Comic Book Survey

November 24th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Heidi MacDonald has the details on a new survey for comics readers, masterminded by Megan Milliken. A bit of cut-n-paste:

I am a University of Chicago graduate student conducting research on comic book readership. I’m interested in demographic trends of comic book readers as well as the medium’s effect on readers’ consumption of other cultural goods and participation in civic activities. I’m motivated to do this research first and foremost because I am an avid comic book fan who has derived a great deal of pleasure and inspiration from both the content itself and the community. I’m interested in how comic books have impacted readers and hope to see what it is about a comic book that keeps a reader coming back month after month. That said I have two surveys (the first is for under 18 respondents, and the other is for respondents that are 18 and over) that I have assembled. It is intended for comic book readers as well as non-comic book readers as I would like to compare responses between these two groups (so please pass it along to the norms as well).

If you’re 18 and over, click here. If you’re not 18, learn to speak when spoken to and click this one. There’s nothing NSFW in the 18+ one– I took it and it had questions about salary and education. I assume the 18 and under one asks about toys or Justin Timberlake or whatever.

One major minor quibble: manga’s been around in the US since the ’80s, at this point. There have been several fairly high profile releases. One of the best comics out in the US this year is from Japan.

Can we stop pretending that manga is a genre? Over the past six months, I’ve bought 1800 pages of historical fiction manga (Vagabond), 600 pages of science fiction manga (20th Century Boys), and 400 pages of slice of life manga (Yotsuba&!). The only thing those books have in common is country of origin and format.

Manga = comics, I don’t know how to put it plainer than that. The differences between Japanese manga and American comics, at this point, are semantic at best.

Manga = comics. Treat it like that.

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