Academic Study on Comic Book Fans Needs Participants!

I was contacted by a researcher from Loyola University doing a study called "Family Relationships and Men's Participation in Comic Book Fan Culture". Now I don't know about you, but that title scares the bejeezus out of me, and I thought that we've got the chance to help out some fancy book learners, and make sure that at least some of academia knows that comic fans are largely just regular folks who enjoy a good story.

Never let Wertham happen again!

Sorry, where was I? Oh, they're looking for male comic book fans over the age of 18. If that's you, and you feel like clicking some little checkboxes, click through to the survey.

At the end, you can also enter to win $100 in their raffle. But that part's up to you.

And here's a scene from Peter Parker's first day at Empire State University, because it sort of goes with this post.


  1. I guess iFanboy is going to be labeled a ‘Social Group’ soon after this study.

  2. Really an interesting survey, hope you guys cover results or an overview of what they find in their paper

  3. those questions were…interesting

  4. Do they expect us to have daddy issues or what?  From the little I’ve gathered of the comic book community, I’m actually thinking the opposite is true.  I ain’t know fancy book learner though.

  5. This was an odd survery…..weird all the questions about fathers but none really about mothers.

  6. Why was the song ‘Daddy Wasn’t There’ from Goldmember playing in my head while I was taking this?

  7. @TNC- Is it not?

    @diebenny- clearly 😛 

  8. What are my three favorite comic books? What an impossible question!

  9. Anyone else feel like putting a really obscure character for the “favourite character” questions? How much do you identify with Snapper Carr?

  10. Judging from the questions asked there are a lot of interesting things this study could be about.  If they ever post or publish their report I’d love it if Ifanboy linked to it.  I’m kind fo fascinated to see what the results would be.

  11. That was very odd but I answered it anyway.

  12. I think they were looking for people to say superheroe replaced a lack of father figure and that comic fans tend to lean more toward vigilante justice then others.

  13. This is an extremely disappointing survey for the ‘pioneering’ work it is. The questions are leading, and repetitive to get people to admit to not getting approval form one’s father and replacing that approval with a fictional father figure. It’s an interesting subject, but I found it hard to accurately relate the relationship I had with my PARENTS, which was what the subject seemed to be in the introduction.  4 questions at all talk about one’s relationship with their mother. 

  14. Apparently, I have a slightly better relationship with Batman than i do with my Dad…  Maybe I am Alfred…

  15. Great, now I’m going to have to avoid eye contact at dinner tonight.

  16. started it, but didn’t want to finish it…seems like all the questions were leading you into a “i’m anti social and i hate my daddy!!!!comic heroes are my real friends!” kinda thing. 

  17. Stumped on the 3 favorite comics question. Of all time, or currently being published? Trades or entire series? MY BRAIN!

  18. Yeah, I think the researchers clearly have a fairly obvious hypothesis in mind—just can’t decide whether it is to disprove the stereotype or reinforce it!
    Heck, my dad BOUGHT me hundreds of comics growing up and I certainly hope to never meet most of the characters I like to read about!!
    Crazy that comics can’t just be as simple as a storytelling medium??? Do people who like to read prose novels have daddy issues? What about the millions and millions of Americans who don’t read anything at all?? They must all have great fathers! 

  19. We apparently have trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality. Just becuase we like reading fun stories about vigilantes doesn’t mean we would like real people to actually do it.

  20. I honestly stopped after reading the first page of questions. I had no interest in fulfilling their preconceived notions.

    Although I am a little disappointed I missed the opportunity to write “Noir Spider-Man” as my favorite hero. 

  21. I tend to see my comic book reading as a positive, not a substitute for bad parenting.  I read and consumed a lot of books and media, which pushed me along in school, and has made my life better.

    To be fair to the scholars, whatever their hypothesis, the best thing is to answer the question honestly, following their directions.  (Criticisms of their wording aside…)

    I did get a kick out of talking about Batman… no I would not like to meet him… he is NOT a friend!

    The vigilante questions were fun too.  Especially coming after listing my three favorite comics: X-Men, Batman, Watchmen.
    Yes I like the stories.  No I do not want vigiliantes out there.  No the world would not be a better place… damn you Alan Moore! 

  22. I read a lot of comics with my kids…and we make little comics for fun; but I still wish we could spend more time outdoors together

  23. Done. I hope they find some useful results.

  24. I answered that superheroes in reality would be terrible and that I am totally opposed to vigilante justice, but also, that I would totally want to be a superhero. That says something, right?

