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View Full Version : Are comics a mainstream medium today?



Kefky
02-27-2008, 07:18 AM
Discuss.

JoeE
02-27-2008, 07:19 AM
Nope. Niche all the way.

WNCE
02-27-2008, 07:20 AM
Yes!

Gregory
02-27-2008, 07:20 AM
If they are, does that mean they only support liberal policies?

MAK15
02-27-2008, 07:21 AM
comics are comics.

Lab-Rat
02-27-2008, 07:22 AM
I don't think they are. At least they aren't as mainstream as say...the internet...or TV...or Movies....or regular old books.

I wish they were, but they aren't. They are getting there though...and I think they could be mainstream within the next few years, if not sooner.

John M. Coker (Johnny C.)
02-27-2008, 07:24 AM
What makes a medium "mainstream"? How popular it is as a whole? Or the subject matter? I don't think you can say that the entire medium IS or ISN'T mainstream.

TheKraken
02-27-2008, 07:25 AM
Not even close. But closer than they've ever been in the US. :)

Kefky
02-27-2008, 07:26 AM
Not even close. But closer than they've ever been in the US. :)

More than they were in the '80's and early '90's?

DAVE
02-27-2008, 07:26 AM
Here in New Yrok City, I'd say yeah they are.

TheKraken
02-27-2008, 07:30 AM
More than they were in the '80's and early '90's?

Sure. There may be fewer readers (or in the case of the 90s, "buyers" since they weren't actually reading them), but the culture is less likely to dismiss them as maladjusted weirdos and the comics as kids' stuff now. The various and sundry comic book films may not be driving people into comic shops, but they are making "mainstream" people more accepting of nerdy stuff and thus, comics.

Ziolko
02-27-2008, 07:52 AM
Comic books are not a mainstream medium. But superheroes are becoming a mainstream genre.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 08:01 AM
They seem like it to me. They're pretty well ingrained in American culture.

adam_warlock_2099
02-27-2008, 08:09 AM
About as mainstream as equal rights.

DAVE
02-27-2008, 09:27 AM
I'm interested in why so many people voted "no". Is it because in their personal experience they find comics to be an underappreciated unknown media with stigma against it, or do they feel that it is that way for others accross the world?

Ben Rosen
02-27-2008, 09:30 AM
they've been in the newspapers for over a century or whatever so i'd say yeah.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 09:35 AM
they've been in the newspapers for over a century or whatever so i'd say yeah.

Exactly.

Hoggie
02-27-2008, 09:35 AM
they've been in the newspapers for over a century or whatever so i'd say yeah.

Great point. When CNN starts doing stories on comic stories I'd say its mainstream.

NickT
02-27-2008, 09:38 AM
Great point. When CNN starts doing stories on comic stories I'd say its mainstream.
CNN does stories on dogs that can talk and the world's largest vegetable.

The Human Target
02-27-2008, 09:42 AM
No.

That was fun!

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 09:46 AM
Even the best selling comics never transcend the 300,000 unit mark.

Of course comics aren't "mainstream."

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 09:53 AM
Great point. When CNN starts doing stories on comic stories I'd say its mainstream.

This reminds me of a blog I just wrote on the definition of mainstream in music. It applies to this as well. http://absolutepunk.net/journal.php?do=showjournal&j=3920

The Arcade Fire's 2007 album Neon Bible debuted at the #2 position on the US Billboard charts. In 2005, Tim Magazine, one of the eldest and most respected print periodicals featured the band on the cover, claiming they were the most relevant band in contemporary times. They receive a barrage of praise from critics in luminary print magazines and webzines, such as Rolling Stone, The New York Times, etc.

The Arcade Fire's music is not featured in commercials, does not feature linear compositions with easily accessible, made-for-radio choruses or the archetypal hooks, does not receive commercial top 40 radio play and is not featured on MTV or most other music channels. If you polled the majority of music listeners in America, it would be quite evident that the Arcade Fire is not a household name the way other contemporary pop artists like Fergie or Nickelback are.

Is Arcade Fire mainstream?

Apply this to comics.

DAVE
02-27-2008, 09:55 AM
Even the best selling comics never transcend the 300,000 unit mark.

Of course comics aren't "mainstream."

How many comics are published each month? Multiply that by 10,000-300,000 and I'd say that's a pretty big number each month.
Ask my grandmother what curling, an Olympic sport is and she'll have no idea. Now ask her what a comicbook is.
What's not mainstream about it?

NickT
02-27-2008, 09:56 AM
Even the best selling comics never transcend the 300,000 unit mark.

Of course comics aren't "mainstream."
Civil War did. Even with the estimates (Which are either missing chunks of sales or flat out wrong and way too low), 3/7 of the issues topped 300k and they all went over 250k. Plus the trade estimates for 2007 from Semptember gave it another 35k, which ignores bookstores.

The Human Target
02-27-2008, 09:58 AM
How many comics are published each month? Multiply that by 10,000-300,000 and I'd say that's a pretty big number each month.
Ask my grandmother what curling, an Olympic sport is and she'll have no idea. Now ask her what a comicbook is.
What's not mainstream about it?

Does she read comics?

Does she know anyone besides you who reads comics?

Could she name a comicbook that hasn't had a movie or tv show based upon it?

Thats why they aren't mainstream.

Donal DeLay
02-27-2008, 10:44 AM
Comic books are not a mainstream medium. But superheroes are becoming a mainstream genre.
Agreed.

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 10:53 AM
How many comics are published each month? Multiply that by 10,000-300,000 and I'd say that's a pretty big number each month.
Ask my grandmother what curling, an Olympic sport is and she'll have no idea. Now ask her what a comicbook is.
What's not mainstream about it?

That's an incredibly moot point.

Your grandmother knows of comics. She doesn't read them. I'd assume she couldn't list a single comic Image has ever published. She most likely only knows heroes as the icons they've been portrayed as in the media.

Also, the numbers you provided are still consestable, considering the majority of readers don't read comics and harbor this stereotypical view of the medium as simplistic and juvenile.

Let's take it a step further; there are still many people who don't have a concept of comics outside superheroes. The non-superhero comics are not the comics that predominantly sell well in our own niche fan-circle, let alone to the general public.

Does your grandmother know what Vertigo is? Does she know how Watchmen changed comics? Does she know who Will Eisner is the same way people know about Indie Rock, know how Sgt. Pepper changed music and knows who the Led Zeppelin are?

Comics are not mainstream. However, superheroes are a very compartmentalized segment of the medium that are gaining recognition.


Civil War did. Even with the estimates (Which are either missing chunks of sales or flat out wrong and way too low), 3/7 of the issues topped 300k and they all went over 250k. Plus the trade estimates for 2007 from Semptember gave it another 35k, which ignores bookstores.

*sigh*

Okay, there hasn't been a comic to trump the 300,000K mark except Civil War, which was between 300 and 400k.

Brian Defferding
02-27-2008, 10:58 AM
No. The numbers don't lie, compared to written books, comics sell far less.

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 11:00 AM
No. But in some other countries like Japan, they are.

Glixy
02-27-2008, 11:01 AM
Here in New Yrok City, I'd say yeah they are.

Nah. When was the last time you saw someone on the train reading a comic? I never have.

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 11:03 AM
Nah. When was the last time you saw someone on the train reading a comic? I never have.

If you gathered all New Yorkers together and polled them to see how many read comics, I'm confident that the majority would not be regular or casual comic fans.

chazbot
02-27-2008, 11:06 AM
Comic Book movies are, but not comics themselves.

If this were the case, you'd think at least thousands more would be flocking to the LCS after each new comic-based blockbuster comes out.

DaveCummings
02-27-2008, 11:07 AM
That's an incredibly moot point.

Your grandmother knows of comics. She doesn't read them. I'd assume she couldn't list a single comic Image has ever published. She most likely only knows heroes as the icons they've been portrayed as in the media.

Also, the numbers you provided are still consestable, considering the majority of readers don't read comics and harbor this stereotypical view of the medium as simplistic and juvenile.

Let's take it a step further; there are still many people who don't have a concept of comics outside superheroes. The non-superhero comics are not the comics that predominantly sell well in our own niche fan-circle, let alone to the general public.

Does your grandmother know what Vertigo is? Does she know how Watchmen changed comics? Does she know who Will Eisner is the same way people know about Indie Rock, know how Sgt. Pepper changed music and knows who the Led Zeppelin are?

Comics are not mainstream. However, superheroes are a very compartmentalized segment of the medium that are gaining recognition.



*sigh*

Okay, there hasn't been a comic to trump the 300,000K mark except Civil War, which was between 300 and 400k.


Sorry Todd, but you are so wrong. Comics are more mainstream than people care to realize or recognize. It may not reflect in direct market sales of single issues (which in the past decade, with the growth of tpbs and bookstore sales, those numbers have become increasingly obsolete), but comics are more mainstream with how much they are permeating our culture. It has influenced movies, not just superhero movies, but aspects of non comic liscensed movies. You see it on toy store shelves, you see it in video games, you see it everywhere. You comparing it to some flavor of the month emo band is not really a fair or valid comparison.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 11:08 AM
Even the best selling comics never transcend the 300,000 unit mark.

Of course comics aren't "mainstream."

Peanuts?

Garfield?

Come on.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 11:09 AM
Nah. When was the last time you saw someone on the train reading a comic? I never have.

Absolutely all the time. Weekly, easily.

Myself included.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 11:13 AM
Is rock and roll mainstream?

How many people listen to The Transgressors?

Therefore rock and roll isn't a mainstream genre.

