Links Roundup for 23 November 2011

Here’s a roundup of stories providing a closer look at comics fans that might be of interest to fans:

  • Newsarama has begun a series of articles on comics fandom that focuses on what fans are expressing now that their voices can be so publicly visible. They began by looking at fans’ sense of “ownership” over characters and storylines, the conclusion of which was that “what the fans do matters more than what they say”, specifically, when what they do affects the finances of the producers. This point of view was repeated in Part II which went so far as to speak to psychologists about why fans “don’t know what they actually want.”
  • A more sociological look at comics fans is discussed by the University of Cambridge’s Casey Brienza who asks “Why are superhero comics so masculine? After all, other comic book-loving countries such as Japan and France do not manifest the same trends, and the self-same superhero characters, when presented in another medium such as Hollywood film, have truly mass appeal.” She concludes that the cause was “1) the institution of the Comics Code in the 1950s and 2) the rise of the direct market in the 1980s.”
  • Online magazine Slate offered some numbers on the sex breakdown of Comic Con attendees by looking at a speed dating event held there, and note “New York Comic Con (NYCC) and other fan specific spaces also do a tremendous job of inverting many carefully crafted social norms.” For one, “normally, gay men are the largest queer demographic at Speed Dating events, but at Comic Con, “girl-on-girl” action is taking precedence.”

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