Kids! No Comics! notes that lack of comics aimed at kids.

I remember being a youngster, riding my bike to the local 7-11, and spending all my hard earned cash on comic books (in 35 cent increments). Looking back, I think this is what fostered my love of reading. That and the bizarre ads they contained.

Is it me, or were comic readers back then either DC-only fans or Marvel-only fans? I was all over DC what with Superman, Batman, The Justice League, The Legion of Superheroes, etc. I never really got into the Marvel side of things. I’m sure that says something about me psychologically, I’m just not sure what.

7 thoughts on “Wither Kids Comics?”

  1. This article is bullshit. There’s the Johnny DC line of kids books, as well as all the cartoon network books, a variety of Archie books, Disney books, and a number of indies. A cursory look through the most recent issue of the Previews order form shows at least thirty kids books, and that’s not counting the kid-friendly manga, and there are dozens of those. Maybe they don’t get the same variety as we do in the States.

    Secondly, did anyone really read more Little Lulu and Hot Stuff than the DC and Marvel books? I was 8 in 1970 and remember buying all the Atlas and Charleston horror and barbarian books, as well as Superman and other heroes.

  2. For many (myself included) comic books = superheroes. Now I know there were and are plenty of non-superhero books, but I just grew up the idea that comics were about Spiderman and Batman and the like.

    Therefore, I think it’s the lack of kids superhero comic books today is what I find interesting. The superhero books have all turned dark and adult-oriented (sometimes literally adult!) and that’s a shame in some ways, but more reflects the demographic that reads them I suspect. I admit I find those books still interesting today because of the more mature themes, so it certainly isn’t all bad.

    I am about as far away from a comic book fanboy as you can get though – I’ve never purchased a comic in my life, instead borrowing them from friends – so I admit I don’t have the most in-depth perspective.

  3. Yes it was that way,

    Early Marvel was different, new, the underdog I guess.

    They would respond to mail.

    Wish I still had my #1 spiderman.

    But even I did read a few DC’s back then

    but I was in solid in the marvel camp.

    People picked sides and I’m not sure what it meant either.

    I Hope the future Fantastic Four movie

    does as well as x-men and spiderman.

    Not sure the x-ray glasses in the ad’s really worked but I did try raising sea-monkeys for a while -bg

  4. While I won’t deny that there are still kids comics out there – thats not what you will see as the primary display in any comic store. They have “kid sections” or “Mom friendly comics”, but the majority of stuff on display is definitely for a different/older crowd. I think that even at one time comics were not intended for a truly young audience. They all involved a certain amount of violence and things that would make some parent shudder. But then there was the golden age – you can find web links all over creation that discuss this period. That was when most of us were kids, and we remember those comics since they were pretty straightforward. Sure the good guys were flawed in some way, but the bad guys were just plain bad. The other thing we forget is that during this time reading comics was equivalent to being stupid. They were seen as a bad influence (much like gaming is today with some folks.) Now the ideas have changed, and reading is still reading.

    This all brings me to today. The market today really reflects us growing up and having a much more mature audience interested in these. The basic story is no longer interesting to a grownup as we have a desire for more. Furthermore, we like more robust images to draw us in as there is still a fair amount of fantasy there. I cannot slight these guys since they need to pay the bills like we do and to be honest – adults make lots more money than kids and single male adults have been known to burn all sorts of disposible income on this stuff. Parents still want thier kids reading books – and thats why you probably see less kid comics presented this way.

    One final comment, I remember growing up being able to get comics at drug stores and most markets, and then there were the neighborhood comic stores that were friendly and inviting (at least to kids :). Now I see so few neighborhood comic stores, and the big chains just don’t have the same feel…

  5. Tim is right, but kids books and games are always put in a Kids Section, and “Family DVDs” get their own little zone.

    In the early 80s the only way to get Heavy Metal was thru subscription or at Adult Book stores. I’m all for kids being able to buy comics easily, but I’d rather not stoke the “comics are for kids” mentality that has led to so many store owners being prosecuted.

    Hell, I was eleven when Gwen Stacy’s neck snapped on the Brooklyn Bridge. Psychotic bad guys regularly died ugly deaths on Jonny Quest. Villians in the Phantom and Doc Savage books I read as a youth were dispatched with extreme prejudice, usually after chocking up a high body count. And the Warren mags my dad bought me were stuffed to the gills with big-titted zombie women.

    I’m fortunate to have three great locally owned shops withing 20 miles of me. But it is sad that the grocery store comic rack has been replaced by a doxen tabloids all concerned with how Jennifer Aniston is coping with divorce.

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