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DC and Webtoon Team for New Webcomics

DC Comics logo

It’s was only a time before a major publisher did it, by DC and Webtoon have cut a deal to bring DC’s superheroes to webcomics.

DC and Webtoon will release standalone webcomics that will “appeal to all fans”. The goal is to not need to know or read any previous stories.

The details are slim but expect popular characters and the tentpole characters to start. More will be announced in the next few weeks. The webcomics will be available in English to start the then translated into other languages.

The webcomics are available in the free Webtoon app for Android and iOS and what readers need/can purchase can vary. It’s unknown if readers will need to purchase the DC releases and how that’ll work.

Webtoon says it averages 72 million monthly active users. 10 million of those are in the United States. The platform’s audience is in the 16-24 year old range.


The move for DC is a smart one as Webtoon’s platform has grown in popularity with a massive reach and the younger demographics than the average comic reader (who is in the mid-30s and up) will allow DC to build an audience that might convert later to other releases by the company. The publisher’s graphic novels for young readers covers the 15 and under set, Webtoon now the 16-24 age, and regular publishing is likely 30 years old and up. That leaves options for age ranges and new ways to consumer properties when they grow out of the current way they’re reading comics.

DC has focused on the future in recent years. Not only have they expanded their “digital first” offerings, but have looked to expand their readership and markets. The publisher has made deals with Walmart for exclusive releases as well as focused heavily on graphic novel for younger readers. Both have done quite well for the company.

Webtoon also has partnerships with Legendary, Pow!, and Top Cow Productions.

(via Variety)

Riot at Xavier’s, a Character Study in juvenile political rebellion

New X-Men #137

The following article is a revised version of a post originally from my Tumblr blog Alfie talks about comics

Created by Grant Morrison and Keron Grant, Quentin Quire first appears in New X-Men #134, which then leads into the “Riot at Xavier’s” arc that spans from New X-Men #135 to #137 with an epilogue in issue #138. Quentin, the primary character and antagonist of the arc, is a vehicle for Morrison and co to tell a story about the surface-level politics alienated teenagers sometimes adopt. The kind of person who doesn’t care to meaningfully understand a political ideology but instead dresses in the aesthetics and symbolism of an ideology as a means to performatively rebel against their elders and the world around them.

Many readers have drawn connections to Quentin Quire and the alt-right that would arise about a decade after the publication of Riot at Xavier’s. The alt-right, a primarily online Neo-fascist political movement, came to prominence in the 2010s. It prayed upon young, disenfranchised men as its primary recruiting demographic. In this way it mimics the social critique Morrison makes with Quentin Quire. This has led many readers to draw a direct line between the two. There is a belief that Quentin Quire is an uncanny proto-alt-right character. However I would argue for a different read of the text and the critique it makes.

Quentin is alienated and feels rejected after learning from his parents that he was adopted. This revalation fundamentally shakes his sense of self and throws him into questioning every aspect of his life. He lashes out because he feels disenfranchised. By rejecting Xavier’s dream he is venting his frustrations at the world, it’s an outlet, not a sincere position. Quentin adopts outrage at the death of Jumbo Carnation not out of genuine anger at the grizzly murder, instead he takes the position when it becomes another outlet for him to point out the supposed hypocrisy of his elders and fuel his anger.

Throughout the arc we see Quentin’s acts of rebellion escalate more and more into violent and destructive outbursts. It starts with cruelty to his peers, his actions escalate further when he and his Omega Gang start assaulting random groups of bigoted humans.

Quentin at the climax of the riot exclaims “So much for the dream! All my life I’ve waited for this “dream” to come true! We were promised peace and security! All my life! Where is it!” Here we see his true motivations laid bare, he feels disowned and abandoned after learning about his adoption. And now he thinks his teachers also have failed him. Quentin Quire has devastating abandonment issues that fuel his actions in Riot at Xavier’s.

As much as the riot itself escalates the Omega Gang lack clear goals or demands for their actions. They are just wildly lashing out because of the drug Kick and juvenile angst. It’s very much like a baby crying out for the attention of the adults.

In their sadism, the Omega Gang are blind and uninterested to the real harm done to their fellow Mutants as shown when they attack a U-Men base. Instead of seeing that the U-Men are planning on attacking Xavier’s students, they obsess over sadistically murdering a U-Man. Their riot leads to the death of Dummy of the special class. It’s a display that they are uninterested in actually fighting against anti-Mutant bigotry but more use the concept of humans as a target for Quentin’s violence, their ideology is style over substance. They aren’t interested in politics or understanding the reason for practicing them, they are only interested in the act itself.

