Tag Archives: demographics

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook

It’s the first of the month, and first of the year, and that means a new look at the demographics of people who “like” comics on Facebook. This data is compiled using demographic data from Facebook, and is limited to the United States.

This data is compiled using key terms, “likes,” users have as part of their profiles. Primarily terms are focused on generic ones such as “comics” or “graphic novels” or publishers. I stay away from specific characters, creators or series, because this does not indicate they are a comic book fan. Over 100 terms are used for this report.

This data is important in that it shows who the potential comic audience could be. This is not purchasers, these are people who have shown an affinity for comics and are potential purchasers and those with an interest.

Facebook Population: Over 38,000,000 in the United States

That’s a massive increase of 6 million individuals over the past month. Both the “comics” general term and “Marvel” have had massive growth, which would explain the increase. The Spanish-speaking population last month was 13.75%, and this month is also 13.68%, dipping a bit compared to last month.

Gender and Age

Last month women accounted for 41.88% and men were 56.88%. Even with the population increase, the results this month as far as percent the results are close to last month. Women now account for 42.63% and men account for 57.89%. The female population increased a bit in both percentage and raw number.

There is a negative amount in “unknown” due to Facebook’s rounding of large numbers. Other stats like age and “relationship status” peg the population between 37.4 million and 37.5 million.

gender 4.1.15We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age. Compared to last month we see a sharp decline in interest, and last month we saw a steady decline.

gender age 4.1.15When it comes to percentages, those over the age of 45 grew in their percentage of the population. Men also regained a slight majority in those age 17 and under.

gender age raw 4.1.15Relationship Status

Compared to last month, the single population dipped a bit, while there were more people married and also unspecified as to their relationship status.

relationship status 4.1.15And for those that like pie charts.

relationship status pie chart 4.1.15Education

Generally, these stats are similar to last month’s. Changes are primarily due to the shift in gender.

education 4.1.15Gender Interest

Compared to last month these stats are very similar. Even with a large gain of individuals, the percentages remained steady.

gender interest 4.1.15Ethnicity

It’s the fifth month we’ve had data on ethnicity. Facebook compiles the data based on “behavior that aligns with people of that race.” It’s unknown the specifics of what that entails.

This is the third month to include Asian Americans in this stat. The population is small, but has grown a little as expected it would since the launch.

African Americans account for 3.8 million, about 10% of the comic fandom, while all Hispanics account for 8.4 million, around 22.11%. Asian Americans account for 920,000 individuals, around 5.68%. All but African Americans grew in number, but none grew enough in relation to the overall population growth, so they all slipped as far as percentage of the population.

I’ve presented the data in raw form for this first report, but will do graphs as this data progresses.

ethinicty 4.1.15Generation

We’ve been tracking what generation individuals are a part of. We present that information for the second time below. Growth occurred across the board, with the majority of growth in Millennials.

generation 4.1.15And that wraps up this month’s report! Join us this coming Monday for even more information!

Demo-Graphics: Women’s History Month

The first day of each month (and a lot of Mondays) I break down the demographic data of those who “like” comics on Facebook. With about 32 million people this past month, the data represents those with an interest in comics (over 100 terms made up of publishers, generic terms like “comics,” and comic specific terms like “one-shot”). These are not necessarily purchasers or subscribers, they’d be a subset of this group, these are folks who are interested in comics, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, or publishers. That 32 million is the first audience we as a community should be reaching out to to push comics forward. They are the most likely to be interested in comics, and become regular readers and customers.

But, any good marketer knows, that demographic data is just one small portion of who a “customer” is. To truly get the whole picture of who these individuals are, and get even better bang for the buck, you also need to understand their interests and habits.

With the call to “push comics forward,” I’ve dug further into the data showing what else individuals might like, allowing marketers to better target potential comic fans. Last month was the first post of this type looking at the general comic Facebook fandom. For the second one, it felt appropriate to look at just women to kick off “Women’s History Month.”

