Rise of the Urban Comic Head
The increase of characters of color in superhero television and film has created an unforeseen hunger in fandom. The mainstream comic book market had long been plagued by creative stagnation, and a byproduct of diversity has been uniqueness. Inclusion is saving superheroes.
Fans who were initially thrilled by genre stories with subtle variations on classic themes have now consumed something truly distinct, and their appetite for these tales has become insatiable.
The core audience is broadening in gender, sexual orientation, and age. New fans are not only demanding diversity in the stories that initially drew them to comics, but they are also fueling changes behind the pencils and keyboards of comic pages and scripts.
These innovations in comics can be seen all over popular culture, from fashion to sports and even music. Fashion houses push the boundaries of models, sports stars test the boundaries of politics in sports, and musicians use diverse sounds to stretch the boundaries of music genres.
This changing of the guard in all of pop culture has also invited urban culture, with its own style and influences for expressing passion in one’s culture pursuits, to express itself in the rising trend of outward geekdom.
The “Head Movement” has changed the face of fandom. It grasps the playful obsession of fandom head on, be it a sneaker head’s love of footwear, a vinyl head’s endless desire for music, or even a comic head’s fixation on all things story. It’s now cool for consumers to be maven-patrons who fully embrace art as BOTH collector and admirer.
These changes in fandom have given rise to the Urban Comic Head. Enamored with street fashion, hip-hop, graffiti and comic books, the Urban Comic Head is part hype beast, part comic book nerd. They are cultural DJ’s– mixing various old parts of fandom to create a new whole.
In many respects, fans like this have always existed, but the advent of diversity has moved them to the forefront of fandom.
Through buying trends, Urban Comic Heads are informing companies about what they are willing to support. They are demanding that companies represent them in comic pages and multimedia projects.
But that isn’t enough for them. Raised in the age of entrepreneurship and independent thinking, directly rewarded by a hungry market, Urban Comic Heads are taking the reins of creation and producing amazing projects, telling unbridled stories about their people and their experiences.
Urbanime salutes the Urban Comic Head, who looks forward to the next issue of their favorite comic just as much as they do the next release of their favorite sneakers, premiere of their favorite series to binge, or new album to stream on their phone.