All Ages

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Mary Jane - from the mouths of babes...

Just a follow-up from my post a few days ago about about my little experiment with the first issue of Mary Jane. I gave issue #1 to a co-worker of mine to give to her 9-year old daughter to read. She flipped through it, recognized right away that Mary Jane was "Spider-Man's girlfriend", read three pages and decided she didn't want to read it anymore. Now, I didn't have my co-worker ask her why but three pages isn't the best record in keeping the attention of a 9-year old. I'm wondering what exactly turned her off...artwork? were the panel layouts too confusing? was the story just not engaging? Something to think about....


  • Hi, long time reader from France (i'm only saying that because of my bad english).
    Of course, the fact that the girl stoped reading the book after only 3 pages is a bad point, but do you know if she reads books or comic books at all beside the Mary Jane one?
    Just asking.
    Good continuation for your great blog.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:19 AM  

  • I remember her mother telling me she's read Archie before. The point I was trying to make in this experiment is that this girl, a reader in general, is the kind of audience that Marvel is trying to attract with these books. But it just doesn't seem like it's working with this least in this isolated case.

    By Blogger Scott Robins, at 8:50 AM  

  • I know it's gotten plenty of positive comments from adult male bloggers, but Mary Jane left me absolutely cold, and I think my response would have been far less kind had I been younger. The characters didn't act like real teenagers and seemed awfully goofy and shallow even for stock fictional teenagers, and it just never clicked for me at all. But then again, I don't think I'm a reader Marvel targets now or would have wanted to target when I was younger. If MJ herself had come off as smart or interesting or teenagers had been talking about casual sex rather than hanging out in groups with nothing in common at the dorkiest coffee shop ever (and obviously that wouldn't happen in an all ages book), it would have been compelling enough for me to stick with it, but I thought it was just weakly written with unexciting art.

    Rose from Peiratikos

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:51 AM  

  • Perhaps it was because the story didn't star Spider-Man nor have enough web-slinging action

    By Blogger Chris Arndt, at 9:04 PM  

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