Of Course Comics Aren’t For Kids!

An academic conference at the University of Florida this week seeks to push a point I’ve been making for years: that comic books are not made for kids. If they were, I wouldn’t be reading them, and we wouldn’t be here talking about them. Somewhere along the line, it got drilled into the minds of the American public that if something is in comic book form, it must be for juveniles, and that is a supposition that chaps my ass like no other.

For fear of flogging a long dead beast of burden, I’ve spent my whole life explaining to people that I read comics, and many of the comics I read are targeted towards sophisticated adult readers. Others are fun diversions, much like network television, but none of the comics I read are for children. If I watched Barney videos, yes, there might something wrong, because that is material targeted at children. This is a hole, out from which animation, thanks largely to Pixar, and video games, are finally starting to crawl, but for some reason, people can’t understand that comics might not be for pre-teen fantasy fans. And it irritates me to no end.

I’m sure every one of you out there has had the conversation with a co-worker or a teacher that you read comics, and they look at you quizzically. So you explain that many books, such as Y: The Last Man, or Sandman are books produced for adult, thinking, literate audiences, and they just stare at you for a second as if you’re speaking greek (provided they themselves are not greek) and say, “you mean like Batman?” And while I haven’t given up yet, it’s about the most frustrating thing in my life outside of Los Angeles traffic and the IRS.


  1. I find I don’t have to explain that much anymore, not since superheroes have been making it big on the movie screen. And like I said before, I’ve done my damnest to convert as many people as I can to reading them.

    However, I got good and pissed at MegaCon. The convention takes place in this HUGE convention hall that’s really seven convention halls strung together. Cheerleading competitions were going on next door – and before you get excited, I didn’t see one pompom girl above the age of thirteen.

    The family and I had purchased tickets. We stood out of the way as we put on our arm bands. One mother walked by on her cellphone, “Yeah, we’re down from the weirdos.”

    I snapped. “Oh, we’re not the weirdos here, bitch!”

    Before I could go off about her dressing her daughter up like a prostitute for some pedophile, she ran away.

    Obviously, I have anger issues.