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Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook – US Edition

Each month I run demographic data of comic “fans” based on data mined from Facebook. We start the new year with new stats and we’ll dive deeper into the year’s trends and the years in general in a follow up post.

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.

Also, with this being online/technology, due to laws and restrictions, those under the age of 13 are underrepresented.

Facebook Population: Over 62,000,000 in the United States

That’s a decrease of 5 million individuals returning the count back to about what it was the previous month.

The Spanish-speaking population last month was 12.09%, and this month the population has increased to 12.74%.

Gender and Age

Last month men accounted for 44.78% and women were 55.22%. This month saw women saw impressive gains overall in population. Women account for 51.61% and men account for 45.16%. When looking at the data for ages men account for 28.5 million and women are 32.1 million. When it comes to relationship status men are 27.4 million and women are 31 million.

This is the sixth month in a row that women are the majority of fans. Things began to change in October when the universe was split 50/50 and they have continued to change since. These numbers tend to be ahead of noticeable changes in the industry so expect both a positive trajectory for the industry and also women leading the charge.

And we can see below, women are the majority through all age groups.

Relationship Status

Everything is down across the line when it comes to these stats.

Education

And with a smaller population we see here decreases in these groupings.

Gender Interest

Unfortunately this statistic seems to no longer be available. That’s two months in a row and with some announcements by Facebook we’ll unlikely be able to provide this until an alternative is figured out.

Ethnicity

With a smaller population, you’d expect things to drop across the board but it hasn’t. African Americans and Hispanics dropped. Asian Americans held steady from the previous month. And while Hispanics dropped overall, those identified as “Spanish dominant” increased by 100,000.

 

 

And that wraps up this month’s data. We’ll be back on the 15th for our first look at the European data of the year!

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook – European Edition

Each month I run demographic data of comic “fans” based on data mined from Facebook. Due to popular demand, I have split out and launched a “European edition” that runs on the 15th of every month!

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.

Also, with this being online/technology, due to laws and restrictions, those under the age of 13 are likely underrepresented. Europe also has some other data restrictions that will be discussed below.

After missing a month, we’re back!

Facebook Population: Over 84,000,000 in Europe

That’s an decrease of 1 million compared to the previous report. That’s 17 million more individuals compared to what I reported for the United States in the beginning of the month.

Gender and Age

In the last report, women accounted for 50.59% while men accounted for 48.24%. This month things shifted. Men now account for 47.62% and women 51.19%. The 1 million individuals whose gender is unknown is still present this month..

Similar to the previous month, we see men become the majority at age grouping 22-25 and become the minority at the group 30-33. The graph is similar to the previous month.

Relationship Status

There’s a dip from last month so some of these stats have decreased and some have increased as well. There’s no real pattern but also no major changes from the previous month.

Education

Much like “relationship statue,” education hasn’t shifted all that much either, even with the change in overall population. Some increased, some decreased.

Gender Interest

And here’s where data privacy differs. In some European nations this information can’t be reported which means either removing those countries or just not reporting on this. I chose the latter for now.

And come back next month for a new look at the data on the 1st and 15th of the month!

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook – US Edition

Each month I run demographic data of comic “fans” based on data mined from Facebook. We start the new year with new stats and we’ll dive deeper into the year’s trends and the years in general in a follow up post.

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.

Also, with this being online/technology, due to laws and restrictions, those under the age of 13 are underrepresented.

Facebook Population: Over 67,000,000 in the United States

That’s an increase of 6 million individuals which is on top of the 4 million individuals gained last month.

The Spanish-speaking population last month was 12.62%, and this month the population has decreased to 12.09%.

Gender and Age

Last month men accounted for 45.90% and women were 52.46%. This month saw women saw impressive gains overall in population. Women account for 55.22% and men account for 44.78%. When looking at the data for ages men account for 28.6 million and women are 31.8 million. When it comes to relationship status men are 28.8 million and women are 35.3 million.

This is the fifth month in a row that women are the majority of fans. Things began to change in October when the universe was split 50/50 and they have continued to change since. These numbers tend to be ahead of noticeable changes in the industry so expect both a boost overall and also women leading the charge.

And we can see below, women are the majority other than ages 22-25 which is close to a 50/50 split.

Relationship Status

With a bigger population, every overall segment grew from the previous month. The largest grown was those “Single” and “Unspecified” which each saw 2 million individuals.

Education

And with a larger population we see here increases in these groupings.

Gender Interest

Unfortunately this statistic seems to no longer be available. We’ll see if this is just this month or will be an issue going forward at which point we’ll figure out a new way to pull the data.