Why is this important?

Someone’s age, gender, or ethnicity is just a small part of the equation when figuring out who to market to or what to market. A person’s history of purchases in this case, or what else they’re interested in helps to not only target to the individual, but find others like them. Gender, age, and ethnicity is the broad categories and helps with messaging, but now we’re getting into the specifics!

The Specifics

Again, we’re able to dive into Facebook for this data, using the exact same terms used for the monthly reports. The only difference is this data is for those 18 and up, while our monthly demographic report is 13 and up. Facebook data is enhanced using available data warehouses giving us a better idea as to who these people are.

And now, the data!

Age and Gender

Without the men, this data isn’t quite as useful, but we can see almost half of the fans are under the age of 35.

age_and_gender_3.2.15Lifestyle

Surprisingly, women are very close to the general Facebook population. For none of the lifestyle categories do women really stand out.

Lifestyle_1_3.2.15 Lifestyle_2_3.2.15 Lifestyle_3_3.2.15 Lifestyle_4_3.2.15Relationship Status and Education Level

The general comic fan population were more likely to be single or “in a relationship” compared to the Facebook populace. Women on the other hand are less likely to be single, and more likely to be married. When it comes to education, they’re more likely to be in grad school when the general comic populace is very much less likely.

relationship_education_3.2.15Job Title

For the general comic populace, the healthcare industry was a tthe bottom. When it comes to women, those professions are at the top along with administrative positions. It’s almost the exact opposite of the general comic fandom on Facebook.

Job_Title_1_3.2.15 Job_Title_2_3.2.15 Job_Title_3_3.2.15Page Likes

When it comes to the types of pages female comic fans on Facebook like, it’s health, beauty, clothing, and accessories that are at the top spot. For the general comic fandom, Manga, and a comic blog sit at the top of the list. In this list, the most “comic” related category is in Product/Service where Hello Kitty is listed.

Page_Likes_Top_Categories_1_3.2.15 Page_Likes_Top_Categories_2_3.2.15Marvel has been heading to The View to promote comics, but they might do better to target the viewers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Also, putting comics in a big box store like Target might be worth it too. IDW has done so with their Micro-Fun Pack line, and found success.

Page_Likes_1.3.2.15 Page_Likes_2.3.2.15 Page_Likes_3.3.2.15

 Location

Comic fans are located in big cities according to this and women aren’t an exception. The top spots are flipped though.

Cities_Percent_1_3.2.15 Cities_Percent_2_3.2.15 Cities_Percent_3_3.2.15 Cities_Percent_4_3.2.15 Cities_Percent_5_3.2.15 Cities_Percent_6_3.2.15 Cities_Percent_7_3.2.15 Cities_Percent_8_3.2.15 Cities_Percent_9_3.2.15Interestingly though, comic fans also over represent in smaller cities and towns. The cities are very different though compared to the general comic population. Having worked a comic shop in Buffalo, I can vouch for that.

Cities_Over_1_3.2.15They’re also underrepresented in larger cities. But, it’s a very different set of large cities. Bellevue, Washington has the distinction for being at the bottom for women and the general comic populace.

Cities_Under_3.2.15Frequency of Activity

Female comic fans also like more pages than the general comic populace, but it’s half as many. Female comic fans are even more likely to like posts or click ads compared to the general comic fandom.

Frequency_of_Activities_3.2.15Devices

Women interestingly really stand out as iPad users, though are pretty much in-line with the general Facebook populace for the rest of the devices used.

Device_Users_3.2.15Household

Female comic fans seem to make a bit more than the general Facebook population, but are slightly more likely to rent their home.

Household_Income_Ownership Household_size_3.2.15

 Spending Methods

Female comic fans almost line up exactly the same as the general Facebook populace. Where general comic fans are more likely to primarily use cash and less likely to primarily use credit cards, you don’t see that with the women.

