Tag Archives: gender

SDCC 2014: Demo-Graphics: The State of Comic Fandom

It’s San Diego Comic-Con, and our second annual demographic “State of Comic Fandom.” This data is compiled using demographic data from Facebook, and is limited to the United States. You can read 2013’s report here. You can also read reports for Marvel, DC, and Indie/Small Press.

Since last year, our technique as well as Facebook’s system, have gotten better, returning more data to look at. 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.

In 2013 40 terms were used to compile the report. In 2014, that has expanded to over 100.

Facebook Population: Over 24,000,000 in the United States

Comic fandom on Facebook is 13.4 million more individuals since last year. Much of this has to do with the increased amount of terms, as well as Facebook’s improvement in getting the data. We do report weekly on a fraction of the terms we use, and that grows about 200,000 people a week, not discounting duplicate individuals (folks can be counted twice in that report, unlike this report). Comparatively, Facebook itself grew by 8 million individuals over the same time period. Comic fandom is now about 13% of the social network, compared to 6% n 2013.

In 2013, Spanish speakers made up 5.47% of the population. Today, they account for 13.33%.

Gender and Age

Since 2013, women lost ground in the population of folks from the United States on Facebook. They dropped 0.15 percentage points. However when it comes to comic fans, that’s not the case. Women gained 5.38 points, and now account for about 45% of comic related likes, up from 39.62% in 2013. Men account for 57.50%, compared to 60.38% in 2013. The results add up to over 100% due to the fact Facebook with large numbers doesn’t give an exact amount to the single digit.

Here’s the changes for comic fandom as well as Facebook since last year.

comics change

Here’s how gender breaks down for comics in 2014.

comics gender 7.24.14We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age.

comics gender age 7.24.14Just like Marvel and DC, those 17 and under dipped from last year as far as percentage of the total population. Here’s all of the raw data.

comics gender age raw 7.24.14Relationship Status

The amount of choices as far as relationship status has changed since last year, increasing by a lot. Here’s where that data is currently for comic fans.

comics relation status 7.24.14

And for those that like pie charts.

comics relationship status pie chart 7.24.14Education

Like relationship status, education now has more choices too. Instead of trying to compare the two, here’s the data.

comics education 7.24.14Gender Interest

Gender interest has changed as well, however we can compare that a bit. Men interested in the same sex dipped slightly last year, while women interested in women was almost half as much as far as percentage.

comics gender interest 7.24.14And that wraps up the 2014 state of comic fandom!

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Demo-Graphics: The State of Indie/Small Press Comics

Earlier today we brought you demographic reports based off of Facebook data for Marvel, and DC. Up next is independent/small press comics! Basically, everyone not the “big two.”

For this report I looked at comic book publisher likes that are not the big two or part of the big two. For this report, Vertigo, Zuda, Icon, are not included though they share similar comics as to other in this report. For this report, terms like IDW Publishing, BOOM! Studios, Fantagraphics were included. Manga was left out of this as well.

In 2013 62 terms were used to generate these stats. In 2014 that number has shrunk to 49. However Facebook updated their system in late 2013, returning more data than ever before. Both reports just focused on individuals in the United States.

Facebook Population: Over 3,200,000 in the United States

The indie/small press population has grown since last year by about 1.2 million individuals.

In 2013 Spanish speakers accounted for 13.00%. In 2014, that percentage dipped a bit, and is now 12.5%.

Gender and Age

In 2013 men accounted for 54% of the population and women 46%. A year later, that has shifted a bit with men now accounting for 57.50% and women 40.63%. In the growth since last year, it was almost 2:1 men.

Here’s the changes of the stats since last year.

indie changeHere’s the stats for gender.

indie gender 7.24.14This is how gender changes as far as percent over age.

indie gender age 7.24.14And the raw data.

indie gender age raw 7.24.14Relationship Status

Since 2013, Facebook updated this statistic so there’s more choices than ever, so it’s a bit difficult to compare this year to last year. Here’s the statistics as they stand for 2014.

indie relationship status 7.24.14And for those that like pie charts.

indie relationship status pie chart 7.24.14Education

This statistic too has changed since 2013. Here’s the expanded data as it stands this year.

indie education 7.24.14Gender Interest

This statistic too has changed since last year, with more options. Compared to 2013 though, men interested in men is roughly the same when you include the “men and women” option. Women interested in women though has dipped.

indie gender interest 7.24.14Join us at 6pm when we look at comic-dom as a whole!

