2010: The End of the Vampire Hegemony?
December 29, 2010
"Hegemony?" you say, "that's all Greek to me." Actually, it is from the Greek: hēgemonia, from hēgemōn leader, from hēgeisthai to lead.
he·ge·mo·ny noun \hi-ˈje-mə-nē, -ˈge-; ˈhe-jə-ˌmō-nē\:
1. the preponderant influence or authority over others: domination. 2. the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group.
Yes, that pretty much defines the hold vampires have on the Young Adult (that's library-ese for Teen) publishing world. I had wondered whether 2010 would be the year when a new contender would knock the vampires off the top of the Young Adult hill. Let's take a look at the numbers.
In this corner, the reigning champions: The Vampires! An advanced search of the MCPL catalog with vampires as a subject term and reading level set to Young Adult, results in 53 Young Adult titles published in the year 2010 .
Now for the competitors: can any supernatural beings take the crown and become the new champions of the Young Adult publishing world?
First up, the shambling, decaying brain-eaters: The Zombies! Despite being everywhere in videogames, movies and television this year, it looks like The Zombies will have to eat a more balanced diet if they want the strength to be contenders. They only came up with 12 Young Adult titles at MCPL in 2010.
Next up, the bearers of light, the right-hands of the Divine: The Angels! Ouch! You'd think being able to fly would help, but The Angels only had 7 Young Adult titles at MCPL in 2010.
If anyone has a chance, it has to be The Vampires' main nemeses, the shape-shifting lovers of the moonlight: The Werewolves aka Team Jacob! It looks like The Werewolves will need to get a flea bath and a thorough grooming. They are less than half way there with only 21 Young Adult titles at MCPL in 2010.
Alright, here comes the romantically haunted and haunting wraiths: The Ghosts! Well, The Ghosts have a lot to moan about. Despite being the strongest contenders so far, they only had 20 Young Adult titles at MCPL in 2010.
And the winner is...The Vampires. Oh well, maybe 2011 will be the year that someone breaks The Vampires' pale, ice-cold, and irresistibly attractive grip on the world of Young Adult fiction. But, I wouldn't bet on it.