Here’s ahavah22’s prescription for the comics industry:
“What’s the best way to save the comic book industry, you ask? Take some pills and call me in the morning.
“Specifically these pills should consist of these fail-safe strategies:
“1. Take a page from the video and audio entertainment worlds and make graphic novels of all types available free or for a low “rental fee” on the internet, with advertisement revenue going straight to to publishers. Let’s face it; most manga is already available for free on the internet, but only the pirates (if anyone) profits from this practice. In addition, you can’t rent manga or graphic novels easily from online site a la Netflicks. So the smart thing to do would be to set up legitimate legal sources for free or low-cost entertainment media.
“2. advertise more! I honestly think most people’s ignorance about the literary, entertainment and artistic value of modern comics comes from lack of exposure. Now that more varieties of graphic novels are coming out, appropriate advertisement aimed at niche audiences of all different stripes could definitely help with sales. For instance, a realistic manga about a family dealing with their autistic son called With the Light could be advertised to parents and educators of special-needs children. I personally lent it to a special education teacher I know who normally has no interest in graphic novels, and she loved it!
“3. Make the government (and, therefore, all tax paying citizens) pay for it! I currently feed most of my manga diet via my public library, and am always surprised when I enter a library that lacks a graphic novel section. Yes, some of our poor underprivileged youth are live near libraries that lack a product that will keep them coming back for more. More graphic novels available in public libraries= more traffic within these libraries by irresponsible youth= more revenue for the libraries with late and lost book fees! Let’s educate our local politicians and librarians on the benefits of a large, diverse graphic novel section, and everybody wins!
“Well, that’s my $0.2 on how to save and revive the comics industry.”