No doubt you've been frustrated with how comic books have been developing over the past couple years. The writing and humor stinks, your favorite characters are a shell of their former selves, and the writers seem to have their heads shoved up their asses. To some it may be obvious as to why manga sales have completely dominated over comic books. Here we're exploring what happened and the reasons why comics are failing.
1. Targeting the Wrong Audience
A huge plight of mainstream comics is that it's not for who they think they're marketing to. Liberals, SJWs, feminists, and 'activists' just don't care about comics to begin with. Just look at the raw numbers. If their marketing ploys and pandering worked, they would not be being outsold by Japanese mangas.
2. Insulting their Fans
Some of the poor decisions made when making some of these comics result in criticism. Criticism is important to guide artists and writers to become more successful on future projects. It's to teach them about what they could've done better, what to avoid, and how to improve, adapt, and evolve. Unfortunately, a lot of these creators instead would berate their customer base on Twitter (and not in the funny and clever way like how Wendy's roasted its customer base.) The salt levels on producers, writers, and artists flings so much hate, spite, and vitriol on people who simply want a good comic and to not have their favorite characters ruined.
3. Twitter Tirades
The berating of their fans (and a huge amount of other issues) seem to be sourced from Twitter. The core design of Twitter's platform fuels the flinging of hate, thanks to its 140 character limit. Not only do they use this platform to call their customers "racists", but they also go on tirades on things that their fans really do not care about, or do not want to care about. Again, they just want a damn comic that's good! They don't care about your stance on the border wall. That's not why people follow you.
4. Political Agendas
It's no secret China has a deeply rooted grasp in Disney and the rest of Hollywood. Influences to this extent can clearly sway the tides of creativity against fandoms. There was a time where Comic books kept any political and social subjects limited, strict, and highly regulated, and only brought up when it benefits the story. Now, comics use it as a pandering tool to an audience that does not want it. We can only speculate, but it's highly plausible that China (and possibly other politically influential entities,) intentionally are sullying our cultural landscape to flood the market with trash.
Here's a sad example of Static Shock getting his powers from a Black Lives Matter protest.
5. Ugly Art
It's insulting enough when a twitter "artists" "improves" an art piece of a seductive woman and makes her fat and ugly. Imagine how it is when leaders at Marvel do the same thing to Wonder Woman or Squirrel Girl. Why turn She Hulk into...well...the Hulk?!
Again, who is this marketed towards? For years we have this romantic desire for health and beauty. And while beauty is subjective, what isn't are the abysmal sales resulting from turning your favorite female heroines into ugly blobs.
A culture that re-hashes the same ideas is a swamp. Disney and Marvel have been reviving their own franchises for over a hundred years. What innovations in story telling could you honestly say resulted from that? Sure we had some entertainment here and there, but just like the sluggish progress of the automobile, media and comics also fall into the same issue. We want new and unique ideas brought to the table. Companies who have billions of dollars to utilize stand little risk of trying something new, so why not?
7. Changing the Characters
When a comic is rebooted, they sometimes make drastic changes to the main character and side characters. This seems to be an attempt to appeal to a new generation. However, as we established, these comic book publishers aren't appealing to the right audiences anyways. So what is the result of changing these characters? Again, poor sales. They turn Captain America into a Filipino woman (ironically pissing of the Filipinos...)
They turned Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Wolverine into a polyamorous couple. And lets not forget the "blackwashing" of known characters for the sake of "liberal justice ideologies."
Not only can character designs can be changed for the worse, so can their backstories. Static Shock now gets his super powers from a bloody Black Lives Matter protest.
Can a character change be successful? Well of course it can, just look at "Spiderman, Enter the Spiderverse" for a good example of a successful change. Another good example, in fact, casting Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury makes the character more iconic. Most of the time however, these changes are intrusive and obnoxious, especially with how the creators and the PR tries to push these changes into our faces.
8. Lack of Escapism
We read comic books to want to escape from reality, gain new ideas and inspiration, and to be entertained. We do not want our comics to be a "Communist Manifesto." We don't want to hear about "Black Lives Matter" (especially after their riots all throughout 2020.) We don't want to hear about climate change. We don't want to hear about feminism or any other political nonsense. We want to escape from all of that. We want to see bad guys get their asses whopped by super heroes. We want big monster fights, explosions, muscular dudes and women with big boobs. That doesn't mean to say there can't be real life lessons in our entertainment. The Teen Titans and Static Shock cartoons did a brilliant job bringing important issues to light without the force of a battering ram.
9. Incredibly Bad Ideas
When modern comic book publishers do decide to cast the die and try something new, there are a few things they, as multi-billion dollar companies, should know what to do, and what not to do. Look at this for example. Do you really want a Super Heroine who's power is her period of all things?! If that's not your style, how about a "nonbinary twins" who are literally named "Snowflake" and "Safespace"? Anyone who's been on the internet longer than an hour would know immediate how absolutely insane it would be to greenlight such an idea!
There are many instances of this happening in comics, TV Shows, Movies, and more. And it seems to just continue getting worse.
10. Failing to Learn
Despite what should be blaringly obvious decisions to avoid, these publishers not only choose to make these decisions, they repeat these mistakes over and over, and over again. Disney may blame Covid for their decreasing revenue with their theme parks. However, if they just decided to stop taking advice from Twitter and make garbage like their "Marvel's New Heroes" then maybe they wouldn't be as deep in a hole.
With these issues plaguing comics, what can we do to help bring quality entertainment back into comic books? Thankfully, there are a lot of independent indie comics that are available, most of which you can help support on IndieGoGo or Kickstarter. These indie artists and writers are paving a path to restoring the glory that once was comic books. Of course, such a drastic change in the industry is a highly uncomfortable and alien feeling.
We at Chainlink Productions are currently journeying into the realm of comic books with a project in the works.
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