Tuesday, July 19, 2022

300% Increase in Boob Size on Comic Book Cover Art

Wonder Woman Comic Covers

While loading tens of thousands of comic book covers to PriceCharting’s new online comics price guide, we noticed that the portrayal of female characters seemed to become much more racy as the decades passed. Curiosity got the best of us so we ran a study to understand just what has changed about the female form in comics over time....you know, for science.

What we found was significant, but not unexpected.

Modern day covers feature busts that consume more than triple the cover space and show twice the amount of cleavage compared to comics from the mid 20th century. But that’s not all we found.

Methodology

Wonder Woman Measurements Example
Methodology Example with Pixel Measurements

Before sharing our other insights, here’s how we got the data.

We selected three female-dominant comic book franchises that have represented large readerships over the past 4+ decades: Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Red Sonja. We randomly selected ten covers from each decade of each comic. The covers needed to feature the characters’ full body. We then recorded pixel measurements for: breast height and width, cleavage width, waist width, hip width, and cover width. We compiled the data:

Wonder Woman: 88 covers (616 data points)
Catwoman: 35 covers (245)
Red Sonja: 59 covers (413)

Results

Here’s what we found:

Comic Breast & Waiste Size - Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Red Sonja

Since the early era of female-dominant comics the amount of cover attention placed on the bust has steadily increased. The decade beginning 2010 was the most prominent decade for breasts as nearly 30% of the cover width was occupied by bosoms. Cover artists took great liberty with breasts in the decade beginning 2010 as both [% of Cover] and [% Cleavage] peaked during that time frame. Perhaps artists have since felt the pressure to “normalize” the look of their female characters, as both metrics have begun to recede moving into the 2020s.

We recorded [Hip-to-Waist Ratio] for these three characters as well and were surprised to observe not much change over time. We had guessed that women would have “filled out” in the waist since the early days where pencil-thin waists were all the rage.

We weren’t certain that these three characters represented larger trends in all female-forward series, so we added 12 other characters into the study, albeit with a smaller sample size. We randomly selected two covers across each decade for these new characters, and in total added 124 additional covers from our archive (868 data points). Adding them into the study with data sampled from the first three females we see some evident trends:

Comic Breast and Waist Size - All Comics

Filling in these other characters paints a more complete story of the key trends in how the portrayal of women in comics has evolved over time. Comparing modern day (2010+) to the early comics (1940-60), we observe from the green trendlines:

  • Busts occupy more than triple the cover space today
  • The amount of cleavage shown has more than doubled (cleavage of greater than 50% was not observed until the 1970s at which point it became relatively common)
  • Women actually did “fill out” in the waist over time (hip:waist ratio declined by ~15%)
  • Breast:Waist ratio has remained the same - as breasts have grown, so have waists

This study was a fun project we pulled together over the course of a couple of weeks in our spare time. It’s not been rigorously statistically tested, and the results could be sharpened with an expanded data set. Additionally, we’d love to run a similar study about how the male body dimensions have also adapted over time. All caveats aside, this first pass is a reliable early look at just how cover women have changed in the comic media’s eye over time. It all begs the question - Have illustrators hit their maximum allowable peak for racy imagery, or is there still more to come?

Catwoman Comic Covers
Catwoman Cover Art Over the Years
Red Sonja Comic Covers
Red Sonja Cover Art Over the Years



Wednesday, July 6, 2022

How Comic Books Can Recover from Declining Sales

So another MCU movie is out and you can’t be more excited. Well, we all know of the superheroes we see on the big screen, but what about the origins of those characters? Well, this might shock you, but many of those superheroes first appeared in comic books (shocking, we know). While it might not be news to some that superheroes first got their start in comic books, it might be alarming that the medium has been experiencing a rapid sales decline in recent years. But why is this happening? And what can be done to fix this problem? Well, that’s what we’re here to answer.

Comic books have been around in their modern format since 1933. They were mainly popular among kids and young adults. Throughout the decades, the medium grew (as well as the age of the audience). Many adults would read collect, and invest in comic books, and the medium would peak in sales during the 1990s with individual books like Spawn and X-Men reaching print runs in the millions (a feat that has never since been accomplished). Comic books would experience a crash in the late-90s but would come back with the support of Hollywood. Today comics are popular to collect, but new books aren’t selling like they used to, despite billion-dollar movies. Sales continue to decline and the medium is in danger. How can this be possible? How can superhero movies do so well, while new comics struggle?

