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I read a lot on the internet about the toxic environment of many comic book stores and how sexist they are and demeaning towards women. Which, yes, that culture can often be extremely misogynistic and arrogant and all sorts of awful things.
Which is why I feel like I need a moment to talk about how the people who run my comics store are GREAT.
I mean, I’m female, I really don’t know much about comics (I come in every few weeks for the next issue of Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, and that’s it), I’m not very old and I look about four years younger than I am……I’d be a pretty easy target, is what I’m saying.
Instead, I asked for earlier issues of Hawkeye and the store manager tried for a few weeks to get them in for me instead of just telling me it wasn’t possible. Once, he and one of his employees and a woman who was clearly a frequent customer were conversing about the latest issue of some comic or other while I frantically searched the store for the latest issue of Hawkeye. When I finally confessed that I was clueless, the manager didn’t roll his eyes at me, he just showed me that the new releases sometimes get placed on a different table and had happened to get stacked on top of each other so that the comic I wanted was hidden. Then they all wanted to know why I was so worried, and when I explained about having arranged to discuss the comic with People that evening over Skype, they all were interested and asked for more details, congratulating me at the appropriate points and displaying genuine interest and waving at me as I departed.
Today, I ventured in yet again for more of my one and only comic. When I checked out, the manager handed me a flyer for a local comics convention and told me that I ought to come, I might be able to get some of the back issues of Hawkeye there. (DOES THIS NOT SOUND LIKE A BIG DEAL TO YOU? THEN YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN A COLLEGE STUDENT WITH THE FACE OF A HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN WHO NEVER GETS SPOKEN TO LIKE AN ADULT.) It sounded interesting, too, only I realized that I would be out of the country on those days, and told him so. He asked if I was fleeing to Canada because of the draft, and assured me that America doesn’t force young people to join the army any more. (WHICH I AM A LADY BUT HE STILL TEASED ME ABOUT HAVING TO JOIN THE ARMY LIKE IT WAS TOTALLY NORMAL AND GOODNESS.)
I am impressed with them, okay? This could easily have been a totally awful experience for me, and I was a little concerned going in, but it turns out that no one there is a jerk at all.
I’m not a small woman.
I wear a size 24-26 in jeans, depending on the manufacturer. I wear a size 3x in shirts (most of the time—fitted stuff has to be 4x because I don’t nip in at the waist).
Black Milk doesn’t make clothes for me. We Love Fine doesn’t carry things in my size. They have it on their size chart, but rarely in stock. Forever 21’s plus sizes end at about a 20. TeeFury? Shirt Woot? Stuck in the men’s sizing, which doesn’t fit me right.
We all know what I’m commenting on, and I’m doing my best not to derail it because yes, Kate Leth is making a very good point.
It’s just not a point that includes me. I want to be included. It’s all I ever really want, at the end, but yet again I’m not good enough to be counted as part of the cool kids club.
If you based comic sales on an algorithm that marries Tumblr and Twitter appearances with cosplayer viability, “Young Avengers” is by far the biggest selling comic on the planet.
But that isn’t the world we live in, as sales do not equal social media hype.
The question for me is, if all of these people are so hyped about books like “Young Avengers”, then why aren’t we seeing it in sales? Is this a case where we have a highly vocal minority, a frightening level of piracy or some combination of both? It’s probably the combination, but it often is frustrating to see the comics internet get so up in arms about the need for support of new ideas and controversial topics, yet those ideas and topics falling by the wayside when those actionable items actually cost money.
If you want a new book – like “Ms. Marvel” – to succeed, tell your retailer. Ultimately, comic “sales” aren’t really sales in the traditional sense, they are orders from retailers. Most retailers order huge on #1 issues (thus, the constant relaunches) and drop precipitously from there, even though orders for #2 are due before the first issue is released.
Because of that, new characters and new comics are facing a huge roadblock in finding their audience.
So be vocal and be active. If there is a new character you are eager to support, get out there and tell your retailer and tell your friends. It’s not enough to just talk about it on Tumblr or Twitter, you need to make sure that your pull list is updated, that your friends pull list is updated, and that you are spreading the excitement of those books that you love. The sales of issue #1 aren’t what defines a book as a success so much as the sales for #3 and #4, when the buzz has died down and books find their true level.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where a book is published and if a new character stars in it or not, it still can’t survive without you. So if you are really desperate for a new character or comic to succeed, start with nine simple words:
“I’d like to add this to my pull list.”"
I Need a Hero: A Look at the Lack of Breakout Characters in Today’s Comics by David Harper for Multiversity Comics (via myvisagewasted)
See what I was told is that digital sales don’t count. Which is always going to skew the numbers on titles that appeal primarily to a younger market. Particularly a younger female market.
Agreed. I hope someday Marvel will realize that the traditional single issue market isn’t the only thing that should drive their priorities. I wonder how successful a book has to be digitally before they’ll notice that. The creative side of marvel does keep doing projects that try to push the boundaries of that audience, but the sales side doesn’t want to acknowledge the areas where that would pay off.(via creepingmonsterism)
I normally don’t put my two cents in on stuff like this, but…
When I tell my retailer (admittedly, our local market has, um, LIMITED brick and mortar options) that I want to sub to a book like Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, Fearless Defenders, etc., HE GIVES ME SHIT ABOUT IT. “Oh, it’s not going to succeed.” “It looks dumb.” “You’re just doing this for the politics.”
