Decline of Comic Books
schulte at teacher.com
Fri Apr 13 16:28:08 CEST 2007
As I wrote earlier, you have to be careful of reductionism: television and video machines of all kinds are one cause, but not the only cause, of the decline of comic books.
Reading in general is down: I have read statistics showing that all book buying in America is done by 5% of the population. Remember that here, if a book sells a million copies, it is therefore read by less than 1% of the population.
Videoization is one factor, but others are: longer working hours, longer driving times (especially in larger cities), the spread of Attention Deficit Syndrome (possibly connected to environmental factors), the lack of a reading example set by parents and families (i.e. if the child never sees parents reading, how will he/she develop the habit? Reading will seem unimportant, despite the lip-service), and the publishing of so much junk (which people are better off not reading anyway!) possibly preventing good to great authors never finding an audience.
How many companies today would publish Leo Tolstoy or Thomas Mann or Marcel Pagnol? An experiment was done some years ago in fact, where somebody typed a copy of a famous novel, and it was not only rejected by all major companies, few of the companies even recognized it as a hoax!!!
To be sure: some European countries were somewhat behind America in "videoization". I remember trying to watch German and Swiss television in the 1970's and 1980's and found it fairly awful. (Not all TV shows are dreadful, just most of them!) Now of course things are parallel with satellite TV and cable.
Whatever the cause for the decline, I am happy that the Finns at least keep Don Rosa's bank account healthy! Perhaps he will still write a few more stories at least for them!
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