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Comic Book Fandom
Transcript of Comic Book Fandom
The Comic Book Collector
Quick Facts about Comic Book
Collectors and creators
The Order of Business...
Speculator, Collector, Reader
A Brief History of Comic Book Collecting
Collector Behavior and Stereotypes
The Gender Problem
The Collector's Responsibility
History of Comic Book collecting
Superhero comic books date back to the 1930s when Superman was introduced in the pages of Action comics #1 in the summer of 1938. Batman debuted a year later and Wonder Woman joined the mix in 1941. Despite the early appearances of such noteworthy heroes, comic book collecting didn't really catch steam until the late 1960s and early 1970s when the current distribution system of comics was reconfigured. The new distribution system created a perfect environment for comic book specialty stores to exist and with the emergence of comic shops, the collector followed. (Gibilliet 209).
Although the success of recent TV shows and films indicate a broad social acceptance and appreciation of comic books, the comic book collector is still plagued by stereotypes. These stereotypes are often attributed to many fan and collector communities because of the behavior inherent in their collecting activities. For instance, a comic book collector's purchase typically moves in this fashion
Purchase comic book, Mylar sleeve, and board
Place board in sleeve
Place comic book in sleeve
Seal sleeve with not one but two strips of scotch tape
File away and rarely ever remove comic from sleeve
Collector Behavior and stereotypes
The very specific process of "bagging and boarding" is similar to the preservation techniques used by card, coin, and magazine collectors but comic book collectors seem to be harder for the public to understand. This disconnect results in the public stereotyping of the comic book collector.
In 2012 Comicbooked.com listed what they felt were "FIVE OF THE MOST ANNOYING AND INCORRECT STEREOTYPES ABOUT COMIC BOOK READERS"
"Aren't comics just for kids?"
"You read comics and go to comic shops? you must be just like the guys from 'The Big Bang Theory' ''
"Comic shops are full of lonely sweaty dudes"
"You read comics so you obviously dont have a boyfriend/girlfriend"
"All comics are superhero comics"
How much are collectors
The buying power of comic book collectors is surging due to the popularity of movies such as "Avengers" and Guardians of the Galaxy". Comic book movies are expanding the readership, who regularly evolve into full blown collectors.
According to Diamond comic distributors, there were approximately 2,638 comic books shops in september of 2013
Comichron.com estimates that 540.5 million dollars were spent on comics in 2014 (up 4.39% from the previous year)
That same year "Guardians of the Galaxy" a film based on a marvel comic book grossed more than 777 million dollars world wide (box office mojo)
Roughly 63 % of all money being spent on comic books is spent purchasing Marvel and DC comics.
Who is collecting?
In 2011 DC Comics revamped their entire line of titles in an event they called the "New 52" In 2012 they conducted a survey of to gauge the readership of their new line and were reportedly unhappy with the results.
Why is the Readership so
disproportionately male and white?
The tide is turning
Due to recent media attention and more female collectors making themselves heard on social media, publishers like DC and Marvel are making important changes to women's outfits, language and statuses within the superhero hierarchy.
These changes are good, but
Collectors everywhere need
to continue to drop
Comic book historian Jean-paul Gibilliet ambiguously stated in his book "Of Comics and Men" that comic books were engulfed by the "masculine cultural practices of collecting" (Gibilliet 209)