Spending_Methods_3.2.15Their online purchasing habits are pretty similar to Facebook users, but they’re a little bit more likely to spend money at retail, unlike the general comic Facebook fans who are slightly less likely.

Retail_Spending_Online_Purchases_3.2.15They also are slightly more likely to purchase kids products, household products, and health and beauty products. This should be no surprise based on the pages liked. What it does tell me is that I might run an ad campaign targeting this population which features a comic book where kids are the main audience.

Purchase_Behavior_3.2.15And that wraps up our second look at the affinity and actual interests of our monthly comic fandom! Expect for even more of a dive in and explanation of how one would use this data in the coming weeks and months!

Most importantly, to really build the comic market, we need to understand who the fans and purchasers are. By doing so, we make our job easier. The above is a piece of that puzzle.

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook

It’s the first of the month, and first of the year, and that means a new look at the demographics of people who “like” comics on Facebook. This data is compiled using demographic data from Facebook, and is limited to the United States.

This data is compiled using key terms, “likes,” users have as part of their profiles. Primarily terms are focused on generic ones such as “comics” or “graphic novels” or publishers. I stay away from specific characters, creators or series, because this does not indicate they are a comic book fan. Over 100 terms are used for this report.

This data is important in that it shows who the potential comic audience could be. This is not purchasers, these are people who have shown an affinity for comics and are potential purchasers and those with an interest.

Facebook Population: Over 32,000,000 in the United States

The total population remains steady from the previous month. The Spanish-speaking population last month was 14.38%, and this month is also 13.75%, dipping a bit compared to last month.

Gender and Age

Last month women accounted for 45.64% and men were 53.13%. Even with the population increase, the results this month as far as percent the results are close to last month. Women now account for 41.88% and men account for 56.88%. The female population continues to decrease, this time not just in percent, but also the total population.

gender 3.1.15

We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age.

age and gender 3.1.15Men gained pretty consistently under the age of 49. Women under the age of 17 continued to be the majority for that age group and gained in population, while women generally decreased in all other age groups.

age and gender raw 3.1.15

Relationship Status

Compared to last month, the single population dipped a bit, while there were more people married and engaged people. Congrats!

relationship status 3.1.15And for those that like pie charts.

relationship status pie chart 3.1.15

Education

Generally, these stats are similar to last month’s. Changes are primarily due to the shift in gender.

education 3.1.15

Gender Interest

Compared to last month these stats are very similar. Changes are primarily due to the shift in gender.

gender interest 3.1.15

Ethnicity

It’s the fourth month we’ve had data on ethnicity. Facebook compiles the data based on “behavior that aligns with people of that race.” It’s unknown the specifics of what that entails.

This is the second month to include Asian Americans in this stat. The population is small, but expect it to grow as the months go forward.

African Americans account for 3.8 million, about 11.88% of the comic fandom, while all Hispanics account for 7.4 million, around 23.13%. Asian Americans account for 840,000 individuals, around 6.27%.

I’ve presented the data in raw form for this first report, but will do graphs as this data progresses.

ethnicity 3.1.15

Generation

We’ve been tracking what generation individuals are a part of. We present that information for the first time below.

generation 3.1.15

And that wraps up this month’s report! Join us Monday for even more information!

Black (Comic) History Month: Demo-Graphics, African Americans & Comic Publishers

For Black History Month we’ve been taking a look at characters, series, and creators, but I thought it also might be nice to also look at some of the demographic data that exists. The first thing I wanted to see was if African-American comic fans varied as to what publisher they liked.

For this demographic report I again dove into Facebook using the data provided as per usual. In February, African-Americans accounted for 3.4 million of the 32 million “comic fans,” making them 10.63% of the population. In general on Facebook, African-Americans make up 11.24% of the Facebook population.

I decided to look at not just publishers, but “comics” and “manga” as well to see what the percentage of African-Americans like them as well as how it breaks down as far as men and women.

