It has now been a half week since I took my outside poll with non-comic book readers. I had a fascinating time talking shop with the people I polled. They simply had no idea that there was such a complicated world of fandom related to what they considered a child's hobby. In their minds, it was pretty cut and dried- geeks live in basement, are social outcasts, and need to grow up. To find out that such a diverse group of people collect and read comics was a revelation of sorts.
I would imagine most of it stems from pre-conceived notions. Much like one would think a football fan may resemble the fanatical Chicago Bears fans pictured in the famous Saturday Night Live skits, so is a fan of any other genre subject to being pigeon-holed.
It also boils down to a lack of interest. If a person is fascinated by baseball, bead work, or gardening, they certainly are going to focus on that topic. I know of a woman who always does so poorly in Trivial Pursuit that her friends quit playing the game with her. When asked about it, the lady in question said she didn't do well because she wasn't interested in many of the topics that the cards asked about. She simply didn't care to go out of her comfort zone. I think that for a certain segment of people, that is the case.
There is also the way that a person is raised that figures into interests later in life. Bless my parents, they never gave me any crap about my comic book hobby. They would shake their heads from time to time, but they were always supportive. I think that many other parents were not. It was something a person grew out of, and that was that. Passed from generation to generation that comics are for kids, how can one ever hope to make a change?
I have enjoyed reading your responses to my poll and am gratified and humbled at how kind you have been. I know that Saranga did a poll of her own on her blog Pai, and I really enjoyed reading it. Make sure and head over there to check out her results.
Thanks to Lisa at Sequentially Speaking for the shout out as well. I think that as a retailer and overall great person, Lisa always has a unique and well-thought opinion on a wide range of topics. I miss her!
One of my goals is to try and take more polls ranging in subject. I had fun and it was something fresh and exciting. Hopefully I can create some more interest and learn from others. That is part of the journey.