Monday, June 2, 2008

Why did genre diversity die off?

I ran across an old overstreet price guide the other day and flipping through it’s kind of interesting to note just how diverse comics where (at least in terms of genres being published) back in the 40’s-50’s.

Even looking at the big two (or the companies that would become the big two) and a large part of there out put wasn’t superheroes but other genres such as romance, westerns, horror, sci-fi, funny animals or comedies.

I can’t help but wonder what happen to these books. Why did the industry turn their back on so many different types of comics.

I know horror was thrown a big blow in the anit-comic wave of the 50’s lead by the likes of Fredric Wertham and his book Seduction of the Innocent.

And westerns fell out of favor in pop culture.

But I wonder why the large publishers turned way from romance, funny animals and comedy tittles and I guess to some lesser extent sci-fi comics.

These still remain popular genres in every other from of media, why not comics.

All I know is that some say when comic started to get sold primarily in comic shops and not on the new stands these genres started to die off because many of the comic owners where superhero fans and that is what they order.

And of course many of the people working at the big publishers where fans of superheroes and maybe not so much the other types of comics.

Which makes since but giving the size of the market that was around for those old comics it hard to believe that even though the gatekeepers the time didn’t care for anything other then superheroes, that they should have withered away like they did.

Giving that there where at least as many fans of romance comics as superhero titles, I’m surprised that there wasn’t just as many romance fanboys and girls to start romance center comic shops in the early start of the comic shop market.

Same goes with the funny animals and humor.

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