I saw a thing comparing diversity in different media adaptaions of the same basic superhero properties. As we know, movies are very, very, very white, male and straight. But comics, for all there is still plenty to complain about, do actually manage more diversity than that. And TV is somewhere in between.
Comics need much less investment up front, has a dozen or more tries per year even for a single title, and can charge much less per copy than movies. Movies are spectacularly
expensive, employ somewhere between a village and a small town of people, and put all their bets on one product per year, even in a prolific series. TV is somewhere in between, again. Needs a lot of people, a lot of investment, but runs multiple stories in a season and can play various strengths in a row.
If you look at the different size audiences required to break even, the different strategies make a kind of sense. Movies need to make a lot of money from a lot of people; I can find dollar amounts, not viewer numbers, but still, many
. Television depends on the channel and country and a bunch of other stuff like timeslot and audience demographics, because some slices of eyeballs are more valuable than others. But Being Human got several seasons based on about 1.5 million viewers, and Doctor Who gets 7 million most weeks and up to 13 million for specials. Movies and TV need millions
of people to like them.
Comics? Like in the Shortpacked
about Starfire in various media, there's a very big difference. I only looked at one month's sales figures
, but comics measure audiences in the tens of thousands. There's characters I've heard of selling 20K or less. We're talking a multiple orders of magnitude difference.
TV: 1,500,000 for an underachiever
Comics: 150,000 at the top of the list
or 15,000 and still keeping going.
So comics can please a tiny slice of humanity and still be doing pretty well. TV and movies have to please millions. And they get really worried about how much they have riding on every creative roll of the dice, so they try and make it a safe bet. That seems to mean doing what everyone has already done and chasing the rich white male viewers, which to me makes zero sense, but what do I know, I'm not making movies.( Read more... )
TL, DR: I need a t-shirt, saying "I want to be a target audience." Most of the world could wear one. Yet somehow when the big audiences are being sought, their only target is the one they think already watches, their safe familiar feeling straight white men.