sequential daze

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Is it the subject matter or the medium itself?

A friend of mine is a fairly big geek - she's certainly into things like Lord of the Rings, Buffy/Angel, Serenity, Dr Who and James Bond in a big but not overly obsessive way. She's not a huge geek, certainly a lot less so than myself or her partner, but she is pretty geeky, right?

Anyway, I was telling her about Buffy Season 8 - the Dark Horse comic series that's just started up. She was mildly interested and I offered to loan her the issues but she declined, citing as her reason that she wasn't really into comics. Now if this was Identity Crisis or Infinite Crisis or 52 I was trying to push onto her I could easily understand her lack of interest, she's totally not into superheroes - but she's into both Buffy and Joss Whedon (who is writing the first story), so I find her response odd. It seems it's not the subject matter (likes Buffy, check) but the medium of comics itself that is disinclining her towards reading it. Maybe if it was a book she might read it, I don't know. I certainly haven't read any Buffy books myself but that's not because I don't like books. I guess if someone was trying to push a Buffy PC game on me I'd say no thanks, because I'm not into gaming... but is that the same thing?

A few years ago a similar thing happened when I found out an arty upstairs neighbour was a huge Buffy fan. I showed her some copies of the comic series that were out at the time and she was spectacularly disinterested.

I'm raising this point because it's frequently said that more people generally (and more women specifically) would read comics if they weren't just about superheroes. Of course, increasingly comics aren't just about superheroes, and a lot more people are getting into them, especially online. And yet it seems some people still won't read comics, even comics about something they have a fair degree of passion for, just for the reason they are comics. Did they have a horrible, scarring experience with comics as a child? Who can say?

All the same I'll see if I can't interest my friend once the whole series has played out and the trades are available. I seem to remember she stubbornly resisted my enthusiasm for the TV series of Buffy before giving in and totally loving it and buying all seven seasons worth on DVD!



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