:roll:

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 11:18 AM
Is rock and roll mainstream?

How many people listen to The Transgressors?

Therefore rock and roll isn't a mainstream genre.

:roll:

People listen to music in general on a regular basis. I barely see people reading books let alone comics.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 11:21 AM
People listen to music in general on a regular basis. I barely see people reading books let alone comics.

You live in a driving culture, yes? Where would you see people reading regularly?

(Allthough publishing is taking a nosedive, sure.)

At any rate, I don't understand what your point has to speak towards this discussion. My point was to show by analogy how flawed Todd's above arguement regarding grandmas not knowing about Vertigo is. His argument is neither valid nor sound.

DaGetHighKnight
02-27-2008, 11:23 AM
Nah. When was the last time you saw someone on the train reading a comic? I never have.

Every Wed. i see people with midtown comic bags on the train reading..

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 11:26 AM
You live in a driving culture, yes? Where would you see people reading regularly?

(Allthough publishing is taking a nosedive, sure.)

At any rate, I don't understand what your point has to speak towards this discussion. My point was to show by analogy how flawed Todd's above arguement regarding grandmas not knowing about Vertigo is. His argument is neither valid nor sound.

I used to take the bus everyday. Which is pretty important public transportation in southern Cali and never seen someone read comics except for myself and maybe a few other kids over the past 8 years.

And the question is asked if comics are mainstream. Youre saying yes and I'm saying no.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 11:33 AM
I used to take the bus everyday. Which is pretty important public transportation in southern Cali and never seen someone read comics except for myself and maybe a few other kids over the past 8 years.

And the question is asked if comics are mainstream. Youre saying yes and I'm saying no.

You said you never saw anybody reading.

Do the people saying, "no," think that comics are only distributed by Diamond every Wednesday at specialty stores around the country?

In contrast, are we who are saying, "yes," rightly considering comics as a medium that is practically impossible to avoid daily in evey major newspaper, not to mention a tool in advertising.

Comics are not a specific product just as prose is not a specific product. That erotic horror isn't mainstream doesn't make prose novels not mainstream.

ClintP
02-27-2008, 11:35 AM
comics are comics.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 11:36 AM
Tautology for the win.

ClintP
02-27-2008, 11:38 AM
Tautology for the win.

You use too many "school" words. :lol:

Ben Rosen
02-27-2008, 11:39 AM
Jef UK is totally the MVP of this thread.

He is like Golden State's Baron Davis and everyone who disagrees with him is like a 4th grader.

LazyComix
02-27-2008, 11:39 AM
am I the only one that thinks the less mainstream they are the better?

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 11:42 AM
Sorry Todd, but you are so wrong. Comics are more mainstream than people care to realize or recognize. It may not reflect in direct market sales of single issues (which in the past decade, with the growth of tpbs and bookstore sales, those numbers have become increasingly obsolete), but comics are more mainstream with how much they are permeating our culture. It has influenced movies, not just superhero movies, but aspects of non comic liscensed movies. You see it on toy store shelves, you see it in video games, you see it everywhere.

That's well and good, influence is great.

That said, I still highly doubt that the majority of people know much about comics beyond superhero fare or daily newspaper strips.

Sadly, the majority of Amercians are not reading comics and I think it's fair to say that graphic novels are not part of the modern pop culture canon in the way film, music, and other mediums are.


You comparing it to some flavor of the month emo band is not really a fair or valid comparison.

Who compared comics to an Emo band?

Do you even know who the Arcade Fire is?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcade_fire

Oh, you're referring to this band as an obscure, flavor of the month Emo band.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3a/Arcade_Fire_on_TIME_Cover.jpg

I gotcha. The band who, over the last four or five years has become the most critically acclaimed and respected contemporary indie band, who's last album debuted at #2. Furthermore, there's quite a few fans of the band on this site who would tell you they're far from the Emotional Hardcore subgenre. Honestly, read the blog link. I think I make some very valid points.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 11:43 AM
Wait, now I'm going to join Todd in fighting against Dave Cummings on this other topic. :)

Seriously.

chazbot
02-27-2008, 11:43 AM
Once Bendis gets name dropped on TV, then comics are too mainstream. Oh, and The OC never counted.

Ben Rosen
02-27-2008, 11:45 AM
That said, I still highly doubt that the majority of people know much about comics beyond superhero fare or daily newspaper strips.

how is that not significant? that's a huge.

that said, you're on the money with your arcade fire/emo argument.

ClintP
02-27-2008, 11:45 AM
Not to rag on your band there Todd, but is that Napoleon Dynamite there on the left? :)

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 11:45 AM
You said you never saw anybody reading.

Do the people saying, "no," think that comics are only distributed by Diamond every Wednesday at specialty stores around the country?

In contrast, are we who are saying, "yes," rightly considering comics as a medium that is practically impossible to avoid daily in evey major newspaper, not to mention a tool in advertising.

Comics are not a specific product just as prose is not a specific product. That erotic horror isn't mainstream doesn't make prose novels not mainstream.

Comics are a medium like TV, Movies, newpapers and books. I dont see normal everyday people reading comics in my area or anywhere else I go. It is not mainstream in this country like it is in Japan. And trust me, I wish comics were more popular over here, we'd be getting paid more and I'd get more respect.

Ben Rosen
02-27-2008, 11:46 AM
Not to rag on your band there Todd, but is that Napoleon Dynamite there on the left? :)

Richard Reed Parry! :rock:

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 11:46 AM
That said, I still highly doubt that the majority of people know much about comics beyond superhero fare or daily newspaper strips.

Thems comics, thems mainstream.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 11:48 AM
Comics are a medium like TV, Movies, newpapers and books. I dont see normal everyday people reading comics in my area or anywhere else I go. It is not mainstream in this country like it is in Japan. And trust me, I wish comics were more popular over here, we'd be getting paid more and I'd get more respect.

Charles Schultz wept in his billion dollar coffin.

ClintP
02-27-2008, 11:50 AM
Charles Schultz wept in his billion dollar coffin.

Who? ;)

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 11:52 AM
Wait, now I'm going to join Todd in fighting against Dave Cummings on this other topic. :)

Seriously.


how is that not significant? that's a huge.

that said, you're on the money with your arcade fire/emo argument.

I'm not saying it isn't significant.

I wouldn't make such a cavalier claim as "comics are mainstream" considering they don't hold as revered and consumed a place in the sociological perspective (at least, American sociological perspective) as movies or novels.

Comics are predominantly associated with superheroes and comic strips, the former of which are erronously viewed as one-dimensional, juvenile male-adolescent fantasy.

When Jef UK made the analogy of novels not being written off as a medium due to the erotic vampire genre, it doesn't fit, as novels are not necessarily defined in the social collective consciousness as being predominantly comprised of "erotic vampire novels" as comics are with superheroes.

Look at your prototypical bookstore. You must notice the syntactical layout of each respective store features one compartmentalized section for graphic novels, while the rest of the store features novels/books of different genre. That is indicative of the public perception of comics.

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 11:53 AM
Charles Schultz wept in his billion dollar coffin.

Too bad most people think the peanuts are just old cartoons.

And I love how Peanuts is your only defense. :lol:

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 11:54 AM
I'm not saying it isn't significant.

I wouldn't make such a cavalier claim as "comics are mainstream" considering they don't hold as revered and consumed a place in the sociological perspective (at least, American sociological perspective) as movies or novels.

Comics are predominantly associated with superheroes and comic strips, the former of which are erronously viewed as one-dimensional, juvenile male-adolescent fantasy.

When Jef UK made the analogy of novels not being written off as a medium due to the erotic vampire genre, it doesn't fit, as novels are not necessarily defined in the social collective consciousness as being predominantly comprised of "erotic vampire novels" as comics are with superheroes.

Look at your prototypical bookstore. You must notice the syntactical layout of each respective store features one compartmentalized section for graphic novels, while the rest of the store features novels/books of different genre. That is indicative of the public perception of comics.

Yessum.

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 11:55 AM
Thems comics, thems mainstream.

So merely knowing something exists makes it mainstream?

Many know of superhero comics. How many read them?

Many people know Indie music exists. How many listen to music that falls within this ambiguous umbrella label?

RickLM
02-27-2008, 11:56 AM
Comics were everywhere in the 1970s, and now they've mostly been confined to the ghetto of the comic shop. They aren't as universally available as they used to be. People have seen me with a comic and said things like "I haven't read a comic in years."

On the other hand, they obviously influence the mainstream more than ever. The movie studios depend on comics for new ideas and characters, whether its superheroes or things like A History of Violence.

So, yes and no.

chazbot
02-27-2008, 11:57 AM
Actually, at my closest bookstores the section - COMICS - is probably 80% Manga and 20% Marvel/DC/etc...
I don't think it should be this way, but I'm sure there are plenty of sales figures that deem this order to the Comics Section appropriate.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 11:57 AM
An anecdote: a year and a half ago Amstel Light paid something upwards of $150,000 for an ad campaign that ran sequentially for three months in Details magazine. I know because I was hired to write it. Just prior, Daniel Clowes had a Perry Ellis comic run in New Yorker magazine, I believe. Who knows how much that fucking account cost.

Seems pretty mainstream of a medium, whether or not Civil War sold 300,000 copies.

ClintP
02-27-2008, 11:58 AM
Yessum.

That was the part I didn't agree with in his post. In a bookstore, everything has it's section of the store. Why would a comic or graphic novel be any different? Should the Criminal tpbs be mixed in along with the crime section?

