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CSBG Archive

Committed: Survey Results – How Has Your Reading Changed?

Here are the results of the survey I posted last week. Thank you for all of your help and input, the next survey will be coming soon…

(Click the image below to view a larger version.)

reading_infographic061913a

27 Comments

Interesting resuts. It would be neat to see this data paid up with a broader sampling, one made up of people who don’t regularly visit a comic news site, and see how much it differs. That would be very hard to arrange though.

I enjoy the theory there are actually tons of female readers here who love comics but just really detest surveys. ;)

1,962 respondents. I feel like I’m on Lost. Or worse, Touch

I myself answered to the survey and a small majority of the results correspond with my own answers (31 YO male, started reading at age 6-7 etc.) So I’m also a cliche. Hmm.

I once told Evan Dorkin that he provided my favorite reading material for the pooper.

That’s a nicely done graphic of the info, Sonia. The results of the survey were a bit too predictable.

“I enjoy the theory there are actually tons of female readers here who love comics but just really detest surveys”

I’m pretty sure total female comic readership is more than 5%. Those “missing” readers might not actually detest survey’s, but they may not visit comic news websites like this one. Most comic news websites have a reputation for publishing press releases, mostly from Marvel/DC that’s aimed (intentionally or not) at the straight white male demographic.

If a website that had a reputation of primarily posting press releases from Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly and Top Shelf books aimed at female readers would you go there regularly? Would you know if they did a survey? Would you be surprised if the results were in line with the type of readers who are already reading their website?

This survey is good for CBR. It tells them (and their advertisers) information about their readers or at least readers of this section that decided to take the survey. Nobody should assume it’s represents the entire comic readership.

Way to kill my joke, Jamie.

I liked your joke, Caanan! I was thinking pretty much the same thing :)

Travis Pelkie

June 20, 2013 at 2:39 am

Ah, Edward Tufte would be proud. (Graphic design nerd ref!)

But in looking at it again, I see that some info may have been missed. Right in the first graphic, we see that 60% of us started under age 10, but nobody started between age 10-14? If I didn’t pick that age range, I probably should have (probably picked under 10 as I’ve been reading “comics” in some form or another that long).

Just wondering if some info got condensed where it shouldn’t have or if something got overlooked.

But yeah, overall, it looks great, with the sans serif and the bright colors and I like how the “read more” bar breaks over the “title bar” (if you will). Very cool stuff.

If I’m figuring right, it seems that most people started reading relatively recently, or they’re like me and have been reading about 20 or so years. Not sure what that means, but it’s just kinda interesting.

Mike Loughlin

June 20, 2013 at 6:00 am

Nice graphics, Sonia!

I’m a little surprised that 2/3 of respondants read monthly comics. I guess trade-waiting isn’t as prevalent as I thought. Also, 3/4 of us prefer print; I was curious as to how much digital had changed people’s habits or preferences.

The demographics info isn’t surprising. I wonder if there would be any significant change if this survey was conducted on a different (non-comic book focused) website.

Thanks for putting this together!

[…] probably not surprising that our readership differs significantly from that seen in the recent poll at Comics Should Be Good, at least in terms of gender demographics, given our manga-specific focus […]

Mummra the ever living

June 20, 2013 at 10:20 am

Very interesting results. Glad I took part.

I am slightly shocked that (a massive) 95% of respondents were male. I thought the female percentage would be quite a bit higher.

I guess all the “girl-comics” initiatives are somewhat wasted as the demo is more perceived than actual.

@Mummra:

While I have no idea what the ACTUAL male/female split is, I wouldn’t read too much into this stat, for a lot of reasons, including the fact that even women who do read comics regularly, are probably a lot less likely to be hanging out on CSBG (and similar sites).

Additionally, while CSBG is generally female friendly, I don’t think CBR at large is – not the people who run the site and write the posts, but the readers. I mean, you’ve been to the CBR forums, right? Just horrifying stuff said in there.

Had no clue about this survey until just now. Usually check theMarySue more often than any other geek site.

