By Cami Berardi
Let me start by stating that this is NOT advertising for a new promotion from Taco Bell or an adult website. Nope, instead it is one lone “fan-girl” calling out all local comic shop owners across the land.
As some of you may or may not have heard Strange Adventures comic shop located in Halifax Nova Scotia in Eastern Canada has decided to make a ground breaking move in the comic book community by holding its very first Ladies Night. “Why? What is that?” you may wonder while scratching your head. The answer my friend is very simple and it is best summed up in the following quote given by Strange Adventures themselves:
“Have you ever felt a little intimidated or awkward going into a comic shop? Are you interested in comics, but not sure where to start? Or are you a super fan-girl who wants to nerd out about comics without boys getting in the way?”
When I first read about this event I was floored, impressed, and a little envious because I absolutely would have loved to have been apart of it. I thought to myself; hmm, this is just what the doctor ordered. For so long there have been many places that have been dubbed a true “sausage-fest” and comic book shops rank high on that list in my humble opinion. The introduction of having a female centric event held even once a month in local comic book shops around the U.S. and Canada would leave a tremendously positive footprint in the comic book community.
Here is fact number one: the portrayal of women characters in the comic book medium has often been lack fucking luster to say the least. Fact number two: there is certainly not nearly enough women who are working in the comic book industry at any level to be able to exact true change from within. Fact number three: there are heaps of women out there that love comic books or are just curious about comics, and really desire to be apart of this scene but are so afraid of all you big bad comic book guys that they shy away.
So what does it all mean? Well, it’s pretty simple. When comic book shops choose to host such an event, women feel free to really get their mitts dirty and explore the wonderful world of visual literature that awaits them just beyond those front doors. I am a die hard Fan-girl who hails from Toronto, Ontario and I have been to many comic book shops in the city and surrounding areas. There are two common threads amongst all of them. The first being an over saturation of Marvel product on their shelves AND secondly, no women to be found anywhere…not even behind the counters! There has been only one shop in Toronto that I have frequented (Silver Snail) where I have actually witnessed female employees. Coincidently this is the same shop where I have noted the most amount of female clientele.
By having a “ladies night” shops are inviting in an army of comic book connoisseurs to spend their money. When the female population begins to spend money it benefits the whole community in two ways as I can see it. There is a rise in profits for all concerned. Also the comic book publishers will be able to track the type of subject matter that actually appeals to women as opposed to a bunch of men cooped up in some stuffy boardroom somewhere scratchin’ their balls trying to figure out what women want, and failing miserably at it I might add. This may come as a surprise to some of you men out there, but not every woman wants to only read Harry Potter or fucking Twilight!
Just like when it comes to everything else in life, we enjoy having a variety. Just like you boys, we too would enjoy getting a group of like minded friends together on a Wednesday night to head out to the local comic shop to fuss and fawn over the latest releases to hit the shelves. It would be refreshing to see a girl behind the counter who we could approach for her take on a particular series or a current event happening in the industry. Maybe, just maybe, it will take the monetary language of the all mighty dollar to persuade comic publishers to employ more female editors, writers, artists, etc. And once this happens we may just be lucky enough to see a change in how women are written and drawn in comics.
There is really nothing to be afraid of here fellas. This is not segregation or a plot to over throw the male kingdom of comics. It is instead a brave new world. A utopia if you will. A comic book community where men and women of all ages, colors, shapes, sizes, religious and political views, and sexual orientation can meld together and just get along while enjoying a solid read.
I truly and sincerely hope that this idea ignites like wild fire. I honestly believe it can resuscitate a currently dying industry. Changes must be made if we are to see a revival of sorts within the comic book community. This type of event should be welcomed with open arms not greeted by closed minds. After all boys, I ask you: what is the sausage without the bun?