Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023


Comics studies, Comics (Graphic works)--United States


The comics consumer base is big and it’s only getting bigger. And yet, very little research has been done on the consumer behavior of comics reads. In order to broaden the accessibility to comics consumer research, this paper examined the discovery behavior of 56 survey participants. The survey included questions pertaining to demographics, frequency of comics consumed, genres of comics consumed, formats used to consume comics, and methods used to discover comics. Due to limited scope, this paper focused solely on format preferences, discovery preferences, and the most-popular genre preferences. Based on this research, graphic novels remained the preferred format of comics readers overall, but webcomics, a relatively new format to U.S. readers, were the second most-preferred format among survey participants. The values comics readers of different formats held were notable. Similarly, it was significant to see the different values readers held based on their preferred discovery method. Interesting correlations between format preference and genre preference were discovered. For instance, the majority of participants who selected romance/BL/GL as their preferred genre selected webcomics as their preferred format. Across formats and genres, recommendations from friends and family and browsing in a comic book store remained popular choices for discovery. Other methods of discovery varied by genre and by format. Implications and recommendations for comics publishers, comics marketers, and comics creators are discussed.


© 2023 Tara McCarron

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Writing: Book Publishing.

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