Marc Alan Fishman: All Ages Be Damned!

Marc Alan Fishman

Marc Alan Fishman is a graphic designer, digital artist, writer, and most importantly a native born Chicagoan. When he's not making websites, drawing and writing for his indie company Unshaven Comics, or rooting for the Bears... he's a dedicated husband and father. When you're not enjoying his column here on ComicMix, feel free to catch his comic book reviews weekly at MichaelDavisWorld, and check out his books and cartoons at Unshaven Comics.

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2 Responses

  1. I think the trap you’re falling into is you equate “kids know about superheroes” and “kids read comics”. As many will tell you, very few of the creators (and indeed, not all tha many of the companies) make any money off all those licensed products. The fact that there’s millions of people watching the cartoons and the movies, and only thousands (if that) reading the comics is a serious problem on the part of the companies.

    For DC to claim that they don’t do books for kids anymore (save for the odd licensed book) is seriously troubling. If this is honestly and for true DC’s direction, they will be a thing of the past in a generation.

    I get it – not a lot of kids come into comic stores, compared to adults. Comic shops are not as prevalent, and are now a destination store. But if you don’t MAKE products for kids, you only make it worse.

    The Kid does not go to the comic shop with me any more, because I pick my books up near work. But I pick her books up for her every week.

    More than once I’ve said I found DC’s all ages titles superior to the mainstream version of the books. The animated universe books were regularly closer to the books I wanted to read than the main books were – Legion, Batman, Superman, etc. Art and Franco’s Captain Marvel Shazam book was the best version of Cap they’ve done since the Power of Shazam book.

    DC will do a book as a tie-in to an animated series, and drop it as soon as the show is cancelled, as quickly as a kid drops a chore once the parents are watching. There’s no attempt to get an audience for it. No matter how well they sell, no matter how good they are (just go re-read past columns for my rhapsodic ramblings about Sholly Fisch’s work on Super Friends and B:B&tB) they never get a chance.

    Marvel’s not much better – their kids books are often exemplary, but they get less and less support. As I understand it, the Ultimate Spider-Man book is now going to be made up entirely from screen grabs from the show, a perverse mirror-images of the way the old school Marvel Super-Heroes cartoons were largely made from cut out panels from the books.

    There HAS to be a way to attract kids into comics. The cartoons are the best way, but sadly, the law counts comic books the same way they do toys based on the cartoon, and you can’t advertise the comics on the TV shows. So you can’t tell the millions of people watching the new Batman show that there are Batman comics.


  2. Vinnie, John… Perhaps in my flummoxed state, I didn’t make it clear enough:

    I WANT MORE ALL AGES BOOKS. But I want them to NOT be licenses cartoon carbon copies. I honestly, and truly believe that “if they built it”… “They will come.”

    The biggest road block of course being the powers that be, being so g-d scared to make a line of books that don’t immediately target “the 45 year olds”.

    If my opinion isn’t clear enough here (and it very well may be)… Look to the product I myself put on the table. I make all ages books. I bust my hump day-in and day-out to give the kids of all ages something beyond video games and manga. Matt and I lead a class or two a year (and would do more if we could find the venue) to teach kids to MAKE their own comics.

    I think my generation is trying our damnedest to make comics more accessible than they were in our youth. This isn’t a battle, it’s a war. DC simply fired a volley through Paul Pope at those of us fighting on the front lines.