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The Future of Comics

"Last year, a few guys came in looking for 'X-Men,' but they weren't going crazy for it," says shop owner Gary Haviland, frustrated, melancholy. "As a matter of fact, I'm getting out of comics. They don't sell." He's going to concentrate on card and computer games—things his regulars want to play, things they don't have to go out of their way to find.

Glenn Gaslin, The Disappearing Comic Book, LA Times, 7/17/01


Are comics going the way of the dodo bird? Or more appropriately, the way of cave paintings, illuminated manuscripts, telegrams, drive-in movies, and 8-track tapes? Or are they a perennial medium, one that will refresh and reinvigorate itself in new and unpredictable ways?

Signs of fiddling while Rome burns:

Whither comics after the X-Movie?   Comic-book movies don't broaden the audience for comics.
Thoughts on the San Diego Comic-Con 2000+   The industry is looking backward or sideways, not forward.

Past and future trends in comic books:

The disappearing comic book   Must-reading on the ignorance and apathy facing the comic book market.
Steve Gerber and Joe Casey on the future of comics   Two pros say what's wrong with the books themselves.
More on the future of comics and PEACE PARTY   A retailer's perspective on what comics need to succeed.

What to do about the ailing industry:

New formats
PEACE PARTY plans 2000+   A graphic novel in the works.
More on Internet comics   Can electronic storytelling take up the slack?
More quality
X-MEN marks the spot   The comic that became a phenomenon by blending characterization with action.
Boomers, television, and comics   The 1999-2000 TV season offers a lesson for comics.
Are comics dead?   Not quite, but they will be unless they start getting better fast.
More diversity
Culture and Comics Need Multicultural Perspective 2000   Comics are still geared toward young, white males.
Multiculturalism sells!   Movies and music attract a diverse crowd, so why can't comics?
Some thoughts on minority comics   Good marketing can make quality products succeed

Final answer

PEACE PARTY, a multicultural comic book featuring Native Americans. (What else?)

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Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.

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