Ethnicity

African Americans increased by 2,500,000 since the previous month. African American women increase 2,500,000 while men increased 1,100,000. Asian Americans decreased by 100,000. Hispanics increased across the board with the population increasing 400,000.

 

 

And that wraps up the first Demo-Graphics of the year! We’ll be back with trends over the year (and years) and some new data I’ve been sitting on. Also, we’ll be back on the 15th for our first look at the European data of the year!

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook – European Edition

Each month I run demographic data of comic “fans” based on data mined from Facebook. Due to popular demand, I have split out and launched a “European edition” that runs on the 15th of every month! (We’re a few days late this month).

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.

Also, with this being online/technology, due to laws and restrictions, those under the age of 13 are likely underrepresented. Europe also has some other data restrictions that will be discussed below.

After missing a month, we’re back!

Facebook Population: Over 85,000,000 in Europe

That’s an increase of 3 million compared to the previous report. That’s 24 million more individuals compared to what I reported for the United States in the beginning of the month.

Gender and Age

In November women accounted for 51.22% while men accounted for 48.78%. This month things shifted. Men now account for 48.24% and women 50.59%. There’s now 1 million individuals whose gender is unknown.

Similar to the previous month, we see men become the majority at age grouping 22-25 and become the minority at the group 30-33. Unlike last month, the dip of 62-64 is not present.

Relationship Status

With an increase in population, these numbers remain pretty steady from the previous month. Those “married” increased by 1 million but otherwise groups remained the same or increased in the thousands (“In relationship” increased by 100,000).

Education

Much like “relationship statue,” education hasn’t shifted all that much either, even with the increased population.

Gender Interest

And here’s where data privacy differs. In some European nations this information can’t be reported which means either removing those countries or just not reporting on this. I chose the latter for now.

And come back next month for a new look at the data on the 1st and 15th of the month!

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook – US Edition

Each month I run demographic data of comic “fans” based on data mined from Facebook. We start the new year with new stats and we’ll dive deeper into the year’s trends and the years in general in a follow up post.

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.

Also, with this being online/technology, due to laws and restrictions, those under the age of 13 are underrepresented.

Facebook Population: Over 61,000,000 in the United States

That’s an increase of 4 million individuals returning the amount to the same level as two months ago.

The Spanish-speaking population last month was 13.16%, and this month the population has decreased to 12.62%, similar to what it was two months ago.

Gender and Age

Last month men accounted for 45.61% and women were 52.63%. This month saw women dip more than men in the overall population. Women account for 52.46% and men account for 45.90%. When looking at the data for ages men account for 28.6 million and women are 31.8 million. When it comes to relationship status men are 27.6 million and women are 30.8 million.

This is the fourth month in a row that women are the majority of fans. Things began to change in October when the universe was split 50/50.

And we can see below, women are the majority other than ages 22-25 which is close to a 50/50 split.

Relationship Status

The the overall population has grown, not all “relationship status” have. “Single” remains stagnant while everything else saw a boost, though both men and women saw increases. The overall population count remains unchanged.

Education

Almost ever education level increased compared to last month except for those in High School or Some High School. Some High School was down across the board while women dipped that are in High School. Men in High School and overall remained the same as the previous month.

Gender Interest

With an increased population things have gotten interesting with this state. “Men interesting in men,” “women interested in women” increased in population and percent. Men and women interested in “men and women” both increased in overall population though “women interested in men and women” decreased in percent.

Ethnicity

African Americans increased by 900,000 since the previous month. African American women increase 500,000 while men increased 300,000. Asian Americans increased by 200,000. Hispanics increased across the board with the population increasing 500,000.

 

 

And that wraps up the first Demo-Graphics of the year! We’ll be back with trends over the year (and years) and some new data I’ve been sitting on. Also, we’ll be back on the 15th for our first look at the European data of the year!

The Comics Are All Right: It’s the Top 300 Stupid

During Bill Clinton’s 1992 Presidential campaign, the motto “It’s the economy stupid” become a driving force of the campaign as a reminder to focus on what mattered and not get distracted. Here at “The Comics Are All Right” I’m taking some of that advice leaving opinions and biases at the door in an attempt to suss out what might be going on in the comic book industry. In short, what do the numbers tell?

While much of the blame of 2017’s downturn is focused on Marvel, when you look at the overall numbers, you notice a story of a different sort, blame sits at the feet of the “top 300.”

Via data published on Comichron, I’ve been crunching numbers to see what, if anything, stands out. For this report, I’m going to focus on the last five years of data.

Lets first look at the yearly numbers. From 2013 we see an increase across the board until 2017 where the overall dollars drops to the second lowest amount in five years.