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 11:59 AM
Comics were everywhere in the 1970s, and now they've mostly been confined to the ghetto of the comic shop. They aren't as universally available as they used to be. People have seen me with a comic and said things like "I haven't read a comic in years."

On the other hand, they obviously influence the mainstream more than ever. The movie studios depend on comics for new ideas and characters, whether its superheroes or things like A History of Violence.

So, yes and no.

The shitty thing with the adaptations is most people just think theyre new movies and not from Comics. I would tell people, you know History of Violence was a comic right? And they wouldnt believe me and then I have to explain theyre not all superheroes and all this other crap....

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:00 PM
Look at your prototypical bookstore. You must notice the syntactical layout of each respective store features one compartmentalized section for graphic novels, while the rest of the store features novels/books of different genre. That is indicative of the public perception of comics.

I have no idea the point you're trying to make here.

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 12:00 PM
That was the part I didn't agree with in his post. In a bookstore, everything has it's section of the store. Why would a comic or graphic novel be any different? Should the Criminal tpbs be mixed in along with the crime section?

Why not?

jason hissong
02-27-2008, 12:00 PM
Comics are mainstream.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:01 PM
Why not?

Why not just shelve all of fiction together?

Oh right, marketing and ease of shopping.

chazbot
02-27-2008, 12:02 PM
That was the part I didn't agree with in his post. In a bookstore, everything has it's section of the store. Why would a comic or graphic novel be any different? Should the Criminal tpbs be mixed in along with the crime section?

You're lucky if a bookstore divides comics by publisher. With no order to the section, it creates an uninviting environment. Why is someone going to randomly drop $15 dollars on the third trade of some storyline if he can't find trade 1 and 2?
I've complained repeatedly to a friend who is one of the managers at a B&N near me about their comics section. She just laughs, because there are much more important things for them to focus on.

jason hissong
02-27-2008, 12:03 PM
You're lucky if a bookstore divides comics by publisher. With no order to the section, it creates an uninviting environment. Why is someone going to randomly drop $15 dollars on the third trade of some storyline if he can't find trade 1 and 2?
I've complained repeatedly to a friend who is one of the managers at a B&N near me about their comics section. She just laughs, because there are much more important things for them to focus on.

Probably because the comics that sell are one section over- in the Manga section.

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 12:03 PM
You're lucky if a bookstore divides comics by publisher. With no order to the section, it creates an uninviting environment. Why is someone going to randomly drop $15 dollars on the third trade of some storyline if he can't find trade 1 and 2?
I've complained repeatedly to a friend who is one of the managers at a B&N near me about their comics section. She just laughs, because there are much more important things for them to focus on.

But they are mainstream and everybody reads them. What will the masses do?

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 12:03 PM
I have no idea the point you're trying to make here.

Comics are relegated to a mere rack at the bookstore, when there are many, many aisles and shelves dedicated to novels.

chazbot
02-27-2008, 12:04 PM
Probably because the comics that sell are one section over- in the Manga section.

Like I said before...80% Manga, 20% Marvel/DC/etc...
But then, she was completely confused when I was trying to sell her on why they should carry Scott Pilgrim...

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:05 PM
Too bad most people think the peanuts are just old cartoons.

And I love how Peanuts is your only defense. :lol:

Peanuts is a comic, comics are a medium, therefore comics are a mainstream medium.

I can do this with every comic in every national newspaper if you like. Or with every ad campaign that has used comics to convey their ad.

jason hissong
02-27-2008, 12:05 PM
Comics are relegated to a mere rack at the bookstore, when there are many, many aisles and shelves dedicated to novels.

Isn't that a problem of product quantity, though?

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 12:06 PM
Peanuts is a comic, comics are a medium, therefore comics are a mainstream medium.

I can do this with every comic in every national newspaper if you like. Or with every ad campaign that has used comics to convey their ad.

You saying something is doesnt make it so. I'm just going by the numbers and reality.:)

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:07 PM
Comics are relegated to a mere rack at the bookstore, when there are many, many aisles and shelves dedicated to novels.

At Barnes & Noble comics are shelved under Graphic Novels in the, wait for it, fiction section. There's often an entire aile's worth. Comics are one of the many aisles and shelves you are talking about within the fiction section.

Montly comics get a spinner rack with the rest of the periodicals.

Ben Rosen
02-27-2008, 12:08 PM
Comics are relegated to a mere rack at the bookstore, when there are many, many aisles and shelves dedicated to novels.

there's about as much shelf space devoted to comics as there is music in my local barnes and noble. music's definitely still mainstream.

comics are a medium. everyone understands how comics work. everyone knows how to read comics because they are everywhere. they are in the newspaper, they are in ad campaigns, they are in comic books, they are in "graphic novels" or whatever. SO MANY PEOPLE read the comics section of the newspaper. those are comics. tons of people read them. the medium is mainstream!

are long form narratives as popular? no. are superhero pamphlets as popular? no. but that doesn't mean the medium as a whole isn't mainstream.

RickLM
02-27-2008, 12:09 PM
Isn't that a problem of product quantity, though?



It's an issue of consumer demand. The stores stock what sells. Judging from my local Barnes and Noble, it seems like Manga sells way more than the other (non-Manga) graphic novels. And way more novels are sold in a bookstore than comics/graphic novels.

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 12:10 PM
Isn't that a problem of product quantity, though?

Yes.

But then, most Barnes and Noble's don't carry single issues of non-Marvel/DC comics.

Barnes and Noble also tailor their space of TPBs and HCs by area. I've seen a whole shelf covered with TPBs and HCs in Toronto, whereas there's only a fraction of a shelf in others.

They could conceivably have a formidable amount of space for comic paraphernalia, but they don't.

Why is it, when you walk in to B@E, they have a "New Releases" rack in the front with all the latest novels and the albums and DVDs they carry available for display, but never graphic novels? Why is there no enlarged signs with the latest Ultimate Spidey on it like the latest John Grisham novel?

Hoggie
02-27-2008, 12:11 PM
I don't think you can directly compare book sales to comic sales, they are totally different in how they're developed and published. As mentioned before, comics permeate American culture not only in movies but toys, clothes, games, newspapers.....
Their influence is literally everywhere so they have to be a mainstream.

Ben Rosen
02-27-2008, 12:11 PM
Yes.

But then, most Barnes and Noble's don't carry single issues of non-Marvel/DC comics.

Barnes and Noble also tailor their space of TPBs and HCs by area. I've seen a whole shelf covered with TPBs and HCs in Toronto, whereas there's only a fraction of a shelf in others.

They could conceivably have a formidable amount of space for comic paraphernalia, but they don't.

Why is it, when you walk in to B@E, they have a "New Releases" rack in the front with all the latest novels and the albums and DVDs they carry available for display, but never graphic novels? Why is there no enlarged signs with the latest Ultimate Spidey on it like the latest John Grisham novel?

there are definitely comics that get the push in the new releases section. fun home, persepolis, black hole...

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 12:12 PM
It's the smallest niche that has the biggest vocal fanbase.

jason hissong
02-27-2008, 12:12 PM
At Barnes & Noble comics are shelved under Graphic Novels in the, wait for it, fiction section. There's often an entire aile's worth. Comics are one of the many aisles and shelves you are talking about within the fiction section.

Montly comics get a spinner rack with the rest of the periodicals.


there's about as much shelf space devoted to comics as there is music in my local barnes and noble. music's definitely still mainstream.

comics are a medium. everyone understands how comics work. everyone knows how to read comics because they are everywhere. they are in the newspaper, they are in ad campaigns, they are in comic books, they are in "graphic novels" or whatever. SO MANY PEOPLE read the comics section of the newspaper. those are comics. tons of people read them. the medium is mainstream!

are long form narratives as popular? no. are superhero pamphlets as popular? no. but that doesn't mean the medium as a whole isn't mainstream.

I agree with both of these statements.

When we get down to it, though, I don't CARE if comics are mainstream or not. I read them because they're one of my favorite art forms and because I receive joy from reading them regardless of a mainstream label or not.

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 12:12 PM
At Barnes & Noble comics are shelved under Graphic Novels in the, wait for it, fiction section. There's often an entire aile's worth. Comics are one of the many aisles and shelves you are talking about within the fiction section.

Montly comics get a spinner rack with the rest of the periodicals.


Not all Barnes & Noble's feature spinner racks. I've never seen one.

Not all B&Es shelve graphic novels in the, wait for it, fiction section. The graphic novel section is a separate shelf all together.

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 12:13 PM
Yes.

But then, most Barnes and Noble's don't carry single issues of non-Marvel/DC comics.

Barnes and Noble also tailor their space of TPBs and HCs by area. I've seen a whole shelf covered with TPBs and HCs in Toronto, whereas there's only a fraction of a shelf in others.

They could conceivably have a formidable amount of space for comic paraphernalia, but they don't.

Why is it, when you walk in to B@E, they have a "New Releases" rack in the front with all the latest novels and the albums and DVDs they carry available for display, but never graphic novels? Why is there no enlarged signs with the latest Ultimate Spidey on it like the latest John Grisham novel?

Wrong. I see Dark Horse comics often, especially Buffy, Hellboy and of all things The Umbrella Academy in my Borders and B&N two month old but acting like it's brand new comic rack.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:13 PM
You saying something is doesnt make it so. I'm just going by the numbers and reality.:)

Garfield isn't a comic?

Comics aren't in most if not every daily newspaper?

Comics aren't a medium (the premise entailed in the original question)?

I'm not sure what you're talking about any more.

