Hey F.O.G Lamps, sorry to disappoint you, but this isn’t my ramblings about folk music (though I do love folk music, and may one day look at how comics and pop culture influenced folk music in the ’60s, but not today). I was sitting by a bonfire with my Uncle Paul of Geek, and we were laughing about the fact that he may have known the least about the MCU of any person in his office, including a 65-year-old Grandmother. Uncle Paul was the first adult that I saw reading comics and watching cartoons.
Back In 1998, he was one of the few adults who knew that Blade was a Marvel movie. Today, he may still be the only one who could pick Pirates of Dark Water out of a line-up, but there is now an army of people who can tell you who the second Ant-Man is. Comic, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy seem to have become universal. Anyone who has been following Family of Geek for any length of time should know that this is not so new. I maintain that comics, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy have always been popular and I’m here to give you some reasons why I believe this.
If you take a look back at this Family of Geek article from May, I explain that there was a time when comics were selling nearly 3 million copies an issue. Even into the ’90s, there were books with million-issue sales runs. Given the fact that many of these 90’s comics where spurred on by speculation, there were still tons of people buying them. Science-fiction TV shows always had huge followings and made the studios enough money to keep cranking them out. Fantasy and sci-fi books have been some of the cornerstones of bookstores, and they thrived until the age of digital. The numbers have always pointed out the fact that more than just a small group of nerds love genre material. However, the prevailing narrative in the conventional wisdom is that only basement-dwelling weirdos spend time or money on these products.
Why is that?
As society has continuously pushed fandoms into smaller and smaller markets that are harder for people to get to, only the die-hards are going to be able to keep up. The related industries are seeing this, as comics are experiencing their all-time lowest sales, while their movie counterparts are the becoming biggest blockbusters in history. People aren’t just now becoming fans of genre stories. They’ve always been fans. They were just told they weren’t fans for a long time. So where have all those “normies” gone? The Normie hasn’t disappeared over the last 20 years, there never was a ‘Normie’, just terrible marketing.