This can be attributed to several factors. One is that print media isn’t as popular anymore. Many popular magazines have stopped print publications and have switched to digital format. Comic books have followed suit, but there are still some that prefer that feel of holding a comic in your hand while reading it (we’re one of them). The problem is that physical comic books cost $3.99 and many people would rather read a pirated version for free on the internet (although some sign up for the DC and Marvel digital services). There is also the competition of Japanese manga that appeals more to a younger audience, while western comic books tend to attract an older audience (effectively splitting the potential readers).

Now for the million-dollar question; how can comic books recover from declining sales? There are already events such as Free Comic Books Day and Halloween Comic Fest to help encourage new readers, but what else can be done? Well, the answer has a few parts.

First, comic books need more cross-appeal. What this means is that books need to appeal to people who are fans of other media. A good example was when Marvel did the hip-hop variant covers a few years ago. Many fans of the hip-hop genre were drawn to these covers, which led these books to sell well upon release and on the aftermarket.

DC also did a great crossover between Fornite and Batman, which had a downloadable code for a Harley Quinn Fortnite skin. We saw new fans of comic books appear in front of our eyes through their method. Kids who were into Fortnite bought these books and some read and enjoyed them. This was a great attempt at bringing in a younger audience. Comic book companies need more of this cross-appeal with things like video games (which is a medium that just keeps growing). One idea the piggyback on the Fortnite crossover, would be to have more video game DLC when a new game comes out. What this means is when a new superhero video game is released (ex: the upcoming Gotham Knights game), a good idea would be to add a new downloadable costume (ex: an alternate Nightwing costume) that is only available through the purchase of certain comics.

Comic book adaptations of video games have always done well, and we haven’t see too many in the past few years. Fans of games like Last of Us and Resident Evil would love additional content in the form of comic books to add to the lore of their favorite games.

Another method to help bring in new readers (which would help declining sales) would be to write stories that appeal to younger audiences. You can take examples from anime and manga for this one. Marvel did a good job with Strange Academy which mimicked My Hero Academia in a sense. There are plenty of other ideas that can be lifted from manga and anime, which can effectively bring in younger readers who can become lifelong comic fans.

Or how about this idea? A crossover of comic book and anime properties? Who wouldn’t want to see a Justice League/Dragon Ball Z comic book published by DC, which has Superman go up against Goku in the fan fight we’ve all dreamt of? That would get fans talking about comics again.

You don’t have to look far for ideas on how to help comics recover from low sales. Just look around and see what’s popular today and try to incorporate that into your books. It may sound like a major task, but some of it has already been done. Companies like DC and Marvel just need to look at these successes and continue to implement them into their books. We would love to see comics grow and a younger audience take to reading and collecting the books. However, unless something is done, then we might see the end of new comics as we know them.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Japanese Pokemon Cards on PriceCharting

Japanese Pokemon Cards
We've added all the Japanese Pokemon card sets and their cards to PriceCharting.

Sets like VMAX Climax, Star Birth (Brilliant Stars in USA), Fusion Arts (Fusion Strike in USA), and the original Japanese Pokemon set. We even have obscure sets like the Japanese Vending Machine set.

You can find Japanese cards in the search results or find specific sets using Find Specific Sets Tool. If you Japanese is a bit rusty (or non-existent like mine), our search by photo tool works with Japanese Pokemon cards too.

Our database already has tens of thousands of sales and our bots are finding thousands of sales every day. Soon, every Japanese Pokemon card will have a value and historic sales data.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Search Comic Books by Photo

Sometimes it can be tricky knowing the exact Comic Book you have. The issue number might not be prominent or the year published is hidden. Or it just takes too long typing out the name. You can now search with a photo of your comic book instead.

Follow these directions to search for comics with just a photo.


Click the Camera icon on the Comic Book main page (or at the top of any other page).

Click Camera Icon
Click the Camera Icon


Click 'Take Photo' button.
Click 'Take Photo' button
Click 'Take Photo Button'


Confirm the photo and change orientation if needed. Accuracy is higher if the photo is oriented correctly.
Confirm Photo
Confirm photo and orientation


Wait for a bit while photo is processing (the servers are working hard).
Processing Photo
Wait a bit for comic processing


See matching comics. The top match is the first comic and larger image. Other possible matches are shown too.
Best Matching Cards
See possible matches


Click the matching comic to see price details, add it to your collection, or view the graded POP data.
Click to See Card Details and Price
Click to see comic prices


This only works with Comic Books and Pokemon cards right now and the tool is in beta. In our tests the correct issue was found 94% of the time (one of the top three results). We continue to add more comics to the site and more variants too. The tool will work with cover variants too.

To improve results take photos with a clear background and the cover itself filling up most of the photo.

Please give us your feedback in the comments below. We'd love to hear how the tool works for you.

