I find that Stan Lee's statement that, "Comic book fandom is constant," is true no matter whatever trends are taking place in the comic book industry. As a comic book fan, I understand why comic book fandom is constant. Those outside of the comic book world might look in, and wonder why. These are the reasons why comic book fans stay so dedicated.
Comic Book Characters Can Be Related To
While I might not be able to relate to Spider-Man's ability to walk on walls, I can relate to the struggles that he has in life like trying to find his ultimate purpose, find love, and balance school with work with other endeavors. I will never be able to relate to turning into the Hulk, I will always be able to relate to Dr. David Banner's struggle to keep the rage of his emotions in check.
By creating characters that people can relate to, comic book companies have taken great steps in ensuring that comic book fans stay dedicated. It is this dedication that has kept the comic book industry from completely falling apart in the past.
The Subculture Helps Comic Book Fans Stay So Dedicated
Comic book fans over the years have been able to create and sustain a subculture that holds them together. Websites, magazines, and comic book conventions are all factors that bring comic book fans together to discuss their favorite characters, and share knowledge. This subculture has been strengthened in the last decade by the influx of comic book movies, and of merchandise (like t-shirts) that are sold at many national retailers. The movies and merchandise helps to keep comic book fans dedicated by reinforcing the subculture.
Goals Help To Keep Comic Book Fans Dedicated
Many comic book fans gain goals over the years. Some save for years for one specific expensive or rare comic book. Others have a goal of one day completing an entire run of a comic book series. Others still, have a goal of one day owning a certain number of comic books. No matter what the goal, the goal itself helps to keep certain comic book fans dedicated to their collection, and to the industry as a whole.
Personally, I have had the goal for many years of having a complete run of The Defenders, The Avengers, Captain America, and Thor. Every year, I find myself becoming more and more dedicated to these goals, and I find myself closer and closer every year to completing these goals.
Innovations Keep Comic Book Fans Dedicated
Over the years, there have been more and more innovations in the story lines of comic books that have kept comic book fans dedicated. Sub-series stories like Secret Wars (when I was young), Marvel Zombies, and the Death of Superman have gone a long way to making comic book fans more dedicated. New ideas open up many doors for collectors and fans.
The Variety Keeps Comic Book Fans Dedicated
One interesting aspect of being a comic book fan is that there are always new characters out there to explore. One might find that a character that was not interesting before has suddenly become interesting. I find a a comic book fan that my horizons are expanded every year as I learn more about the different characters, and find new ones that I wish to explore.
Comic book fandom is constant. This statement is completely true when you think about the reasons that make comic book fans so dedicated to their collections, and to the industry at large. I cannot count the number of times in which someone told me that the comic book industry was dead. I keep telling people, though, "The industry will never die as long as comic book fans stay dedicated," and they do.