Posts tagged Female Comic Readers
Posts tagged Female Comic Readers
If DC comics is seriously interested in gaining new female readers, particularly younger ones, this book may not be the key but it is damn close. Gail Simone has often said that Birds to Prey is an on-ramp into comics for women. I took that on-ramp and agree. I think that this version of Batgirl* can do the same thing for a younger female audience 10+
After Wonder Woman there is not a more recognizable female character then Batgirl. She appears on t-shirts, in video games; she’s in the animated series. And yes, this Batgirl is not that Batgirl but it doesn’t matter, the name is just a recognizable hook.
Stephanie Brown as Batgirl is a character young girls will relate too. Much of the credit for this is due to Bryan Q. Miller took Steph, already a fan favorite with young female readers, and made her stronger. As I’ve said previously:
She’s not perfect, or polished or even very coordinated at times. She really is the “everywoman” as hero. And that’s the charm of the character. She’s constantly underestimated by others so it’s a delight to see her get off on herself for being competent and good. Her constant non-heroic banter (“crap!” is a favorite reaction) puts the reader on her side so we get a vicarious kick when she hits the mark.
The first trade of Batgirl was just released. If I were DC, I would launch a focused promotion on two groups - girls age 14 and under and their parents.
I would provide review copies to portals, publications and blogs that target girls and make a run at some of the mommy bloggers as well as some of the Geek Dad type sites (Geek Dad has actually already written about Steph).
I would pitch Batgirl to the younger audience as a young woman who goes to college by day and kicks butt a night. She has all the problems of teenager and she’s a superhero.
For the parents, I would pitch that there is a new Batgirl is in Gotham City, She’s a young college student and she’s being mentored by the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordon.
These are simple, easy to understand pitches that I think would resonate outside the traditional comics media.
One of the reasons I’m so high on Batgirl for girls has been the art by Lee Garbett. While other books offer lots of T&A both on their covers and inside the book, Batgirl offers a refreshing, appealing alternative. The art is lovely but not lascivious sure to appeal to younger women and parents.
Take a look at these panels where Barbara Gordon and Wendy are working out. They are wearing clothes that an average person would wear and there’s an absence of the cleavage that you see in other books.
I talked with so many parents who were desperate to get their kids off the video games and reading something - anything. Or parents whose children had trouble reading and therefore did not want to read. I’d turn the kids on to series that featured either sequential art or lots of really awesome, descriptive illustrations, and it was so gratifying when they came back in for the next book in the series. We’re dealing with a generation of parents who grew up reading comic books, and they will let their kids read them, too. And we’re dealing with a generation of kids who are computer-literate at birth, so the potential for internet marketing tie-ins is enormous.
I’ve worked with kids and I think she is absolutely correct. Parents are looking to get their children reading. And her point about social media is right on as well. As part of this campaign to leverage Batgirl, I would recommend that DC create a micro-site, “I am Batgirl” and load it with downloads wallpaper, icons, etc. Throw in a free digital copy of an issues and a special offer price on a digital subscription to Batgirl. Facebook marketing would also be a part of the campaign - an official “fan” page as well as outreach to the already existing fan pages.
For all I know, DC maybe already doing these things. I hope so. I don’t think a campaign like this would cost much in either time or money. But if DC isn’t doing it that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. If you are working with young girls, recommend the book. Request it at your library. If you have some extra money, donate a copy to your library. Review it on Amazon. If you know any middle-school teachers give them a heads up. It’s an on-ramp to building a new generation of female comic reader, it just needs the traffic.
*and yes I think this could have workd with Cass, too.
DC Women Kicking Ass continues to fight the good fight.