Earlier in the arc, we see Quentin wearing a shirt that reads “Magneto was right” which is a parallel to the real-life use of Che Guevara on graphic T-shirts that were popular in the early 00s among students, the comparison Morrison is making is from an inexperienced juvenile ideology dressed up in leftist aesthetics. Much like in the real-life co-option of leftist imagery the adoption of the motto  “Magneto was right” doesn’t represent an actual political position but the rebelling against the positions of the professor, the politics are purely stripped out and made into an aesthetic. 

With the use of Kick, what was a normal rebellion for a teenager going through turmoil becomes the source of tangible harm, the Omega Gang’s actions don’t do anything to avenge Jumbo’s death. They lash out without caring to understand the violent consequences of their actions. It’s action for the sake of action, a cult of action which is most commonly known as a characteristic of fascism as identified by Umberto Eco in Ur-Fascism. However I  think that kind of methodology (or lack thereof) isn’t inherently right-wing in nature, it can be found in unguided, vague, often experienced political organizing from many groups across the political spectrum.

In “Riot at Xavier’s” Grant Morrison tells a story about adolescent angst and political posturing. In most children, this is a healthy if somewhat cringeworthy point in development. In the case of Quentin Quire, this development is derailed by a combination of Kick and his rapidly out-of-control Mutant gift. Quentin’s politics are neither left nor right-wing, they are vapid and void of political substance, if anything it’s dressed up in imagery of the left wing. While Quentin’s path does mimic that of many young men who fell into the alt-right, disenfranchised and angry looking for an outlet I don’t think that means that he needs to represent that subculture. I think that given time the character of Quentin Quire could grow and evolve out of this phase which luckily we are now seeing done masterfully in X-Force by Benjamin Percy, I’m excited to see how this character continues to grow up with his second chance, and hope that readers open themselves up to seeing how he can grow behind his original actions in Riot at Xavier’s

Review: Ginseng Roots #4

Ginseng Roots #4

As a native of New York, I have seen the city change over the years. My neighborhood changed demographics within waves of five to ten years. It went from being influential to the middle class. Then right after I joined the military, it went through one more transformation, gentrification.

Neighbors whom I knew for a lifetime, lost their homes. It wasn’t lost on me that this was part of the larger machine. As it is with the “Haves and Have Nots”, those with money have choices. Those who don’t are at somebody’s will.  In the years since then, it has increasingly more prevalent and pervasive, with no urgency for equity. In Ginseng Roots #4, Craig Thompson gives readers another dimension to gentrification, as he illuminates the reader on how it affects rural communities.

We find the Thompson siblings visiting an old friend, Rollie, whom they work for in the summers they did not work the Ginseng gardens. There they did even more grueling work, rock picking. The reader soon finds out just how crucial the work was to pruning ginseng, and how it helped the different Ginseng farmers. The reader eventually finds out there are a plethora of different types of ginseng roots, and all of them are used differently, even inspiring some childhood friends to make Ginseng beer. By the issue’s end, Thompson tethers his childhood experiences to the concept that ginseng is more than root to him and the people he loves.

Overall, Ginseng Roots #4 is a fascinating issue that illuminates while it educates. The story by Craig Thompson is authentic. The art by Thompson is wonderful. Altogether, Thompson gives the reader an issue that focuses on something that matters.

Story: Craig Thompson Art: Craig Thompson
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Purchase: Uncivilized Books

4 Color Fantasies Wins the February Story Spotlight. Nominations Start For March!

We kicked off 2021 with a new initiative to help promote comic shops around the world! Each month we’ll provide free advertising for a comic shop along with worthy non-profits. Yes, free!

February’s winner is 4 Color Fantasies which dominated the voting!

Here’s what was said about the shop in the nomination:

Chris Brady and the team at 4 Color Fantasies have been integral to my comic fandom. Always supportive, accommodating, and kind, the store makes an effort to foster an environment where readers new and old from every demographic, can enjoy comic books. They’re a class act that deserves to be celebrated.

Your favorite shop didn’t win? The nominations are open again for March so get to work!

