Sunday, August 24, 2008

Views requested! What do non comic readers think of comics readers?

Heidi Meely has put up an interesting post here. She has polled a selection of her friends/acquaintances about their views on comics fans. Interesting reading. What I want to ask of anyone reading this blog, is please can you respond to the following questions:

1. When you think of comic book fans, what is your first thought?
2. Why is it acceptable to go see comic book movies but not read the books which the material springs from?
3. Have you ever read comics? Which ones? For what period of time? Why did you quit reading comics?
4. Are you aware of the fact that many of the people reading comics are female?
5. Would you ever attend a comic book show?
6. Have you heard about the sexual harassment that has occurred at comic book shows?
7. Any last thoughts?

Obviously this isn't very scientific, and won't yield a large sample group. Nonetheless PLEASE if you are reading this could you take the time to respond to the questions. I am very interested in the answers.

Thank you. :)

10 comments:

Ami Angelwings said...

1. When you think of comic book fans, what is your first thought?

I'm lucky I live in Canada where for most of the year we dun need to invest in expensive equipment to keep the comic books cool.

2. Why is it acceptable to go see comic book movies but not read the books which the material springs from?

Comic books are an endangered species. >:|

3. Have you ever read comics? Which ones? For what period of time? Why did you quit reading comics?

Yes, I was forced by my arch nemesis to read them during the 1300s to save the life of my fateful unicorn steed, but outfoxed her sometime in 2047 and then used time travel to go back to the 1200s, so I guess I read comics for -100 years. :o

4. Are you aware of the fact that many of the people reading comics are female?

Are you aware of the fact that many of the people reading comics are actually cats in disguise? :O

5. Would you ever attend a comic book show?

Yes! I love comic book shows, esp when they trot out the comic books and run them thru the obstacle courses and stuff! I'm not so excited about the grooming competitions. :\ I like to see well trained comic books in action tho!

6. Have you heard about the sexual harassment that has occurred at comic book shows?

Yes. :( It's awful what some of those trainers will do to comic books in their charge :(

7. Any last thoughts?

meow? :D

Ami Angelwings said...

Sry I couldn't resist :]

I hope you're not mad :(

Here are my real answers:

1. Cosplay! :D

2. I think the reasons ppl are going to movies but not reading the floppies are more numerous than just that they feel it's "unacceptable" :\ But for the "stigma", there's an idea that anything with drawings in it is for kids tho. They wouldn't watch animated superhero movies either. There's always this talk about how far CGI has come that they can FINALLY do a Hulk or Spider-Man movie. Animation is NEVER an option for a lot of ppl, it's not "adult"... and I think the idea of picture books is the same way... it seems like kids stuff... :\ They seem to do the same with anime, assuming nething with animation must be for kids (unless it's 'adult' comedy like Simpsons or Family Guy) and stuff :\ But the idea of taking animation or drawing SERIOUSLY as drama or something, is something some ppl seem to balk at, afraid that it compromises their maturity :\

3. I started with Superman/Batman: Supergirl. xD And I read mostly DC ones but also for a while Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel and House of M and Civil War. I may end up quitting cuz I'm tired of the constant giant super mega crossovers, the references to obscure material in the past, and that I can't rly afford to be buying a lot of books to figure out what's going on nemore :\ Or spending money on issues I'm not enjoying just to 'stay current' with the storyline :\

4. Yes! :D

5. I've attended many! xD

6. Yes.. I've been the subject of some :(

7. Rawr :o

Saranga said...

Lol! Ami it's fine! Thanks for answering. :)

Sara said...

1. When you think of comic book fans, what is your first thought?

I'm excited. I don't read comics (I hit up the trade paperbacks when my public library gets them, so you can imagine how dated/limited my selection is), but the comics fandom is something that I've always found really interesting. I would love to get into them, but I don't know where to start.

2. Why is it acceptable to go see comic book movies but not read the books which the material springs from?

It's acceptable to read the books, but it's hard! I live in a pretty big town (~80,000 people), and until this year I had no idea there even WAS a comic book shop. I've gone there once with my sister, but I felt really out of place. It's definitely an environment where I felt (as a woman), I had to prove my credentials to be accepted... in a STORE. It was honestly kind of stressful, and while I'd like to go back I don't think it's worth the stress.

3. Have you ever read comics? Which ones? For what period of time? Why did you quit reading comics?

I read some of my dad's and uncles' old comics when I was a kid... there were some leftover issues of X-men, Thor, and Green Arrow scattered around during my early years. They were all from before I was born, and I had no idea that comics were still made until I was much older.

4. Are you aware of the fact that many of the people reading comics are female?

Definitely. I don't read the actual comics myself (though I'd like so), but When Fangirls Attack is one of my almost-daily internet destinations. I love keeping up on what's going on in the feminist-comics world.

5. Would you ever attend a comic book show?

If I had an "insider" to go with. I wouldn't feel comfortable showing up by myself.