My simple transitive statement above was a valid argument. You'll have to dispute one of the premises if you want to question the soundness of my argument.

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 12:13 PM
there are definitely comics that get the push in the new releases section. fun home, persepolis, black hole...

Man, I wish all the B&N stores over here were like the Barnes and Noble you visit.

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 12:14 PM
Not all Barnes & Noble's feature spinner racks. I've never seen one.

Not all B&Es shelve graphic novels in the, wait for it, fiction section. The graphic novel section is a separate shelf all together.

Yep, that's usually being overwhelmed by the...ugh...manga fortress. Seriously, I'm sorry I know with everything that there's at least some good in it, but by God is there a lot of garbage manga that all looks, sounds and basically IS the same crap.

Hoggie
02-27-2008, 12:14 PM
Why is it, when you walk in to B@E, they have a "New Releases" rack in the front with all the latest novels and the albums and DVDs they carry available for display, but never graphic novels? Why is there no enlarged signs with the latest Ultimate Spidey on it like the latest John Grisham novel?

Not true. At my B@N they do have a section out front that says new releases and is specifically for graphic novels (non nerdy way of saying comics).

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:14 PM
Not all Barnes & Noble's feature spinner racks. I've never seen one.

Not all B&Es shelve graphic novels in the, wait for it, fiction section. The graphic novel section is a separate shelf all together.

Is the separate shelf, say, adjacent to the fiction section? Like the science fiction section may be?

jason hissong
02-27-2008, 12:15 PM
Yep, that's usually being overwhelmed by the...ugh...manga fortress. Seriously, I'm sorry I know with everything that there's at least some good in it, but by God is there a lot of garbage manga that all looks, sounds and basically IS the same crap.

Just like superhero comics. ;-)

Ben Rosen
02-27-2008, 12:16 PM
Man, I wish all the B&N stores over here were like the Barnes and Noble you visit.

my barnes and noble is in a crappy mall in jersey. i can't see it being the only one. i can't see it not being a push from the corporate people who tell the stores what to push. it cannot be the only one.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:16 PM
Yep, that's usually being overwhelmed by the...ugh...manga fortress. Seriously, I'm sorry I know with everything that there's at least some good in it, but by God is there a lot of garbage manga that all looks, sounds and basically IS the same crap.

Manga is comics, btw.

Comics is a medium.

costello
02-27-2008, 12:16 PM
Another question, because I think it's relevant to the conversation, is manga more of a mainstream medium in the US than comics?

I ask this because in the bookstores in my vicinity, manga is separated from comics, and there are three shelves of manga for every shelf of comics.

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 12:17 PM
I agree with both of these statements.

When we get down to it, though, I don't CARE if comics are mainstream or not. I read them because they're one of my favorite art forms and because I receive joy from reading them regardless of a mainstream label or not.

That somehow implies that those of us arguing against comics being mainstream have some innate desire for them to be this bastion of "indie cred."

Speaking for myself, the exact opposite is true.

I'd love to be able to discuss comics as openly as novels or tv with people at my university, with friends, but I can't because there's a small majority of the people around my socially that do, and it's been that way everywhere I've been. If you walk up to a random person, chances are, you could relate to them on some level about a novel they've read in the last year. Comics? "Yeah, I read X-Men when I was a kid," or "I love Spider-Man 2."

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 12:18 PM
Manga is comics, btw.

I'm sorry, but it's not. There's a definite distinction between a comic book and manga-style comic book.

Manga, although technically being a "comic," is as well become its own genre. And an overpopulated schlock genre. Not saying there isn't things of merit, but for the most part, it's garbage to make money...kind of like comics...

costello
02-27-2008, 12:18 PM
Manga is comics, btw.

Comics is a medium.

Ha. You're all a step ahead of me.

But manga as a genre seems to have taken off and been accepted, while rather reluctantly by some parents, but they feed into buying the books for their kids. Comics, however, remain comics.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:18 PM
Not all Barnes & Noble's feature spinner racks. I've never seen one.

Yeah, that's at Borders. B&N just shelves them with their magazines.

I've worked at both stores, for B&N for a good 8 years, throughout several cities.

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 12:19 PM
Another question, because I think it's relevant to the conversation, is manga more of a mainstream medium in the US than comics?

I ask this because in the bookstores in my vicinity, manga is separated from comics, and there are three shelves of manga for every shelf of comics.

I would say it's the mainstream and accepted genre of comics, yes.

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 12:19 PM
Garfield isn't a comic?

Comics aren't in most if not every daily newspaper?

Comics aren't a medium (the premise entailed in the original question)?

I'm not sure what you're talking about any more.

My simple transitive statement above was a valid argument. You'll have to dispute one of the premises if you want to question the soundness of my argument.

comics are a form of story-telling/entertainment with genres like drama, horror, supers, comedy, romance etc... and not just three panel jokes in the newspapers. If youre only defense is that comics are mainstream like TV, Music and all that other stuff because of one page of comic strips in the news paper (which sales keep going down) then that is sad.

Ben Rosen
02-27-2008, 12:20 PM
Another question, because I think it's relevant to the conversation, is manga more of a mainstream medium in the US than comics?

I ask this because in the bookstores in my vicinity, manga is separated from comics, and there are three shelves of manga for every shelf of comics.

something called naruto (?) is constantly the best selling comic in bookstores. i think it's a manga book?

jason hissong
02-27-2008, 12:20 PM
That somehow implies that those of us arguing against comics being mainstream have some innate desire for them to be this bastion of "indie cred."

Speaking for myself, the exact opposite is true.

I'd love to be able to discuss comics as openly as novels or tv with people at my university, with friends, but I can't because there's a small majority of the people around my socially that do, and it's been that way everywhere I've been. If you walk up to a random person, chances are, you could relate to them on some level about a novel they've read in the last year. Comics? "Yeah, I read X-Men when I was a kid," or "I love Spider-Man 2."

Which is exactly why I come to this place so much. Because this is a place that I CAN talk about comics with my peers.

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 12:20 PM
Wrong. I see Dark Horse comics often, especially Buffy, Hellboy and of all things The Umbrella Academy in my Borders and B&N two month old but acting like it's brand new comic rack.

I've seen Buffy.


Not true. At my B@N they do have a section out front that says new releases and is specifically for graphic novels (non nerdy way of saying comics).

I've never seen this in any I've visited.


Is the separate shelf, say, adjacent to the fiction section? Like the science fiction section may be?

The one in Toronto? Yes. The four of them I've visited in Michigan? No.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:20 PM
I'm sorry, but it's not. There's a definite distinction between a comic book and manga-style comic book.

Manga, although technically being a "comic," is as well become its own genre. And an overpopulated schlock genre. Not saying there isn't things of merit, but for the most part, it's garbage to make money...kind of like comics...

You're confusing medium with genre.

Prose is to horror fiction as comics is to manga.

No need to apologize.

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 12:21 PM
That somehow implies that those of us arguing against comics being mainstream have some innate desire for them to be this bastion of "indie cred."

Speaking for myself, the exact opposite is true.

I'd love to be able to discuss comics as openly as novels or tv with people at my university, with friends, but I can't because there's a small majority of the people around my socially that do, and it's been that way everywhere I've been. If you walk up to a random person, chances are, you could relate to them on some level about a novel they've read in the last year. Comics? "Yeah, I read X-Men when I was a kid," or "I love Spider-Man 2."

Why do you think they're commonly referred to as graphic novels instead of comics?

God forbid some hipster poser would read a paltry comic book! That would be AWFUL!

I know you're different Todd, so I don't want your version of a pathetic hipster poser to be confused with my version of a pathetic hipster poser. :D ;)

Hoggie
02-27-2008, 12:21 PM
I'm sorry, but it's not. There's a definite distinction between a comic book and manga-style comic book.

Manga, although technically being a "comic," is as well become its own genre. And an overpopulated schlock genre. Not saying there isn't things of merit, but for the most part, it's garbage to make money...kind of like comics...

You just contridicted yourself.:) Try telling the Japanese this. I hate magna but it is part of the comic realm. I think a lot of their sales in the US come from younger kids.

Glixy
02-27-2008, 12:21 PM
Once Bendis gets name dropped on TV, then comics are too mainstream. Oh, and The OC never counted.

Don't call it that.

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 12:23 PM
You just contridicted yourself.:) Try telling the Japanese this. I hate magna but it is part of the comic realm. I think a lot of their sales in the US come from younger kids.

Or the pathetic losers who actually sit in the middle of the aisles and read these so that I can't even browse the comic novel section with stepping all over them.

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 12:23 PM
You just contridicted yourself.:) Try telling the Japanese this. I hate magna but it is part of the comic realm. I think a lot of their sales in the US come from younger kids.

And I contradicted on purpose, because I understand what I'm saying can be easily scoped over onto American comics.

It's mainly preference, but I just can't stand a million fucking action lines on every single panel.

Hoggie
02-27-2008, 12:24 PM
I've never seen this in any I've visited.

Well accept it, its true. B@N in the US love comics:D

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:25 PM
Or the pathetic losers who actually sit in the middle of the aisles and read these so that I can't even browse the comic novel section with stepping all over them.

You're bringing down the tone of our discussion.

Hoggie
02-27-2008, 12:26 PM
Or the pathetic losers who actually sit in the middle of the aisles and read these so that I can't even browse the comic novel section with stepping all over them.

That is annoying when some stinky gweedo is lounging in the isle with a stack of magna. Get or chair, or even better a life.
Sorry I had to digress too.