We’re accepting nominations for shops until the 15th of each month. Then the comic community will vote on who should get the advertising starting on the 16th and going to the end of the month. We’re looking for great shops that help add something positive and special to the comic industry (prefer physical stores).

Z2 Comics Partners with Simon & Schuster for Global Distribution Deal

Z2 Comics has been steadily building a reputation as the market leader of graphic fiction tied to musical releases. Whether expanding upon album or artist storylines, or building upon the legacy of past acts, the diverse publisher brings new readers into the comic book medium from demographics as varied as the music itself. Ahead an ambitious slate of fall releases, the company has already entered into an agreement with Simon & Schuster, Inc. to distribute its titles into the global book trade.

Recently, Z2 Comics released its biggest title to date, Grateful Dead: Origins, to critical and audience acclaim alike. The publisher’s Charlie Parker biopic is already showing signs of being one of the year’s most critically acclaimed releases.

For the company’s rebrand, Z2 partnered with Brooklyn-based designer, Christina Nahas, whose previous work includes branding and logo design for MTV’s TRL relanch and rebrand, along with the 2018 relaunch of Loudwire, as well as design for the popular TV series Shameless.

Z2 Comics logo

Around the Tubes


It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d you all get? What’d you enjoy? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below. While you think about that, here’s some comic news from around the web.

Newsarama – Image Publisher: ‘There Are Way Too Many Books’ for Comic Stores to Handle – Well yes, but not all stores should be carrying all books. That doesn’t get mentioned well enough. Your store should cater to your demographics, customers, neighborhood. Not every store should have the same stock and purchases.

Newsarama – TNT’s Snowpiercer Teaser, Premiere Date – It can’t get here soon enough.

Ava DuVernay Teams with HBO Max for Brian Wood’s DMZ


Ava DuVernay is in the DC Comics property business as she’s working on her second property for the comic publisher. DuVernay and HBO are adapting the second American Civil War comic DMZ. DuVernay is currently working on New Gods adapting the Jack Kirby DC Comics creations. HBO and DC Comics have the same parent company, AT&T.

DMZ was published by the DC imprint Vertigo and followed a young man as he navigated the maze that is the DMZ of Manhattan which separates the split American nation of the former federal government and Free States. Wood worked on the series with co-creator and artist Riccardo Burchielli and it was released from 2005 to 2012. John Paul Leon also provided art on the series, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher, and colored by Jeromy Cox.

DMZ‘s creator Brian Wood is not without issues. The comic creator has been accused of harassment by multiple women which resulted in publisher Dark Horse canceling their current and future projects with the creator.

The television series focuses on a female medic on the island who tries to keep the residents alive while also trying to find her lost son.

This is the second series that HBO has produced based around a civil war. Confederate was a planned series that was developed for the channel by David Benioff and D. B. Wess. The concept was the American Civil War ending in a stalemate and some described it as “slavery fan fiction.” That project was scrapped due to public reaction.

DMZ too is a stalemate civil war story, without the slavery, which indicates HBO is looking for this narrative to play to a certain demographic.

Production of DMZ is set to begin in early 2020.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Wins the Weekend Box Office But Doesn’t Meet Expectations

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil won the weekend box office with an estimated $36 million knocking Joker from the top spot. The earning was almost half of the $69.4 million of the original film. It was predicted to open in the mid-$40 million range. The film did get an “A” CinemaScre and is well-reviewed by audiences so it wasn’t the quality of the film itself that was the issue. The movie crowd was 56% female and 54% aged 25 or older. The original film was 60% female and a little younger.

Internationally, the film opened in all major markets earning $117 million bringing the worldwide total to $153 million.

Joker dipped to second place in its third week. It dropped just 48% which is a strong performance of an estimated $29.2 million domestically. It has now earned $247.2 million at the domestic box office. Internationally, the film added $77.8 million for a foreign total of $490.3 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $737.5 million. With such success over three weeks, the question is if the film will cross the coveted $1 billion mark.

Zombieland 2: Double Tap opened in third with a stronger than expected $26.7 million. It beat the original film which earned $24.7 million ten years ago. The film earned a “B+” CinemaScore and saw a crowd that was 57% male and 56% was aged 25 and older. That male demographic is an issue as it’s almost the opposite o the original film and horror films tend to do well with women.

Internationally, the film is playing in 17 markets and earned $5 million to bring that total to $5.3 million. It opens in Russia, Brazil, and Mexico this coming weekend with France on October 30, Germany on November 7, South Korea on November 13, Italy on November 14, and Japan on November 22.