He has accidentally(?) forgotten to sub me to 1st (and 2nd and 3rd) issues of things that I know I specifically requested MONTHS prior, in writing.
So I guess what I’m saying is that the companies can’t even rely on brick and mortar retailers to give them an accurate representation of their market. They NEED to start looking more carefully into online and electronic distribution numbers.
There was a post, well a few posts really about how DC generally doesnt give a shit about its female audience because we dont buy the same amount of merchandise or toys or apparel as male fans.
Now today I was shopping and spotted a Wonder Woman t-shirt, so I made a beeline for it. Ready to throw my money at DC, to become a walking billboard and swish around in a snazzy new Wonder Woman shirt.
As soon as I picked it up I put it back down in disgust and headed back to the mens section and picked up a guys Batman tee.
Why? Because emblazoned on the WW shirt were the words, in a glittery font “Girls Night!”.
Below this tshirt was another Womans fitted vest with the boys from the JL on it and the slogan “I need a hero!”.
I dont want to buy this shit. Why can’t they just give us a line of superhero stuff for women without insulting our intelligence?.
Where are my Black Canary knee high fishnet print socks? My Huntress pants? Where is my Mera inspired jewellry range for my more formal needs (because yes. I do require a sensible tiara).
Where is my Big Barda gym bag?
They don’t exist.
So instead I buy the guys stuff and alter it myself but then they assume its a guys money they’re getting.
And action figures? Shit I have ALL THIS FUCKING MONEY TO GIVE YOU DC but you wont give me a set of kick ass women figures that aren’t more offensively proportioned than Barbie herself.
I once saw a Catwoman figure whose waist was as thick as her neck.
Who statistically are the biggest consumers DC? Women. Don’t you dare pretend I aint here waiting to buy stuff, shit give me a utility belt purse with quick draw credit card release and i’ll give you my first born.
I’M LOOKIN’ AT YOU, TOO, MARVEL
Full name / name of organization:Zara Wilkinson, Rutgers University-Camdencontact email:
May 2-3, 2014
Buffy to Batgirl is an interdisciplinary conference with a focus on women and gender in science fiction, fantasy, and comics. Science fiction and fantasy is a popular genre, as evidenced by the recent success of books, televisions, and films such as The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Avengers, and Gravity. These books, television shows, and films include a wide variety of female characters, from protagonists to villains, warriors to “women in refrigerators,” and sidekicks to starship captains.
We invite submissions of individual papers or complete panels on any aspect of female representation in science fiction, fantasy, and comics. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, we seek to represent a range of critical and theoretical approaches as well as a variety of media.
Appropriate topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Women and their place in futuristic or other worlds (Star Trek, Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Firefly)
- Female protagonists in urban fantasy and paranormal romance (Buffy, Anita Blake, Sookie Stackhouse, Clary Fray)
- Gender politics after the apocalypse (Revolution, Falling Skies, Oryx and Crake, Y: The Last Man)
- Female characters in updated/adapted fairy tales (Once Upon a Time, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Snow White and the Huntsman, Grimm)
- The women of superhero films/television (Marvel Cinematic Universe, Agents of SHIELD, Arrow)
- Female-focused comic book series (New 52 Batgirl and Wonder Woman, Marvel NOW! X-Men)
- Horrific women and women in horror (American Horror Story, Carrie, Mama)
- Science fiction and reproductive body horror (Alien franchise, Twilight, Bloodchild)
- Cyberpunk and the augmented woman (William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Charles Stross)
- Feminism, gender, and sexuality in zombie media TV (Romero, In the Flesh, The Walking Dead)
- Young female characters, especially in sf/f media for young adults and children (The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Song of the Lionness, His Dark Materials)
- International aspects of these and other relevant topics and/or papers on science fiction, fantasy, and comics in other languages also encouraged
Buffy to Batgirl is open to all faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars. Undergraduate students may also submit proposals but should include the name of faculty mentor who will assist in the preparation of an appropriate conference presentation.
Please send a 300-500 word abstract and a short bio to email@example.com by January 4, 2014.
Rutgers-Camden, located just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, is the southernmost campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The campus can be reached from all major transit hubs in Philadelphia, PA, and is accessible by public transportation. Please contact the conference organizers for more information.cfp categories:childrens_literaturecultural_studies_and_historical_approachesfilm_and_televisiongender_studies_and_sexualitygraduate_conferencesinterdisciplinarypopular_culture——————————————————————————————————————-TELL EVERYONE
More harassment at cons, this time at a freaking panel and with everybody watching.
The culprit in this ocassion is Scott Lobdell, who decided to step up and apologize.
I’m not one to judge if this apology is sincere or not. What it looks like to me is that he doesn’t really get what he did wrong.
It seems to me that any normal functional human being wouldn’t think about asking another human being “did you cum when you ate that mango” in the middle of a freaking comics panel.
I was going to leave things alone but I thought it worth it to add Mark Waid’s comment below.
So, the Starfire thing was only the fucking beginning
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