See a good list of the best comic books to invest in 2022.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Sell 270+ Games in Less Than 3 Months on PriceCharting: Tips from the Seller



JonsGames joined PriceCharting 3 months ago to sell some of his game collection. In less than 90 days he's sold more than 270 games on PriceCharting with almost perfect feedback.

What's his selling secret?

Place User Name in Every Photo in Every Listing


Every single listing JonsGames posts includes a photo of the actual item AND his user name written on a piece of paper. Most listings have multiple photos. The photo helps buyers know two things.

* Buyers can see exactly what they will be getting.
* Buyers know the seller actually has that game in his possession (photo wasn't taken off the internet).

Both of these reduce buyer's fear/risk of being scammed so they are more likely to buy.


Sell with Low Prices


Almost every item JonsGames sells is priced around 90% of the market price.

PriceCharting doesn't charge any marketplace fees so JonsGames saves money compared to other marketplaces. He passes almost all of those savings onto the buyers. In exchanage JonsGames sells more stuff.

Buyers are always looking to find a deal. PriceCharting has tons of collectors with games/cards in their wishlists. We notify those users when a seller posts an item for sale with a good price. Using discounted prices puts a listing in front of more eyeballs and often leads to sales minutes after posting the item.


Give Great Customer Service After the Sale


JonsGames says his philosphy as a seller is the golden rule. "Treat others the way you want to be treated".

He's bought games online before. He knows what he likes as a buyer. So he does that for his customers.

He:

* Ships quickly (usually the same or next day)
* Communicates frequently by uploading tracking, emailing if there is a delay, etc
* Fixes any problems when they happen. Mistakes inevitably happen. When they have he's fixed the problems quickly so the customer was happy.

JonsGames says he's received emails from buyers "thanking me for giving them the chance to relive there childhoods and play with there kids and to me that’s worth more then the cash."
Great customer service leads to repeat buyers and great feedback ratings. Great feedback gives new buyers even more confidence to buy.


I personally want to say "thank you" to JonsGames for making PriceCharting marketplace a better place to buy/sell with fellow collectors and mom-n-pop stores.

You can see JonsGames current listings and give his games a great new home.


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Site Outage: May 4th, 2022

1:05pm MT: We are aware of a site outage. We are working on a fix now.
1:14pm MT: It appears that PriceCharting is being attacked by DDos. Looking into ways to block those servers.
1:18pm MT: The attack has stopped for now. Looking into long term solution to prevent this in the future.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

See CGC Comic Book Population on PriceCharting


You can now see CGC population reports on comic book pages on PriceCharting.

See the number of issues graded at each CGC grade level and visualize the data too.

This helps you know how rare a particular grade is. For example Amazing Spiderman #1 (1963) has a peak grade around CGC 3 and 9.X grades are very rare. While Uncanny X-Men #142 (1981) has a peak at 9.6.


To view the population data for a comic like the "Pop Report" tab below the price data.


Most major comic books have this CGC population data, but we are working to add data for all comics in our database.

Thank you to CGC for sharing the population data with us. We are working with them to add TCG population data to PriceCharting too so you can see the same type of information for Pokemon, YuGiOh, and Magic cards.

Please give us your feedback on this tool as you try it out. We love hearing feedback from our users.


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

PriceCharting Has Comic Book Prices


We've added comic book prices to PriceCharting!

You can view ungraded and grade specific prices for thousands of comic book issues for all the most popular series. Amazing Spider-man, Incredible Hulk, Batman, and more.

Like all our other collectible categories on PriceCharting, you can see prices, sales data, and charts of historic prices for every issue.

Add Comic Books to your collection just as you would games or cards and track their value over time. Give it a try!

Already tracking your comic collection somewhere else? Import the entire collection into PriceCharting with our collection importer.

We'll continue to add more issues, variants, and other features for comics too.

Thank you for using PriceCharting.


Monday, March 14, 2022

Search Pokemon Cards By Photo

Sometimes it can be tricky knowing the exact Pokemon card you have. You can read our guide to identifying your cards or you can now search with a Pokemon card photo. Follow these directions to search for cards with just a photo.

Click the Camera icon on the Pokemon Card main page (or at the top of any other page).

Click Camera Icon
Click the Camera Icon


Click 'Take Photo' button
Click 'Take Card Photo' button
Click 'Take Photo Button'


Confirm the photo and change orientation if needed.
Confirm Photo
Confirm photo and orientation


Wait for a bit photo processing (the servers are working hard).
Processing Photo
Wait a bit for card processing


See matching cards. The top match is the first card and larger image. Other possible matches are shown too.
Best Matching Cards
See possible matches


Click the matching card to see price details or add it to your collection.
Click to See Card Details and Price
Click to see card prices


This only works with Pokemon cards right now and the tool is in beta. In our tests the correct card was found 96% of the time (one of the top three results). To improve results take photos with a clear background and the card itself filling up most of the photo.

