Friday, September 9, 2011

A new focus

Continuing to mull over the future of my publishing endeavor, I had (as always) a thoughtful chat with my wife. She'd been glancing thru a marketing book recently purchased, and noted that small businesses can succeed if they focus on a niche market.

I'd had a similar revelation a couple days before.

While watching my 6 year old leaf thru a graphic novel, it struck me: although the tween, young adult, and early reader markets are flooded with material, there aren't alot of comic books directly squarely at young kids. I was inspired by her eagerness to look thru a book (albeit she was interested only in the pictures) and decided that I could tailor one of my concepts to the pre-reader crowd.

One of the interesting qualities of comic books is the use of still images to tell a story. The word balloons, thought balloons, and caption boxes are all tools to reveal essential information, but a comic reader should be able to get the gist of what's happening via the drawn panels. Comic books have mutated over the years into static panels with page after page of talking heads. Critics argue that these works are mature and dramatic, and showcase the brilliance of a given writer.

I disagree.

Comic books have become a series of storyboards for talky scripts. It's obvious how the lure of Hollywood success has transformed the medium, and not for the better.

Sore Thumb Press is aptly named; my goal is to bring back fun comics that feel as timeless as those I remember fondly from my youth and can be appreciated by anyone, which isn't an approach that's very popular by today's publishers. I think I can produce a comic without dialogue that pre-readers can enjoy, and adapt my other concepts to other age groups, equally neglected.

Hopefully, focusing on the readers, rather than releasing a 'product' that fits a certain demographic, will result in books I'm proud to publish.

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