I recently joined tumblr because I wanted to follow a bunch of tumblrs (blogs? tumbles?). I haven’t written anything over there yet; just reposted a few comics I found interesting, along with a link back to here. Anyway, one of the tumblrs I started following is by @allaboutmanga called
Ladies in Comic Book Stores. (EDIT: she changed the name of her tumblr. It is now Ladies Buying Comics.)
LiCBS is pretty self-explanatory. What she’s trying to do is collect pictures (with their permission!) of ladies in comic book stores and their comic purchases, in order to help encourage other ladies to go to their local comic book store and not be intimidated by the “guys only” stigma that usually permeates such places. Also to show guys that we do read comics of all kinds, and maybe be a little more welcoming and helpful to us when we go in, and not treat us like the girlfriend/sister/wife of whatever guy we may be accompanying, or like freaks of nature. Visits during delivery day (Wednesday) are especially encouraged, as that’s when the population is higher with people picking up their weekly holds.
I think I’ve been fairly lucky with my comic book shopping experience. I started buying comics in the 90s in college and have usually been treated like any other guy buying comics. When I moved to Davis, I quickly tracked down my local comic book stores and started visiting them regularly, and again was treated normally. Bizarro World is still in Davis today with the same owner and a much larger space, and I make sure to drop in on my trips back home. I also visit Drom’s, a newer store, but one of the workers there used to work at BizWo, and he’s always been super nice and helpful to me (and not in a creepy way).
I’ve only had two negative shopping experiences: one was in Sacramento and the other was in Los Angeles. In Sacramento I was talked about in whispers immediately upon entering the store (I overheard one guy hiss, “It’s a GIRL!”) like I was some sort of rare alien species and I immediately felt like an outsider. And in LA, I was not acknowledged even when standing in front of the counter (the clerks were too busy discussing inconsistencies in Iron Man), and when I interrupted to ask for assistance, was looked at as if I were some sort of bug and finally one guy reluctantly detached himself from the counter and half-assedly tried to help me find what I wanted but soon ditched me for his discussion. I left both places without buying anything and never went back.
Anyway, to help lessen the occurrences this sort of stupid behavior, I’m hoping this weekend to hit up some comic book stores in San Diego with my friend Shaz and submit photos to the LiCBS tumblr. I also encourage any of you ladies out there who happen to read my blog (*crickets*) to submit photos to her! I think this is a fun project and she’s been getting some great responses. But she just started this up and hasn’t gotten many submissions yet, so any help I’m sure would be appreciated. Just be patient about seeing your picture; she’s already had one drama queen who got huffy because her picture wasn’t posted immediately (it’s called “spacing your posts out”) and withdrew her picture after throwing a snitfit.
Now get out there and support your local comic book store! There’s some great mainstream and independent comic books, graphic novels, and manga just waiting to be picked up by you. And if you are a lady, please consider submitting your shopping picture to the tumblr I mentioned!
- Bizarro World, 223 E St., Davis, CA 95616
- Drom’s Comics and Cards, 231 G St., Davis, CA 95616
- Big Brother Comics, 1722 J St., Sacramento, CA 95811 (different from the horrible one I went to!)
- Dreamworld Comics, 12400 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066 (note: hours are listed incorrectly on yelp)
- Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (note: haven’t been here yet, just always hear great things about it!)
For buying ideas, the ALA (American Library Association) just posted their Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. I’m linking to the nominations because that list is longer and contains many wonderful books that didn’t manage to squeak into the top 10. If you poke around there, you can also find previous years’ contenders.