  25. I just realized that after answering a bunch of questions about my dad, I totally put down Scalped as my favorite comic book.  Is that ironic or what?

    An interesting study to be sure.  It seems to be that they’re investigating a link between fathers, children, and superheroes.  Maybe they’re trying to see if people with poor relationships with their fathers fulfill that need with superheroes? 

  26. This a pretty awesome thing they are doing 

  27. Finished that. Seems fairly obvious what they are looking for, but who knows?

  28. ‘are you similar to the average comic book fan?’

    I love stupid questions, and this one is one of my new favourites. You just know that whoever thought up the term “average comic book fan” had nothing nice in mind. I’m studying to be a university lecturer specialising in Victorian literature and I love to read Batman. The Turkish street vendor who I bought a mars bar and coke from when I was on vacation with my girlfriend last week was clearly a huge fan of soccer, and he was enjoying the latest Amazing Spider-Man and had an issue of Archie on the desk ready to read.

    There is no “average comic book fan”. There is just a steadily declining number of people, many of whom live completely different lives and find satisfaction in different avenues, that enjoy the occasional or even the regular funny book

  29. Well that was weird.
    Hopefully we’ll see something interesting in the results, but they did seem to want to know if I could tell the difference between fantasy an reality.
    Must go signal in sky summoning me to action.

  30. @actualButt same here

  31. Well that was darn weird. Not quite sure what they’re goin for here. I just tried to be honest and help to squash some misconceptions. But I definitely don’t think Batman is a down-to-earth, mild-mannered person. Whatever that means.

    Guys, I think it’s time to tell you all that I feel that you all can depend on me more than I can depend on you. Let’s get a box of tissues and sit down to discuss it.

  32. I didn’t get “favorite comic book character” questions. Only favorite comic books.

    I hope I didn’t fill it out incorrectly…

  33. I couldn’t get past the favorite character questions.  It seemed to set up with the idea that comic fans have difficulty distinguishing between what’s real and what’s a fictional charcater or concept.  I

  34. ‘Would you like to meet your favourite comic book character?’

    My favourite character is The Joker. My answer is **** No.

  35. That was interesting. Invincible was my favorite character! And iFanboy was my social club! a lot of the father/son questions and some comic based questions felt incredibly redundant.

  36. I did it, but found it very strange.  I think I could come up with much more interesting questions about comic book fans and our culture.  Hope I get the $100.

  37. Hell. My favorite comic book character is either Sinestro or Captain Marvel.  Meeting Sinestro would be frightening, and meeting Captain Marvel would be cool for about two seconds and then the saccharine conversation would lead me to put my head in the oven.

    @Constable precisely for that reason you should have filled out the survey.  Now you’ve only created self-selection bias that will portray us fans as crazy types with human skin lampshades. 

  38. I’m debatind doing it, but I think I’d have to lie a lot.  Being female.  

  39. @redliberyx Yeah, I can see that.  I just have a low tolerance for that kind of thinking, even though it doesn’t help perception. 

  40. @serabird: You’d be ok. Very few of the questions are gender specific.

  41. Yeah, I did it anyway.  It’s an academic study done via online survey, and the questions are exceptionally biased, so it’s not a very well designed experiment.  I mean, my stats professor would probably shoot us for designing that, and he was a mild-mannered man.  It’s sort of insulting, over all.

  42. That… was kinda hard. Made it as real as possible.

  43. They should have really considered if one’s Father was deceased or not. They may get false information. Also They didn’t ask if I would really like to be a super villian.

  44. a little on the weird side of things…thirty plus years of comics and i still grasp reality and like my dad…I strongly suggest that any retards out there go and do the survey so that we can continue being considered deviants….I am sure John Constantine would think the same and so do I.

  45. Very weird survey. I’ll go ask my superhero friends for comfort and advice now.

  46. Just finished. I have no idea what it’s trying to prove or disprove, but it seems to conflate all comics fandom with superhero comics fandom, which annoyed me.

  47. What an intresting survey. I did also want to put a oddball character in there, like Ambush Bug,Plasticman or better yet The Beyonder. Do people think we dont know FICTION from reality and have daddy issues?

