New York Comic Con has only been around since 2006, but each year it gets exponentially bigger. Last year’s convention saw 133,000 fans in attendance, as well as 2,500 press members and 9,200 trade professionals. This year, 3-day passes sold out only an hour after they were made available on the ReedPOP site. And if the numbers are any indication, a lot of those passes were probably bought by women.
Using some sales kits from ReedPOP (the 2013 figures can be found here), comic book journalist (and former TMS Weekend Editor) Janelle Asselin crunched some numbers on her Tumblr page and got this:
2010: 65% of 96,000 total = 62,400 men
2013: 59% of 133,000 total = 78,470 men
16,070 more men in 3 years
26% growth rate
2010: 35% of 96,000 total = 33,600 women
2013: 41% of 133,000 total = 54,530 women
20,930 more women in 3 years
62% growth rate
While men still outnumber women as NYCC attendees, women as attendees are a demo that is growing WAY faster,” Asselin remarks. “Take notes, comics people.”
Not that New York City is the only place where women are attending comic book conventions more frequently — it actually appears to be a growing trend, especially at the largest conventions. In 2012, director of marketing for Comic-Con International, David Glanzer, told Forbes that of the 130,000 Comic-Con attendees that year, about 40% were women. At Emerald City Comic Con this year, female attendees were actually in the majority, clocking in at 52% female with 46% male, with 2% identifying as neither gender.
Of course, usually these sorts of statistics don’t factor in non-binary or genderqueer people very often (unless you’re awesome like ECCC), and because the ones from NYCC and SDCC are derived from sales kit, the data might be skewed or simplified a particular way to appeal to advertisers. The ratio of male to female guests at these types of events has not been necessarily been growing as steadily, either–though Oz Con (another ReedPOP-owned con) event director Rand Ratinac asserts their research “has actually shown a slight female dominance in attendees,” the Melbourne-based convention has reportedly had problems booking female comic book professionals, according to the Guardian.
Regardless, these numbers are promising for female comic book fans who want the industry to take them more seriously. How about marketing teams stop assuming that the women who like comic books and other “geek” proprieties–and are willing to pay good money to engage with their favorites–are some kind of negligible minority, hmm?
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