This is … unexpected or not: Publishers Weekly annual survey of comic retailers in the US and Canada (see my interview with The Beguiling in Canada) found:
Retailers are also seeing a need to adjust their ordering to accommodate some of the new groups they see coming into their stores. While many stores report that their children’s comics sections continue to grow, the demographic that seems to be growing the fastest is young women, aged 17–33. Image titles like The Walking Dead, Saga, and Pretty Deadly have gotten their attention, but Wayne Wise reports that at Phantom of the Attic there are “a lot of young women who are really invested in Marvel and DC titles, as well as the Indies. New titles aimed at this group are an important part of this. Books like Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Young Avengers have been particularly successful.” Data from a reader survey by digital comics vendor Comixology supports what retailers are seeing. Chip Mosher, Comixology’s v-p, communications and marketing, confirmed that 20% of its new customers in the third quarter of 2013 were females ages 17–26.
Granted this is an informal survey, but it’s surely an interesting change to the way comics are consumed? Misson Comics in San Fransico believes that the increased mainstream press coverage has helped this change along. Leef Smith of Mission Comics says: “The broader audience that’s excited about Saga or Ms. Marvel is so much bigger [than the conventional comics market]. I don’t think publishers completely grasp that.”
*puts hand up* The reason I got interested in comics was the coverage that came with the coverage Marvel and DC (to a lesser extent, sort of tired of Superman and Batman) movies got.
Ms Marvel editor, Sana Amanat speaking at TEDX was another reason that helped my interest in comics grow.