DC Comics has once again teamed with the Nielsen National Research Group to gather data from readers on the New 52 — but this time, the focus is slightly different. While the original September 2011 survey was meant to gauge response to the publishing initiative and accurately measure it, the new survey sets its focus on a few new aspects of the New 52: digital comics and dwindling or cancelled titles.
Although the survey begins with a broad overview of titles from the New 52 (including the “Second Wave,” those that were cancelled to make room for the “Second Wave” and a fictional book named “Orange Ivy”), it quickly narrows its scope to 20 books, comprised of the already-cancelled “O.M.A.C.,” “Hawk and Dove,” “Men of War,” “Mister Terrific,” “Blackhawks” and “Static Shock”; the soon-to-be-cancelled “Captain Atom,” “Resurrection Man” and “Voodoo”; and titles with dwindling sales like “Grifter,” “Deathstroke,” “Superboy,” “The Fury of Firestorm,” “Suicide Squad,” “Red Lanterns,” “G.I. Combat,” “Green Arrow,” Blue Beetle,” “Legion of Super Heroes” and “Suicide Squad.”
The survey asks not only whether the reader bought these books, but also whether they had bought comics based on the characters previously, whether they would continue to buy books based on the characters again and the format they’d be likely to buy — print or digital. In fact, much of the survey queries the buying habits of the participant including their monthly consumption of comics, the primary format of purchase (print or digital), whether they purchase the print/digital “combo packs” and how many comic distributors, both physical and online, they visit on a regular basis.
While awareness of the New 52 as a whole and the launch of the “Second Wave” are both prevalent topics in the survey, Nielsen also understandably asked about buying habits for books from other publishers and DC’s Vertigo imprint on participants’ most recent visit to a comic book store. Choices from Vertigo include “Fables” and “American Vampire”; Marvel is represented with “Avengers Vs. X-Men” and “A vs. X” (assumed to be “AVX: VS”), a number of individual “Avengers” and “X-Men” titles; and Image Comics has two choices: “Fatale” and “Saga.”
The New 52 graphic novels were also covered, including which currently published collections participants had purchased and their reasons for doing so. However, the most interesting question on the survey was a query into what makes the participant want to purchase an issue of the New 52. Options like “Characters,” “Creative team (writer/artist),” “Price,” online buzz and reviews are all rather standard and expected. However, the survey also included an option for “New/diverse/contemporary storylines,” which is an interesting (though not unexpected) inclusion considering the recent introduction of a homosexual Alan Scott in “Earth 2” and the tease of an Arab Green Lantern in September.
The complete survey is currently available online.