Glixy
02-27-2008, 12:27 PM
That somehow implies that those of us arguing against comics being mainstream have some innate desire for them to be this bastion of "indie cred."

Speaking for myself, the exact opposite is true.

I'd love to be able to discuss comics as openly as novels or tv with people at my university, with friends, but I can't because there's a small majority of the people around my socially that do, and it's been that way everywhere I've been. If you walk up to a random person, chances are, you could relate to them on some level about a novel they've read in the last year. Comics? "Yeah, I read X-Men when I was a kid," or "I love Spider-Man 2."

This is what resonates with me. Not a SINGLE person I am friends with, that is in my family, or that I have worked with at my last 5 jobs that I have been able to talk comics with, or that has read a comic besides the ones I try and push on them.

I never had a professor that let me write papers on comics as literature.

That is why I don't think they are mainstream.

I also agree with earlier posters, that I don't care if they are mainstream or not, just as long as they keep existing and being awesome.

Now, if you include daily newspaper strips as part of "comics" then you have to look at it differently...

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:28 PM
Now, if you include daily newspaper strips as part of "comics" then you have to look at it differently...

Why in the world wouldn't you?

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 12:28 PM
I would argue that certain "alternative" groups, such as GLBT groups, would argue comics as a mainstream function, as some of the best fiction and non-fiction in the GLBT world is in graphic novel form. Stuck Rubber Baby and Fun Home are two of the best comics I've ever read and I really think they are important books as far as how homosexuality and such is viewed in society.


I don't know...I don't think I'm expressing this opinion right at all and I'm kind of confusing myself, so take this as a compliment and something I mean as positive, but just not well thought out.

ClintP
02-27-2008, 12:28 PM
Comics are relegated to a mere rack at the bookstore, when there are many, many aisles and shelves dedicated to novels.

Because it is a bookstore and if they sold better, they would get more shelf space.

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 12:29 PM
You're bringing down the tone of our discussion.

How can I reach for that copy of New X-Men Vol. 2 when some asshole is in the way?!

costello
02-27-2008, 12:31 PM
something called naruto (?) is constantly the best selling comic in bookstores. i think it's a manga book?

Yeah. Yeah, all I know is it's a kid in an orange jacket, but this is the manga of choice for kids in my area.

Hoggie
02-27-2008, 12:31 PM
This is what resonates with me. Not a SINGLE person I am friends with, that is in my family, or that I have worked with at my last 5 jobs that I have been able to talk comics with, or that has read a comic besides the ones I try and push on them.

I never had a professor that let me write papers on comics as literature.

That is why I don't think they are mainstream.

I also agree with earlier posters, that I don't care if they are mainstream or not, just as long as they keep existing and being awesome.

Now, if you include daily newspaper strips as part of "comics" then you have to look at it differently...

You just don't know the right people:) Also, I agree it doesn't matter if they're mainstream or not, and newspaper comics are comics!

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:32 PM
May I recommend the following:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510544RTYDL._BO2,204,203,200_PIlitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpg

Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud.

ClintP
02-27-2008, 12:33 PM
Is the separate shelf, say, adjacent to the fiction section? Like the science fiction section may be?

:rofl:

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:34 PM
Because it is a bookstore and if they sold better, they would get more shelf space.

It's regional.

I would bet most metropolitan bookstores have the setup I'm describing, while others do not.

There are towns that don't even have bookstores! Books aren't mainstream! :shock:

Glixy
02-27-2008, 12:34 PM
Why in the world wouldn't you?

Well, its hard for me to explain. I guess it has to do with I don't view them as parts of the same whole. Like, if the comic industry crashed so hard, that the big 2 went down, it wouldn't affect the comics in your paper at all. I love newspaper comics, but its like a different medium.

Its like comparing a haiku to a novel...

I'm not really sure where I stand on it.

ClintP
02-27-2008, 12:35 PM
That somehow implies that those of us arguing against comics being mainstream have some innate desire for them to be this bastion of "indie cred."

Speaking for myself, the exact opposite is true.

I'd love to be able to discuss comics as openly as novels or tv with people at my university, with friends, but I can't because there's a small majority of the people around my socially that do, and it's been that way everywhere I've been. If you walk up to a random person, chances are, you could relate to them on some level about a novel they've read in the last year. Comics? "Yeah, I read X-Men when I was a kid," or "I love Spider-Man 2."

I never talk to people about the latest James Patterson book I read. Why can't you talk about the weather like normal people? :lol:

Hoggie
02-27-2008, 12:38 PM
Well, its hard for me to explain. I guess it has to do with I don't view them as parts of the same whole. Like, if the comic industry crashed so hard, that the big 2 went down, it wouldn't affect the comics in your paper at all. I love newspaper comics, but its like a different medium.

Its like comparing a haiku to a novel...

I'm not really sure where I stand on it.

What about Stan Lee's Spiderman run in newsprint?

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:40 PM
Well, its hard for me to explain. I guess it has to do with I don't view them as parts of the same whole. Like, if the comic industry crashed so hard, that the big 2 went down, it wouldn't affect the comics in your paper at all. I love newspaper comics, but its like a different medium.

Its like comparing a haiku to a novel...

I'm not really sure where I stand on it.

The thread question asks, "Are comics a mainstream medium today?"

Comparing a comic strip to a comic book is like comparing a novel to a biography in that they are both prose narratives. Comic strips and comic books are both comics.

Glixy
02-27-2008, 12:41 PM
Comparing a comic strip to a comic book is like comparing a novel to a biography in that they are both prose narratives.

Not really.

ClintP
02-27-2008, 12:42 PM
Jef is going to be right no matter how you argue it. If the question was stated, "Are comic books a mainstream medium?" then it would be different and I doubt he would be repeating himself so much.

Mister Mets
02-27-2008, 12:43 PM
I think it's like jazz in terms of sales and public familiarity.

Hoggie
02-27-2008, 12:43 PM
Question, are political cartoons, cartoons in Playboy, etc. considered part of the comic medium? I know you can't compare news comics, cartoons, and comic books but don't they all fall under the same medium?

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:44 PM
Not really.

Explain please.

Hoggie
02-27-2008, 12:46 PM
Yes, if Jef was interested in just comic books that would a slightly different conversation.

adam_warlock_2099
02-27-2008, 12:46 PM
I never talk to people about the latest James Patterson book I read. Why can't you talk about the weather like normal people? :lol:

I don't know about why you don't Clint. But I think the bigger part of the picture than even comic is, that people (at least Americans as a whole, can't speak for other countries) don't read enough . . . period. Comics, newspapers, novels, non-fiction, even magazines. I would get, bird like head cocking from people I know mentioning Ender's Game or White Fang as I would Thanos first apperance in Iron Man #55.

ClintP
02-27-2008, 12:48 PM
I don't know about why you don't Clint. But I think the bigger part of the picture than even comic is, that people (at least Americans as a whole, can't speak for other countries) don't read enough . . . period. Comics, newspapers, novels, non-fiction, even magazines. I would get, bird like head cocking from people I know mentioning Ender's Game or White Fang as I would Thanos first apperance in Iron Man #55.

I don't in general due to what you said. I don't mention those kinds of books on here since I got shat on for mentioning reading that rubbish once.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 12:48 PM
Yes, if Jef was interested in just comic books that would a slightly different conversation.

Hey, I didn't ask the question! :-x

;-)

Hoggie
02-27-2008, 01:00 PM
Hey, I didn't ask the question! :-x

;-)

Sorry if Kefky asked......

You were just such a good participant:lol:

Glixy
02-27-2008, 01:02 PM
Explain please.

Most newspaper comics don't have continuity and are extremely short. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but when someone says "comics" I don't think of the Far Side, I think of Spider Man.

My local COMIC book store, doesn't offer them in any form, except maybe a few peanuts collections, and I would view buying one of those more as like buying a Dali book, than buying a Spidey collection.

DAVE
02-27-2008, 01:06 PM
Nah. When was the last time you saw someone on the train reading a comic? I never have.
I've seen it plenty.

Is rock and roll mainstream?

How many people listen to The Transgressors?

Therefore rock and roll isn't a mainstream genre.

:roll:

Thank you.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 01:18 PM
Most newspaper comics don't have continuity and are extremely short. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but when someone says "comics" I don't think of the Far Side, I think of Spider Man.

My local COMIC book store, doesn't offer them in any form, except maybe a few peanuts collections, and I would view buying one of those more as like buying a Dali book, than buying a Spidey collection.

Your considerations mean little to working definitions and operating theories of various narrative mediums.

Which is to say that I'd love to see you argue that newspaper strips aren't comics.

adam_warlock_2099
02-27-2008, 01:19 PM
I don't in general due to what you said. I don't mention those kinds of books on here since I got shat on for mentioning reading that rubbish once.

Well I meant even the newspaper, or magazines (which are depreciating to pretty pictures with captions and advertisments.) I can remember getting the paper for my dad in the morning when I went to catch the school bus, and every damned lawn had a newspaper on it.

Outside of the Sunday addition (for all the additives besides the news) newpapers don't seem to sell off the stands (7-11 having stacks and stacks of Sunday papers in the isle, and like 12 copies of the daily) and I never seen newspaper services so desparate to sell me a subscriprtion. Hell, I switch providers every year or so to spread the wealth.

I just think that people that were raised to read, don't raise their children to read and don't read themselves. The generation of appreciating the printed word (not the glowing screen of a computer) is dying.

Glixy
02-27-2008, 01:19 PM
Your considerations mean little to working definitions and operating theories of various narrative mediums.

fair enough, its just, like, my opinion, man [/dude]

Seriously, I'm not a scholar on this stuff, I'm just trying to call it like I see it.

