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Thursday, September 07, 2017 

Dave Gibbons looks at the medium through a rose colored lens

Comics Beat interviewed artist Dave Gibbons about his career, and at the start, he proves he's just another knee-jerker who can't admit recognition for comicdom isn't what the PC crowd likes to claim it is:
COMICS BEAT: Your career has seen some of the biggest evolutions in the comic book business. What would you say, in your opinion, have been the most significant changes to the industry during your tenure?

DAVE GIBBONS: On one level you could say it’s been the sort of digital revolution in comics production. Originally it was just coloring, then it brought in lettering and evolved to where many artists draw digitally now. The quality of the printing has improved as well. It’s an increased fidelity; like when mono went over to stereo, you know, that kind of thing.

I think also, it’s been great to see comics go from… I mean they were mass medium in the 40’s, huge selling items. Then the whole field went down and came back as a niche interest. Now with the comic book movies, they’ve become main stream interest again, so you’re seeing all these huge TV shows and people who’ve never read a comic book know these characters. The broadening of the audience is different from the old boom of the 1940’s.
Whether or not they know the characters (and there's suggestions it's only from the silver screen) doesn't automatically translate into a case of actually reading them. Neither the old nor the new. I've noticed signs at times that even the trade collections may not sell as big as we wish they would.

Yet there's a bit of irony in his comments that could make sense: the way the audience comes about today certainly differs from yesteryear's - they're flocking to the theaters to see the films, but not so much to any kind of bookstore to read the comics.

Thus, Gibbons has proven himself just another guy in comicdom who won't admit it's not the success story it could've been, had anyone with sense tried to work on better marketing approaches years before.

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"The medium is the message," and if the medium is comic books/comic magazines, the perceived message is often, "This is for kids," "This is for nerds," or "This is for nerdy kids."

A lot of teenagers and adults will casually mention having seen the latest superhero movie, but they would not be caught dead reading a comic.

Everyone knows who certain literary characters are: Dracula, Frankenstein, Robinson Crusoe, the Three Musketeers, Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, James Bond. But relatively few people have read the books. They know the characters only from adaptations (movies, TV).

And it is the same with Batman, Spider-Man, and the Hulk.

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