The Survey Is Online!

Photo by ocean yamada
Photo by ocean yamada

It’s very early days on The Survey, my new project to pick the brain of the great comics buying public by polling readers on what kind of stories they most want to see, in which style, even down to details of lettering and coloring technique. Based on their answers, I will produce two stories- one, assembled from elements that respondents say they most want to see, the other featuring the qualities they least want to see. (Full disclosure: I was inspired by Komar and Melamid’s People’s Choice painting project, in which they commissioned a poll to determine what qualities people most wanted and did not want in a painting, and then created two paintings with just those qualities.) In case you missed my previous post about it, here is The Survey:

My favorite/least favorite genre of comics is:

Superhero
Western
Horror
Humor
Funny animals
Romance
Slice of life/autobio
Fantasy
Science fiction
Crime
History
War
Pirate

My favorite/least favorite length of story is:

Single page.
Two to four pages.
Five to ten pages
Ten to twenty four pages
Twenty five to fifty pages
More than fifty pages; graphic novel length.

I most like/least like stories that are:

Bright and optimistic
Dark and gritty
Silly and funny
Thrilling and action-packed
Slow and meditative
Educational
Satirical

I most like/least like stories to be told:

In captions only.
In dialogue only.
In a mix of captions and dialogue.

I most like/least like protagonists who are:

Male (straight)
Male (gay)
Boy
Female (straight)
Female (gay)
Girl
Asexual
Other
Multiple protagonists

I most like/least like conflict that is between:

Family Members
Strangers
Couples
Friends
Acquaintances
I do not like conflict

I most like/least like conflict that concerns:

Politics
Philosophy
Religion
Personal Issues
Territory
I do not like conflict

I most like/least like endings that are:

Happy
Sad
Bittersweet
Shocking
Conclusive
Cliffhangers
Ambiguous

I most like/least like pictures that have:

Black and white line drawing alone
Black and white line drawing with a single second color
Black and white line drawing with flat color
Black and white line drawing with fully-rendered color
Painted color alone.
Flat color alone.
Black and white line drawing with flat gray tones.
Black and white line drawing with fully-rendered gray tones.
Fully-rendered gray tones alone.
Flat gray tones alone.

I most like/least like figures that are:

Highly realistic with near-photographic detail.
Cartoony, exaggerated.
Linear, stylized.
Silhouetted
Manga style

I most like/least like panels that have:

A wide variety of shapes with line borders.
A wide variety of shapes without line borders
Rectangular form with line borders.
Rectangular form without line borders.
An indefinite form without borders.

I most like/least like lettering to appear:
In rectangular balloons.
In rounded or scalloped balloons.
Within the panel, not enclosed in a balloon.
Outside the panel.
In captions

I most like/least like lettering to be:

Written by hand.
Typeset in a standard font.
Typeset in a custom font.

My favorite/least favorite panel format is:

One panel to the page
Two panels to the page
Four panels to the page.
Six panels to the page.
Eight panels to the page
Nine panels to the page
Twelve panels to the page
More than twelve panels to the page.
No definite number of panels to the page.

My favorite/least favorite page format is:

Standard comic size
Magazine size
Digest size
Oversized
Square
Horizontal trade humor

The Survey made its debut as a handout at last weekend’s Stumptown Comics Fest, and I will post about those results shortly. However, for those readers who missed Stumptown, my good friend Jason Renaud has very kindly put the whole thing online. What are you waiting for? Take it now, and let your voice be heard!

One tiny restriction: please respond only if you live in the United States Of America. I’d like to keep the option open to do this multiple times for various countries. Komar and Melamid eventually did paintings for fourteen countries and one more for “The Web.”

While I could collect data from now until Doomsday, my aim is to take a snapshot of comics readers and their tastes at this particular moment in time. The Survey will therefore be taken down one month from this date, on June 3rd 2012. I will announce final results shortly thereafter.

Meanwhile, in other online news, the Oregon Movies A to Z blog recently posted a Handy Guide To Top Ten Oregon Cartoonists, including legendary names like Homer Davenport, Basil Wolverton, Bill Plympton and Matt Groening. I’m number 7.