Every week, Image Comics sends a newsletter about our upcoming releases to retailers with a letter at the beginning. This message, by Image Comics PR & Marketing Director Jennifer de Guzman was in the March 20, 2012 newsletter.
The comics industry is busy at WonderCon today, so I have a rare moment between press releases and interview requests to pause and reflect.
I’ve been at Image Comics for two months on March 17. In that time, I’ve written fourteen press releases for sold-out books, seen thirteen new series launched (including two this week, SAGA and REBEL BLOOD), and was thrown headlong into the most amazing convention experience I’ve ever had.
And just this week I saw the start of something special — the first issue of SAGA by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples hitting the stands to universal acclaim. I was excited for SAGA even before I began working at Image, not just because of the creative team, whose work I love, but because I immediately connected with the themes alluded to on the cover of the first issue.
Yeah, that cover, the one that a fetish artist made a ruckus about because it showed a woman breastfeeding an infant. I first saw it at about the time I was weaning my son, and — I have to admit — I got a little teary when I saw the beautiful image of a strong family that Fiona had created.
I may not be winged and green-haired (though I was purple-haired for a while), and my husband may not have ram’s horns and use magic, but here was an image from a comic that really spoke to where my life was at that point.
And, honestly, that doesn’t happen very often. I read comics for all the reasons most people do — the exciting escapism of the stories, the attraction of the art — but those moments where I get the feeling that there’s something new that was created just for someone like me are few and far between.
Is this why comics has so much trouble finding readers outside the expected demographic? Consider who I am: female, 30-ahem-years-old, a little bit of (OK, a lot of) a literature nerd, a mother. And it’s not just now that I’m not well-represented in the comics readership. At every point in my comics-reading career, I have been a rarity.
There are very few comics created with someone like me in mind as its reader, but I feel like SAGA may have been. And, look, everyone loves it.
The lesson I get is this: We all know that comics are a nearly limitless medium as an art form but that medium within the comic book industry is only as limited as it is because people allow it to be.