Demo-Graphics: The State of DC Entertainment

With San Diego Comic-Con under way we’re looking at the demographic data for various publishers and comics. We’ve already posted Marvel‘s stats, and later today will be a look at indie comics, and the industry as a whole. Up next is DC Entertainment.

This statistic breakdown, we’ve looked at terms like DC Comics and Vertigo Comics, but not specific comic series or characters. It’s a focus on DC Entertainment and its publishing imprints. Think of it as looking at the DC brand. Since 2013, Facebook has changed their system, which has resulted in greater, better results.

Facebook DC Comics Fan Population: Over 4,400,000 US

Compared to 2013’s statistics, the DC population grew by about 1.7 million. The 2014 report also looks at just the United States, where as in 2013 it looked at 20 countries. So, over the year, DC has built up their social media presence in an impressive way.

In 2013 Spanish speakers accounted for 16.19% of the population. In 2014, that amount dropped to 14.55%, but keep in mind this is just focused on the US, and not internationally, which likely accounts for the drop.

Gender and Age

In 2013, men accounted for 68.72% and women were 30.71% of the DC population. Flash forward about a year, and men now account for 68.18% and women are now 28.64%. Both of those have dropped, mostly as there’s a significantly higher amount of individuals who are not marking their gender.

Here’s how the stats have changed since last year.

dc changeAnd here’s the stats in a handy pie-chart.

dc gender 7.24.14

And here’s how gender shapes up by percent over age.

dc gender age 7.24.14Here’s the full raw numbers as far as age and gender. As you can see, like Marvel, the individuals under the age of 17 has shrunk, with the gains distributed in those over the age of 22.

dc gender age raw 7.24.14Relationship Status

Since 2013 Facebook has greatly expanded the stats for relationship status, so we can’t really compare it. Here’s the latest results.

dc relationship status 7.24.14And for those who like their data in pie chart form.

dc relationship status pie chart 7.24.14Education

The stats for education have also been updated, providing more choices. Here are the new statistics.

dc education 7.24.14Gender Interest

This statistic too has been changed since last year. However, the percentages for those interested in the same sex has dipped since last year.

dc gender interest 7.24.14That wraps it up! This afternoon we’ll be looking at indie comics, and even later how comic fandom has changed as a whole since last year.

 

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!

What’s at Stake: Wonder Woman and the “F” Word

wwbestofrest13It’s been less than a week and the announcement that comics writer Meredith Finch and artist-husband David Finch are taking over as Wonder Woman‘s new creative team with issue #36 is still an open sore, the constant media reminder of which continue to drive me into a fury. On the one hand, because half of the commentators hardly care or don’t see any harm in the creative change; on the other hand, because savvy writers who do get it are just as outraged.

Some might think “outrage” and “fury” are harsh, maybe even over-reactive descriptors. But consider for a moment our collective comic book fandom outrage when Orson Scott Card, homophobe extraordinaire, was slated to write 2013’s Adventures of Superman. Comics fandom won a major battle with help of media coverage, the artist Chris Sprouse, a petition by AllOut.org, and comic shop owners who refused to stock a comic written by Card. (This was not unlike the response to Gail Simone’s firing from DC’s Batgirl that got her quickly rehired.)

Recalling these moments in recent comic book history (hmm, both having to do with DC’s creative choices…), imagine now that Orson Scott Card had been asked to write a well-known gay or lesbian character, and that he had stated in interviews his desire to make the character decidedly “not that gay” or generally uninterested in the narrative purposes put to the creation of an LGBTQ comic book hero. We’d be burning down DC’s boors and firing Dan DiDio! (We should anyway after this.)julyww32

So why aren’t we now? To put my and other commentator’s frustration into context, let’s consider the facts of the Wonder Woman creative team change. On June 30th USA Today announced that Meredith and David Finch, a wife-and-husband duo, would take over Wonder Woman, signaling the end of the three-year and 36-issue-long era of Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, and to a lesser extent Goran Sužuka and Tony Akins. While this team defined an entirely new Wonder Woman steeped in the mythos of a redesigned Greek pantheon of hipster gods, badass goddesses, and an as yet unbeatable First Born, all good comic book runs must come to an end.