In general for all of the terms below African-Americans account for 10.83% of that population. Marvel, DC Comics, Dark Horse, Dynamite, and in general comics underperform that percentage. Image, IDW, BOOM!, Oni, and Manga outperform. BOOM! and Oni especially do well having the top two percentages.

When it comes to percentage, men and women are the closest for Image, Comics and Manga. The biggest difference between men and women is Dark Horse.

AA Comic Data 2.9.15This is just the first report! I’ve got two more Mondays to dive even deeper into the information.

Demo-Graphics: Beyond Gender, Age, and Ethnicity

The first day of each month (and a lot of Mondays) I break down the demographic data of those who “like” comics on Facebook. With about 32 million people this past month, the data represents those with an interest in comics (over 100 terms made up of publishers, generic terms like “comics,” and comic specific terms like “one-shot”). These are not necessarily purchasers or subscribers, they’d be a subset of this group, these are folks who are interested in comics, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, or publishers. That 32 million is the first audience we as a community should be reaching out to to push comics forward. They are the most likely to be interested in comics, and become regular readers and customers.

But, any good marketer knows, that demographic data is just one small portion of who a “customer” is. To truly get the whole picture of who these individuals are, and get even better bang for the buck, you also need to understand their interests and habits.

With the call to “push comics forward,” I am happy to present for the first time these habits and affinity, and explain why this is important.

Why is this important?

Someone’s age, gender, or ethnicity is just a small part of the equation when figuring out who to market to or what to market. A person’s history of purchases in this case, or what else they’re interested in helps to not only target to the individual, but find others like them. Gender, age, and ethnicity is the broad categories and helps with messaging, but now we’re getting into the specifics!

The Specifics

Again, we’re able to dive into Facebook for this data, using the exact same terms used for the monthly reports. The only difference is this data is for those 18 and up, while our monthly demographic report is 13 and up. Facebook data is enhanced using available data warehouses giving us a better idea as to who these people are.

And now, the data!

Age and Gender

We can see the similar breakdown of percentages as I’ve been presenting for some time now. We get to see how that compares though to the Facebook population as a whole.

2015-02-02_1418Lifestyle

This is everyone’s interest data based on their actual purchase behavior, brand affinity, and other activities. Interestingly enough, comic fans are much greater than the general Facebook population in having children early in life. They tend to be renters, and still in school. On the flip side those in their mid-20s without children and owning their own home are also over represented by comic fans as well as similar folks with children.

Not surprisingly, the wealthy and “elite,” established, and elderly are under represented in the population.

Younger individuals with and without children are the bread and butter of the comic fandom in other words.

lifestyle_1 lifestyle_2 lifestyle_3Relationship Status and Education Level

Compared to the general Facebook populace, comic fans are much more likely to be “single,” “in a relationship,” or “engaged.” They are much less likely to be “married.” As far as education, they are slightly more likely to be college educated. Take the above and we’re looking for younger college educated individuals.

2015-02-02_1429Job Title

This is rather interesting. Based on likely industries from self-reported data, we have groups of what types of jobs comic fans have. It’s not surprising that with a younger set of individuals, the positions are less established with folks more likely temporary and seasonal, retail, food preparation, service industry positions.

They are much less likely lawyers, in the medical field, in computing or mathematics or in the science industry. Most of those involve longer career commitments, so comic fans might not be  there yet. Remember, they’re mostly young and in college.

job_title_1 job_title_2 job_title_3Page Likes

When it comes to what pages comic fans like, most shouldn’t be a surprise. We see lots fo video games, Marvel, DC Comics, comic characters, and Stan Lee. What’s also interesting is we see Loot Crate (showing a nice overlap and business decision to include comics in the service) and some fascinating bands.