Here’s what stands out between 2016 and 2017’s numbers:

  • Overall Diamond drop $58,660,000
  • “Dollars sales for All Diamond’s Comics” dropped $36,000,000
  • Diamond’s Top 300 Comics dropped $35,870,000

That means dollars earned from what’s not in the top 300 only dropped $130,000.

But, the unit sales tell us an even more interesting story.

Here’s the key takeaways:

  • Unit Sales for All Diamond’s Comics dropped 9,610,000
  • Unit Sales for Diamond’s Top 300 Comic Books dropped 9,610,000

Wait…. what?

Yes, according to the data, the unit sales lost from 2016 to 2017 is solely focused on the top 300. Unit sales not in the top 300 remained the same from 2016 to 2017.

We can see this in the monthly trend below which is the same information of units broken down by month.

While we can see units not in the 300 has dropped in months like overall comics, the trend increases over time.

Maybe it’s not comics overall that are struggling after all?

So, knowing the “top 300” is the problem, the question is, what exactly within the top 300? That’s an exploration for another time.

The Comics Are All Right: Is the Economic Index an Indicator for Comics?

Diamond Comic Distributor‘s Decembers numbers have been recently released so I’m diving in crunching numbers over the last year to see if there’s any upsides to a down year (the answer is, yes). While final numbers for the year won’t be released until later this year, we can do some initial looks and see what stands out.

2017 ended seven years of gains when it comes to comics released through Diamond with an estimated $522.2 million in comics, trades, magazines, and more sold through them. That number is still higher than 2013’s $517.7 million the middle of the boom.

One thing I remember when running my own store was that geek shops do better in down economies. So, I decided to put that to the test by comparing monthly units shipped with the Gallup Economic Confidence Index. For those unfamiliar:

Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index is based on the combined responses to two questions, the first asking Americans to rate economic conditions in this country today, and second, whether they think economic conditions in the country as a whole are getting better or getting worse. Monthly results are based on telephone interviews with approximately 15,000 national adults; margin of error is ±1 percentage point.

And below is the results for the last three years (and I plan on going further back).

While it 2017 and to some extent 2016 matches well up to the belief, 2015 throws it into question. We can probably say though that there’s something there and it merits further research. It does seem that the comic industry did better when confidence was low overall for the last three years and as confidence increased in 2017, the comic industry decreased.

Now, to see if this holds up going back to 2008….

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook – European Edition

Each month I run demographic data of comic “fans” based on data mined from Facebook. Due to popular demand, I have split out and launched a “European edition” that runs on the 15th of every month! (We’re a few days late this month).

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.

Also, with this being online/technology, due to laws and restrictions, those under the age of 13 are likely underrepresented. Europe also has some other data restrictions that will be discussed below.

After missing a month, we’re back!

Facebook Population: Over 82,000,000 in Europe

That’s an increase of 2 million compared to the previous report. That’s 25 million more individuals compared to what I reported for the United States in the beginning of the month.

Gender and Age

In November women accounted for 51.25% while men accounted for 47.5%. This month things shifted a lot. Men now account for 48.78% and women 51.22%.

Like the previous reporting the age and gender is all over the place with the majority traded off multiple times.

Relationship Status

Things haven’t shifted too much but “single” and “unspecified” did increase by 1 million each.

Education

Education hasn’t shifted too much since last month.

Gender Interest

And here’s where data privacy differs. In some European nations this information can’t be reported which means either removing those countries or just not reporting on this. I chose the latter for now.

And come back next month for a new look at the data on the 1st and 15th of the month!

Are Indies Selling More Now Than Ever Before?

I was talking to the owner of my local comic shop (LCS) about the state of the comics scene, or more specifically where Marvel is standing in the shop. When I said that perhaps the best thing to have happened to the indie comics scenes in recent years was Marvel’s constant cycle of events followed by a new number one, rinsed and repeated ad nauseam. There was a time when I had a god awful number of Marvel books on my pull list, but that has changed gradually over the past year or so as I began to find myself drawn toward Valiant, and more recently toward Alterna. My pull list now consists of “everything that Valiant and most of Alterna put out,” which is almost a complete 180 from where it was just four years ago.

I don’t think I’m alone, either.

While Marvel and DC Comics will always have a following, whether because of the popularity of the movies, television shows, or a general cultural awareness, I’ve noticed in the last couple of years that there seems to be a growing buzz around publishers that have traditionally been on the fringe. It’s something my LCS has noticed as well though whether that’s indicative of a global trend or merely something on a smaller scale level among my social circle, I’m unsure – and honestly I’m not entirely sure how to go about finding that out in a way that isn’t going to take a lot of work and time (neither of which I’m currently inclined to invest).

