The comic reading community is a small group. There’s no denying that. Regardless of big budget movies like Thor, Iron Man or, The Dark Knight there still aren’t many people reading comics. Readership is hitting all time lows. Right now we’re only at a fraction of what was being sold in the past.
The internet has had a huge impact on the industry. Now you can read comics on your computer in both legal and illegal ways. With things like forums you can connect with other fans and debate endlessly about whatever you want. You can read blogs and have idiots like me scream words in your face. You can even interact with creators. That is what blows my mind more than anything.
Past generations could only talk to a creator in letters columns or at conventions. Now through Twitter and other forms of social media you can talk with creators. Last semester I asked Chris Yost a couple questions for a paper I was writing over email. A couple weeks ago I had a small conversation with Duane Swierczynski on Twitter about the new Beastie Boys album. It’s so much easier to talk to creators now. I feel that comic fans take the internet and their power through the internet for granted.
With readership being as small as it is, comic fans have more influence on the industry than ever before. Creators and comic companies are well aware that their readership is smaller so they listen and respond to what we have to say. Just the other day on Twitter I was gushing about how much I loved the first volume of Morning Glories. Minutes later I received a tweet from Joe Eisma, the artist of the series, saying “hey, thanks! High praise indeed!” He didn’t have to do that, but he did and that shows that creators read what we have to say.
It’s not just creators, other readers will read what you have to say. Through the internet you have the ability to influence the reading habits of other people. I’ve picked up several comics because of the good things that I’ve heard other people say about them.
The message that I really want to get across with this blog is watch what you say. Now, I’m not saying you should censor yourself, I’m just saying that you should pay attention to what you are posting because you have the ability to influence other people. If you like a comic, talk about it. A lot! Especially if you’re a fan of a lesser known comic. Get the word out. If you can get one other person to pick up the book you’ve succeeded. Every week when I’m finished reading my new comics I post small reviews on Twitter because I want to tell people about the good things that I’ve read. Talk about what you like, your words have more power than you think and I’m sure that creators appreciate it.
If you don’t like something, don’t be a dick about it. Simple as that. Be constructive with you criticism. If you’re one of the people who makes personal attacks on Twitter or Facebook and tells a creator that they suck or everything they do sucks, nobody takes you seriously and it essentially makes your opinion meaningless. Give good reasons for why you don’t like something and maybe the right person will read your criticism. You might be able to change something , but if you don’t go about it in the right way, nothing will change.
Comic fans are more powerful than ever. We have a much greater voice and an easier way to get it out there. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t trying to get it out there.