Brad N.
02-27-2008, 01:25 PM
Here's another lengthy take on this very subject from not long ago...

http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?t=142091&highlight=comics+respect

As I've said many times, no. Comics have never been and never will be mainstream. It's nice to see 31 people have a good grasp on reality.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 01:28 PM
Comics have never been and never will be mainstream.

I'll go back to old reliable: Peanuts by Charles Schults is an example that renders the above statement false.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 01:31 PM
I can change it up with Calvin and Hobbes, if you like.

ClintP
02-27-2008, 01:32 PM
I'll go back to old reliable: Peanuts by Charles Schults is an example that renders the above statement false.

:rofl: Another of my two of my favorite people are about to duke it out.

DAVE
02-27-2008, 01:36 PM
Last weekend I went to a gallery opening of Jim Mahfood's work. The event was sponsored by a giant beer corporation, one he did advertisements for which were all over the city.
A major museum is in the city dedicated solely to comics. This muesem's events and exhibits are written about weekly in Time Out New York Magazine right along the lastest movies, Broadway plays, concerts, and restaurant openings.
I do see plenty people reading comics on the subways.
The New York Times publishes weekly segments of the most elite comic artists, such as Daniel Clowes.
Entertainment Weekly often runs reviews of Marvel and DC's newest releases.
We live in an era where every kid not only knows Spider-man, Batman and Superman, but Green Lantern, the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, and more.
The winner of the Slamdunk Contest in Basketball Allstar weekend just did so while wearing a Superman costume.
Frank Miller and Alan Moore are virtual Hollywood buzzwords, along with Graphic Novel.
Comics and comics culture are mainstream popular culture.

Brad N.
02-27-2008, 01:36 PM
I'll go back to old reliable: Peanuts by Charles Schults is an example that renders the above statement false.

Sure, but to me there is still a difference between comic strips and comics in the eyes of the mainstream and BOTH are still considered kid stuff (even if many adults read the comics section in their local paper). I assumed the topic was comic books as a medium. I will agree that Calvin and Hobbes, Cathy, Far Side, Peanuts, and even that shitty Mark Trail strip could all be considered mainstream.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 01:40 PM
:rofl: Another of my two of my favorite people are about to duke it out.

I have nothing but respect and friendliness towards Brad N. We looked exactly alike when we were 3 years old!

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 01:42 PM
Last weekend I went to a gallery opening of Jim Mahfood's work. The event was sponsored by a giant beer corporation, one he did advertisements for which were all over the city.
A major museum is in the city dedicated solely to comics. This muesem's events and exhibits are written about weekly in Time Out New York Magazine right along the lastest movies, Broadway plays, concerts, and restaurant openings.
I do see plenty people reading comics on the subways.
The New York Times publishes weekly segments of the most elite comic artists, such as Daniel Clowes.
Entertainment Weekly often runs reviews of Marvel and DC's newest releases.
We live in an era where every kid not only knows Spider-man, Batman and Superman, but Green Lantern, the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, and more.
The winner of the Slamdunk Contest in Basketball Allstar weekend just did so while wearing a Superman costume.
Frank Miller and Alan Moore are virtual Hollywood buzzwords, along with Graphic Novel.
Comics and comics culture are mainstream popular culture.

Agreed.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 01:46 PM
Sure, but to me there is still a difference between comic strips and comics in the eyes of the mainstream and BOTH are still considered kid stuff (even if many adults read the comics section in their local paper). I assumed the topic was comic books as a medium. I will agree that Calvin and Hobbes, Cathy, Far Side, Peanuts, and even that shitty Mark Trail strip could all be considered mainstream.

I'd only add that monthly comic books aren't a medium. It's a publishing format.

So, again, if we're talking about "are comics a mainstream medium," then there's no distinction between Peanuts and Doom Patrol.

AND even if we want to limit the discussion to what we go to specialty stores every Wednesday to purchase, I agree with David's sentiments about those too.

Comic books, as monthly publications, are a part of American popular culture, whether purchased in the millions or not.

Brad N.
02-27-2008, 01:48 PM
Heh. I said all that needs to be said in the other thread, I'll just repost my comments here. :lol:


It honestly wouldn't matter if comics sold 5 million copies per month, they will never be associated with pop culture, at least not in the way movies, actors, TV shows, and musicians are. Even at the height of the comics boom in the 90's the closest we had to mainstream attention was Rob Liefeld in a Levi's commercial.

BKV WAS just profiled in the latest Entertainment Weekly though.


Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to see that happen but it has never been that way. Back in the 30's, 40's, and 50's from my understanding Batman was selling in the millions and it was ignored as "kid stuff". In the 90's the business reached a point it will never reach again and all we saw was Lifeld's commercial and some newspapers acknowledgement of the Death of Superman. No matter what the business does or how the line is blurred it will never change the perceptions of the mainstream public. Not in its current form anyway.


Thomas, I for one would LOVE for that to change, but I'll bet my life savings on it. As long as I live as long as comics remain on paper with drawings and word balloons they will never be in the same conversation as the rest of those mainstream things. I hate to be a downer but over the last 8 years there have been a TON of comic based movies and TV shows, plus toys, videogames, bed sheets, birthday cards, you name it. YET, despite all of this and the high profile talent working on comics (Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon for starters) sales of the biggest books are still relatively pathetic.

I LOVE this business and the passion I have is to write comics, not make money. While there is money to be made I'm certain that people like Bendis will not be in the same conversation as people like Spielberg as long as I live.


I like how you and I are being realistic when it comes to this discussion and we're treated like we're crazy. Comics are like stamp and coin collecting and no amount of advertising or changing to a digital medium will change that in the minds of the public. Comics will always be perceived as kid shit to 99% of people in this country.


Unfortunately no one outside comic fans even had any idea that [History of Violence] was a comic. Same goes for Road to Perdition. People know Superman, Batman, X-Men, and Spider-Man are comics and as you have said it just doesn't work. I still say the big problem today as far as gaining new readers is that Marvel and DC often cater directly to specialty shops. It's about time we got comics back into grocery stores, CVS, Waldenbooks, etc. Even mass appeal might not bring about a massive change enough to make comics more popular with the masses (did that make sense?) but it's worth a shot to expand beyond the dungeon-like atmosphere of most comic shops.


No. If you asked 1,000 random adults if Rock N' Roll was the devil's music you'd probably see that 74% so that no, it's not. However, if you polled 1,000 random adults and asked them if they think comic books are for kids I would wager BIG money that more than 90% would say yes, yes they are. Times have changed, but the perceptions of the general public as it relates to comics haven't changed remotely.


I agree that access is limited. I've been saying this all along. The big two cater to specialty shops and the only people today buying "traditional" comics in America are adult males aged 18-45. Women don't buy or read comics. Kids read Manga. You can get TONS of kids into your comic shop to play in card tourneys but good luck getting them to buy the new issue of Amazing Spider-Man.

I'm saying that more access in places other than comic shops is a good start and I agree that online is a great thing that will help the industry. However, in my lifetime I doubt we'll see comics selling into the millions again and if the industry moves toward all digital then the industry itself will die. This is all beside the point raised initially. Regardless of how well they sell or how many are downloaded I can't see a time where comics are on the same level as movies, TV, and music.

I'd love to know how opinions about comics have changed though since everything I've seen, read, and heard says otherwise.


No one outside of comic dorks knew that Road to Perdition, History of Violence, V for Vendetta, Ghost World, 30 Days of Night, and American Splendor had anything to do with comics. No one. Also, when these films are marketed as being "based on the graphic novel" what does that tell you? If what you say is true why wouldn't they be "based on the bestselling comic book series"? Again, I'm saying there is plenty of evidence of what I'm talking about here. There have been many times more comic based flicks over the last decade and yet the industry has seen no bump from it. As Pat said, people know comics exist and they know where to find them. They see the movies and in some cases they know they are "based on the graphic novel" but they don't care. The insanely small sales show this.


You're kind of proving my point for me, Todd.

I was speaking in general by the way. Most people don't realize that comics and graphic novels are the same, trust me. If they did there would be no need for that term to be used. Comics have always had some place in society Todd, I'm not arguing that. Watchmen was being taught in college lit classes in the 1980's for fucks sake, that doesn't mean that the medium in general is more respected today.


All of what you said was applicable 10 and even 15 years ago. Nothing has changed during the new "boom" in the industry. God, I feel old knowing that I was buying comics before Todd was even born.


I agree 100% with this. I might be coming off a bit harsh on all of this but it's out of love. I love comics and it's the industry I'm busting my ass to get into myself some day. That's MY dream, Mike.

The problems as I see them with digital downloadable comics are numerous. It has a lot to do with variety, but more to do with reading comics on your monitor. It's just not natural. I have the complete run of MiracleMan on my PC (not proud of it but it's my one and only illegal comic download) and all I can think about when reading it is how I'd love to have it on paper. Look at what happened when newspapers tried to go with online content, it failed miserably. NYTimes Online was a complete fuckup.

No one, and I mean no one was willing to pay even pennies to read the Times online, even for less than the paper on newsstands. To me the only solution would be to have a massive tablet (like a comic book type iPod) to read your downloaded material (it would have to be big enough to handle a two-page splash or a foldout, right?) but then it makes you wonder what the point was to getting away from paper in the first place. I don't have the answers either and in order for this industry to survive it has to grow and expand, I'm just not sure it can.


