Tag Archives: study

One in Four Adult Comic Readers is 65 Years or Older

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Simba Information, publisher of the “Trade E-Book Publishingreport series, has found that nearly one in four adult comic readers is 65 years of age or older, according to the newly released second edition of its “Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Marketreport.

Warren Pawlowski, online publishing manager for Simba Information and an analyst within the company’s Trade Books Group had this to say:

Despite notable efforts from many in the industry, comics and graphic novels continue to be repeatedly mislabeled as just another children’s book category.  With nearly a quarter of the comic reading audience beyond the age of retirement, there is a misconception that needs to be corrected.

“Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market 2009-2010” also includes demographic comparisons to book buyers and the general population, bestseller analysis of the three major segments within the comic industry — comic books, graphic novels and manga — featuring multiple listings of the top titles and publishers by both title output and total dollar sales, as well as sales forecasts for the coming year.

If you’ve got a spare $1,295 and up, you can purchase a copy of the report here.  If you decide to be my best friend and get me a copy, I promise to get the first round of beer when we get together next.

Simba has also launched a new website that has ongoing analysis.

Superheroes Bad Role Models

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Role ModelsSuperheroes used to embody the “American ideals,” promoting democracy and freedom in a mildly violent way.  But researchers say today’s superheroes are sending the wrong images to today’s youth.

According to the American Psychological Association:

The “macho” role models in comic books and movies may be damaging the social skills of teenagers and even affecting their performance at school, it is claimed.

US psychologist Professor Sharon Lamb, from the University of Massachusetts in Boston, said: “Today’s superhero is too much like an action hero who participates in non-stop violence; he’s aggressive, sarcastic, and rarely speaks to the virtue of doing good for humanity.”

Professor Lamb’s research says that today’s boys only have two options of people to look up to when it comes to today’s media “superheroes and slackers.”

The difference between the superheroes of the past and today, is that the characters of the past “were real people with real problems and many vulnerabilities.”

The study surveyed 674 boys ages 4 to 18.  Lamb also hints the role of the “slacker” might be hurting boys achievements.  Funny since a recent study said the reading of comic books helps youth when it comes to reading.

Also lumped into this article is a study of masculinity and how youth internalize it, crossing two totally separate issues.

The article also fails to mention how the researchers isolated any other influences on youth.  This quote from Prof. Lamb is what I’m referring to:

Today’s superhero is too much like an action hero who participates in non-stop violence; he’s aggressive, sarcastic and rarely speaks to the virtue of doing good for humanity.  When not in superhero costume, these men exploit women, flaunt bling and convey their manhood with high-powered guns.

Cause that right there described a huge chunk of today’s pro-athletes too.

1 In 10 Adult Book Buyers Read Comics

Simba Information, which this year published “Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market,” continued the analysis in its monthly periodical, “Book Publishing Report,” which reveals that one in 10 adult book buyers read comics and 70% of those adults who have read comics in the previous 12 months also bought at least one book.  Nearly overlooked for decades, the burgeoning market for graphic novels and comic books has led retailers to pause and address the industry in new light.  But while the oft-misunderstood niche has made strides, media industry forecast and analysis firm Simba Information’s report, “Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market,” informs publishers and retailers alike that properly utilizing the segment requires finesse.

“Graphic novels are unlike any other segment of publishing, but are often mislabeled as just another category within children’s book, so they miss the chance to really shine,” said Warren Pawlowski, analyst for Simba Information’s Trade Books Groups.

Showing marked increases in their presence on bestseller lists, graphic novels have almost become their own industry at a time when growth in traditional publishing has become practically non-existent.  The basis for numerous films, television shows, and other forms of media, graphic novels have grown in both sales and influence.  “More works of art to bridge the fine line between the literary and visual mediums, graphic novels appeal to the largest audience possible and have untold potential because of it,” said Pawlowski.

“Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market” details the many nuances of this industry, providing publishers and retailers who wish to expand, showcase, or begin to look at graphic novels a definitive source for doing so.  “Attention has been drawn to the high-concept releases of the last year, both in film and literature, but viewers and readers should be reminded that everything explored in them was likely seen in graphic novels and comic books decades ago,” Pawlowski said.  “The niche that graphic novels have been forced into has exploded, and what could never be found elsewhere is being seen there in droves.”

In addition to providing an overview for this segment of publishing, the report provides a detailed analysis of the three major brands bundled within the graphic novels category: graphic novels, manga and comic books.  The report also features a thorough overview of the leading books and publishers, including price analyses as well as profiles for the major players detailing publishing strategies for the past and future and current production figures.  Additional information can be found at www.simbainformation.com.

Comics Just As Good As Books

Growing up I hated reading books and even to this day it’s a struggle for me to make it through one.  However, as a kid I’d go through a thick pile of comic books spending entire days reading through my recent purchases.  I consistently scored well above my age when it came to any test in vocabulary, even though I barely touched the classics.  A new study says that in fact comics might have done me good.

Comic books may not be far behind standard reading material in regards to impact of vocabulary and future inclination toward reading books.  University of Illinois researcher Professor Carol Tilley described comics as “just as sophisticated” as other reading materials and indicated that children benefited ”at least as much” from comics as they do from regular books.

A lot of the criticism of comics and comic books come from people who think that kids are just looking at the pictures and not putting them together with the words.

Some kids, yes. But you could easily make some of the same criticisms of picture books – that kids are just looking at pictures, and not at the words.

Tilley also said:

Although they’ve long embraced picture books as appropriate children’s literature, many adults – even teachers and librarians who willingly add comics to their collections – are too quick to dismiss the suitability of comics as texts for young readers.

Any book can be good and any book can be bad, to some extent. It’s up to the reader’s personality and intellect. As a whole, comics are just another medium, another genre.

The research on comics was published in the journal School Library Monthly.

Update: A search for Assistant Professor Tilley came up with this website where her thesis is listed as “Of Nightingales and Supermen: How Youth Services Librarians Responded to Comics Between the Years 1938 and 1955”.