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Demo-Graphics: The State of Marvel Comics

In June of 2013, I looked at the Facebook demographics of Marvel. Over a year later, I thought it’d be good to revisit that, and see where the comic publisher/movie studio/juggernaut is at in our newly renamed Demo-Graphics. This Friday, we’ll also look at DC Comics, Indie Comic fans, and the comic industry in general.

For those that don’t know, this data is mined from Facebook’s demographic data using terms that correspond to likes, groups, etc. For this report, we’re not looking at Marvel Comics specifically, but also Marvel Studio, Marvel Entertainment, and more. So think of this as the Marvel brand.

Unlike 2013, this 2014 report also focuses just on the United States. Last year’s was about 20 countries. Also since last year Facebook has updated their system, making this a bit of an apples and orange comparison, but still, general trends when it comes to percentage changes should be interesting.

Facebook Marvel Comics Fan Population: Over 11,400,000 United States

That’s down from last year’s 12.9 million individuals, but we’re also looking at 1 country, instead of 20.

Compare that number to the greater comic fandom which is about 24 million fans in the United States.

Since last year, Spanish speakers have shrank as part of the population. In 2013, they were 17.25% and in 2014 it now accounts for 14.39%.

Gender and Age

In 2013 Men made up a little over 75% of the population and women just under 25% for those interested in Marvel. In that year, the company has made some massive improvements. Men now account for 63.16% and women now 36.84%.

Since last year for Marvel has decreased 12.29 percentage points, and women have increased 12.39 percentage points. Marvel has clearly made women a priority and that has moved the dial.

marvel gender 7.24.14

Here’s how the gender plays out over age.

marvel gender age 7.24.14Also changed since the previous year is how the ages break out in percentages. Those under 17 have dropped significantly, going from 24.6% of the population in 2013 to only 9.27% in 2014. Those 18-21 are about the same, and the percentage lost for those under 17 have been distributed to those over 22. Here’s the full raw numbers for 2014 as far as age and gender.

marvel gender age raw 7.24.14Relationship Status

There’s been some massive changes in the “relationship status” statistics. They’ve been expanded greatly, with more options, so comparing the two are very difficult. Here is where Marvel is in 2014.

marvel relationship status 7.24.14And for those who like their pie charts.

marvel relationship status pie chart 7.24.14Education

Education too has changed since last year giving a lot more options. Here’s the full stats for those interested in Marvel.

marvel education 7.24.14Gender Interest

This too has had the statistics expanded. Generally though, individuals interested in the same sex have dipped by a few tenths percentage points since 2013.

marvel gender interest 7.24.14Stay tuned today as we bring you more, including DC and the general Comic-dom!

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Review: Kagerou Project

KagePro-Wallpaper-kagerou-project-37017335-2000-786Okay let me tell you this much, I have not yet read the novels, so I’m a bit uninformed on certain things about the series, but I’ll give as much as I can.

So! Kagerou Project was made by Jin and his use of the computer music program Vocaloid. He made some fun catchy songs and along the way he joined forces with Shidu, who made music videos for them. Further down Jin had a story plot that interconnected all of his songs, making for one big hit! And it caught on.

It’s the story about people with eye powers, who went through a happening on August 14th, and were given these abilities by the medusa Azami within the Heat Haze. Each character has a different power, based upon a wish they had at the time, whether it was to hide the injuries, to be noticed, or to just understand another person, they all are good and bad. And these powers are all based around eyes, each character’s eyes becoming red when the ability is used. This is their story and how it goes round and round.

Now this is an interesting thing as the entire rise to mainstream is sort of out there. From Vocaloid music videos, to novels, to a manga, to an anime, Kagerou Project is really far from the norm of adaptations. Jin, let me just say, is an amazing song writer, as all the songs are full length with catchy tunes, and have deeper meanings than meets the eye. As someone who has yet to read the novels, as I am unable to read Japanese but I am looking for translations, I don’t really know the quality of those. The manga: Kagerou Days, still going, is quite good so far, showing just enough for you to get a taste. The anime: Mekaku City Actors, produced by SHAFT, recently ended its slotted twelve episodes, and… Could have been better, but also could have been a lot worse. Now if that isn’t something new, well I don’t know what you people want, because I think it’s brilliant.

Okay! Light spoilers under the cut!

Character time!

Our main character is Shintaro Kisaragi, a hikkimori NEET, basically a major recluse who believes he will die without his computer. Not exactly main character makings right? Well there’s a reason for his reclusiveness and it’s a mix of guilt and despair for something he believes he could have stopped or rather something he thinks he caused. Now the entire story plot starts when Shintaro is forced to leave his home for the first time in two years because his keyboard died. Because of this he is thrown into a whole new crazy world of eye powers.