6. Have you heard about the sexual harassment that has occurred at comic book shows?

Yeah, and it sucks. And it reinforces the idea that I'm not welcome in the fandom.

7. Any last thoughts?

Not really, but if you've got a title that you really recommend, I might brave the comic book shop to check it out. =]

taylorf21 said...

1. Coolest people EVER
2. Apparently because reading in general isn't cool. It "wastes time" This is according to my friend Leah who (god love her)isn't the brightest bulb in the lamp
3. I read a lot of comic books, I love them with my whole heart. I read Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore and a lot of different Justice League things. I also read a lot of batman, and not just because of the movie, I was a batman fan BEFORE batman begins.
4. I did know that because I'm female. I do wish there were more of us though, at least in Iowa City.
5. I would and do.
6. Some but I try not to think about it.
7. I like waffles...

Saranga said...

Sara said:
"2.... I had no idea there even WAS a comic book shop. I've gone there once with my sister, but I felt really out of place. It's definitely an environment where I felt (as a woman), I had to prove my credentials to be accepted... in a STORE. It was honestly kind of stressful, and while I'd like to go back I don't think it's worth the stress."

That's sad. I felt out of place and on edge when I first went into a comic store, but that was more because of my expectation of what it would be like, as opposed to how I was actually treated. (Which is like any other customer.) But on the other hand, I feel that in all stores when I'm not familiar with the products or think peoepl may not think I'm not wanted. E.g. army surplus stores, gaming places etc. I think I'll be spotted as not belonging there.

"5. Would you ever attend a comic book show?
If I had an "insider" to go with. I wouldn't feel comfortable showing up by myself."
See, it's so fucked up that there's this situation where you don't feel welcome, (not that your views are fucked up, your views are perfectly valid, but that there is this anti women feeling). These things should be fun! Mind you, i've never been to one, but that's cos there aren't that many in the UK.
As for reccomendations, if I were you i'd buy from Amazon and get the stuff delivered to your door. Try the trades instead of individual issues. Specifically I'd say go for the Huntress year 1 mini (when it's been published in a trade format), Wonder Woman: the Hiketeia, Superman/Batman: Publis enemies, Supergirl: Many Happy Returns and if you like Buffy you should really check out Fray! Set in the future with only slayer left.

Saranga said...

Taylorf21 said:
"I also read a lot of batman, and not just because of the movie, I was a batman fan BEFORE batman begins."
See, It took The Dark Knight to get me to really like Batman. I find his supporting cast far more interesting.

Thanks for responding!

Saranga said...

Sara:
Also try Preacher and the Transmetropolitan books. These aren't superheros, Preacher is an ordinary guy who is endowed with god liek powers, his girlfriend (who kicks ass) and a vampire friedn. they try to track down God to give him an ass kicking and come across all sorts of fucked up stuff on the way.
Trnasmet is about a journalist in the future called Spider who hates everything, has a bowel disruptor and urges his lovley assistants to use their attack wombs. It's really really good!

Lord Runolfr said...

I was a pretty steady reader myself into the late nineties, but finally got fed up with the way Marvel and DC were doing business, so I haven't kept up. Still, I'm pretty "pro-comics", so I'm probably not the demographic you're looking for to respond to your survey.

For the record, I have attended Dragon*Con, which is more of a generic SciFi convention, but still has plenty of comic-book activity going on.

I'm not sure what harassment might go on at something like the San Diego Comic-con. There's an unspoken "look but don't touch (unless invited)" policy at D*C, and violators are not treated nicely.

AmityF said...

1. How insular we can be. When I first started to read comics, it took the guys at my lcs a long time to even talk to me or take my questions seriously. On some of the boards I chat on, it took them awhile to have real discussions. And I have to admit, it's...nice being part of something that isn't seen as mainstream (even though I think it is)
But also how fun we are. I love that I can be on the bus reading DMZ and somebody will just start talking to me about it. Love it.

2. I think it's more acceptable to read the source material now, but I think that fans of the comic source sometimes make fun of people who read the comics after they see the movie--sort of the idea that "oh, you're only reading this because of the movie" type thing. Also, not all the comic movies are being publicized as being from a comic so people don't necessarily know there's a source.

3. I started about 4 years ago with Preacher, Sandman, Hellblazer (I started out as a big Vertigo girl). I'm currently reading DMZ, Wormwood (when it comes out), Authority, Fell, Buffy, Angel, Spike. I constantly re-read Stormwatch, Authority, Batman. I will continue to buy them as long as I can afford them.

4. Yes, but only through my online experiences. None of my (face to face) female friends read comics or are even interested in trying them. And I've tried getting them to read both the superhero stuff and the non-superhero stuff.

5. Yes. I do feel out of place at them, but that's more because I've only been a fan (& actively collecting) for 4 or 5 years. When I go, I'm amazed at how involved people are and it makes me happy that I'm not alone, I guess. I really want to go the one in San Diego, but it is way cost-prohibitive :(

6. Yes--the open source boob project or whatever it was called. I've never seen stuff like that at the two cons I've been to, but they were pretty small.