Alone, this announcement was a disappointment: Meredith Finch is an almost unheard of writer, unless of course you’ve read Zenescope Entertainment’s Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Tales from Oz, a series of one-shots. Bleeding Cool, who wrote several articles based on “informed sources” starting in February 2014 about the potential for David Finch to take over drawing Wonder Woman and the suspicion that his wife, Meredith, would write, decided to take a look at one M. Finch’s oeuvre, reviewing it in view of the possibility that she might write the Amazon princess’ monthly. The reviewer, who badly needed a copyeditor, concluded that despite an abundance of sexist imagery, the comic displayed “a definite awareness of feminine stereotypes,” and, ultimately, was about warriors being warriors, “which is probably what you might want for Wonder Woman.”

oz10-600x922Zenescope Entertainment is essentially the Playboy of the comics industry, a company whose income is derived solely from comics based on public domain fairy tale and fantasy narratives that are populated with scantily-clad, huge breasted women and the warriorest of warrior men. Their “warrior women” usually look something like the image to the left, with dialogue by M. Finch. All of this said, it is exciting to see a new female creator come on board at DC, though her politics seem to accord generally with the “we’re not feminists” stance of DC’s creative heads.

WonWoman

“Hey, there, stud. I’m not a man-hater, just a strong woman.”

Turning away from Meredith’s inexperience, her husband, David Finch, is not the greatest artist for female characters, and the art he supplied for the “big reveal” is atrocious, unrefined, and cookie-cutter. His is a Wonder Woman who looks like she works at a strip club in order to show how empowered women are by showing their skin. In other words, a “strong female character” made for men, like basically everything else. For a discussion of some of the problems with the strong female character trope, see Shana Mlawski’s poignant article.

These were just my thoughts from the night of June 30th. Then came July 1st and the Comic Book Resources interview with M. and D. Finch. Some highlights of the interview include David Finch’s curt “No.” to the question “Have the two of you collaborated on a creative project together, either in comics or outside of it?” and the quick follow-up by Meredith, in which she points out that, in fact, she’s helped him on plotting and layouts for years. Finch then came up with a brilliant save by pointing out that he probably ignored any advice she gave, complete with “[Laughter].” What a guy!

When asked what direction the team will take, either following Azzarello’s mythos or not, Meredith responds that, “we’re definitely going to steer the book a little more into a more mainstream — I guess I’d say there will be some superhero stuff in it. It really will still be a very character-driven book, though.” The desire not to tread on Azzarello’s heels in understandable, especially for a complete newcomer to superhero comics writing. But, for me and many other readers, Wonder Woman of the New 52 has been defined by Azzarello’s reluctance to bring the book into the larger DCU, especially his resistance to incorporating Superman as a love interest. As noted in their interview, M. and D. Finch fully intend to bring in Superman.

WonderWomanV5

“I’m not a feminist! Just strong! And sexy…”

Thus far in the interview we’ve seen variations on viewpoints regarding the type of character Wonder Woman is and should be, the genre of narratives she should be engaged in, and her level of involvement in the DCU. Azzarello’s reluctance to bring Wonder Woman into the DCU is, of course, a point of frustration for many readers, and though I highly admire his Wonder Woman run and would love to see it continue for a hundred issues, the character’s critical presence is lacking from the DCU in a major way that Superman and Batman, who have multiple books to themselves, are not. Eric Diaz at Nerdist has some solid thoughts about Wonder Woman and her current place in the New 52 line-up.

The interview ends with a question about what aspects of Wonder Woman the team hopes to play out in their opening issues of their run. M. Finch wants to write a Wonder Woman of the 1970s, a female icon of power and strength. D. Finch wants to draw “a strong — I don’t want to say feminist, but a strong character. Beautiful, but strong.” With these closing words, D. Finch articulates the central concern of this creative team change. With his final lines he highlights the greatest challenges for female characters across all media today:

  1. Strong women aren’t by default feminist because
  2. Feminist isn’t something we want to label female figures of authority
  3. There is an inherent and contradictory relationship between attractiveness and strength
  4. Superheroines must be overcome this contradictory relationship by being beautiful and strong, resulting all too often in hypersexualizations like Power Girl

I’m not the first to voice my objections: Susana Polo at The Mary Sue offers a summary of the issue, Janelle Asselin at Comics Alliance gives a short background to Wonder Woman’s entirely obvious feminist legacy, and Jenna McLaughlin at Mother Jones provides some insight from the director of the documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.

Whether commentators and Internet trolls like it or not, Wonder Woman has had obvious feminist deployments by comics writers and in the feminist movement in general, and her origin in William Moulton Marston’s bondage and male-dominance stories of the 1940s hearkens to a history of radical writers, mostly female, suggesting that the patriarchy get a taste of their own medicine. Wonder Woman’s Themyscira was an updated, superheroic version of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s feminist utopian Herland (1915). Utopian visions of female-only worlds abound in the history of science fiction and fantasy literature.