2015-02-02_1434But how do those page interests compare to the rest of Facebook? We have that below! If I wanted to build a brand, I’d look at these pages first when targeting ads (along with the previous data mentioned). So far we have men, who are in college, in service jobs, and like Iron Man.

page_affinity_1 page_affinity_2Location

Comic fans are located in big cities according to this.

location_1 location_2 location_3 location_4 location_5Interestingly though, comic fans also over represent in smaller cities and towns.

location_overrepresentThey’re also underrepresented in larger cities.

location_underrepresentFrequency of Activity

Comic fans are also rather active on Facebook, liking commenting, sharing, likely, and clicking ads more than the average Facebook user.

frequency_of_activityDevices

Comic fans use a mix of mobile and desktop to access Facebook and are more prone to using Android devices… Yet we see iOs devices launched first for digital comic apps…

devicesHousehold

Comic fans tend to live alone or in larger households and rent.

home_1 home_2Spending Methods

Comic fans also primarily use cash, which makes sense since younger individuals might not have credit built up. They also spend much less on “travel & entertainment,” and “premium” things compared to the general Facebook users.

spendingIndividuals also are pretty average in their spending, while more likely to spend online or not spend online at all. They are also much less likely to be on the low end of online spending. Good news for digital comics!

spending_2What’s really interesting is the comic audience’s purchase behavior is lower for every category compared to the general Facebook population. Since they are generally even in spending compared to the audience, we can assume they’re buying something else…. comics maybe?

purchase_behaviorAnd that wraps up our first look at the affinity and actual interests of our monthly comic fandom! Expect for even more of a dive in and explanation of how one would use this data in the coming weeks and months!

Most importantly, to really build the comic market, we need to understand who the fans and purchasers are. By doing so, we make our job easier. The above is a piece of that puzzle.

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook

It’s the first of the month, and first of the year, and that means a new look at the demographics of people who “like” comics on Facebook. This data is compiled using demographic data from Facebook, and is limited to the United States.

This data is compiled using key terms, “likes,” users have as part of their profiles. Primarily terms are focused on generic ones such as “comics” or “graphic novels” or publishers. I stay away from specific characters, creators or series, because this does not indicate they are a comic book fan. Over 100 terms are used for this report.

This data is important in that it shows who the potential comic audience could be. This is not purchasers, these are people who have shown an affinity for comics and are potential purchasers and those with an interest. This Monday we’ll have a new portion of this monthly report.

Facebook Population: Over 32,000,000 in the United States

The total population remains steady from the previous month. The Spanish-speaking population last month was 14.38%, and this month is also 14.38%, remaining unchanged..

Gender and Age

Last month women accounted for 48.13% and men were 50.63%. Even with the population increase, the results this month as far as percent the results are close to last month. Women now account for 45.63% and men account for 53.13%. The decrease in women when it comes to the percentage was gained by men.

gender 1.31.15

We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age.

gender age 1.31.15Compared to last month, the loss for women was pretty across the board. Women under the age of 17 gained a bit while those 18 and over dropped in population.

gender age raw 1.31.15

Relationship Status

Compared to last month, the single population dipped a bit, while there were more people engaged. Congrats!

relationship 1.31.15And for those that like pie charts.

relationship pie chart 1.31.15

Education

Generally, these stats are similar to last month’s. Changes are primarily due to the shift in gender.

education 1.31.15

Gender Interest

Compared to last month these stats are very similar. Changes are primarily due to the shift in gender.

gender interest 1.31.15

Ethnicity

It’s the third month we’ve had data on ethnicity. Facebook compiles the data based on “behavior that aligns with people of that race.” It’s unknown the specifics of what that entails.

New this month is the inclusion of Asian Americans in this stat. The population is small, but expect it to grow as the months go forward.

African Americans account for 3.4 million, about 10.63% of the comic fandom, while all Hispanics account for 7.4 million, around 23.13%. Asian Americans account for 820,000 individuals, around 5.62%.

I’ve presented the data in raw form for this first report, but will do graphs as this data progresses.

ethnicity 1.31.15Generation

We’ve been tracking what generation individuals are a part of. We present that information for the first time below.

generation 1.31.15And that wraps up this month’s report! Join us Monday for even more information!

