You’ll probably be surprised to see this here, since it is generally more related to the things I post at Manga Bookshelf. The truth is, though, it’s a bit too ranty for a post there nowadays, and it’s waaaay too long for a tweet. :) So here we go.
I keep hearing people say that Twilight fans are only Twilight fans, and that there is no basis for the hope that Yen Press’ upcoming graphic novel adaptation might bring a new demographic of readers to comics. And all I can think is, wow, I guess none of these people were ever… girls.
Sure, there may be readers who only read Twilight and aren’t into books in general. But there are a whole lot who are. Teen girls read. Teen girls read a lot.
When I was a teen, I was a huge fan of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, and just at the right time, Francis Ford Coppola made his movie adaptation. I was totally into it. I bought every magazine and newspaper that featured a story about the movie. I had posters (lots of posters) of the actors on my bedroom wall. If the internet had been available at the time, I would have been all over that too. If I could have gotten into the same room with S.E. Hinton or C. Thomas Howell just by sitting in line for a few days at a convention in San Diego, I would have begged to be allowed to go.
You know what else I was doing at that time? Reading everything in sight. No, seriously. Everything. I ran through my junior high’s library like it was about to disappear into the core of the earth. My mother had to make a rule that I could only take out of the public library as many books as I could carry on my own. And it wasn’t just me. All my friends were reading (and reading and reading). That’s what we did. That’s what a lot of teen girls do. Just because I was crazy excited about The Outsiders, that didn’t mean I stopped reading other books. If anything, it gave me a whole new world to explore as I picked up Hinton’s other novels, realizing suddenly that, hell, I really liked stories about troubled pretty boys in gangs. And though I’d like to make grand claims about my improved taste as an adult, well… Banana Fish anyone? Wild Adapter? Let Dai?
However many “just Twilight” fans there might be out there, I feel certain there must be just as many who are simply Teen Girls Who Read. Are they still rabid over Twilight? Hell, yeah. But that doesn’t make all the rest suddenly disappear. So when they run out to pick up the Twilight graphic novel and figure out that they like it, why is it so unlikely they might look for more of the same, especially when there are shelves and shelves of comics (and yes, I’m looking at you, manga and manhwa) aimed precisely at them? I’m pretty sure if anyone had handed me a volume of Banana Fish when I was fourteen, I would have eaten it up with a spoon.
I don’t love Twilight. I do love comics. And my hope is very much alive.