And speaking of reaching new audiences, Brett Schenker has been continuing his studies into Facebook’s comics demographics, and has some very interesting info. He’s just released his general demographic study for October and the results are a surprise: since last month 800,000 more people have expressed interest in one of the comics search terms he follows. Although he doesn’t know what caused it, it’s notable.
Compared to last month’s US fandom, both men and women saw gains, though men saw more and a decent chunk aren’t marking down their gender. Overall, both men and women dropped percentage wise. Men now account for 57.38% compared to last month’s 57.89% and women account for 40.98% compared to 42.11% last month. Globally men account for over 60% of fans, so it’s interesting that in the US is almost 3 percentage points lower.
This post includes lots of pie charts and graphs on what we can tell about comics fans by sex and marital status. (As a reminder, Facebook doesn’t ask for racial info so that is not available.) Schenker also compares US comics fans to the worldwide market and finds that globally 44,568,000 people express an interest in comics.
While not everyone expresses a sexual preference on FB, of those who do, here’s the US breakdown:
I’m guessing that more than 1.55% of US comics fans are gay men, but again, not everyone lists preference.
Now here’s what I would call the creme de la creme of Schenker’s research. Back when I first announced that 40% of comics fans were women, I expected the entire female comics-o-sphere to start waving around this statistic as proof that this is a large potential demographic. Instead everyone was suspicious: how many DC fans are there? Do they actually buy monthly comic books? Maybe they just like Cathy. So here’s Schenker’s breakdown by format:
Although comic strips are the only format where women outnumber men, elsewhere the numbers are pretty solid: 38% for comics, 29% for GNs, 24% for trade paperbacks, 41% for manga and 38% for webcomics. Interestingly, the one area where women lag significantly is “digital comics” making up only 12% of the audience. That would be a very fruitful statistic to explore….is it because comiXology, the #1 digital comics storefront, mimics the traditional, male-centric marketing of the comics specialty market?
There’s much more at Graphic Policy on all of this. I urge anyone who is interested in marketing comics more widely to check out these figures, as they seem to me to be the most accurate demographic info for comics in quite some time.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.