Demo-Graphics: Comic Demographic Data Over the Years 2013-2014

With it being the first of the year, I thought I’d look at how the Facebook data we crunch has evolved over the past two years.

As a reminder, these stats are crunched by looking at terms that indicate likes and interest on Facebook. Terms used include words like “comics,” “graphic novels,” “manga,” and publishers like Marvel and DC. No comic series, creators or characters are used to figure this out.

As reported earlier today, people who “like” comics on Facebook has reached a record-setting 32 million.

In January, the population we looked at was just shy of 2 million individuals, but through expansion of terms used as well as how Facebook returns the data in late 2013, that population grew to 22 million. Over the past year, the population stayed at a steady 24-28 million, and now has ballooned due to Marvel consolidating some of their various pages into one. Milestones and changes are marked below.

population 2013-2014Here’s the same data presented as a graph bar instead from month to month.

population bar graphc 2013-2014But how does the above work as percentages? Check out below for to see that data presented and check out that trend line. Our data has been showing for quite some time what the industry just came to accept as reality in 2014. Women are fans of comics, and they are legion!

population trend line 2013-2014Above looks at how the population stacked up, as well as the gender breakdown, but how about age? Here’s the same time period as far as age over the last two year.

age 2013-2014Here’s another look at the same data.

age bar graph 2013-2014And here’s that same data done as percentages.

age percentages 2013-2014And another look at the same data.

age percentages bar graph 2013-2014And that wraps up our look back at how the comic “fan” population has changed over the past two years. You can catch this type of report every Monday right here on Graphic Policy!

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook. New Year’s Edition!

It’s the first of the month, and first of the year, and that means a new look at the demographics of people who “like” comics on Facebook. This data is compiled using demographic data from Facebook, and is limited to the United States.

This data is compiled using key terms, “likes,” users have as part of their profiles. Primarily terms are focused on generic ones such as “comics” or “graphic novels” or publishers. I stay away from specific characters, creators or series, because this does not indicate they are a comic book fan. Over 100 terms are used for this report.

Facebook Population: Over 32,000,000 in the United States

The total population increased by 4 million. This is likely due to the massive jump in Marvel’s page due to their consolidating various pages into one. The Spanish-speaking population last month was 15%, and this month is 14.38%.

Gender and Age

Last month women accounted for 47.14% and men were 53.57%. Even with the population increase, the results this month as far as percent the results are close to last month. Women now account for 48.13% and men account for 50.63%.

comics gender 12.31.14We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age.

comics gender and age 12.31.14Compared to last month, the gains were generally across ages. Percentage wise, those 33 and under dipped, while over increased. Also of note, women age 17 and under are the majority.

comics gender and age raw 12.31.14Relationship Status

Compared to last month, the results are almost exactly the same. Even with the vast increase, percentages haven’t shifted all that much.

comics relationship status 12.31.14And for those that like pie charts.

comics relationship status pie chart 12.31.14Education

Generally, these stats are similar to last month’s.

comics education 12.31.14Gender Interest

Compared to last month these stats are very similar.

comics gender interest 12.31.14Ethnicity

It’s the second month we’ve had data on ethnicity. Facebook compiles the data based on “behavior that aligns with people of that race.” It’s unknown the specifics of what that entails.

African Americans account for 3.4 million, about 10.63% of the comic fandom, while all Hispanics account for 7.4 million, around 23.13%.

I’ve presented the data in raw form for this first report, but will do graphs as this data progresses.

comics ethnicity 12.31.14And that wraps up this month’s report. Later today we’ll explore this data as its evolved over the year.

Interview: Vince Hernandez Discusses Aspen, Kiani, and the Changing Comic Readership

00b_FAK4-02-CMYKcrop_1In early November Aspen Comics made the announcement they were changing up the look of their heroine Kiani when Fathom: Kiani Volume 4 #1 arrives February 11th. Alex Konat, Giuseppe Cafaro, and Wes Hatman were tasked with updating Kiani’s look and the title’s overall design.