Next is the pretty cyber girl Ene, otherwise known as Takane Enomoto, a highschool student who was given the power of Opening Eyes, essentially making her immortal and a computer program. She found her way to Shintaro’s computer, where he then downloaded her, and prompted to annoy the ever-living fuck out of him. She is always trying to prompt Shintaro to leave the house and become a healthier person, though he may not realize what she’s doing. She loud and humorous, but is also cranky and mean.

Momo Kisaragi, Shintaro’s sister, is an unlucky idol. Always in the background growing up she wished to be seen, and was once she gained the Captivating Eyes. Because of her power she was able to become a famous pop singer, though now she hates it. This is because she can’t seem to live a normal life. Huh, who would have thought being famous would make it hard to go to the store? Anyway, she’s upbeat and near the exact opposite of her brother, who she now sees as an embarrassment.

Tsubomi Kido, known as Kido, is the leader of the group Mekakushi Dan (Blindfold Gang). She is our tsundere character, who grew up in a rich family as a disappointment child, and so she wished to disappear and be able to hide away. She later gained the ability Concealing Eyes, able to make herself disappear and appear at her own will. Kido is actually quite timid, but comes off cold and harsh, though she’s a sweetheart. She also has the best control over her powers.

Shuuya Kano, known as Kano, is a member of the gang. From an abusive home Kano wished to hide away the injuries he was giving, but he also wanted people to believe his lies. He is a trickster character who is meant to appear as a possible bad guy character. He has the Deceiving Eyes, resulting in him being able to make elusions with himself, but only himself.

Kousuke Seto, known as Seto, is another member of the gang.  He basically grew up alone and because of that was unable to communicate very well, though he had a lot to say. His power is Stealing Eyes, almost making it as though he can read people’s minds, though it’s more him just reading information about a person. A good hearted person, Set only really sees the good in people, despite what he may hear. Next to Momo and Kano, he has the worse control over his power.

Mary, or Marry, is a ¼ Medusa. Because of this she is able to make people stop with her Staring Eyes, but only temporarily, and is unable to turn people to stone as the myth goes. She grew up with her mother until tragedy took her mother away, so instead she lived alone, until Seto brought her to the outside world. She is now a member of the MekakuDan, where she finally has friends and is not just dreaming about it.

Hibiya Amamiya is the youngest member, and only just received his powers. His story is sort of the first view we get into the actual events of the Heat Haze. He’s sort of a brat and a creep, always trying to win the love of his crush Hiyori. He grew up in the sticks basically and it shows as in the events of the story it is his first time in the city. His power is Focusing Eyes, basically making him able to see things from far away. What a loser.

Konoha, or Haruka Kokonose is our resident android. Like Ene, he used to be a highschool student, but was given the power of Awakening Eyes, which gives him his dream body. He, however, has no memory of his life before being an Android, so you know mostly squat unless you’ve seen any of the material. He’s gluttonous and a bit slow, but he also is a skilled fighter. Like his human counterpart he is kind and just wants friends.

Ayano Tateyama, who believed that red, was the color of heroes, left a mark on all the characters, whether they knew it or not. Now it’s no surprise that Ayano is a character long since passed away, but not in the sense that you would get. She was a character who wanted to save what little happiness she had and had to ‘died’ in the process.

Now here’s where the spoilers become a little heavy.

Basically to enter the Heat Haze and receive an eye ability you have to die. Often times with another person, though this isn’t always true. You are placed into an endless loop of your death until you emerge from the Haze. So basically all those happy chipper songs and ideas you had about this story? Nope, it’s only despair from here on out. You see because the powers being given are actually snakes, which possess the dead bodies, granting their final wishes, which then begin to gather around the Queen snake.

See, what did I say, misery.

But anyway, on to the next bit since characters went on for a long time (Sorry there was a lot of them and their all really important.)

The art style I personally think was much better in Shidu’s hands, as they really loved the characters. You can see this in the music videos, which are just stunning at times. They also got many of these videos done in less than 3 weeks, which is impressive. The manga is well done as well, each character pretty much standard, though some of the anatomy is… Not mentionable, but that’s normal. Now the anime, which had a whole new art staff, because no one bothered to hire Shidu, the bastards. This was good and bad. SHAFT has a string of very good animation, see Madoka Magica, but it also has that very bad habit of getting things just barely done before it airs, often still fixing things. Basically if you want quality, wait for the dvd/bluray, because then it will all be much cleaner, also see Madoka Magica. It shines in places, like the opening is very clean, whilst some scenes in the actual anime are just funny from how cringe worthy they are.

Okay so warning right now, if you are going to watch Mekaku City Actors, there is an episode… Where the animation just changes to 3DCGI, which… Dear lord I watched it right after the subbed version came on and it scared me at first. Episode nine be prepared for it.

