Himes added, “I would say that as far as the writing goes, now the average writer spins a far more complex story than when we were kids. Comics were always written at a higher level than the average newspaper, but the storylines and so forth were always a little more allegorical. The other thing too, as far as how that impacts perennial characters like Batman or Superman, is that each successive generation wants to put their own stamp on those characters.
“Any time they tweak a character, you’ll always have those dedicated fans that will cry foul, but when they do that, it actually gives an ‘in’ to the casual reader who may have considered the material to be too exclusive for them to get into. Traditionally, the super hero is a reflection of us, our society, what’s acceptable and not acceptable. It makes sense that those things get updated.”
Himes said Downtown Comics has teachers that come into the stores because more and more, they’re using comics as a learning tool in the classroom as a way to get children to read and expand their vernacular.
“We have a teacher that comes in and buys stuff pretty regularly, and she said that Sonic the Hedgehog is the most stolen book in her classroom,” he laughs.
Downtown Comics has engrained itself partly in gaming culture as well, because anymore they are going hand in hand. They host Magic Card Nights every week on Fridays and acknowledge the paradigm shift that resonates now throughout the industry as one that will continue to give it a long lifespan.
“There’s been a trend over the last few years where literary authors have crossed over into comics,” says Himes. “Stephen King books have been adapted. If anything, what I’m seeing now is parents our age are now bringing their kids in at 4 to 5 years old to get them interested. All of the most popular video games have comic book elements in them.