Comichron‘s sales numbers will give me an idea, but as they’re only of print copies sold through Diamond and don’t include digital or sales directly from the creator to the consumer (such as those at conventions) then they’re only ever going to provide a limited window into the sales results. There’s also no real way to tell which individual comics people are buying, and whether their buying habits have shifted from the two major publishers to the indies, or if the indies are attracting a whole new audience.

What that means, is that this will at best be conjecture based on an interpretation of sales figures and a couple of conversations with comic shop owners, and at worst just the ramblings of a comics fan who has too much time on his hands.

But then you expect that by now, eh?

In an attempt to at least keep some semblance of organization and formula I’m going to stick with the same month each year for five years (let’s arbitrarily pick October for no reason other than the data will be in for 2017 by now) and take a look at the top ten, which I fully expect to be mostly comprised of Marvel, DC and Walking Dead as well as the amount of comics sold, and the market share of the top ten publishers. Octobers.PNG

Market share.PNG

The years follow the same as above. 2013 on the left and on to 2017 on the right.

Looking at the top ten over the last five years for October, we notice that Marvel held 29 of the 50 top spots, DC had 17, Image had 3, and BOOM! popped their head in with a single entry. Ultimately, that doesn’t surprise me given what was happening in those months (judging primarily by the comics in the list above), although there does tend to be a general decline in sales for the top ten over the past two years, there has been more of a balance between Marvel and DC. Now obviously because we’re only looking at one month out of the year, it’s hard to get a general sense of how the comics performed over the years, so I also went and grabbed the same data for the complete* years we’re looking at (*at the time of writing we don’t have December 2017), which you can find below. Let’s not ask why this wasn’t done in the first place, eh?

total sales.PNG

You’ll notice in 2015 three of the top four comics have an asterisk beside their name. That’s because they were included in a subscription box, and as such there really isn’t an accurate number for the comics sold minus those that went to a subscription box, I also included the comics ranked from 11-13 as well. Likewise for 2016 and the comic ranked at 11. With those additional comics included, there does seem to be a general decline in sales among the top ten even as the balance shifts from Marvel to DC over the course of the last two years thanks primarily to DC’s Rebirth. But, and here’s what I find interesting, the sales of the top 300 comics haven’t really seen the decline that I was expecting to see based on the conversations I have had with retailers before doing this research.

Now it should be mentioned that these numbers are exclusive to the US, and the retailers I spoke to were based in Canada. Whether there’s a correlation to explore there, I don’t know.

Does this mean that the difference in sales in individual shops as people trend toward the independent comics are anecdotal, or are they localized trends that we won’t notice on the top ten of each of the last five years alone?

I think that ultimately, both are true. Whilst the majority of comics buyers are still looking toward Marvel and DC, in the next decade I wouldn’t be surprised to see more books higher up the sales charts from other publishers as people branch out toward the indies.

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook – US Edition

Each month I run demographic data of comic “fans” based on data mined from Facebook. We start the new year with new stats and we’ll dive deeper into the year’s trends and the years in general in a follow up post.

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.

Also, with this being online/technology, due to laws and restrictions, those under the age of 13 are underrepresented.

Facebook Population: Over 57,000,000 in the United States

That’s an decrease of 4 million individuals returning the amount to similar levels as two years ago. We’ll see if the European numbers dip in two weeks time.

The Spanish-speaking population last month was 12.95%, and this month the population has increased to 13.16% due to the smaller total population.

Gender and Age

Last month men accounted for 44.26% and women were 54.10%. This month saw women dip more than men in the overall population. Women account for 52.63% and men account for 45.61%. When looking at the data for ages men account for 26.7 million and women are 29.5 million. When it comes to relationship status men are 25.9 million and women are 28.8 million.

Unlike previous months, men do become a majority at a point.

Relationship Status

With a smaller population, we see a dip in some, but not all, populations. “Single,” “in relationship,” “married,” “unspecified” have all dipped the most. Only “engaged” remained unchanged.

Education

Things have dipped pretty much across the board but we see that especially in the high school range.

Gender Interest

With a smaller population, almost everything has dipped since last month. “Men interesting in women” remains the same. “Men interested in men” remains the same in percent as well as “men interested in men and women.” “Women interested in men and women” increased in percent from 1.19% to 1.22% and “women interested in women” decreased as a percent.

Ethnicity

African Americans saw a dip over the month decreasing by 2.4 million and decreasing to 15.09% of the population from last month’s 18.03%. Most of that loss was seen in African American women who decreased 1.4 million.

Asian Americans saw a small decrease of 100,000 individuals and Hispanics decreased by 300,000.

 

 

And that wraps up the first Demo-Graphics of the year! We’ll be back with trends over the year (and years) and some new data I’ve been sitting on. Also, we’ll be back on the 15th for our first look at the European data of the year!

Almost American
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