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The Overlord

Subj: Re: Do cartoons provide a better gateway for kids to the Marvel Universe?
Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 11:31:23 am EDT (Viewed 108 times)
Reply Subj: Do cartoons provide a better gateway for kids to the Marvel Universe?
Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:02:34 am EDT (Viewed 187 times)

    Let's face it, kids don't read comic books any more, except for Japanese comics.

I'm inclined to agree somewhat. Not saying that absolutely NO kids read comics anymore as certainly some still do. But in a general sense, when I go to buy manga, I see more kids there then when I get American comics.

But kids are still reading though, be it manga, or even European comics, or novels, like LOTR and Harry Potter can attest to.

    So I was wondering, do you think cartoons provide a better gateway for kids into the Marvel Universe, then comics? A cartoon doesn't have some of the problems a comic would, that prevent kids from reading it, ex: content parents may find unsuitable, 40 years of continuity, etc.

As far as a better gateway to a more broader interpretation of the character, then sure, I can concede that to a degree. There are certainly people who are fans of Batman and the Justice League from the cartoons who never or rarely picked up a comic w/ the same characters. People will buy the shirts, get the toys, watch the movie, and might not ever try out the comic versions of those characters. To bring movies into the equation, Iron Man was a big success, but how many people who went to see it were really fans of the comic character before, or even after the film? I'm not certain I've ever really witnessed something like The Dark Knight really causing a significant increase in the readership of the comics. I'm sure it has an effect, but not to the extent that I'd consider most the cartoons or movies an actual gateway to the comics.

In terms of the problems a comic presents, I do believe content can be an issue in both senses, in becoming too graphic for certain age demographics, or 'dumbing' it down or 'babying' and thus robbing it of any edge and making it unattractive to other age groups.

Any ongoing serial will accumulate it's own bit of continuity, be it Captain America, House, Lost, the Harry Potter films/novels or what have you, so I'm not sure to what degree that is off-putting to some new readers. I think being too self-referential to past stories, and dense crossovers w/ too many tie-ins would is a valid roadblock however.

    Plus a cartoon when done well can improve upon concepts found in a comic, like what BTAS did with Mr. Freeze.

Or introduce concepts that weigh the property down, like the son in Superman Returns.

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