  48. number 18 was “C”

  49. What if your father is a superhero? I’ve always had a suspicion that I’m the son of Aquaman…

  50. I think it’s a telling sign that so many people were able to pull out the central thesis of what this paper is trying to prove (Replacement of bad parenting with fictional entity), which of course harkens back to the Freudian theory of religion. (God is the ultimate absentee father.) Shame this wasn’t a more balanced survey.

  51. was interesting

  52. The scary part is that I would have answered the survey differently if it was applied to the my addiction of working out….hmmmm…..

  53. @James696  Ha! Same here!  I thought that was funny

  54. Why do I feel like I blew their minds with: I have a father who is close to me, I don’t play video games, I have lots of friends and some that are women, and I don’t care about vigalentte justice.

    But I dare someone to say they didn’t pick STRONGLY AGREE for: WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A SUPERHERO

  55. yeaahhhh – skipped a few questions, did find it had a rather simplistic overview, certainly see where they may be trying to build the “Why wasn’t my dad cooler” thesis.  Plus, at 41, my relationship with my Dad is a very different thing to what it was when I was 10 or so and had just started collecting.  This survey didn’t seem to provide for that.

  56. Plus – wasn’t really sure how much I wanted to get into my emotional attachment to the Hulk – not without the option to say “Hey – he’s fictional, I get that!”

  57. @SmoManCometh  Pretty much the same here. Can’t we just be regular, mentally-stable guys who enjoy comics?

  58. Who is my favorite comic book character???? If they expect any of us to be able to answer this question, they obviously don’t know anything about us. 

  59. I actually quit taking the survey rather than pick a favorite comic book character. I couldn’t pick just one. I think that says more about comic book fans than any of these generic questions would reveal.

  60. @JohnVFerrigno  lol, that’s what I thought when I hit the “Pick your favorite three comics” question. Do they mean favorite team book? Superhero? Indie book? Stand-alone graphic novel? Mini/maxi series? Or an ongoing? Which one affected me the most as a kid? Or which one I’m likely to be re-reading forty years from now? It’s impossible.

  61. @flakbait  Exactly! My 3 favorite comics of all time? my 3 favorite current series? Monthly series, stand alone OGNs? Mini-series? Mainstream, indy? TOO MANY CHOICES!

  62. The sad part is, I decided on a name for my daughter in 5 minutes. Found a house to buy in a week. Bought all my cars after a day of looking. Because those decisions were EASY! Not NEARLY as difficult as “favorite comic book character.”

  63. That was a great survey. but the hardest question for me was what my 3 fav series are lol

  64. Whoa… daddy issues… hmm…

  65. “Are all comic fans similar?”

    This question probably bugged me the most. Because, and this isn’t a slight on anyone on here, it’s quite easy to tell just on this site alone that the answer is no. Fuck, go on any site on the internet and fans of anything are anything but similar.

    Are fans of famous psychologists or philosophers the same? Probably not. 

  66. Survey was definitely not what I expected, but I completed it anyway. Based on my answers about my favorite character, and then compared to answers about my dad, I conclude that Savage Dragon and my dad, whom I have a solid and healthy relationship with, have just about the same relevance in my life. Is that weird?…

  67. I tried 3 questions on the first page and gave up. Also, Johnny Storm set fire to Empire State U once. That is all I have to contribute. I feel pretty close to my group right about now.

  68. weird

  69. and i kind of feel like if you if you’re smart enough to figure out the leading nature of the survey than you should be smart enough to know they offer two opposing answers to each question.

    The findings could just as easily show that comic fans are well rounded people with healthy relationships

  70. I think the questions on this survey basically showed that they actually want to reinforce the stereotype of comic fans. It annoys me. I know a lot of comic fans personally, and we are all emotionally well-adjusted people who own our own homes and drive decent cars and have wives/husbands and children and perfectly normal social lives. Every time a comic fan is portrayed on TV or movies, they are always some fat, asthmatic loser with no social skills who spends all of their time dressing up in ridiculous costumes and acting like idiots. it annoys me.

  71. @edward  I agree. (you might want to take a screen shot of that.)

  72. This is way too long of a survey. I balked at the page page “In general my father…”

  73. @josh  i immediately want to argue now

  74. @edward  I head Josh called you a sissy boy.

  75. @edward & @josh: HAHA! You guys are the cutest. 

    I also agree. This could turn out to be very interesting. You guys should definitely post the results if they come your way.