9780415966320_p0_v1_s260x420I do not mean to suggest that feminism advocates for a replacement of the patriarchy by a matriarchy, one in which women rule over and enslave men. Rather, these examples serve the point that, like it or not, Wonder Woman is a feminist icon. However, as Lillian S. Robinson warns in Wonder Women: Feminisms and Superheroes, we should not confuse her iconic status in the history of women’s rights and the feminist movement for feminism in general. As Shana Mlawski points out, strong female characters on their own, can harm the fight for equality for women by using scantily-clad, sexy, but strong kick-ass women to cover up the lack of social equality or justice outside of the comics, movies, and films populated by Xenas, Buffys, and Wonder Womans.

Moreover, “feminism” is a continuously evolving, often overlapping, and sometimes contradictory set of individualized, group-specific, and differently-theorized feminisms. Feminism is not a monolith, but a nexus of ideas about social justice and equality. Characters like Wonder Woman may stand as an icon, but they are far from descriptive of feminism as a whole; they describe particular feminisms. Janelle Asselin at Comics Alliance, for example, offers a critique of the current Azzarello and Chiang run, arguing that the retconning of Wonder Woman’s born-of-clay origin and the revelation that she has a father, namely Zeus, was a negative change for the character. Her biological attachment to Zeus undermined her self-made status.

Sensation-WW-1-537676042a9e82-07339885-3496f

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1

What’s at stake, then, in denying Wonder Woman the feminist title is not necessarily denying that she can be analyzed as a feminist character or, even, that she will cease to be used as a feminist icon in the ways that she has been for 74 years. It is instead a misogynist attempt to rein in positive social change in the mainstream comics industry, to deny readers’ desire for characters that bring about social and ideological change not just in the DCU or the Marvel Universe, but in our world as well. It’s also a slap in the face to common sense: there’s just no humane reason not to be feminist.

We want heroes who make change, and heroes cannot make change if they are denied identities that advocate for social justice. We want a Wonder Woman who’s not afraid of the “F” word and a creative team who understands that.

At the very least, come August we’ll have a new Wonder Woman comic to turn to: Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman.

Facebook Fandom Spotlight: Who are the US Comic Fans?

It’s the first of the month and that means a new Facebook Fandom Spotlight looking at the general comic book fan population on Facebook. We wrap up the first half of the year, looking at where things stand.

For this report, I looked at the terms we used in previous reports, over 100 “likes” on Facebook, primarily focused on terms like “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.

Facebook Population: Over 26,000,000 fans in the US

The overall amount has dropped since last month, returning to 26 million, which the population was a few months ago. Since we’ve been tracking many publishers weekly, and haven’t seen a dip, I have to assume that the dip came from generic terms like “comics” and “manga” of which we know that “manga’ has seen a serious drop every week.

Spanish speakers account for 3,400,000 fans, 13.08%. That’s a dip in the overall number, but an increase in the percentage, since the decrease of individuals was much less than the overall population.

Gender and Age

Last month men accounted for 55.71% and women for 40.71%. The percentages have shifted a bit since last month, but no major changes. Now, men make up 56.15% of the population and women 40.77%.

gender 7.1.14We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age.

gender age 7.1.14Below is the above’s raw data. Nearly every age grouping has decreased since last week, but interestingly, 50+ less so with some groups remaining the same.

age gender raw 7.1.14

Relationship Status

We’re continuing to look at the expanded data of relationships which debuted two months ago. Overall, things have remained relatively steady compared to last month. I’d expect as more people notice the expanded options over time, we’ll see some movement.

relationship 7.1.14And for those that like pie charts.

relationship pie chart 7.1.14Education

We have much greater detail as to where individuals are when it comes to their education. There’s now even more options for education. We’ll see how this changes over time.

education 7.1.14Gender Interest

We’re continuing to track the expanded results for this statistic. Like education, and relationships, gender interest has expanded with much greater detail. Compared to last month, the results have not shifted much.

gender interest 7.1.14And that wraps up this month’s Facebook Fandom Update of comic fans in the US. Join us next Monday for a brand new report!

Facebook Fandom Spotlight: Snowpiercer and Transformers: Age of Extinction Part 2

Today is the release of part two of my study, using Facebook likes, to see what the impact pre and post opening of a movie is.This past weekend saw the opening of two films of interest to comic fans. Snowpiercer is based on the graphic novel of the same name, and was in limited release, while Transformers dominated the box office with Transformers: Age of Extinction.

