Sunday, May 22, 2011

Comic Buying Preferences

I had an interesting conversation with MariNaomi and the owner of Comix Experience the other day. I hadn't really considered before the number of challenges I have to face as a cartoonist in terms of reaching my audience. Customers (specifically people who buy comics) have many buying preferences that traditional print book customers don’t necessarily have:

-Art style
-Genre (i.e. superhero / mainstream vs. indie)
-Subject matter preferences which to me is somewhat different from genre - more specific, maybe? (i.e. travel log, memoir, horror stories, romance, comedies, tear-jerker, thrillers, animal stories, etc)
-Font style (i.e. typed verses hand-lettered, readability, etc)
-paper (i.e. slick commercial print vs. 8 1/2 x 11" folded and stapled zine)

This conversation happened after I'd already been perusing comics at Comix Experience and had picked out a few comics and a graphic novel to buy for myself. And it's true. I definitely have my own preferences with all of the above. The challenge is in the fact that I may like a particular story, but decide not to buy the comic because I don't like the art style or the font. Or, on the contrary, I may like an artists illustrations but decide not to buy a comic because I don't like the subject matter.

Somehow thinking about this has both been discouraging in realizing what a small audience I am writing and drawing for (those who like my art and my story and my font, etc etc). But there was also some relief in thinking about this. Because it's not personal whose comics I buy. I buy the ones whose art/plot/font match my personal preferences. So... not everyone loves my comics and well, that's okay. *sigh* What a relief! I don't have to try to please everyone!