Monday, April 11, 2016

On Being a Female Comic Noob

This month, I've been focusing on comic books in what I have deemed Comic Book Month. This relates to nothing, other than the fact that I've been in a reading slump and comics are a great novel palette cleanser. So what I wanted to talk about today is what is it like to be new to the comic book world, and what it's like to be a woman in that world.

I think a lot of women are afraid to admit that they are new to comics, or don't know much about comics because of this whole "fake geek girl" thing. Which is complete and utter bullshit. 

There is actually a Oh, Comics episode where they talk about how the majority of women who read comics only read trade, and not single-issues. The thought is that the intimidation to go into a comic book store and to buy single-issue or even setup a pull list is too much for them. I never really thought about how pull-lists are important to the industry, but pre-ordering is pretty important to the comic book industry. I will admit that I do mostly read trade volumes, but I think that might be because I don't always buy comics and libraries mostly only carry trade or omnibus collections. 

To be honest, I don't think I really started getting into comics until a few years ago. And that is completely okay! I have never said that I wasn't a fair weather comic book fan. It just seems like there is this discourse in the fandom that that is bad. Obviously I am generalizing here, because there are a lot of people that will go out of there way to give you suggestions on what to read and where to start with different comics. These are the good comic book fans, because they just want to share their love for something, not knock a person down and claim they aren't "real" fans. Personally I have never had this experience, but I also think my personality to just not give a shit what people think about me helps. I've also been told my neutral face is not quite "resting bitch face" but more "do not eff with me" so I think I've got myself covered there. 

I also want to say that this concept of women not being "real fans" is not specific to comics either. I'm a huge hockey fan, and I also see this issue in the sports fandom as well. Dudes will be like, "Oh, you like hockey, well name 10 dudes on the main roster." And it's like, would you ask me that if I was a dude? No. So you name 10 dudes on the main roster, because everyone keeps getting traded! 

I'm not exactly sure what I'm trying to say with this post, it's more just me ranting about some of the issues in our society that have been annoying me. I think the biggest take away I want everyone to see is that you should love what you love and don't care what people think or say. Again, these "fake girl geek" claimers are a small minority of the fandom.  Don't let anyone try to tell you your interests are not valid or you are not a "real fan."So if you are a woman interesting in reading comics, but you are intimidated by going into a comic book shop, I say don't be! You go into that place and show them who is boss!

Have you ever experienced "the fake geek girl" discourse? Have you had a bad experience with the comic book community? Or in any other fandom?

Happy Reads Everyone!