Now onto music. This is really where the whole thing shines most because this is what made Kagerou Project so big. Now for those who don’t know Vocaloid is a Japanese computer program that makes music. You guys know Hatsune Miku, yeah, that’s Vocaloid. Anyway a lot of these songs are just fantastic, from the loud drum solo of Yobanshi Decieve to the soft guitar of Ayano’s Theory of Happiness, to the haunting lyrics of Toumei Answer, to the upbeat sound of Yuukei Yesterday, and to the final notes of Summertime Record. I love all of these songs. Now be warned that the originals are sung by a computer automated voice, and not everybody digs that, it took me a long time. Not all of them have music videos made by Shidu, some were fan animated, which just shows the pulling power. In the anime they took advantage of this and a lot of the best parts of the episodes is where the audience got an amazing cover of a song we had come to love and it always fit just right and felt like a music video in ways. I think, personally, that’s where the anime shined best itself, when it showed the roots of this entire story. Because without that music it wouldn’t even be here.  And I guess the most important thing is that Jin, who made a lot of this himself, sang that final song for that final episode.

This is a story about eyes and the people who are affected by it, but for me, I see as a story about growing up. Summertime Record, the final song, is about moving forward but promising to meet each other again. I think that’s why I personally love Kagerou Project, because it’s that final story before things become normal, but it’s only boring if you let it be. Tell the story over and over so people don’t forget, so you yourself don’t forget. “The lonely kids will take a stand.”

I say look into this, I know it isn’t for everyone, but try it out. People do English covers of the song every day and I think a lot of people could connect with the characters, just as I do with characters like Shintaro. But for now I’ll just give a rating based on my enjoyment of each individual piece. The novels will get a proper rating once I’ve read them.

Kagerou Project (Music/Videos): 10/10
Novels: ???/10
Manga: 7.5/10
Anime: 7/10

SDCC 2014: DRM-Free at ComiXology

comixology small imageToday during their panel at San Diego Comic-Con, comiXology unveiled a new DRM-free backup feature that allows customers to download and store copies of their books.

The first wave of participating publishers making their books available as DRM-free backups include Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, and Top Shelf Productions. In addition, creators and publishers that are self-publishing through comiXology Submit are now able to choose to make their books available with a DRM-free backup.

To obtain the DRM-free backups of their books, customers can go to the “My Books” section of comixology.com on their desktop computers and click the button that appears next to their books. Books and series from participating publishers will be available for backup starting today. Backups are available in high definition PDF and CBZ.

Customers will continue to enjoy all of their purchases – whether available as a DRM-free backup or not – on the comiXology platform in comiXology’s exclusive cinematic Guided View reading experience, anytime and anywhere.

drm free comixology 1 drm free comixology drm free comixology 2

 

 

2014 Wizkids Open Announced

wizkids open 2014Today, Wizkids announced the first annual Wizkids Open tournament, to be held at participating retail locations across the U.S. this fall. Featuring some of the hottest games of the year, including Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men, HeroClix, and Star Trek Attack Wing, players will compete in head-to-head battles to earn glory, exclusive prizes and their rightful place in the 2015 National Championships.

The WizKids Open is WizKids’ first ever officially sponsored regional gaming event. This year’s event will be hosted at seven stores, spanning from coast to coast. Most will support regional championships for HeroClix, Dice Masters and Attack Wing as well as smaller events and the ability to buy product that was typically only available for purchase from conventions.

Each location will be offering for-sale exclusive items and awarding special participation prizes to players as well as providing the opportunity to compete with the best players in their area.

The turn out and success of this inaugural event will determine if this will indeed be a yearly thing. There’s also a possbility for other stores to join in in future ones based on their event registration participation, the number of events held, product ordered, their history of running these types of events, and generally how the store is laid out. They are also working on expanding this for international stores as well.

participating_stores exclusive_product

Ready 4 Vader 2016? The Sith Lord Polls Better than Potential 2016 Presidential Candidates

On Tuesday FiveThirtyEight released a poll on various Star Wars characters and how popular they are. Jar Jar Binks is the most reviled character in the series. That’s not surprising at all. But, with a net favorability of -8 that makes the least likeable character still more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently has a net favorability rating of -65.

What’s fun though is The Washington Post decided to compare the favorability of all of the various Star Wars characters with that of potential 2016 Presidential candidates and other well-known politicians. Not shockingly, there’s a lot of Star Wars characters who might have a good chance getting elected.

Darth Vader has a net favorability higher than all of the candidates and he killed younglings! Emperor Palpatine also has a better result than the majority of the potential candidates. I base that on the fact he could efficiently get the Death Star built.