The study looks at the various terms in Facebook in the United States. Compared to last week Snowpiercer saw growth mostly in the United States, and particularly among women who increased four points.

Transformers: Age of Extinction opened number one at the box office and according to reports with 64% of the audience as men. The term for the movie is 61.29% male, the same as last week, and Transformers is around 58%. Pretty close to what came out opening weekend, and keeping up the record of the two statistics being pretty close for what we’ve looked at. The biggest change for the stats in general is a gain of about 1 million people for Age of Extinction, most of which were outside the United States.

Below is the statistics from the previous week, and this week’s statistics as well.

snowpiercer transformers 6.29.14 stats

 

Facebook Fandom Spotlight: Snowpiercer and Transformers: Age of Extinction

This coming weekend sees the opening of two films of interest to comic fans. Snowpiercer is based on the graphic novel of the same name while Transformers gets a new movie entry with Transformers: Age of Extinction.

This week I thought it’d be interesting to see how the opening week impacts the Facebook page growth and stats for each. We’ll then return next week and see how these pages changed and how they compare to the opening weekend audience breakdown. In this case, I’ve included every major term for Transformers movies.

snowpiercer and transformers

Interview: Women of BOOM! – Stephanie Hocutt

Stephanie_Hocutt_picIt’s Thursday which brings us a new interview and our 32nd “Women of BOOM!” feature, spotlighting the many kick-ass women that work at BOOM!, Archaia and KaBOOM! We’re focusing on everyone, editors, designers, writers, artists, you name it! We’re making sure to include the hard-working folks whose contributions are often overlooked in the process.

BOOM! (and KaBOOM! and Archaia) has given us unprecedented access and the chance to ask questions to their staff, and creative teams, to find out why the publisher is so successful in hiring women and their experiences in the comic industry as women.

Stephanie Hocutt helps with the company’s marketing as the PR Assistant, that means she gets to work on ALL of the comics!

Graphic Policy: How did you get involved in the comic book industry?

Stephanie Hocutt: I studied animation in school, but during that time I realized that my real passion was for comics. I was a freelance artist for a while, and when I heard about the internship at Archaia, I packed my bags and moved across the country in one epic road trip. After the internship, I started working at a comic shop, and now I’m here at BOOM! It’s been a wacky, winding road!

GP: Did you read comics growing up? Do you read them now?

SH: I was a voracious reader growing up, but I was kind of a late bloomer when it came to comics. My parents didn’t read them, and I grew up on military bases that didn’t really have comic shops. Instead, I was watching Batman: The Animated Series, The Adventures of Tin-Tin, Justice League Unlimited, Batman Beyond, and the 90s X-Men all the time. I started reading manga late in high school, and in college my friends started inviting me to conventions, which is where I picked up American comics. Around that same time, I studied abroad in France, where I fell in love with bande dessinées. I got hooked on European and American comics around the same time, so now my pull list consists of a wide variety of comics, and I have a library that is quickly outgrowing my apartment!

GP: How did you come to work with BOOM! or one of its imprints?

SH: I interned at Archaia a while back, and once it was over I just sort of dug my claws in and refused to go back to Virginia. I got a job at a comic shop, kept in contact with the Archaia crew, and when I found out that BOOM! was looking for a marketing assistant, I jumped at the opportunity.

GP: How would you describe your job for people?

SH: I pretty much get to talk about how awesome comics are all day! It’s incredibly exciting and I always have to think outside of the box, because there are a lot of awesome comics out there that all want to be noticed. I set up interviews with creators, work closely with press sites, host the Buzz on BOOM! YouTube show, and do everything I can to get people excited about BOOM!

GP: For people who want to pursue a career in what you do, what advice would you give them?

SH: A big part of working in this industry is knowing the right people, so get out there and mingle! Go to conventions and talk to people face-to-face, and snap up internships if you can. The most important part of an internship is the connections you make, so keep in contact with them. You’re not gonna get your dream job if you’re hiding in the shadows! It is a balancing act, though, because you also don’t want to be harassing industry professionals and come off as overbearing. Just remember to be friendly!

GP: Did you have a mentor to help you break into the industry? Do you mentor anyone yourself?

