Tag Archives: DC

Comics Without Superheroes and the Women Who Love Them

Tom Spurgeon’s essay Breaking a 26-Year Weekly Comics Buying Habit  tells the story of a devoted comic book reader who became disillusioned with mainstream comics and walked away. It comes down to three major points:

  1. Mainstream comics are a duopoly (Marvel, DC) distributed by a monopoly (Diamond)
  2. The duopoly produces superhero stories almost exclusively
  3. Superhero stories tend to –
    -retread storytelling devices (like angsty first-person captions)
    -repeat and reboot the same origin stories instead of growing the universe with risky new characters
    -move at a pace that’s too slow to maintain interest

My story might be entitled “Why I Never Started a 26-Year Weekly Comics Buying Habit,” because while these obstacles forced one man to an ultimate conclusion, for me they were a barrier to entry. I know that there are women who read and love superhero comics; I read their essays and their enthusiastic blogs, I listen to their podcasts and I interact with them online. I thank them for keeping us in the conversation. But as a woman who doesn’t read superhero comics, my experience may give some insight as to why the duopoly fails to capture so many female readers at a malleable age. Continue reading Comics Without Superheroes and the Women Who Love Them

Author of Strawberry Shortcake: Return of the Purple Pie Man, Disney’s Frozen Comic Collection, Transformers: Robots in Disguise Animated and Littlest Pet Shop: Open for Business. She’s written for IDW Publishing, Hasbro, Lion Forge, American Greetings and Scholastic, and her work has been discussed in Comics Beat and The Washington Post. Subscribe to the newsletter

Women Do Not Read Comics Says DC and Kevin Smith

The rising discontent with the treatment of female comic book readers and creators by the comics mainstream bubbled over on social networks this week after two new releases: the results of DC’s Neilsen Survey on their New 52 reboot and the premiere of Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men. DC’s survey was made of customers purchasing New 52 titles in stores during the crucial first few weeks of the release of their #1 issues; some important results to note:

  • 93% of the participants were male
  • Consumers aged 13-18 were only 2%
  • Female readership was down to 7% from 8% 20 years ago

Disappointed comments abounded on the Tumblr blog DC Women Kicking Ass, run by Sue from the 3 Chicks Review Comics podcast. Comments like this one from pluckyredhead: “The really sad thing? They’re going to take this as ‘proof’ that ‘women and kids don’t read comics’ and continue to ignore them as viable demographics.” Sue frequently posts on this topic, as she did last June when she said:

They (DC) are out on their DCnU roadshow and are saying that “new readers” they are targeting are males 18-34. The same readers they have been trying to sell to for the last decade with diminishing success…

Despite the fact that DC doesn’t lift a finger to market to females;

Despite the fact that DC publishes artwork of female characters that regularly crosses the line from cheesecake to embarrassing;

Despite the fact that female characters are often treated like crap in comparison to male characters AND that being treated like crap is still better than some of the other things that have been done to them;

DC still has many, many loyal female customers.

Continue reading Women Do Not Read Comics Says DC and Kevin Smith

Author of Strawberry Shortcake: Return of the Purple Pie Man, Disney’s Frozen Comic Collection, Transformers: Robots in Disguise Animated and Littlest Pet Shop: Open for Business. She’s written for IDW Publishing, Hasbro, Lion Forge, American Greetings and Scholastic, and her work has been discussed in Comics Beat and The Washington Post. Subscribe to the newsletter