Oh Brother: Comics and Supposed Target Demographics

I like this post.

[My younter brother has] been into superheroes for about a decade now – about as long as I have. (That’s not a coincidence – who do you think got him into them?) And as a white, straight, cisgendered, sort-of-Christian, middle-class dude just shy of 18, he’s part of that oh-so-coveted demographic (usually expressed as just “males 18-34,” but come on now) that comic book companies love to target.

So for the past 10 years, I’ve observed his engagement with superheroes, and the companies that own them. See, even though I’ve spent hundreds of dollars and thousands of words on comics, DC and Marvel have made it pretty clear that they don’t particularly care whether I’m their customer or not. But Little Brother is fertile ground, as far as they’re concerned, or at least will be in about six months. So it’s interesting to me to see how they target, or fail to target, Mr. Prime Demographic over here.

Emphasis mine. I like this because it isn’t a “Why aren’t comics paying attention to audiences that aren’t 18-34 year old straight white cis dudes?” but more of a “Why does comics think so little of 18-34 year old straight white cis dudes?”

Me: I think I’m out of Blue Beetle trades to give you. Hmm… how would you feel about something with a female lead? Like Batgirl or something? Or would you rather read about a dude?

Little Brother: Sure, I’d read that. If it’s a good comic, I don’t care who it’s about.


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