Comics Scholars Survey Results, November 1995

compiled by Peter M. Coogan

D. Audience
D.1-2. What studies have been done and what methodologies work?

Very little has been done. Martin Barker surveyed the existing bits in a chapter in Comics: Ideology Power and the Critics. He also indicated the work being done in media and cultural studies could offer good methodologies. Ian Gordon suggested that someone "appeal to fans for their correspondence with each other over the years" and "go through the letters pages in early comic books and write to the writers asking if they got any correspondence after their letters." He also reported that scholars of science fiction have had success with these methods. Luca Somigli would like to see a study of these texts that proliferate around comics.

Both Amy Nyberg and Keith Murphy have conducted surveys of comics scholars based in part on Janice Radway's Reading the Romance, but neither of these papers has been published. Mark C. Rogers is planning a dissertation titled "Reading Comics: Audience, Text, and Context."

Leonard Rifas pointed out that a survey of potential commercial importance should analyze the reasons people give for not reading or no longer reading comic books.

Back to the Introduction and Survey Outline