Michael from Helpdesk Magazine claimed that traditional comics are on a slow path to obscurity. At first I didn’t buy in to what he was saying, because I misunderstood him.
I thought his point was that comics in their traditional single issue per month form were on their way out, to eventually be replaced with graphic novels every six months or so.
Rather, his point was this:
“Traditional western comics, with the exception of daily comics like Garfield, are typically about superheros no matter how you slice it. Comic books can’t possibly hope to compete if they don’t start treating themselves as a medium rather than a genre.”
After reading that paragraph I understood his point and even agreed with him, however I’m a little torn on the issue after further consideration. I definitely agree that Marvel and DC should treat comics as a medium rather than a genre, however Marvel and DC basically are super hero genres. That’s the Universe that they’ve made. Some would argue that this was a mistake on their part, but I say otherwise. After all, like it or not, going this route has made them the dominant companies in the industry for years.
I went on to make this comment in reply to Michael:
“I could definitely see Image and Dark Horse taking over, and I think it would be a welcome change. While I really enjoy certain super hero titles, it is certainly an overdone subject and not all that creative.”
I stand by the last sentence in that paragraph, however the first part needs a little revamping. I think it would be a welcome change if comics were written as well and as diversely as comics released by Image (such as Walking Dead and Fear Agent), however I do not think they will ever dominate the industry. Marvel and DC will always find a way to keep their empire strong.
After all, while DC may have structured their universe around the super hero genre, they also have comics released under the Vertigo title which are less traditional and are creator owned.
What do you think? Will DC and Marvel ever lose their death-grip on the industry? Have they fallen behind the times?