Please give us your feedback in the comments below. We'd love to hear how the tool works for you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Revised Site Structure, Menu and Search

As PriceCharting has grown to cover trading cards, sports cards, and comics, in addition to video games, our user base has changed too. We made some small changes to the site to help users find the prices and data they are looking for.

Redesigned Menu

redesigned menu

The menu has been updated to link to categories of collectibles. You can still get to specific video game consoles by hovering/clicking on the brand then choosing your console from the list.

Gamers can also click "video games" link and choose the exact console they want.

Other collectors can quickly find their collectible of choice now too.

Company Specific Pages for Video Games

browse consoles by brand

From the menu, users can select a company and find one page with all the platforms released by that company. Nintendo, Atari, Playstation, Xbox, etc.

That page lists all the consoles for every region so you can quickly find the platform your interested in.

Find Platform Page with Search

find a specific system

There is a new tool on the video game category page and the company specific pages too. You can start typing part of a console name and quickly be taken to that specific console page.

Type "3ds" and choose the one you want from the list. And you are taken directly to the Nintendo 3DS game list.


Filter Searches by Category

search results

Searches can return results from multiple categories, but some users are only interested in a particular category. Search results are now easier to view and filter by category.

All results are color coded to make it easy to glance through results to find the category you are looking for. Games are red, trading cards are green, and comics are yellow.

The ability to filter results by category is always visible and just one-click away. "All" results is the default, but clicking on "Comics" or "Video Games" would filter the results to just that category.

This selection is persistant on your account/device. Filter by your favorite category once, and all future searches are filtered too. For example, if you only collect video games, filter results to "Video Games" once and all future results will show only video games unless you change it back.

Filter Searches by Other Metrics Too


You can still filter search results by console, region, and variant too. Just click the "Sort/Filter" header (or the little "+" symbol next to it) and you can choose other methods to sort and filter your results.

As always, please let us know what you think about these changes in the comments below. Thanks for using PriceCharting.



Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Chart Showing Historic Collection Cost & Profit


You can now see your collection's historic cost and profit.

See how much you've invested into your collection every month and watch to see how the overall profit has changed over time too. (I don't input cost on my admin test collection so the chart is a bit boring for me).

This goes along with the recent addition to show current total cost and profit, but the historic data gives you more context.



The historic data is only available to premium subscribers at this time. We've been storing this data though for all users since October 2021. So if you decide to subscribe you will see all your historic data, not just data since you subscribed.



Visit your collection page and try it out.
Click "Cost" or "Profit" in the chart to view the data.
You might need to toggle off the "Value" line to see more detail in the cost and profit lines.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Launching Prices for Garbage Pail Kids Cards

garbage pail kids cards

The original Nintendo NES launched in 1985. That same year, Garbage Pail Kids launched too.

I was allowed to buy an NES, but Garbage Pail Cards were not allowed. I only got to see them at my friends' houses. Now that I'm an adult I can buy as many GPK cards as I want (and I can have Oreo's for breakfast).

PriceCharting has launched a price guide for GPK cards so I know how much to pay for my forbidden childhood memories. If you have cards in the original 1985 series you might have some valuable cards.

Who else wasn't allowed to buy GPK cards as a kid? And who still has their childhood collection? Let me know in the comments below.


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Update To How New Prices Are Calculated for Some Video Games

We've improved our pricing for retro video games in new/sealed condition.

We've been tracking video game prices since 2006 so we have a lot of data. For some retro games the most recent new sale might be 4-5 years old because they are rare. During this time game prices have increased a lot. If we base our values on sales from 4+ years ago, then our values will be inaccurate.

Starting last week, if the sealed condition sale is more than one year old we will look to see if the CIB price for that same game has changed and adjust our estimate of the sealed price to take that into account. CIB condition is much more common with video games so there is much more sales activity to use for our estimate AND the relationship between CIB and New prices is very stable for games on a specific console.

Any valuation for a brand new retro game is an estimate though because the exact condition for each item greatly impacts the value. For example, a water damaged sealed game is worth much less than a crisp, perfect seal. And there are many levels of variation in between. Our new value estimates are not based on actual brand new sales, but they are much more accurate than our old sealed prices and give collector's a much more accurate view of what their games are worth.

This change impacts about 20% of NES, SNES, and N64 games.

Let me know if you have any questions about this change.

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