Paul Abbott in The Spectator, on the lack of a British comic book industry — compared to America’s Hulk-like industry, and the lively and serious interest in comics shown in France and the low countries. Abbott basically appears to put it down to decades of stuffy political correctness among teachers, London media types, and large publishers…

“The fault lies squarely with our publishers, and their echo-chamber outlets in the Guardian and the BBC. They are obsessed with literary fiction and children’s [literary] fantasy.”

Abbott doesn’t mention the Web, tablet PCs, ebook readers, smartphones, IndieGoGo, or print-on-demand books. Which might suggest that the indie creatives in the industry have their own blind-spots. The luddite fetishisation of short-run print pamphlets might be one of the other key things that is holding us back. I’m just a sidelines spectator of the current indie comics scene, but I’d hope that our native talent is actively starting to look at digital distribution + POD, and perhaps even the coming ‘motion comics’ formats, as a route to profits.

In the meantime, the All-Party Parliamentary Literacy Group reports today that the nation still desperately needs to get boys regularly reading for pleasure, and that we have no strategy to do so. Comics seem to be one obvious means to entice boys into reading. Perhaps we could start with Brummie Hunt Emerson’s vibrant and very funny comics adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover? 😉