And I'm saying that 10-15 years ago these same lists and outlets existed, Todd. They did. Watchmen and Maus were being taught in classes all over the country. Entertainment Weekly has been spotlighting comics for as long as I can remember. Going back close to 20 years as a subscriber. I'm not saying comics don't get any mainstream acceptence. I'm saying it hasn't increased, at least not in any measurable way. While some people have changed their perceptions of the medium I'll bet good money that the vast majority do in fact think it's a medium for kids.


Superman's death was front page news in every publication and on all the news channels all over the country. My local news did reports from comics shops showing lines going around the block. Howard the Duck came out in the 80's and there were comic based films, though not nearly as many. The boom in comic films has more to do with the money X-Men, Batman, and Spider-Man have made for studios and less to do with any newfound respect for the industry as a whole.


We sound like we're disagreeing on small points at this point, Todd. I would argue that the more "mainstream" avenues has to do with the more mass media available today. While they may have more exposure I still say for the most part the industry is still a second class citizen. That's all.

Brad N.
02-27-2008, 01:53 PM
Last weekend I went to a gallery opening of Jim Mahfood's work. The event was sponsored by a giant beer corporation, one he did advertisements for which were all over the city.
A major museum is in the city dedicated solely to comics. This muesem's events and exhibits are written about weekly in Time Out New York Magazine right along the lastest movies, Broadway plays, concerts, and restaurant openings.
I do see plenty people reading comics on the subways.
The New York Times publishes weekly segments of the most elite comic artists, such as Daniel Clowes.
Entertainment Weekly often runs reviews of Marvel and DC's newest releases.
We live in an era where every kid not only knows Spider-man, Batman and Superman, but Green Lantern, the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, and more.
The winner of the Slamdunk Contest in Basketball Allstar weekend just did so while wearing a Superman costume.
Frank Miller and Alan Moore are virtual Hollywood buzzwords, along with Graphic Novel.
Comics and comics culture are mainstream popular culture.

EW has been doing that for several years, it's nothing new.

Also, most kids from my generation knew who GL, Flash, Aquaman, and other DC heroes were thanks to Super Friends and toys and whatnot. Today there might be a little more in the Marvel heroes knowledge with kids in general but that can be attributed to successes in films.

People have been wearing Superman costumes in sports since the 1950's, David. That meant nothing.

While Miller's name is a bit of a buzzword I wouldn't exactly say the same for Moore. His work maybe, but it's all about money and what studios think they can make. Just the term graphic novel itself should show you that comics aren't as mainstream as you think.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 01:54 PM
Oooh, so I just started talking about this with my journalist friend and he said, "I would go one further, and say they're the inheritor to the cultural throne recently vacated by the novel."

Nice.

DAVE
02-27-2008, 01:55 PM
EW has been doing that for several years, it's nothing new.

Also, most kids from my generation knew who GL, Flash, Aquaman, and other DC heroes were thanks to Super Friends and toys and whatnot. Today there might be a little more in the Marvel heroes knowledge with kids in general but that can be attributed to successes in films.

People have been wearing Superman costumes in sports since the 1950's, David. That meant nothing.

While Miller's name is a bit of a buzzword I wouldn't exactly say the same for Moore. His work maybe, but it's all about money and what studios think they can make. Just the term graphic novel itself should show you that comics aren't as mainstream as you think.

Reading this it sounds like you agree with all my points signifying them being part of popular mainstream culture.

Brad N.
02-27-2008, 01:57 PM
Oooh, so I just started talking about this with my journalist friend and he said, "I would go one further, and say they're the inheritor to the cultural throne recently vacated by the novel."

Nice.

:lol:

chazbot
02-27-2008, 01:57 PM
The thread question asks, "Are comics a mainstream medium today?"

Comparing a comic strip to a comic book is like comparing a novel to a biography in that they are both prose narratives. Comic strips and comic books are both comics.

Why then are collected comic strips placed in the "Humor" section of a bookstore and collected comic books placed in the "Graphic Novel" section of a bookstore?
If they are the "same thing" then they should be shelved together.
And while some book stores might put the in the same region, more and more I've noticed that the Graphic Novel section is nearer to Sci-Fi than to Humor.

Brad N.
02-27-2008, 01:58 PM
Reading this it sounds like you agree with all my points signifying them being part of popular mainstream culture.


Yes, I'm agreeing to a certain extent. Certain characters are icons and in general comics are a part of mainstream pop culture. Then again so were pogs and Garbage Pail Kids. :)

DAVE
02-27-2008, 01:59 PM
Yes, I'm agreeing to a certain extent. Certain characters are icons and in general comics are a part of mainstream pop culture. Then again so were pogs and Garbage Pail Kids. :)

Yes, but not for 50 years. There's kind of a difference there.

DAVE
02-27-2008, 02:00 PM
Why then are collected comic strips placed in the "Humor" section of a bookstore and collected comic books placed in the "Graphic Novel" section of a bookstore?
If they are the "same thing" then they should be shelved together.
And while some book stores might put the in the same region, more and more I've noticed that the Graphic Novel section is nearer to Sci-Fi than to Humor.

I fail to see how a bookstore's arbitrary process of catagorization has any bearing on this discussion.

Patton
02-27-2008, 02:01 PM
Yes.

DAVE
02-27-2008, 02:02 PM
We're out of the ghetto people, enjoy it!

Brad N.
02-27-2008, 02:03 PM
We're out of the ghetto people, enjoy it!

Why do I feel like Tina Turner then?

Hawkdevil
02-27-2008, 02:03 PM
It gets close then it backs away, but I don't think it'll ever REALLY "get there."

chazbot
02-27-2008, 02:04 PM
I fail to see how a bookstore's arbitrary process of catagorization has any bearing on this discussion.

Well, when someone equates one to being exactly the same to the other, AND bookstores are being used as a specific point of discussion in the conversation, AND I was asking someone who says he has worked in bookstores for 8 years, I figure it might factor in or allow him to clarify.

Plus, it's not exactly arbitrary that all bookstores place collected comic strips in Humor...

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 02:06 PM
Why then are collected comic strips placed in the "Humor" section of a bookstore and collected comic books placed in the "Graphic Novel" section of a bookstore?
If they are the "same thing" then they should be shelved together.
And while some book stores might put the in the same region, more and more I've noticed that the Graphic Novel section is nearer to Sci-Fi than to Humor.

I don't think you understand the destinctions between "medium" and "genre."

Why are any books shelved in different sections at all?!?! :crazy:

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 02:09 PM
Well, when someone equates one to being exactly the same to the other,

How did Picasso have different periods when he continually used paint as his medium!?!?!? :crazy:

chazbot
02-27-2008, 02:11 PM
I don't think you understand the destinctions between "medium" and "genre."

Why are any books shelved in different sections at all?!?! :crazy:

Best Buy has started putting DVDs featuring particular bands in the same section as CDs from these same bands...time to go burn them at the stake next, they're crossing MEDIUMS!!! :crazy:

chazbot
02-27-2008, 02:12 PM
How did Picasso have different periods when he continually used paint as his medium!?!?!? :crazy:

that statement doesn't even work. :crazy:

and poor Picasso, having all his drawings discredited by you because paint is his medium :crazy:

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 02:14 PM
that statement doesn't even work. :crazy:

and poor Picasso, having all his drawings discredited by you because paint is his medium :crazy:

I didn't say exclusively.

How doesn't the statement work? It acknowledges that we can discuss a particular medium while acknowleding differences within said medium.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 02:15 PM
Best Buy has started putting DVDs featuring particular bands in the same section as CDs from these same bands...time to go burn them at the stake next, they're crossing MEDIUMS!!! :crazy:

I have no idea what this is supposed to communicate to me.

At any rate, we're not discussing storage media. You can put the content of a cd on a dvd. Doesn't mean we're talking about music as a medium for expression.

NickT
02-27-2008, 02:15 PM
Absolutely all the time. Weekly, easily.

Myself included.


Every Wed. i see people with midtown comic bags on the train reading..
Are you sure you're not just seeing each other?

chazbot
02-27-2008, 02:17 PM
I didn't say exclusively.

It's an unrelated tangent entirely.
And anyways, we can all agree that more comic exposure wouldn't hurt the genre. (capes comics, btw)
Seeing a display somewhere that features Neil Gaiman's novels and comics is definitely something positive.
Much better than arguing semantics anyway.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 02:25 PM
It's an unrelated tangent entirely.
And anyways, we can all agree that more comic exposure wouldn't hurt the genre. (capes comics, btw)
Seeing a display somewhere that features Neil Gaiman's novels and comics is definitely something positive.
Much better than arguing semantics anyway.

I still don't think you get it when you're trying to make storage media analagous to mediums of expression.

chazbot
02-27-2008, 02:26 PM
I still don't think you get it when you're trying to make storage media analagous to mediums of expression.

It was a snarky tit for tat comment....I wasn't being serious.
But then, that's the internet, things often get misread.

Jef UK
02-27-2008, 02:27 PM
It was a snarky tit for tat comment....I wasn't being serious.
But then, that's the internet, things often get misread.

Ah. Cool. :)

And you're right, I may have made a slip between usages myself. Although I think I could make a case. :P

Kefky
02-27-2008, 03:02 PM
Yay, my thread's a hit! :D

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 03:22 PM
I'll go back to old reliable: Peanuts by Charles Schults is an example that renders the above statement false.

When do people talk about the Peanuts? Ive never heard any discussions on storylines, the characters, nothing. Just because one Old famous character is known in our pop culture doesnt make it Mainstream. Mainstream is the now and the popular choice by MANY people.

