Previously unfamiliar with the genre, after reading the selection of graphic novels that we have so far been assigned for this class, one thing that has stuck me as surprising was the wide variety of content each book presents. I was fairly sure that the readers interested in such an art form consisted solely of adolescent and young adult men that had grown up feasting on Batman. As we have learned, that demographic does certainly exist and is certainly prevalent as readers of such works as The Watchmen. But while reading Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, I aware during my reading of the fact that this was extremely different than the Superhero stereotype or Donald Duck child's play that I had expected from this course. It was great! A comic about an extremely intellectual young adult, light years away from the subjects I would have imagined to be reading about. I can't imagine that too many adolescent boys are rushing to the bookstore to get their copy of such a thing. Now, don't get me wrong, I was enthralled during my reading of The Watchmen and couldn't put it down. But, had I not been introduced to it through this class, I simply would never have picked up such a book, being so different from the subject matter that I normally enjoy.
What I am left wondering about is the demographic of graphic novels. As the books have shifted from being comic books that one picks up at the newsstand to having seemingly entered the literary circle, has the demographic of readers changed? It must have. How has the genre itself changed to incorporate such a shift or inclusion of audience? This, I would like to explore in my research. Have the range of subjects and covered topics broadened or been there all along? I would like to take a look at the other side of the genre, not the epic adventures of the Superhero, but the subjects that have incorporated new readers as fans of the genre--- stories of families, stories of women, stories of homosexuality, etc.--- the untypical, and I would like to explore how the incorporation of these into the genre of "graphic novel" has changed the genre itself, and the demographic, making it more widely-recognized and more accessible.
Now, if my hypothesis is wrong, and I have simply been unaware of such subjects as topics of comics and graphic novels from the beginning, I would like to explore then why the average graphic novel reader consists of young adult males, and why other demographics are avoiding or hesitating to become familiarized with such reading material. My research will consist of studies done concerning comic book and graphic novel reader demographics, as well as familiarizing myself with several graphic that aren't your typical Batman-esque theme, starting with Fun