§ Kristy Valenti has the second part of her Gender and Reading Habits examination up, this time the girls are scrutinized, although more is known of their reading habits in general than comics reading habits specifically:
Additionally, women read more, maintained USA Today while discussing a 2007 poll: “the median figure — with half reading more, half fewer — was nine books for women and five for men [per year]. The figures also indicated that those with college degrees read the most, and people aged 50 and up read more than those who are younger. […] More women than men read every major category of books except for history and biography. Industry experts said that confirms their observation that men tend to prefer non-fiction.” (It doesn’t look like graphic novels were included as a category in that poll.)
Apparently, girls don’t stop reading at a certain age in the same way that boys are said to do: empirically, many of the girls I spoke to at a 2005 manga-and-anime con said they loved to read already, and were supplementing their regular reading with manga. So if women buy more stuff and read more, why aren’t they buying more comics than men?
§ Jennifer de Guzman has her second column up for PW Comics Week and goes shopping at a variety of venues:
I left without buying All-Star Superman and decided to see if I could get a look inside of it at Border’s. No such luck. In the prominent graphic novel section at the local Borders were several shelves dedicated to comics, most of them manga. Scattered around on the floor were several young adolescent boys reading volumes drawn from the ample stock. (Plenty of Naruto here!) It was a bit difficult getting to the nonmanga shelves, since I had to squeeze around these boys, who seemed oblivious to their surroundings. The graphic novels were organized by title rather than author. The superhero comics were lined up neatly, but the “everything else” shelves were a jumble, the many different sizes of the graphic novels making the shelf difficult to scan. I found none of the books I was looking for, but the computer where customers can search for titles informed me that I could special order them.
§ As the “year of the Symposium” continues, PW blogger Barbara Vey reports that graphic novels were even discussed at a soap opera conference:
Next up was Graphic Novels. This was a wonderful insight into the fascinating world of graphic novels, Manga, anime and comic books. GB Tran is an artist who is developing his own graphic novel by writing the story and drawing the illustrations. Alisa Kwitney is an author, Editor, DC comics and is writing a Young Adult story that will be illustrated. [Tricia Narwani] is an associate publisher with Del Rey Books/Random House and she picks what’s to be written. She said Del Rey went from publishing 14 books a year to over 100 a year. A fast growing trend that could mean a whole different market for authors.