I took a couple of hours out of my day to be on a panel for Young Author’s Day, an event put on by the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association. I was invited to join by John Lustig, who I feel very lucky to call my friend and mentor. We answered the usual questions about the writing process and how we broke into comics, but I was even more intrigued by the audience. Notice something about them?
Yeah. GIRLS. Very. Young. Girls.
So I asked THEM some questions. “How many of you read comics?”
All hands went up.
"How many of you want to make comics some day?"
Most of the hands went up.
Here’s where it really got interesting. “How many of you BUY comics?”
Only one hand raised. I asked her where she buys her comics. She said, “At the comic book store.”
"Do you have a comic book store you like going to?" I asked.
She hesitated. “It’s complicated.”
That’s 10 year-old speak for “I have to go there to get comics but the store makes me uncomfortable.” The rest of them read webcomics. None of them had heard of Comixology before, but they knew all about it by the time the panel was over. What comic would they like to see most? Minecraft. Only Steve needs to be a girl.
It was a fascinating experience, especially in the wake of this article detailing why girls in the 1980s (like me and one of the moms nodding eagerly in the audience) stopped buying comics for 20 years.
The future of comics is bright indeed.