There’s something about reading and collecting comics that spark questions and reactions out of people who not too many other hobbies would. People seem to think they have us comic book fan’s all figured out and this is usually based on some pretty wrong assumptions and stereotypes. For your reading pleasure I have listed five of the most annoying (and incorrect) stereotypes about comics and those who read them.
1. ‘ Aren’t comics just for kids?’: The truth of the matter is that a large portion of the comics available in your local comic shop really aren’t suitable for kids. Obviously anything by Mark Millar is instantly off-limits for anyone under the age of 18 but even a lot of the mainstream superhero books published by Marvel and DC are aimed at teenagers, not kids. As well as often being quite involved reads the average superhero comic contains a lot of adult themes, sexual references and intricate plot details that most kids just won’t understand or enjoy. The delicious irony is that only a small portion of the comics available are actually rated ‘All ages’ and are usually made with the specific purpose of being kid friendly.
2. ‘You read comics and go to comic shops? You must be just like the guys from The Big Bang theory’ No, just no. Saying that anyone who enjoys comics is like Sheldon Cooper and the gang from The Big Bang theory is like watching an episode of Two and a half men and concluding all women want to sleep with Charlie Sheen. ‘Nuff said.
3.‘Comic shops are full of lonely, sweaty dudes’: Ok so I’ll concede that this one is partially true, only insofar as generally speaking a larger proportion of comic book readers are males. That said, the world of comic books is by no means a boys club with plenty of ladies to be found in both the fandom and the industry. Take for example this fine website which has boasts an impressive roster of very talented comic book loving ladies.
4. ‘You read comics so you obviously don’t have a Boyfriend/Girlfriend’: another falsity no doubt brought into being by shows such as The Big Bang Theory that would have us believe reading comics is akin to choosing to die alone. This is not in the least bit true. Like all hobbies and pastimes comic books draw in a variety of people from all kinds of different backgrounds and walks of life, some eligible for dating some not so eligible Being lonely and single is not unique to the comic book scene! Once again this website helps to prove my point as a significant proportion of our writers (including myself) are either married or dating. It should also be noted the inverse is also not true. As my Fiancé is reluctantly realising on a daily basis, just because I’m in a relationship doesn’t mean I’m any less obsessed with comics!
5. ‘All comics are superhero comics’: Personally I’m a sucker for a good superhero story, but there’s a lot more to the industry then just superheroes. Companies such as Image, Dark horse and IDW sell only a small portion of superhero titles (if any) and creator owned series such as Saga, The secret service, Fatale, American Vampire and Chew all do extremely well for themselves without a single cape insight! So While Marvel and DC may make their millions of spandex clad supermen it’s by no means an accurate representation of the entire comic market
So consider the stereotypes busted! As I’m pleasantly reminded with each trip I take down to my local comic shop, the comic book market is an all-inclusive and eclectic place out matched only by the even wider and diverse range of people who read them. To assume that all us comic book fans are the same and to write comics off as nothing more than children’s pictures books (as so many people still do) is to deny yourself the amazing tapestry of stories being told in comic book form. That said I don’t really mind if you do..just means more sweet sweet comics for me!