You may have a different definition but in my eyes if comic books were mainstream, lots of teenagers would be carrying them around, there would be comics on the floor of buses and trains like magazines are right now and people would talk about them in public instead of having to go on a messegeboard because there arent enough in one area to click up with.

Ben Rosen
02-27-2008, 03:26 PM
When do people talk about the Peanuts? Ive never heard any discussions on storylines, the characters, nothing. Just because one Old famous character is known in our pop culture doesnt make it Mainstream. Mainstream is the now and the popular choice by MANY people.

You may have a different definition but in my eyes if comic books were mainstream, lots of teenagers would be carrying them around, there would be comics on the floor of buses and trains like magazines are right now and people would talk about them in public instead of having to go on a messegeboard because there arent enough in one area to click up with.

Well, Peanuts ended, so it's understandable people aren't talking about what's going on in Peanuts these days, but the Fantagraphics collections are very popular and David Michaelis's recent Schultz biography got a ton of press and positive reviews. Snoopy's always in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, A Charlie Brown Christmas is played every year, and Charlie Brown as a character is incredibly iconic and well known.

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 04:17 PM
Well, Peanuts ended, so it's understandable people aren't talking about what's going on in Peanuts these days, but the Fantagraphics collections are very popular and David Michaelis's recent Schultz biography got a ton of press and positive reviews. Snoopy's always in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, A Charlie Brown Christmas is played every year, and Charlie Brown as a character is incredibly iconic and well known.

What does all that have to do with people reading Comic books? Nothing at all really. And youre lying to yourself if you say comic books are mainstream because I dont see them anywhere in anyones hands. You guys keep talking about a few characters but I'm talking about a medium, Comic Books. Not Superman, not Charlie Brown or Garfield but Comic Books. Maybe its just California that doesnt read em because theyre not mainstream; I cant go to a party and just start talking about an issue of Ultimates or Y the last man because the average joe doesnt read comics.

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 04:19 PM
What does all that have to do with people reading Comic books? Nothing at all really. And youre lying to yourself if you say comic books are mainstream because I dont see them anywhere in anyones hands. You guys keep talking about a few characters but I'm talking about a medium, Comic Books. Not Superman, not Charlie Brown or Garfield but Comic Books. Maybe its just California that doesnt read em because theyre not mainstream; I cant go to a party and just start talking about an issue of Ultimates or Y the last man because the average joe doesnt read comics.

So wait, comic strips and comic books are compeltely different and seperate? I'm so confused.

Wastrel
02-27-2008, 04:23 PM
i said no, because to me mainstream doesnt mean people are aware of comics, but that they are reading comics. and an incredibly small portion of the american population reads comics.

Patton
02-27-2008, 04:25 PM
What does all that have to do with people reading Comic books? Nothing at all really. And youre lying to yourself if you say comic books are mainstream because I dont see them anywhere in anyones hands. You guys keep talking about a few characters but I'm talking about a medium, Comic Books. Not Superman, not Charlie Brown or Garfield but Comic Books. Maybe its just California that doesnt read em because theyre not mainstream; I cant go to a party and just start talking about an issue of Ultimates or Y the last man because the average joe doesnt read comics.

You can't do that with books either probably. And most music.

If you're saying mainstream is what you can talk about with people at a party then the only things that are mainstream are liquor, Apatow movies, and weed.

DAVE
02-27-2008, 04:25 PM
Go to someone tell them you're recording a rock album. They'l recognize the medium. Why? Because it's mainstream.
Go to someone tell them you're making a video game. They'll also understand.
Go to someone and tell them you're making a comic book, according to 35 people on this board, that person will have no idea what you're talking about. :crazy:

Wastrel
02-27-2008, 04:27 PM
Go to someone tell them you're recording a rock album. They'l recognize the medium. Why? Because it's mainstream.
Go to someone tell them you're making a video game. They'll also understand.
Go to someone and tell them you're making a comic book, according to 35 people on this board, that person will have no idea what you're talking about. :crazy:

no, at least to one of those people it means most people you tell that to wont give a shit and will never read it or any other comic.

Ben Rosen
02-27-2008, 04:43 PM
What does all that have to do with people reading Comic books? Nothing at all really. And youre lying to yourself if you say comic books are mainstream because I dont see them anywhere in anyones hands. You guys keep talking about a few characters but I'm talking about a medium, Comic Books. Not Superman, not Charlie Brown or Garfield but Comic Books. Maybe its just California that doesnt read em because theyre not mainstream; I cant go to a party and just start talking about an issue of Ultimates or Y the last man because the average joe doesnt read comics.

comic books aren't a medium and that's the problem with your argument. they're a format. comics are a medium--little boxes with pictures next to one another--whether its a strip or a pamphlet or a book. comics, sequential art, whatever you want to call it--they're all over the place! it's a medium that everyone knows and understands and millions read them. it's not some underground medium no one's heard of. it's everywhere!

Adrian B AWESOME
02-27-2008, 04:52 PM
comic books aren't a medium and that's the problem with your argument. they're a format. comics are a medium--little boxes with pictures next to one another--whether its a strip or a pamphlet or a book. comics, sequential art, whatever you want to call it--they're all over the place! it's a medium that everyone knows and understands and millions read them. it's not some underground medium no one's heard of. it's everywhere!

exactly. George Herriman, Winsor McCay, E.C. Segar, Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson, etc. are just as important, if not moreso, to comics as a whole that people like Stan Lee.

Hell, look at someone like Anders Nilsen's work and tell me it's not a comic. Sure, there are no boxes. Sure the structure is completely different, but by GOD is it a juxtaposed image.

I AM GROOT!
02-27-2008, 04:55 PM
In metropolitan areas and, outside of those, probably in non-US countries. I also think the general public is well aware of them due to the comic-related movies. Whether or not, these same people would read a comic is an altogether different story.

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 05:15 PM
oops

A.Huerta
02-27-2008, 05:19 PM
comic books aren't a medium and that's the problem with your argument. they're a format. comics are a medium--little boxes with pictures next to one another--whether its a strip or a pamphlet or a book. comics, sequential art, whatever you want to call it--they're all over the place! it's a medium that everyone knows and understands and millions read them. it's not some underground medium no one's heard of. it's everywhere!

Comics/comic books are the same thing im not separating the 2. In general, comics are not mainstream. Some characters are but not the medium. Its just not popular to the level of other mediums, its this small thing in the corner people acknwoledge and thats it


You can't do that with books either probably. And most music.

If you're saying mainstream is what you can talk about with people at a party then the only things that are mainstream are liquor, Apatow movies, and weed.

You dont party much to you? lol

I can talk about anything when I'm out with friends and random people but I cant talk about Charlie Brown or Comics to them.

NickT
02-27-2008, 05:21 PM
i said no, because to me mainstream doesnt mean people are aware of comics, but that they are reading comics. and an incredibly small portion of the american population reads comics.
That was pretty much my logic. We know about lots of things, doesn't mean they're all mainstream.

Ben Rosen
02-27-2008, 05:27 PM
Comics/comic books are the same thing im not separating the 2. In general, comics are not mainstream. Some characters are but not the medium. Its just not popular to the level of other mediums, its this small thing in the corner people acknwoledge and thats it

You're right, superhero comic books aren't popular. But comics is a medium and comic books are a format. Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Cathy, Family Circus, Penny Arcade--they're all comics that aren't in comic books--they're in the comics section of the newspaper or they're online. Comics as a medium is not constrained to 22 page floppies or books with perfect binding you might find in a bookstore. So I don't see how you are unable to separate the two-the medium and a particular format. How would you define comics if not words and pictures juxtaposed to tell a story or express an idea (rough definition off the top of my head that doesn't cover silent comics but i'm just shooting from the hip here)?

xyzzy
02-27-2008, 05:28 PM
Strips, sure. But they're in decline with the rest of the newspaper business. Any other format? Not at all.

Masculine Todd
02-27-2008, 05:51 PM
Because it is a bookstore and if they sold better, they would get more shelf space.

That's part of the point, Clint. It's hard for something to be mainstream when it isn't in the hands of a massive amount of people.

The Human Target
02-27-2008, 09:51 PM
This thread got good.

Comic strips are sorta mainstream.

Comic books, graphic novels, etc are sure as fuck not.

My litmus test is this...

Ask one hundred average people on the street to name 20 musical acts, books, tv shows, or movies apiece.

Ever single person would be able to name all 20 in each category.

Ask the same hundred people to name 20 comic books.

Maybe 10 of them could do it.

Ask them to name 20 comicbooks that have never had a tv show or movie based off of them.

Could more than one or two people at most do it?

Fucking doubtful.

A.Huerta
02-28-2008, 01:01 AM
You're right, superhero comic books aren't popular. But comics is a medium and comic books are a format. Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Cathy, Family Circus, Penny Arcade--they're all comics that aren't in comic books--they're in the comics section of the newspaper or they're online. Comics as a medium is not constrained to 22 page floppies or books with perfect binding you might find in a bookstore. So I don't see how you are unable to separate the two-the medium and a particular format. How would you define comics if not words and pictures juxtaposed to tell a story or express an idea (rough definition off the top of my head that doesn't cover silent comics but i'm just shooting from the hip here)?

The original question is if comics (seqeuntial art, comic books etc..) are mainstream. I'm pretty sure he meant comics the medium in general not specifically strips in the newspaper. And heres the definition of comics for some of those arguing semantics over comic strips and comic books, "Comics is a graphic medium in which words and images are utilised in order to convey a narrative."