I'm sad because these titles provided a way for younger kids to enjoy characters they see on TV and in ads for PG-13 movies they're too young to see but get excited about anyway because of all the ads and fast food toys. And I'm especially sad because my own children enjoyed these titles. My 12-year-old son, a big fan of cartooning, enjoyed the manic, imaginatively illustrated Billy Batson title. And my 6-year-old daughter loved DC Super Friends. Not only that, the title has been a big boost in helping her learn how to read.
Sure, there are other -- and even better --- comics out there for kids. My son has become a fan of Bone, Asterix, Calvin & Hobbes, Amulet, Tintin and other titles far afield of the mainstream superhero world. My daughter loves Owly and Dark Horse's reprints of Little Lulu. But she also loves Wonder Woman. And now it looks as if there won't be any age-appropriate way for her to enjoy the amazon's exploits.
When I was 9 or 10, I had a whole spinner rack of stuff I could pick up an enjoy. But the mainstream Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, etc., titles are no longer really geared or appropriate to that age group. I'd be ok with my daughter reading 1970s-era Wonder Woman tales, and maybe I'll pick up some DC Showcase volumes for her to enjoy. But I think it's a little sad that we live in the world where most comics featuring characters that were created for children are no longer appropriate for children.
Valerie D'Orazio, over at Occasional Superheroine, nicely sums up this pitiful paradigm:
Having comics be essentially "taken over" by hardcore male fans -- blocking out women, and eventually children -- is ultimately the worst thing that ever happened to this industry. I'm not talking "worst" in terms of the ethical reasons -- but just from a simple business standpoint alone. The "fanboy revolution" killed not only the female market, but also the children's market. Alienating 1/2 of the population is one thing -- but then to knowingly cut off the future generation of readers as well! Remarkably short-sighted and selfish.I'm glad my children share my love of comics, that they there are titles out there for them to enjoy. But it's too bad they'll be losing out on these DC titles they enjoyed so much. I don't know that my son -- now that he's getting into his teens and the demographic Marvel and DC gear most of their books to (well, actually, I think the demo may be more 30s and 40s and getting rapidly older) -- will develop an interest in mainstream superhero titles or not. Given the dearth of female-friendly and kid-friendly super-titles, I'm pretty doubtful my daughter ever will.