by Andi Ewington
You only have around to see that comics are having a major impact on the mainstream consumer.
From Netflix’s ‘Jessica Jones’ and ‘Daredevil’ dominating the water-cooler conversations, through to the habitual blockbuster Marvel or DC release, it’s clear that comics are no longer the sacred weapon of the Geek. Comics are en vogue, have mass appeal and are shaping the way we consume narrative. It’s no longer uncommon to see people reading comics on your daily train commute or while enjoying a chai latte at the local bistro.
I’ve been fortunate to be on the front lines for the past nine years watching this rapid uptake of the comic form. It pleases me no end to see comics being given the mass appeal they deserve. Open the front cover and you’ll quickly discover the effort and craft which is poured into each page. Comics are very much about teamwork; writer, artist, letterer, colourist, and editor each adding their own little secret ingredient into mix. The results of which can be spectacular to experience. A visual delight to tantalise the senses. It can capture the imagination across old and young, male or female, race and culture, it knows no boundaries and has no limits to where it can go. That’s why I’m passionate about comics, it allows creatives the ability to enthral an audience and deliver so much more than just regurgitated information.
There’s a huge amount of potential a comic can bring to an IP. It can raise awareness of a brand to a wider community, opening it up to a whole new market long before the product launches. It allows the freedom to explore and expand upon story arcs, develop characters fans care about, and plugs any gaps in narrative. Additionally, it presents clear engagement opportunities by opening itself up to creative competitions, rewards and bonus information – I’ve even seen fans re-colour their own versions of the comic pages long after the initial launch, creating a second wave of user-generated PR and social chatter. Finally, it can help an IP cross the final frontier… the TransMedia threshold.
What’s encouraging is that clients are beginning to see the benefits of bringing their IP to the comic form. Stepping into the comic would can only ultimately encourage a new wave of fans to buy into a brand.