Check out the full results below and get ready for Ready 4 Vader, Darth Vader for President!

star-wars-fav

SDCC 2014: Ant-Man Gets Some Concept Art

Marvel, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, have released some concept art for 2015′s Ant-Man. The movie is one of Marvel’s more ambitious movies, with a “B/C” level character, and has had some issues getting going. Peyton Reed is now directing with a script re-write from Adam McKay. Out of all of their projects this is the one I’m most nervous about.

But, lets move past the issues, what do you think of the designs?

antmanposter

Sinister Six and Spidey 3 Get a New Date. Marvel Movies In on the Action.

Shepard_Plants_Flag_-_GPN-2000-001120Rumors leading up to San Diego Comic-Con swirled that Sony‘s Sinister Six movie was cancelled, and The Amazing Spider-Man 3 was in trouble. Both of those rumors have been squished like a bug, keeping up last year’s horrible record for pre-convention bullshit lies well-sourced information poor reporting.

Sinister Six will now open on November 11, 2016. The film is written and directed by Drew Goddard. Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 are being pushed back and will follow on an as-yet unspecified date in 2018 for 3, and 4… who knows.

In slides a movie based on the Uncharted video game which will be released June 10, 2016, when Spidey 3 was supposed to.

Disney and Marvel have taken advantage and claimed May 4, 2018 which was to be Spidey 4. That’s also the weekend of that year’s Free Comic Book Day. A “comic” movie has opened that weekend for a while now. That adds another movie to Marvel’s already announced 5 movies. So, add a sixth one…. can you say Avengers 3?

Planting flags for movie dates far in the future seems to be pretty popular now. I expect an Olympic Sport of it eventually.

Skybound and Humble Bundle’s Walking Dead Package

humble bundle walking deadHumble Bundle actually has two comic packages running today. Earlier we posted about the IDW/Transformers one, but Skybound is also in on the action with a package packed with comics from The Walking Dead and a few of their other series like Ghosted and Invincible.

Humble Bundle works by having individuals pledge whatever amount they want, split between various things. In this case it’s Humble Bundle, Skybound, and three different charities, Penny Harvest, Rett Syndrome Research Trust, and Indie Cade Foundation. You can give it all to one, just a few, or split among them all.

This has some interesting tiers too. If you pledge $40, you get a t-shirt, and volume 20 of The Walking Dead. For $65, you get a limited edition Negan figure.

This is a great way to get all kinds of cool stuff, and support a charity!

IDW Celebrates SDCC with a Transformers Humble Bundle Deal

transformers humble bundleHere’s a bundle that’s “more than meets the eye.” Humble Bundle and IDW Publishing, under license from Hasbro, are kicking off San Diego Comic-Con with a digital comic collection of epic proportions. Customers can pay what they want while also supporting a child-focused charity in the Transformers Humble Bundle presented by IDW.

Customers can name their price for Transformers Classics, Volumes 1-4, featuring a digital reincarnation of 48 issues from the original comics. Those who pay more than the average price will also receive Transformers: All Hail Megatron, Vol. 1-4, Transformers: Autocracy and Transformers: Spotlight, Vol. 1. Customers who pay $15 or more will receive all of the above, plus Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, Vol. 1 and 2 and Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Vol. 1 and 2, bringing a total of nearly 100 comic book issues to the bundle.

As with all Humble Bundles, customers can choose how their purchase dollars are allocated, between the comic creators, Humble Bundle, and the determined charity, the Hasbro Children’s Fund. So, not only do you get some awesome comics, but you also get to support a charity as well!

The Transformers Humble Bundle runs for two weeks and ends Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 11 a.m. Pacific time.

SDCC 2014: Five Ghosts Gets Optioned. Night Mary in Development Too.

Via Deadline, Universal Cable Productions has announced they have optioned comic series Five Ghosts to make it into a television series. The series was created by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham, and originally funded through Kickstater. It has completed two volumes so far and is published by Image Comics. The third volume will launch later this year. The series debuted at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012, and this announcement was made there today, two years later.

Evan Daugherty will pen the pilot and serve as EP. Benderspink’s Chris Bender and Jake Weiner will also be EPs on the project. Jake Wagner will serve as producer and Matt Pizzolo and Brett Gurewitz are co-EPs.

Also, Night Mary will also be developed as a live-action television series. The series from 2005 was by Rick Remender and Kieron Dwyer and published by IDW Publishing. Night Mary follows a young woman trained to be a lucid dreamer. Her father owns a sleep disorder clinic where she enters the dreams of his patients. When a patient is revealed to be a serial killer, she is placed in jeopardy as nightmares and reality become frighteningly intertwined.

John Pogue, who wrote and directed the recently released film, The Quiet Ones, has been tapped to write and direct the pilot for Night Mary. Ted Adams and David Ozer from IDW Entertainment and David Alpert and Rick Jacobs from Circle of Confusion will serve as executive producers.

fiveghosts01_cover

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