From comic books to fantasy novels there has been a transition into higher quality entertainment. Competing with the internet, netflix, and smartphone addictions, paper is in a battle for survival. Literature has had to push its boundaries and entertain a unique generation of highly entertained consumers. Paper has adapted, evolved and become a more powerful art form because of it. Gone are the days of fantasy being detained by Tolkien themed boundaries. Super heroes have found there place by knocking down walls and breaking molds; whilst holding true to their devoted consumers. Youth fiction has rediscovered not to limit itself, reaching a record audience of young and old alike.
Harry Potter has reached an estimated 450 million consumers. Highest grossing series of our time. Propelling youth fiction away from the days of Goosebumps, Sweet Valley High or Choose Your Own Adventures. Authors of a higher grade are getting recognized and the youth stories are not just for kids anymore. Maze Runner, Hunger Games, even Captain Underpants, a whole new class has brought this media into a new century. Keeping paper relevant for a youth with no limit on distractions.
There has been no equivalent in papers struggle for survival than the comic industry. Nearing bankruptcy, desperate attempts at reaching new audiences, losing its connection with readers, comic books have had an epic battle. The publishing companies have done whatever it takes to stay relevant with massive crossovers, and reboots. In reality it is the talent that has carried them through. Brilliant creators are pumping out products that are must reads, keeping the consumer clawing for more. For nerds like me there is no greater treasure than a masterful graphic novel that captivates me with story and art alike. In that sense, in all of us, comics will always have a relevance despite their ugly, desperation sometimes.
Fantasy novels have gained a reputation as a prototypical, generic media. There is a new generation of authors recognizing that and fantasy is in the midst of its own transitions. Now is the time to get into this genre as it has never been better. The idea of what fantasy can be is being pulverized to dust. Writers such as Rothfuss and Sanderson are creating unbelievable new platforms and styles that make us forget all those fantasy stereotypes.
Besides the emergence of creators pushing boundaries, the medias have evolved into this technological new world. With the internet we are able to keep close watch on our favorite authors current projects, discuss books with a global community and social media has brought these artists into our world. E-readers have created a fresh platform where literature can compete. Books are now being shared digitally, where popularity can incubate at higher rates then ever before.
Despite the technological advancements it is hard to see a trend where paper is on the outs. There is no simpler pleasure than the feel and smell of a book in your hands. When a visitor comes to my home or I am in someone else’s we are not flipping through each others phones and e-readers. We are attracted to the physical bookshelves and the stacks of collected papers; initiating curiosity and conversations.
It is becoming more valuable to slow down and read a book. Television, films, and internet are cramming entertainment into us as big, and bold, and quickly as they can. Yet literature still holds the same ability to capture our imaginations as it did a hundred years ago. This generation has given birth to artists creating a higher class story that can pull us out of the high pace of todays world. This is a magical time to be a bibliophile, quality of stories are reaching their glory days again of a time when literature was the only source for entertainment.
Thanks booknerds, I am going to go read a book now.