The Paranormals: A new webcomic aimed at younger readers
Submitted by Arcanom on March 30, 2007 - 15:09
It's no secret that the vast majority of comics being created these days are aimed at the older audiences. As StayFree! Magazine recently put it:
Comics are traditionally thought of as being mostly bought by or for young kids, particularly ages 3-11. But it's no secret that the comics-for-kids market is in the toilet right now. While the big comic publishers, DC and Marvel, have concentrated on creating and selling comics for older readers, their original core constituency has almost entirely fallen away. It's also no secret that the comics market in general is in disastrous shape at the moment: when the speculative boom of the late '80s and early '90s collapsed, so did the industry. Marvel, purchased by cosmetics magnate Ron Perelman, saw its stock plummet to a tiny fraction of its IPO price, and recently filed for bankruptcy; distributor after distributor is dying as a result of exclusive deals the big companies made; and a lot of small comics stores are either gone or coughing up blood.
But what of webcomics? Do they necessarily need to follow the same path, or does their somewhat more transient nature and lower production cost lend them a higher degree of flexibility? Can they succeed in a market bled bone dry or will they suffer the same fate as their printed peers?
Given that I'm the co-creator and producer of a webcomic it's clear I'm banking on the former rather than the latter. But why, you might rightly ask, would I and my co-creators target younger audiences for our title, "The Paranormals"? In my case there were two major elements to the decision, the first and most important was a deep desire to reach out to kids and teens again with an all ages comic. I strongly believe it's an audience worthy of attention and that anything any company can do to encourage literacy, creativity and imagination, is a good thing.
Secondly, well I do work with a kid's gaming site and when I was offered the opportunity to produce my own content I immediately turned to what had been such an influence on my own life when I was growing up, comics. I wanted to produce a title that I would've read and loved back then. I'm pretty proud to say I feel I've done just that.
So who and what are "The Paranormals" anyway? The story is set in a small town in Southern California named Cayce, where the strange and unusual has become the norm. A young girl named Rose Thornton moves into town with her dad, determined to make a go of her new life. Like most kids her age she's worried about fitting in, making friends, and homework. Unlike most, however, she's hiding a major secret.
Rose, you see, is a werewolf.
The funny thing is, in Cayce, she's not the strangest girl at school...not by a longshot. She makes friends with a young Native American boy named Daniel who just happens to be able to talk to animals, and the neighborhood rich kid, Preston, who can do a lot more with computers than hacking into the school's system and changing a few grades.
Rounding out this crew of superpowered misfits is a gal inhabited by the spirit of a bloodthirsty Egyptian Princess. Persephone, the former Miss Popularity loses her social standing even as she gains incredible abilities. And last but not least is our resident wanna be bad boy, Thanh, whose mom is mortal, but whose dad is one of the living dead. He's half vampire, all snark and emo-licious to boot.
Throw these kids together against an array of supernatural baddies and add in a heaping helping of conspiracy with the writing talent of M. Raven Brown and the incredible art of Ron Werner, and I think you can see why I'd be so excited about this project.