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Comics’ alarming demographics

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ComicSpace the new social networking site for comics folks, has added user defined tags. The result is a quick demographic snapshot of who is Out There.

writer (918)
artist (736)
fan (223)
illustrator (219)
creator (199)
cartoonist (174)
reader (140)
inker (133)
webcomic (130)
publisher (130)
colorist (114)
manga artist (101)
comic artist (95)
editor (91)
penciller (86)
blogger (83)
penciler (77)
humor (71)
self-publisher (70)
manga (68)
webcomics (64)
designer (63)
graphic designer (61)
reviewer (60)
fantasy (58)
collector (55)
letterer (54)
geek (51)
webcomic artist (47)
horror (40)


People can add as many as 10 tags to their profile, so this isn’t a true demographic breakdown, but by any count creators outnumber “readers” and “fans” by an alarming ratio. There are more publishers than editors, too, and that explains a lot.

BTW, we are all for ComicSpace, and it’s fun to see everyone gathered together, but so far its social networking tools remain very bare bones. Then again, you could say that about most comics fans, so maybe it’s all symbolic.

  1. Is it really surprising that the early adoption of a social networking tool would be dominated by those professionals within a given industry most likely to benefit from social networking?

  2. Love those “penciler” / “penciller” splits. This was talked a bit on The Engine, such as “colorist” / “colourist”.

    Also, what constitutes as “professional”? A listing in Diamond? I have my opinions on the matter, but they did a better job dissecting it on other forums.

  3. Tom said it perfectly.

    Also, give it a break. That over 5000 people have jumped on this after only 2 weeks is astounding. After all, it’s only 1 guy doing the website, it will get better within several months, I’m sure.

  4. One has to question the overall use of Tags. How many of the people with “writer” or “artist” tags actually work in the business? Don’t get me wrong, I have no delusions that I am an A-List (Or B or C for that matter), but I tend to think that if someone has a piece of fan-fic stored on their hard drive they’ve applied the “Writer” tag to themselves.
    Hopefully, over time, things will start to settle into a more accurate portrayal of who people are so that those looking to network will be able to do so without weeding through people who drew a pin-up of Wolverine fighting Batman and consider themselves a sequential artist.

    (boy, I hope this doesn’t come off sounding snobby. Lord knows I’ve got no room to be snobby)

  5. I’m curious to see whether Comicspace will end up being a comic-version of Myspace (which seems a touch pointless) or if it will have some sort of emergent identity that isn’t readily apparent while it’s still very much in it’s alpha-stages.

    I’m willing to bet that, if nothing else, the tags and the proposed ability to host art and/or webcomics make it easier for artists looking for writers and writers looking for artists to find one another.

  6. I think that the target audience of this site is hobbyists, webcomics creators in particular. The same guy that runs this, runs onlinecomics.net, a webcomic directory and update notification site.

  7. If ComicSpace.com isn’t for you, just wait till TheComicSpace.com launches. I kid you not. There’s another similar site in development.

    I don’t put much weight into the tag thing. I’ve seen some pages on there where people identify themselves as comic fans or readers, but don’t use that in their tags. It’s all very self-selecting. If there was a checklist of items you could claim yourself to be, then I bet we’d see a lot more “fans” and “readers.”

  8. I’m sure many of the designations are a bit dubious but who’s to decide what the classification criteria are? A published writer (let’s say from Image or Slave Labor) may not agree that a webcomic writer should share the same designation but a Marvel writer may not feel the independent writer should hold an equal standing. I think the tags are a bit cumbersome but to me they’re just a shortcut to let others know what their interests or hopes or potentials are.

    I’m very impressed with the site so far in terms of the response. I’ve actually gotten in touch with a number of people I haven’t communicated with for years so I think it’s done a great job in the networking category so far.

  9. Well, there has been one benefit right away. I just did an interview with a long time pro through comicspace. That private message feature didn’t limit the amount of text we could send either.

  10. Even with its current tiny feature set, ComicSpace has allowed me to reconnect (albeit in a very limited way so far) with several people I’d lost touch with, and even offered an opportunity to mend a fence with one. A friend of mine who’s more gung-ho than I about getting published is doing backflips over the number of seemingly-sincere friend requests he’s already gotten on CS compared to his MySpace account.

    Yeah, it’s creator- and wannabe-creator-heavy so far, but A) that’s not necessarily a bad thing about it, and B) what that says about the number of creators and wannabe-creators in this medium – with the tools upcoming for them to put their pixels where their mouths are – excites the pants off me.

  11. I created a profile there, and I have to say that ComicSpace seems to give the impression that it’s for creators, almost exclusively. Kind of like the Engine or something.

  12. Well, I can say this — ComicSpace.com was registered in February. TheComicSpace.com was registered in September. So while I’ve heard grumblings over who ripped off who, ComicSpace is not just first to market, but also first to register.

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