Girls’ Comics for the 21st Century

What should the comics read by today’s preteen girls look like? It’s a difficult question to answer, but I’m hoping as my dissertation gets under way to be finding starting points for answers soon.
A good place to start might be with the culture that girls in this age group already consume. What TV programmes do they watch, what video games do they play, what toys do they own, what magazines and books do they read? This sizes up the competition for this audiences’ time, but also provides key insight into the brands, ideas and aesthetics girls interact with everyday.
Another approach  might be though the comics consumed by girl from other cultures or from other time periods. I’ve written before about the British girls’ comics and magazines that were popular between the 1940s and 1970s, and more briefly about the the increased popularity of manga in the West. There is much that these to groups of comics have in common, but also some interesting cultural differences (for example the much higher numbers of female comics artists working in Japan).
The best way I feel is going to be by simply talking to girls about what exactly it is that they would like their comics to look like and be about. Unlike younger children, girls in the 8-12 age range have a greater expressive vocabulary and (I believe) are more critical of the products and images they are exposed to than most adults give them credit for.
A lot of my ideas of what “girls’ comics for the 21st century” should look like are based on my memories of being a girl reading (and in fact mostly not reading) comics at that age. But a lot has changed in the decade since I was 10 and it’s difficult for me to know exactly what the lives of girls today are like.

This entry was published on May 25, 2011 at 11:18 am and is filed under Dissertation, University. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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