In “Why Comics Are Doomed,” I argued that for comics to survive, we need to stop marketing them as “children’s entertainment.” We need to position comics as entertainment for adults.
Here’s proof why. In the newspaper, there are “movie capsules” that encapsulate the movie. Here, dear friends, is the description for:
“The Dark Knight”
Batman isn’t a comic book anymore. Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” is a haunted film that leaps beyond its origins and becomes and engrossing tragedy. It creates characters we care about. That’s because of the performances, because of the direction, because of the writing, and because of the superlative technical quality of the entire production. The key performance in the movie is by the late Heath Ledger, as the Joker.
The first sentence reveals a preconceived notion shared by many people. They expect comics to be campy, mindless entertainment for kids.
The second sentence goes further when it notes it is “a haunted film that leaps beyond its origins and becomes and engrossing tragedy.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Batman always been an engrossing tragedy? Not every issue, sure, but some of them, right?
To this writer, “The Dark Knight” and “Iron Man” are simply grown up versions of comics. Storytelling flukes created by sophisticated master filmmakers. Nothing in traditional comic books can come close.
For all of you 40-year-old virgins, this is how many people think about comics.
How many people saw “The Dark Knight” and then went to the comic book store to buy Detective Comics? Probably not many, since the assumption is that the movie is for adults…and the comic books are for the kids.
If we keep marketing comics as children’s entertainment, the medium is doomed. Even Hollywood cant save us from ourselves.