MARTHA THOMASES: Hey, Kids! Comics!

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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11 Responses

  1. Howard Cruse says:

    Because I grew up in an era rich in high-quality comics for kids, it has always driven me nuts that so few in the major comics companies see young readers as a fertile market worth courting with intelligent, inventive comics. Even after DC had published my graphic novel and gotten pats on the back for doing so, I couldn't interest them in letting me do a kids' comic. Of course, a big reason was that I wanted to created an original character that I would own rather than play with a licensed character from TV that would require my every decision to be vetted by movie studio execs and advertisers.

  2. John Tebbel says:

    Children’s literature in whatever medium is a world away from the children’s marketing business. Sometimes the literature is marketed to eleven, like our man Pooh, but the marketing schemes never go the other way. Sign me Johnny Tebbel, S.T.A.R.

  3. Frank Miller says:

    Well, on the positive side, the Marvel Adventures series is pretty good. Lots of times they're better than the adult comics. At least they didn't have to suffer through the Civil War.

  4. Patrick says:

    I remember vividly as a child going to the corner candy store (the only place in my neighborhood that sold comics), with my shiny quarter clutched in my hand to by a new Casper comic (the best were those that featured Wendy or Nightmare). The memory is only marred by the thought of the battleaxe who own the shop – Mrs. Lutz – who wouldn't let me in the store until I showed her I had money to spend and would want to make sure my hands were clean before I touched anything.

  5. Joe in Philly says:

    If publishers think kids aren't reading comics now, why do they think these same kids will start reading them as adults?

  6. Neil in Nashville says:

    I had no idea there are so few kids' comics. I remember reading Richie Rich when I was little. I loved it! So much jewelry! I was always a little dissappointed that his mom resembled Aunt Bee. I wished she had been more like Nan Kempner or Pat Buckley. And speaking of Pat Buckley, I just read in the new Vogue that she died. I am so sad. Why doesn't anyone make a graphic novel, for kids, about Pat Buckley? Great job, Martha!

    • Martha Thomases says:

      You should write the Pat Buckley story, sweetie! If isaac Mizrahi can write a graphic novel, so can you.

  7. Smash Bolton says:

    This is precisely why my brother and I been developing our comic series, SMASH, which you can preview at <a href="” target=”_blank”> We loved superhero comics when we were young — but if we were eight years old today, I don't think we'd ever pick up a comic, let alone walk into a comic shop.

  8. Walt says:

    I do applaud the publishers for attempting to publish kids comics, but they never seem to last for very long. DC seems to be having success with the books based on cartoons like Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans Go and Legion of Super-Heroes. At least kids who wouldn't normally read a comic will have that recognition and might pick one up.In a way it's a shame that comics grew up with the readers. With such a limited amount of titles for the young reader, the age of the average comics reader gets older and older every year. The thought that comics might be an endangered species scares the crap out of me.

  9. Liz Glass says:

    You are right, Martha: kids love to get a comic. Many of my friends have kids who are just beginning to read. Their kids love THE BAKERS: DO THESE TOYS BELONG SOMEWHERE?, so recently I have been asked "where can I get more comics for my kids? Target had a disappointing selection." My answer: (outside of NYC): I really don't know. I do mention they have a great recommended reading list.

  10. Skipper Pickle says:

    Hi, Martha. There's a lot of good material out there, it's just not where we used to find our pamphlets. DC's Showcase Presents books are big hits at our house and are cost-efficient (i thought my kids would dismiss them for being "old" and for being B&W, but that wasn't the case). The Bone TPBs are good. You may want to build a library in the children's department at your hospital–those pamphlets get pretty expensive, i think, and bigger books last longer. But even if you want to stick with pamphlets, the Johnny DC and Marvel Adventures books are done-in-one–serialization is rarely an issue. Er, pardon the pun.But i don't really understand the objection to serialization, i guess.And i never find that dismissive clerk in any of the stores i visit these days. That guy got sacked.Anyway, there is a lot of good stuff coming out in all directions, particularly among independents. That makes it a little harder to find (you are right that the direct-market retailers aren't always up to speed), and it often means that there isn't sufficient editorial guidance. Hang in there!