By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics
Former Instructor St. John's University, New York City
Comic books, cost about three to four dollars for a twenty page pamphlet. You could easily read three in an hour, so that is nine to twelve dollars an hour. They are very expensive entertainment.
The most popular generally sell about a hundred thousand copies. Most sell a lot less than that. Over several years many of the web pages on this site may well have more readers than the typical comic book.
Collecting may well have become a bit less important in recent years, but statistics show that considerably more than 90% of the buyers are old enough to attend X rated movies.
If you have not heard of Northstar, that is not surprising, he is pretty obscure. He runs fast, like "The Flash." and "Quick Silver." However, he is not nearly as well known as either of these and many other speedsters.
Northstar is sort of a hero, but just barely. He is suspected of using his super powers to win athletic contests and engaging in terrorism for the separatist movement for French speaking Canadians. In the comics I read he was never a very heroic, or even likeable character.
The big picture is that comics do not sell many copies and almost all those are bought by adults. We have better things to worry about. Furthermore, do not let what small influence they do have bother you too much. You may have a bigger readership with a letter to the editor, a reasonably popular blog, or personal web site than the comic has. Several pages on this site have received many more page views than the typical comic pamplet.
So Catholics, Christians, and religious people in general should avoid getting too excited about the latest stunt in the 20 page comics pamphlets, normally called comic books. We have bigger issues to worry about.
Graphic novels are not collectors items, the way comics are. Most comic pamphlets cost three or four dollars. A year or so later they are usually worthless, but occasionally they go way up in price. Graphic novels are perhaps more likely to retain a larger portion of their original value, but they rarely go up in price, and their value is probably not so dependent on them being in perfect condition. So people are generally far more willing to share them. This means they probably have far more readers, and some of those readers will be children and teens.
This is particularly true if the graphic novel is included in a public or public school library collection. My public library and public libraries in general now have large collections of graphic novels, they can usually be found in the Young Adult section, though some may well be in the adult and juvenile section. What goes into the library collection maybe far more a concern for the conservative religious person, and far more easy to influence than some stunt like the Northstar "gay marriage."
You can read more about convincing your local library to include these in their collections here.
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Last updated December 7, 2014
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