It’s a bit embarrassing to find that I apparently lie just outside the 100% of respondents who are 44 or under, given that I responded and I’m going to be 58 this year. Maybe I got overlooked in amongst the 95% of blokes.

@Kelly Thompson, agreed. TheMarySue is the only site, where I read comments from the readers on a regular basis. I visit CBR less often in general, and then Ifanboy only once in awhile. Mostly, if I want to talk about comics online, I do it with my friends on Facebook or Twitter.

DC’s own survey, conducted by Neislen, released its results last year for the New 52 and said that the m/f split was 93-7. I think the subset of comics readership that buys their comics every Wednesday and gets mostly DC/Marvel superheroes is male by better than a 10-1 margin.

It’s only when you start adding in those who wait for the trade, buy digitally and/ or buy the non superhero comics does the split get a bit better. Manga, of course, is an entirely different animal.

I’ve read the columns on this site for at least fifteen years, at least back to the Warren Ellis days and the continuing cry for the comics readership to change has been ever present. Quit buying single issues and start buying trades or get the issues digitally. Quit reading superheroes. If you don’t list to reason at least buy “diverse” superheroes. Quit following characters and start following creators. Quit being racist/ sexist/ homophobic/ nationalist etc. I’ve even seen people wish that the entire comic book industry (as it exists) would just die. Hundreds of columnists/ bloggers on dozens of sites over the years and the only thing that hasn’t changed is my locker combination. The disconnect between those writing about comics and those reading them is a large ever spreading canyon.

I suppose I’m unusual in that I don’t read a lot of monthly comics and I read less comics than I used to.

Apparently I follow the crowd in everything except the monthlies. Ha! Take that, crowd!

I have been wondering how many people, like me, have shifted totally to digital. I’ve been collecting for 20+ years (actually probably closer to 30 now). I had thousands upon thousands of comic books, and it was just too much. I sold them all off, except for a couple hundred that had long-term financial or sentimental value, and haven’t bought a hard-copy book in 2+ years. I get my main books from ComiXology and subscribe to Marvel Unlimited so I can read their stuff, either old stuff or the stuff they put up 6 months behind.

It’s actually somewhat liberating to not have to feel like I have to keep all these books in case they become valuable. I’d like to see the pricing come down some, but we’re in the Digital Age of comics now and I think that’s where the future is. Collecting will still be popular but it will be even more of a niche thing I suspect.

@Action Ace “The disconnect between those writing about comics and those reading them is a large ever spreading canyon.”

I realize we’re part of the “different animal” that is manga, but according to my own site’s recent survey, at least, I’d say that the picture of our typical reader matches pretty well the picture of our typical contributor. We’re apparently writing for people just like us, with very similar reading & buying habits. Are other comics sites really that different? It seems unlikely.

@Melinda

I’m sure everything is fine over in manga land.

I’m talking about the gap between those who go into the comic shops every Wednesday to get their DC/ Marvel cape floppies and those that write about them.

I’m not sure it’s been said strongly enough – REALLY well presented, and lovely graphics. I dig surveys and stats generally, but nothing beats an easy-to-read graphic represntation of the same.

Thank you, Ms Harris.

Just found this now or would have added to the female (and older one at that) demographic.
Good to know that I’m at least in the majority when it comes to preferring print over digital. Maybe now they’ll make more trades of older stories? (yea, sarcasm.)

Not sure “We need our monthly fix” is the right tagline for the preferred single issue format. I checked a preference for single issues, but stopped buying new single issues years ago.

The single issue preference is simply because most comics have not been collected in trade.

@ LionMan — I shifted to digital for exactly the same reason. I’ve been reading comics for over 40 years, and had tens of thousands in longboxes. It was becoming logistically and physically impossible for me to move or maintain my collection. At various times, I had to rent moving trucks solely for comics, rent storage space, etc. The last time I moved with them, it nearly killed me to shift literally tons of paper (I was reluctant to ask for help or hire anyone — I hate to impose on friends/family and moving is already expensive).

I sold everything off, except for a couple hundred with sentimental value. The final batch I sold financed my purchase of my first iPad. I still buy some paper titles to support my LCS, but I sell (or donate) them all off annually.

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