SH: I’ve had a lot of people in my life who have been incredibly supportive and helpful! One in particular is Mel Caylo, who was the Marketing Manager at Archaia when I was an intern. He taught me a lot about marketing and helped me realize that it’s a pretty rad job! Now, several years later, he’s the Marketing Manager at BOOM! and I get to work with him. Full circle!

GP: Do you think women have a more difficult time breaking in and making it in the comic industry? If so, why? And if yes, how do you think that can be overcome?

SH: Comics have been a male-dominated field for so long that it really can be difficult for women to get involved. There’s this archaic idea that inviting the girls into that treehouse is just gonna ruin it for everybody, and there are a lot of people out there who are just so afraid of change that they don’t even want to recognize it’s already happening. Women are all up in that comics biz!

So that being said, I’m going to look on the bright side and say I think it’s getting a little easier every day. It’s an awesome time to be a woman in the comics industry. Yes, there are a ton of problems that still need to be fixed, but we’re actually talking about them. People are speaking up and recognizing the problems, comic forums and conventions are creating safer spaces for women, and we’ve got awesome campaigns like “We Are Comics” that support equality and diversity in the industry. It’s an open conversation, which is the only way things will actually change.

GP: We notice that when it comes to women in the comic industry, BOOM! and its imprints have a lot of diversity present. Why do you think they have succeeded when so many other publishers struggle with this?

SH: This is actually a really difficult question to answer, because I don’t know why it’s harder for other publishers! BOOM! just works with awesome people, and those awesome people come from all walks of life, so our comics tell a wide variety of stories. It’s a great big world out there, so why would you limit yourself to working with only a specific group of people? Broaden those horizons!

GP: We’ve heard horror stories concerning women in the industry. Have you ever seen or been discriminated/harassed and if so, how did you handle it?

SH: I’ve been pretty lucky in that I haven’t been the target of a lot of harassment. When I worked in a comic shop, I would occasionally get a guy who didn’t think I actually read comics, or was really surprised when I asked if I could help him find something, but that was pretty rare because my LCS is open and inviting. Conventions have traditionally been the worst places for women, so I’m really glad people are stepping up and changing that. If I’m ever bothered by something a guy or gal says, I just call them out on it. They’re either being jerks or they didn’t even realize what they said was offensive, and now they’re learning.

I know there are a lot of women out there who haven’t been so lucky, so the most important thing is to stand together and shut that mess down. Silence kills progress, so speak up and don’t let it slide!

GP: What advice do you have for women looking to break into the comic book industry?

SH: Figure out what you want to do in comics, and do everything you can to be the best person for that position. Be persistent, friendly, and positive!

Related:

Facebook Fandom Spotlight: Comic Fans and Politics

Work is underway for the 2014 elections for the Senate, House and more. We’ll be tracking how comic fans break down in the political spectrum throughout this election year. It’s around the first of the month so I again dove into Facebook to figure out how it all shakes out and what has changed since last month’s statistics.

For these stats, I used the terms I’d normally use to determine other demographic breakdowns of comic fans. Facebook also provides the ability to break down those stats into convenient groups as far as politics which I have used. However, Facebook is now providing even more data including voter registration and donation habits.

According to Facebook 9.6 million “comic fans” are “active” politically in the United States, that’s 400,000 more than the previous report. This breaks down further into 5.4 million men (56.25%), and 4 million women (41.67%). Men have made all the gains. That also makes political active “comic fans” 19.50% of the individuals active politically which account for a little over 49 million of the 180 million individuals in the United States.

gender 6.2.14

Party affiliation is pretty clear as folks can indicate a party or none (which I assume is what the non-partisan stat is). The non-partisans make up the majority of comic fans with 48.53%, liberals are 26.47% of comic fans and 25% of comic fans or conservative. Both conservatives and liberals gained percentage wise from the previous report.

party afilliation 6.2.14

Further breakdown of gender when it comes to party affiliation:

  • Conservative: 55.88% men, 44.12% women
  • Liberal: 55.56% men, 44.44% women
  • Non-Partisan: 59.09% men, 39.39% women

According to Facebook, just under 1 million comic fans  have donated to a liberal or conservative cause and there even is some overlap of about 80,000 individuals. For “comic fans” the conservative are a bit more likely to donate than those interested in liberal causes.

donations 6.2.14

Next up is voter registration. Not shockingly Democrats have a slight edge (voter registration is a strong point of the party) and make up 49.38% of those registered, only a few percentage points more than Republicans who account for 47.20%. Below is the raw data for these stats.

registration 6.2.14

We’ll keep watching to see how the political winds might be reflected through this.

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