Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Executive Editor
Have you ever stopped to wonder why the Big Two—DC and Marvel Comics—are so successful? There are a lot of reasons, but here are the top few: they’ve been around for around seventy-five years now, they created stories and characters that resonated with audiences, and they acted in an entrepreneurial manner to fill a need in a market back in 1939. Without them, we wouldn’t have the modern comic book industry.
Without BOOM! Studios, we won’t have the future comic book industry. The reason why BOOM! is arguably the most important comic book company right now is because they’re creating stories and characters that resonate with audiences and properly reflect the world in which we live and, in an entrepreneurial manner, they’re filling a desperate need in this market. In other words, they’re giving people exactly what they want—more diversity in comics: comics that aren’t just superheroes, comics that all ages can enjoy, comics that push the boundaries of the medium, and comics that go beyond showcasing the stories and talent of the majority.
Today, BOOM! Studios launched the Push #ComicsForward campaign and the comic book industry couldn’t need it more. While companies are certainly doing much better than before—nod to Marvel comics for everything they’ve been doing—the progress has been slow. CEO Ross Richie in his post about the movement adequately sums up the vision behind this campaign:
“If you believe comics are great just the way they are, this isn’t for you. If you think superheroes are the only kinds of stories worth telling in comics, this isn’t for you. But if you want to see everyone reading comics—your aunt, your co-workers, your niece, your boyfriend, that kid down the street—let’s Push #ComicsForward in 2015.”
You might be thinking, so what—they don’t have enough clout to actually make a difference? Well, statistically, you’d be wrong. Check out Diamond Comics’ Publisher Market Share statistics for 2012, 2013, and 2014. If you track DC, Marvel, and the independent companies like BOOM!, you’ll notice an important trend: DC and Marvel are slowly going down percentage wise in both categories, while everyone else, more or less, is going up. This is a tangible sign that the independent publishers are gaining ground both financially and with the number of products they’re putting out. As the independent companies continue to grow, their target audiences will become just as important as DC’s and Marvel’s, which will hopefully cause positive change in the industry.
We need everyone in the comic book industry to have the BOOM! mentality of innovation. We need everyone in the comic book industry to demand better of ourselves to Push #ComicsForward so that we better reflect the world around us. As beloved as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Captain America are, there’s so much more the medium has to offer and there’s so much more to do.