Reality World for Comics
There’s a new reality show airing on February 11th. Comic Book Men will take viewers into the“sacred geek temple” of a retail comic book store. Kevin Smith, comic book writer and film producer, is the brains behind the show. The storyline revolves around the four guys who work in the store and who also model for Smith’s comic book characters.
The show features an all-male cast, which has received criticism because of the lack of females. Smith acknowledges that both women and African-Americans are both under-represented in comics and sees this as something that needs to change. He also points out that non-geeks can feel alienated when they enter a retail comic store. He hopes his new show will make mainstream America more comfortable with the comic industry.
youtube, Mingchen, Jan. 1, 2012
According to a recent survey by DC Comics, males make up 93% of its readers. Blogger Henry Hanks, a contributor on CNN Geek Out!, confirms that there is an entire culture of geeks out there who thrive on the characters and stories contained in comics. We saw an example of this in the video we watched in class about the geek collector.
Todays’ comic books contain the same stereotypes that readers encounters in the 1940s – females with big boobs, and males with huge muscles. The storylines haven’t changed either – men in capes are still rescuing helpless women. In the book, The Ten-Cent Plague, David Hadju, takes the reader through the history of comics and helps decipher the intense attraction many have towards these books.
The comic industry as a whole is suffering economically and the hope for this show is that it will expose non-geeks to the art of comic collecting and increase readership.