The Addams Family earned an estimated $16.1 million in its second weekend to bring its domestic total to $56.8 million after ten days.

Rounding out the top five was Gemini Man which dropped 59% in its second weekend. The film earned $8.5 million to bring its domestic total to $36.5 million. Internationally, the film earned an estimated $33.4 million, the majority from China. The film’s international total is $82.2 million for a worldwide earning of $118.7 million.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive into 2019’s comic adaptations.

Demo-Graphics: The State of DC Entertainment

We’ve kicked off our yearly review of comic fandom demographics! We’ve already posted Facebook‘s general stats, and tomorrow will be Marvel, followed by Indie comics, and the industry as a whole. Up now 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.

Facebook DC Comics Fan Population: Over 28,000,000 US

In the year since we’ve run these stats, the population has grown 5 million. In 2017 it stood at 23 million and 2016 it was 11 million individuals. In 2015 it was 12 million and in 2014 it was 7.6 million.

In 2014 Spanish speakers accounted for 14.55%, 2015 it was 14.17%, in 2016 it was 18.18%. 2017 the group shrunk to 12.86% but the population grew 1.6 million to 3.6 million individuals.

Gender and Age

In 2014, men accounted for 68.18% and women were 28.64% of the DC population. In 2015 men accounted for 73.33% and women were 27.50%. In 2016 56.36% of the population was male and 40% female. in 2017 it was women for 47.83% and men 52.17%.

In the year since, women are now 53.57% and men 46.43%, this follows the trend we’ve seen for the last ten months of women being the majority of comic fans

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

Unlike last year, men are at no point a majority. In facet women are over 60% of the fans under the age of 18. While we might not know why, there’s a chance DC Superhero Girls have helped grow that segment.

Relationship Status

The overall population has increased and so have most of the below. Those that haven’t have seen no change. There are some individual genders that have decreased though. Single men is an example and that decreased 200,000 while the overall population of that demographic grew 400,000.


Much like the above, some increased and some decreased for specific genders.


Every ethnicity has grown since last year. African American fans increased by 1.2 million. Asian Americans saw an increase of 110,000. Hispanics saw an increase of 1.1 million with each sub-group increasing as well.

Come back tomorrow when we’ll look at stats for Marvel!

Demo-Graphics: Facebook US Users

Were continuing our year look at demographics of the comic industry and while we focus on comics, we need to see how Facebook has changed to better understand what has happened. It’s been a year since I last looked at the data, and much has changed.

We’ll also be using this data to see how things might impact the comic fan population, and how comic fans compare to the general Facebook population.

Unlike my other reports, this one focuses just on people who are on Facebook and located in the United States. No terms are used at all as far as likes, interests, etc.

Facebook Population: Over 240,000,000 in the United States

Since July of 2017, the population of Facebook users has increased by 9 million individuals. That’s much slower than the 33 million growth from 2016 into 2017. Of that, Spanish speakers now account for 13.33% with 32 million individuals. That’s down from 2017 which was 33 million or 14.29%.

Gender and Age

In 2014, men accounted for 45.56% and women were 53.33%. In 2015 it was 53.40% women and 46.07% men. In 2016 women accounted for 54.04% while men accounted for 45.45%. In 2017 women dipped to 52.38% while men account for 45.89%. In 2018 women continued to decrease in percent of population with 50% while men remained relatively steady with 45.83%.

In the United States as a whole, women account for 51%, while men are about 49%, that was as of the 2010 Census. So, Facebook skewers slightly less female.

We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age. Men have become a majority from ages 26-29, the same as last year and there’s also more age ranges where the two demographics split 50/50.

Relationship Status

While the overall population increased, it doesn’t mean all of the below has. Many of the various groups have actually dipped from the previous year other than those “unspecified” which increased by 4 million.


Much like relationships, even though the overall population increased it doesn’t mean that each of these groupings have. While there’s some, overall, it’s mixed like the above.


The African American population increased since last year by about 4 million individuals and 1.15 percentage points. Asian Americans increased by 500,000 and 0.53 percentage points. Hispanics increased by 6 million and 1.96 percentage points.

Now that we know where Facebook as a whole stands, we’ll explore more specifics! Join us tomorrow when we start to dive into specific stats, up first DC Entertainment!

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