Unscientific Twitter poll: 66% of readers buy comics based on diversity

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Art by Bev Johnson via http://bevsi.tumblr.com/post/126766567446/lunella-lafayette-moon-girl

Last last week, Newsarama editor Chris Arrant posted a twitter poll on what factors go into buying comics:

The results going heavily for the writer are unsurprising given the current state of comics, but still back up how the visual component of creating comics has been downplayed by many publishers in recent years, or since the 90s Image boom, really. Some feel this is because the original Image 7 had become too powerful, enabling them to spin off into their own company and the big wigs were “Never again!” Writers are also cheaper and more prolific and more easily slipped into today’s “Editor driven comics” machine.

It does seem today’s readers are more interested in “Storylines” than splash pages however.

This prompted Kelly Sue DeConnick to post her own polls.

While unscientific Twitter polls are self selecting, and one would expect DeConnick’s followers to value diversity, 66% of readers picking diversity as a factor in buying sends a pretty clear message. Also, friends and online reviews are the most powerful influencers.

There was a lot of discussion about this on Twitter later on—hello Storify— but Brandon Graham pushed back against the continuing deëmphasis of the artist on corporate comics a little. You can poke around on the timelines for more of the discussion.

 

https://twitter.com/royalboiler/status/696739599620534272

With all that in mind, here’s The Beat’s OWN snap poll stealing from all of these — vote for as many as you like:

5 COMMENTS

  1. You acknowledge that this is unscientific, but even covering that poll result seems misleading. When two of the choices are diversity, and the only other two relate to the things that a lot of people don’t pay attention to (preview catalogs, press coverage, and interviews), it’s obvious that diversity will finish with a high percentage of the vote.

    Consider a poll question like: “What character do you like most?” Choices: (a) Black Widow, (b) Vice, (c) Skateman, and (d) Toad. You couldn’t then write a post saying that 100% of readers prefer Black Widow.

    Lack of diversity is and always has been a liability for mainstream comics publishers, and I’d argue that the sales numbers still show that people aren’t buying based on diversity.

    (Also, love the site. Really. Keep up the good work.)

  2. First and foremost for me is whether it’s a corporate owned intellectual property or a creator owned intellectual property.

  3. I didn’t vote on that poll on twitter and won’t vote on The Beat’s poll because an important option isn’t included. (and frankly, since The Beat constantly gives sales reports I.m pretty surprised that it was omitted)

    Cost.

    The cost of single issue comics, most over priced, as compared to buying a collected book or original GN. I haven’t bought a single issue of a comic in over five years now. But not because of diversity, or reviews, or cover or any on that list. I find it’s just more cost effective to buy all the chapters in the book at one time. (and because I feel pretty stupid paying $5 for a 22 page chapter of a story)

  4. Some factors that influence me that were not part of the poll:

    – Character. Marvel was my gateway into comics so I do keep an eye on their output. But a couple decades of Marvel’s seasonal events and churned out stories have gotten me to the point where I only really care about a bare handful of the characters, and almost none of them are A-listers. For example, I’m reading Captain Marvel for Alpha Flight, and the moment they exit the book or their treatment reverts to the standard nonsense, I’m gone.

    – Cost (mentioned above). I’m more likely to pick up a $3 book by an unknown than a $5 book from an established franchise. $5 first issues are the reason I decided to give Extraordinary X-Men, the last Ant-Man series, and several other of Marvel’s recent offerings a pass. On the other side of things, $1 issues have gotten me hooked on quite a few Comixology Submit titles.

    – Publisher. DC’s recent flailing for direction and Marvel’s clunky attempts to synergize their comics with other-media adaptations have both been something of a turn-off over the last few years. It’s one more barrier to getting me to buy their products and has lead me to actively seek output from publishers I feel have something more interesting to offer.

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