Today we re-present Gary Groth's 1998 interview with Peter Bagge.
GROTH: Well, we don’t know for sure what the demographics of people reading alternative comics are. I mean, we’re guessing between 18 and 25 predominantly, but it’s hard to say with any certainty.
BAGGE: I would say with considerable certainty that our readership drops off fast once you get beyond age 25. But I have some ideas of how we could at least try to reach older readers. One idea is to format it like the [Fantagraphics Books] catalogue, and I wanted to do everything that we can to sell as many via mail order, and really play it up on the Net, which is something that we haven’t really tried yet. I’ve been intending for like a year to get a web site going, that’s where people do a lot of their “shopping and strolling” these days, on the Internet. The Journal and the Fantagraphics web sites haven’t been up that long, but it’s a pretty sizable number of people who have at least checked it out. So as long as it’s on there, there are people who would still be buying our comics, except for the fact that they’ve got families and careers. They can’t be bothered to go all the way down to the “hip” comic shop and pay for parking, or find a parking space, but if they see the stuff on the Net, or get it into their hands somehow, maybe even sending it out mail order. You know, like maybe putting out one, a test one, that is most like a catalogue. Or we could take one issue of the Fantagraphics catalogue and kind of introduce “Let’s Get It On!” within the pages of that, because the problem of why people buy comic books, and why they don’t is logistical. I think it’s a geographic problem, as well as a cultural one.
GROTH: Is it your opinion that people drop off from reading alternative comics at a certain age, that they just move into other things at a certain point of their lives —
BAGGE: Yeah, I think that what’s going on in their lives has a lot to do with it, then it just carries on physically and time-wise. Takes them away where they just can’t afford to invest the time and money —
GROTH: But they don’t stop watching movies, or stop watching TV —
BAGGE: No, that’s right, because you can do that without leaving your home.
And elsewhere, the world spins 'round:
Tom Spurgeon has commentary on the latest Kirby estate legal go around. And more commentary is at The Beat.
Peter Bagge's Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story, excerpted on Flavorwire.
I missed this Brendan McCarthy interview last month. Here it is.
Robert Boyd writes about Zinefest Houston 2013.
Robert Stanley Martin has published the second part of his examination of his Jim Shooter: A Second Opinion.
Matt Madden spends a week in Helsinki.
Yet more of an interview with Alan Moore on Miracleman.