Haven’t been around a lot because I’ve been having wrist problems, so I’ve severely cut down on my computer/typing time until that abates. Hope you’re all doing well.
In other news that I’m glomming on because only a couple folks I chat with on Tumblr will have the remotest idea of what I’m talking about, re-listening to Scherzo at the same time as I’m reading Interference — either one of my more inspired everyday life decisions, or really, really not.
I saw a post about Who today where someone was arguing that something was ‘non-canon’ and I was tempted to call upon the powers of the canon police who’d come screaming in and point out that there is no canon.
But then I wondered why would you have a police force to defend something that doesn’t exist and I had a revelation: Faction Paradox are the canon police because if there’s anyone, anywhere in the multiverse for who the job of ‘defending the non-existence of a concept’ is a job description, it’s them. Isn’t it?
So remember, the next time you assert that Doctor Who has a canon, Faction Paradox will issue a stern warning about your behaviour to your grandfather.
I get to dress up in robes and a creepy skull mask? I am so for th— wait, I already did that, the Halloween I was the Death of Rats from Discworld.
Which was years before I got into Doctor Who, so… appropriate.
today I went to olive garden and there was a man wearing a fedora behind me and my mother whispered to me “why is that man wearing a hat we are indoors I don’t understand” and he whipped around with all seriousness and said “twilight sparkle came to me in a dream and requested that I wear this crown for the duration of the evening” and me, not knowing what to do just said “ok” but then the guy started laughing and he was like “I’m just kidding I just like hats”
While we don’t have any market research, the eyes don’t lie. If you go to conventions and comic book stores, more and more female readers are emerging. They are starved for content and looking for content they can relate to.
- Axel Alonso, Marvel’s editor-in-chief
While making the rounds promoting Marvel’s new series Ms. Marvel, the above quote was made in discussing the female comic readership. Other than DC’s attempt at market research conducted with Nielsen, the market research done to figure out the readership and fandom of comic books pales in comparison of, well, pretty much all other forms of entertainment. That is partially what got me to begin looking in to what data was available and attempt to figure out those demographic questions.
Every month, I release new numbers looking at data readily available to anyone through Facebook. While it’s not necessarily everyone who shops up to comic shops, every Wednesday, regularly, irregularly, once in a blue moon, etc., these are people who have said they like “comics,” “graphic novels,” “manga,” and specific publishers. So, I’d have to disagree with Alonso, there is market research, and there potentially is a lot more market research using data available to Marvel, they just overlook it, or don’t admit they use it (Marvel, give me a call, I can hook you up).
In February, the Facebook universe of self-identified comic fans grew to a new high of over 24 million fans in the United States. Of that 24 million, women account for 46.67% of that population. Since I’ve been tracking these stats, that’s the highest percentage of women recorded. With some changes on Facebook’s end, I can now see what terms have grown from the previous month, and in this case it wasn’t any single term, it was many of the over 100 used to compile the statistics.
But what Alonso and Marvel is seeing shouldn’t be a shock at all when it comes to women and what interests them. In a September breakdown, I looked at just female comic book characters and who were fans of them. Exhausting a few lists online of every female comic book character, I found every term I could on Facebook for these stats. While the amount of people who like female comic characters was about 5.8 million, women made up a majority 62.07% of those fans.
Shocker: women like female characters. While Alonso says Marvel doesn’t have hard numbers to back it up, that correlation, and Marvel’s wanting to expand their female readership (which I tracked at about 36.96%) explains their launch of new solo series for Black Widow, Elektra, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel as part of All-New Marvel NOW! and greater focus on female characters in other books too. They see the phenomena my stats would predict.
Knowing who is buying what is vital for any modern day business. Understanding demographics allows you to better market your product to a greater audience, and sell similar products better. To ensure a healthy comic book industry in the future, we need to know who makes up that audience today. In 2014, every publisher should be thinking about that, working to find the answers to that question, and using that information in actionable ways.