The Comics Are All Right: Actually, They’re Left

When putting together the monthly Demo-Graphic reports that looks into the demographics of those who like comics on Facebook, I collect much more data than what’s reported. Beyond demographic data like age, education, and gender, I also look into party affiliation, incomes, and more for those in the United States.

So, when I’m not analyzing comic sales, marketing, and retail specifically, I thought it might be interesting to dive into this data revealing it for the first time. Some of this data goes back to 2014.

So, lets begin.

Along with data such as age and gender, Facebook also tracks your political leaning and places individuals into five categories (at one point non-partisan was used but that stopped being a category in 2014):

  • Conservative
  • Liberal
  • Moderate
  • Very Conservative
  • Very Liberal

This is based on what you label yourself as as well as to how you interact online. I’m categorized as “very liberal” as an example which is absolutely correct.

Each category has an overall total and then there’s the amount within the United States (someone can be engaged in American politics overseas, Americans abroad is the best example of that) Here’s where Facebook stands today based on the 230 million individuals in the United States.

Overall – 218,751,337 total individuals

  • Conservative – 41,658,731 (18.11%)
  • Liberal – 56,457,376 (24.55%)
  • Moderate – 50,636,131 (22.02%)
  • Very Conservative – 28,610,146 (12.44%)
  • Very Liberal – 42,388,953 (18.43%)

Within the United States – 196,000,000 total individuals

  • Conservative – 38,000,000 (16.52%)
  • Liberal – 49,000,000 (21.30%)
  • Moderate – 46,000,000 (20.00%)
  • Very Conservative – 26,000,000 (11.30%)
  • Very Liberal – 37,000,000 (16.09%)

And lumping these categories into more simplified categories:

Overall

  • Conservative – 70,268,877 (30.55%)
  • Liberal – 98,846,329 (42.98%)
  • Moderate – 50,636,131 (22.02%)

Within the United States

  • Conservative – 64,000,000 (27.83%)
  • Liberal – 86,000,000 (37.39%)
  • Moderate – 46,000,000 (20.00%)

We can see that liberals outnumber conservatives on the Facebook platform and even “very liberal” almost outnumbers “conservative.” Here’s the above data since March of 2014. We can see that liberals weren’t always a majority and that “very liberal” has seen a surge in 2017 coinciding with President Trump’s first year.

And here’s that data combined into just three categories.

We can see that liberals outnumber both conservatives and moderates with those that are conservative being the second largest population.

How do comic fans compare?

While there was a point that conservatives were a majority, that isn’t the case when it comes to comic fans. Going back even further to December 2013:

We can see that there is indeed a difference between the general Facebook population and comic fans. While moderates are briefly a majority of the general population, that’s not the case with comic fans and we can see the how things dip with the general flow of the comic population.

What’s particularly interesting is the difference between liberal (and very) and the other categories compared to the general population. While the general Facebook population seems to have similar regular growth across, we can see the comic population is pretty volatile (beyond the population ebbs and flows).Looking at the combined data what’s interesting is that those labelled as conservative comic fans are close to those that are moderate. This is in stark contrast to the overall Facebook population. Comic fans are not only liberal, they lean very left compared to the overall Facebook user base in the United States.

So what does this mean?

Comics have a long progressive history. The earliest talked about class and society. Superman’s earliest villains were crooked politicians and slumlords. Captain America advocated entering World War II a year before Pearl Harbor. There’s a long tradition within the pages.

While some regressive individuals think comics are too political, too left, “full of SJW (social justice warrior) crap,” the reality is that the fans are absolutely that. So, if the industry is supposed to market to the readers, why shouldn’t they also be progressive, liberal, and diverse?

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