[Each week, Complex columnist Percy Carey a.k.a. MF Grimm dives into the world of comic books with industry interviews, reviews and more. All MF Grimm music can now be purchased on Itunes. Follow Percy on Twitter here.]
It's no secret how I feel about the retail comic book industry and my opinions on what direction it should go in. I don't want you to think I'm just talking and there was no research involved, I personally call comic book stores across the United States and speak with retailer's directly; I listen (the key word is listen) to the store owners, and their buyers. They enlighten me about what, in their professional opinion, is needed to give first time readers the incentive to enter their comic book store, and for their regular customers, incentive to try a new tittle or a new publisher that is not normally in their store.
One of the topics I asked about is the female consumer. Are women buying comics? Certain buyers talk about the increase in female consumers in their stores; more women are walking into comic book shops picking up popular titles and a T-shirt (and I must say that tight Incredible Hulk t-shirt looks much better on HER then YOU pal); and some female consumers will even pick up a copy of Batman or Wolverine for their undeserving boyfriends who always forget to walk the dog, and to take out the garbage.
Karen Berger (VP of Vertigo/DCComics) and Sierra Hahn (Darkhorse Comics), please cover your ears for a moment...I must say there were a few who said that comic books targeted toward female readers would never sell because there's no market for it; and comic books geared toward women never turn out to be worth anything toward sales at the retail counter...OK, Karen and Sierra you can uncover your ears now.
So after I listened to the owners and the comic book buyers, I went on a journey to see if I could do the impossible and find what would be considered the holy grail of the female graphic novel. I began doing research and communicated with all different types of lovely and very helpful ladies (retail, boutiqes, shopping malls, hair & nail salons, and of coarse Twitter.com). The ladies would tolerate with my millions of marketing question about female fashion, lifestyle, relationships, technology, food, etc..; and although the majority of the time the ladies would have different opinions (which a woman is entitled to); when favorite television shows became the topic of discussion, the majority of the women I surveyed agreed that the HBO television show Sex and The City was their favorite; also, the name kept coming up when asked about their favorite movie (Sex and The City: The Movie grossed 150 million dollars).
So I said to myself...what if there was a comic book/graphic novel that had the potential to influence not just the first-time female comic book reader, or the regular female comic book/graphic novel reader, but it was capable of simultaneously attracting the female television audience as well; yes, fellas, I'm talking about an actual comic book/graphic novel that all of the women in your life (Wives, girlfriends, mother, Sisters aunts, nieces) would be able to appreciate, collect, and pass down to their daughters in the same tradition guys would pass down their X-Men collection to their sons.
But if Sex and The City is the benchmark for "Rom Coms" (Romantic Comedies) in regards to film and television, then I wanted to find out what was considered the benchmark for "Rom Coms" in the comic book industry? (Sex and The City was never adapted into a comic book/graphic novel)..so the question became, Was there a benchmark to be found? Did one really exist? Am I just chasing a dream?
I turned to William Wilson, the CEO of Arch-Enemy Entertainment, since he has one of the sharpest minds when it comes to knowledge of both comics and film. I asked William if he was aware of any type of comic book like I was searching for. William could not find anything worthy to consider bench marking material, so the search continued.
Then one day while I was working on a project with two of my friends, comic book illustrators Chris Moreno and Tony Fleece, William called me and said "I finally found the book you have been searching for, it's called The Trouble With Katie Rogers. Then he directed me to the website for Ape Entertainment (the publisher of The Trouble With Katie Rogers), and told me to look at it and told me to come to my own conclusion.
When I finally had an opportunity to see Katie Rogers for myself, I knew the search was over. The Trouble With Katie Rogers was exactly what I looking for...I found the benchmark!
The Trouble With Katie Rogers, created by Des Taylor, is THE graphic novel that will prove the non-believers wrong. The Trouble With Katie Rogers has unlimited amount of potential to dominate the comic book industry in the same sense Sex and The City dominated cable television, syndicated television, and film; and here demographic reach (18-34) but it can easily extend further (It's enjoyable for women for all ages).
And don't get it twisted fellas, Katie's a hero with super powers with in her own right; think about it...she was born very far away, then moves to metropolis, and her job is to save people which in return affects her personal life; and just like that other well know iconic super hero, Katie Rogers has a weakness too; the only difference is her Kryptonite is a pair of Jimmy Choos. I strongly advise you to order this book right now, because it's going to fly off of the shelves.
I also found it fascinating that in a marketplace where many top publishers are copying each others' lame characters, Ape Entertainment's David Hedgecock and Brent Erwin thought outside of the box and chose to publish an unknown tittle that had equal appeal in both the direct market, and the indirect market, national and international.
David and Brent, congratulations on making the right choice, I look forward to our interview.
So without any further delays, ladies and gentlemen, I'm honored to introduce to you The Trouble With Katie Rogers by Des Taylor and published by Ape Entertainment. Enjoy.
TRAILER FOR THE TROUBLE WITH KATIE ROGERS:
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR DES TAYLOR:
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