Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Huh, well,

I don't know if anyone remembers when I posted about the similarity between superhero comics and soap operas.

But this makes me feel just a little vindicated. :-)

That said, I'm not sure how successful this attempt at crossover marketing will be. As much as the similarities between comics and soap operas should actually appeal to that audience, I'm not sure the format does.

The common soap opera audience person tends to read for escapism, usually things like romance novels. An audience that spends 7 bucks on a romance novel may not be inclined to shell out 3 for something much much shorter. Trade Paperbacks might have better luck, being a longer story for their money.

Getting them introduced to comics that might appeal to their kids might be a good plan. I'm a little concerned about the negative stigma still surrounding comics though. There's still the notion that comics are "junk reading" and like video games, any positive effect they might have on a kid's willingness to read tends to be over looked.

Still, despite my cynical doubts, I'm really happy to see the attempt at least. I hope it works!

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12 Comments:

  • At October 09, 2006 9:50 AM, Anonymous Mark Engblom said…

    While I can applaud Marvel's desire to cross market their brand in entirely different genres, I don't think soap operas are the place to do it. Like comic books, soaps have also been "withering on the vine" for years, not nearly as popular as they once were. Granted, many of the plots of soaps have gotten more and more outlandish and closer to comic book sensiblities...but I still think it's an odd fit, and I don't see it really going anywhere.

    Yes, the two audiences both enjoy serialized drama and outlandish, caricatured characters (REALLY good good guys and REALLY bad bad guys), but think that's where the resemblance ends.

     
  • At October 09, 2006 12:51 PM, Anonymous Lyle said…

    Like comic books, soaps have also been "withering on the vine" for years

    OTOH, I think that's a good reason to do it, both are dying a similar death maintaining increasingly obsessive fans. Of course, both audiences also looks down upon the other.

    Soaps have had pretty outlandish storylines for ages, even if you don't count Dark Shadows. The Luke and Laura stories on General Hospital got pretty out there (weren't they, at one point, trying to save Port Charles from a villain who wanted to burry it in ice?), on Santa Barbara the matriarch of the Lochridge clan had to be rescued from an empty sarcophagus and Duncan's ex-wife on As the World Turns delivered his fiance as a shrunken head... these are all stories from the 80s.

    Personally, I think they've gotten less outlandish and more formulaic. Soaps don't have any visionary writers like Briget Dobson, Doug Marland or Harding Lemay anymore.

    I'm not sure how much can come out of this crossover, though. I don't see any series of 8-page backup stories beign worth a GL fan's while, though I think having a Marvel character appearing in Springfied (performing some kind of undercover action, to keep the effects minimal) would be inspired.

    Hm, especially if that were Alison Blaire. Singers are popular soap character types and a decent Dazzler comic is something I could see the GL audience watching.

     
  • At October 09, 2006 1:31 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    But...but I thought that comics WERE soap operas?

     
  • At October 09, 2006 2:03 PM, Anonymous Jer said…

    Funny enough, back in the day my mother used to watch soaps all of the time. Eventually, she stopped watching so many and started picking up Soap Opera Digest, just to "keep up" with what was going on. Now, I don't think she's watched a soap in years.

    Meanwhile, I used to read tons of comics all of the time. Now I only pick up a few and read reviews and Wikipedia on the big events just to "keep up" (or borrow issues from friends for the same reason). If I keep it up, I'll be completely weaned off just like she was. Strange thought.

     
  • At October 09, 2006 2:40 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    mark: Honestly, as an old soap fan, I could see a lot of crossover.

    I'd have picked something a bit more out there/action-y though for a better transition. General Hospital's Cassadines (greco-russian royalty out to take over the world via weather control) or mob storylines...Passions' craziness or Port Charles Vampire stuff seem like they'd be a better choice.

    They were always out there. Anything with Robert and Anna Scorpio in the 80s...Cassadines in the 80s/90s...it wouldn't be THAT much of a stretch. :-)

    The format though might be iffy...

    Lyle: I agree. There's room for crosspollenation, though I think there might be more luck slowly introducing one or two characters more in the vein of Heroes...

    Or graphic novel adaptations of classic storylines marketed in places like Soap Opera Digest...:-)

    Then slowly ease the market into the all out superhero silliness. :-)

    sally: They are! But I think once-a-month would take getting used to.

    jer: Heh, that is pretty funny!

     
  • At October 09, 2006 7:48 PM, Anonymous Ununnilium said…

    My mother used to watch Guiding Light. I remember it had its own Clone Saga at one point - one character disappeared, or was kidnapped, and was cloned, and the clone was aging rapidly, or something... yeah. Think it was the early 90s?

     
  • At October 09, 2006 7:55 PM, Anonymous Lyle said…

    graphic novel adaptations of classic storylines marketed in places like Soap Opera Digest.

    The soap opera comic I've imagined would have been a spin-off series featuring popular characters not currently being used in the show. That way, you could tell new stories that people would be excited to read, since it would be a way for their favorite characters to still be around if the actor decided to leave... it could also set up storilines on the TV show, provided time management allowed it.

    ...it's kidna fanfic-y, but I think that would open a path to creating a liscenced product that replicates what the soap's fans enjoy without feeling insignificant like most liscenced comics.

    Hm, Port Charles wasn't set in a different city than General Hospital, so maybe a comic work similarly -- this is other stuff happening that you're not seeing on the TV show.

     
  • At October 09, 2006 11:35 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    "Guiding Light's" home city is Springfield? Why haven't they crossed over with "The Simpsons"?

    I remember seeing one soap a few years back (I think it was One Life To Live) that had a TIME TRAVEL plot.

    And don't forget that the last two actors to play Superman on the big screen got their start in soaps.

    My favorite soap opera was actually "Soap".

     
  • At October 10, 2006 3:12 AM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    Here in Brazil, soap operas are 180-episode-long daily features, mostly intended to appease housewifes and grandmothers. And there's like, five of them every day - in a single channel. I'd like nothing better than to see them vanish.

     
  • At October 10, 2006 7:35 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    ununnilium: I remember that! Reva I think was either the clone or the original!

    lyle: That'd be pretty awesome as well. Heck, they could even fill in back-story gaps there. Like what DID Luke and Laura do while on the run for so long?

    It's a little fanficky...but it'd be fun!

    notintheface: I don't think I've seen the time travel plot! Now I really want to!

    zaratustra: Heh, I've heard interesting things about Brazilian soap operas!

     
  • At October 10, 2006 10:52 AM, Blogger aaron dumin said…

    I could really see this type of thing working if large cast charachter romance and entrigue were focused on and superpowers were jetisoned, all packaged in small Archie/TV Guide style newsprint digests available at grocery and drugstore checkout counters.

     
  • At October 10, 2006 1:28 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    My mom used to watch soap operas, and I can remember a woman character, who gave birth, and TEN MINUTES later, she was up and performing surgery. My brain went squeee, and I turned to comics as being more realistic.

     

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