What was even more amazing was the honesty and transparency as to why this design change and update was happening:

And as our company and fan base continue to evolve, a new generation of readers will be introduced to this wonderful character, including a much larger female audience. We wanted to honor that spirit of progress by updating the look and feel of the series with an exciting new design.

In a year of major changes in the diversity of comic characters, this was the latest example that 2014 could be called “the year of the woman” in the comic industry.

We got a chance to throw some questions at the writer of Fathom: Kiani, Vince Hernandez, not just about the new direction, but also the changing demographics of comic readers and fans.

We have even more images of Kiani, and tomorrow come back for Part II, where we talk with artist Giuseppe Cafaro about the actual design process.

00b_FAK3-01-CMYKcrop[1]Graphic Policy: So the big news is you’re redesigning Kiani for her comic’s next volume out in February. How did you all come to the decision for the redesign?

Vince Hernandez: That’s correct, we’ll be ushering in a new look for the series both through the narrative and the visual aspect of the title. Like most ideas we have, this was derived from one of our production meetings, while discussing the new direction of Fathom: Kiani, and what we were looking to achieve with the final product. We’ve tried really hard to establish a library of titles that will appeal to the growing number of comic book readers, and that includes a large female audience. With this fourth volume of Fathom: Kiani, we tried to be mindful of this new audience while also staying true to the character and her rich history. This included a natural evolution to the character’s appearance that fits more with where she is in her journey. It’s all very organic to the story when you read it. I hope readers will agree.

GP: How many people were involved in the redesign process?

VH: Everything we do here at Aspen is a collaborative process, so everyone’s opinion matters. Usually, that starts in our production meetings and carries over into the individual discussions I have with the creative team, and all along the way I try to gather everyone’s opinions. For Fathom: Kiani, it’s like clockwork because Giuseppe Cafaro, Wes Hartman and Josh Reed know exactly what to do, since we’ve worked together on this title for quite some time.

GP: Were there any mandates as far as the redesign?

VH: No mandates, just to stay true to the character and the story, and our original discussions about the visual look of the series which includes covers, solicitation ads, and the approach to marketing the book for a wider audience.

KIANI-V4-01c-Garbowska-2x3_1GP: In the release announcing this you mention how the Aspen Comics fan base has evolved, and the much larger female audience. How closely does Aspen follow that? Do you have a good idea of what your readership “looks like”?

VH: I think so, although we’re always pleasantly surprised to meet new readers. The comic industry is growing larger and with that comes new readers and fans looking to enjoy our books. With the advent of more conventions and social networking, it’s a very fun time to be a comic book creator, as we can interact with our fan base directly. We try to stay current with that approach and evolve as our fan base does. One thing many people wrongly perceive about Aspen is that we have a mostly male fan base, because they see our female heroines on the covers and assume we’re something we’re not. We actually have a very strong and loyal female audience that we adore, and we’re very open to hearing our fans’ opinions. We’re here to entertain first and foremost, and with that comes a responsibility to be open to criticism.

GP: How do you feel the comic readership has changed over the years as far as habits and demographics?

VH: I think the comic readership has become much more attuned to challenging the status quo in terms of voting with their wallets, but I definitely wouldn’t mind even more change in that department. Right now there’s such a great influx of female readers and more of a focus on increasing diversity in the industry, but there’s still a large majority of readers that dismiss anything not by the Big Two. Those buying habits are hard to change, but thankfully I think it’s trending in the other direction now.

GP: This year’s big story for comics is diversity with numerous publishers headlining a lot more minorities in comics, and outright changing gender or race of characters. What do you see as the driving force behind that?

VH: I’d love to say that I think it’s all organic to the story and not part of a larger initiative to appeal to a demographic that has been under-served, but I wouldn’t be completely honest. But, then at the end of the day, anything that helps to add more diversity to the industry I can’t see as a bad thing–as long as it’s handled with respect and care for the story and/or characters.

GP: Do you think those changes are editorially driven? Number crunching/marketing driven? A combination?

VH: A combination, and I think it’s foolish to think that marketing doesn’t play a part in these decisions. Oftentimes, we as fans can get so caught up in the comics we love that we forget that publishers have to run as a business, first and foremost. Understanding market trends and areas of growth potential are essential to any good business model in the long term. Finding new readership is the best way to feed that growth, and publishers have to search out those new readers in these ways.

GP: Do you think the rise of self-publishing, Kickstarter, web comics, the explosion of indie books has helped pushed for greater diversity in the rest of the industry?

VH: Absolutely, and the benefit to that added diversity is that it puts the larger publishers in a position to not rest on their heels, which is a win for the overall quality of the work produced in comics. Being a published comic book creator doesn’t have the same value that it did a decade ago, now that anybody can publish their own work with enough determination. It makes for a more competitive playing field, and more options for fans to choose from.

GP: We publish monthly demographic studies of folks who “like” comics on Facebook. Do comic publishers consider that sort of thing when deciding what to publish and who an audience for a comic might be?

VH: You know, at this moment the correlation between a “like” on Facebook and a sale at the retail level to me hasn’t presented itself yet, but I think there are plenty of conclusions you can draw from the statistical data on Facebook. I think this is much more pronounced at the creator level, as I’ve seen some creators really build a solid revenue stream for their work due to their strong social media presence. As a publisher, we usually have to make our decisions much earlier, as we plan our production schedule far in advance. Once it hits social media we already anticipate a certain level of awareness for the property or title.

GP: Can we expect any other shake-ups like this for 2015 for Aspen?

VH: Well, the great thing about Aspen is that we’re free to really shake things up all the time, so I think Aspen fans can expect many more surprises in 2015, as we have some really fun new projects on the horizon!

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook

It’s the first of the month and that means a new look at the demographics of people who “like” comics on Facebook. This data is compiled using demographic data from Facebook, and is limited to the United States.

This data is compiled using key terms, “likes,” users have as part of their profiles. Primarily terms are focused on generic ones such as “comics” or “graphic novels” or publishers. I stay away from specific characters, creators or series, because this does not indicate they are a comic book fan. Over 100 terms are used for this report.

Facebook Population: Over 28,000,000 in the United States

The total population increaseed by 2 million, returning back to 28 million. It’s unknown where the 2 million-ish people came from. The Spanish-speaking population last month was 14.62%, and this month is 15%.

Gender and Age

Last month women accounted for 46.15% and men were 53.85%. Even with the population increase, the results this month as far as percent the results are close to last month. Women now account for 47.14% and men account for 53.57%.

facebook gender 12.1.14

We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age.

facebook gender age 12.1.14Compared to last month, the big difference is the inclusion of those age 38 and over and women 33 and under.

facebook gender age raw 12.1.14

Relationship Status

Compared to last month, the results are almost exactly the same.

facebook relationship 12.1.14

And for those that like pie charts.

facebook relationship pie chart 12.1.14

Education

Compared to last month, the big difference is the amount of people who have indicated they have an Associate’s Degree, as if this was just discovered.

facebook education 12.1.14

Gender Interest

Compared to last month these stats are almost exactly the same when it comes to percentage.

facebook gender interest 12.1.14Ethnicity

For the first time, we now have data on ethnicity. Facebook compiles the data based on “behavior that aligns with people of that race.” It’s unknown the specifics of what that entails.

African Americans account for 2.6 million, about 9.29% of the comic fandom, while all Hispanics account for 6.6 million, around 23.57%. It’s been a few months since I’ve been tracking Hispanics, but African American is a brand new statistic, so expect adjustment over the next few months as Facebook gets better at their algorithm.

I’ve presented the data in raw form for this first report, but will do graphs for future months.

facebook ethnicity 12.1.14And that wraps up this month’s report.

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