Believe it or not comics are a subculture with a very broad fan base. Lawyers, geeks of all kinds and even stay at home moms enjoy the many adventures of their favorite inked heroes as an escape from reality; the artwork that graces the pages of graphic novels and comic books only second to the many wonderful stories portrayed inside its pages. Superheroes, robots from outer space, aliens and even everyday normal folk star in tales full of social commentary and mindless entertainment. No wonder comic conventions or ComiCons are popping up everywhere and have reached high attendance levels! Getting tickets for the San Diego Comic Con has gotten so popular they have come up with creative measures to ensure new fans get a chance to attend each year.
Side note: Check out Quirks and Comrades post for more info on the SDCC admission process, including tips to attend with kids and to get tickets.
The genre’s popularity stems from the fact that there is something written and drawn for every age and taste. This is the main reason why comics are an excellent subject matter to convert into screenplays and TV series, bringing popular storylines and characters into the mainstream. Sometimes the comics incurse into the Americana in a subtle way since the stories tug at your heart strings and/or appeal to your inner hero. They permeate pop culture in such and ubiquitous form that you forget where characters like Snoopy and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came from – comics.
Because of the popularity of graphic novels, it is impossible to go to the movies or download sci-fi content that hasn’t been somewhat influenced by this genre. The sad part is many of the original authors go unrecognized, remaining anonymous to the masses even when they have vast legacies. This is why it is important to support your local comic book store especially if you are a fan of comic inspired content since there is a lot more to explore in terms of original content out there. Your local comic book staff can help you find new series and heroes to follow so you can continue to support the industry directly, keeping the genre alive and well.
To do our part, Mr Enginerd and I go to out local store to pick up our weekly subscriptions. The owner is a lively hair colored self proclaimed geek and nerd who is more than happy to make recommendations and discuss the latest offerings. In this particular store they meet on Thursdays and Fridays to talk about preselected titles. I forgot which night it was but Magic Mirror Comics, our local store, has a monthly girls night out comic book club meeting which has a very decent turn out. Many of the female centric titles I have been reading of late have come from the club’s recommendations. (See here for examples and reviews.)
Meet ups like these provide a safe environment and forum for women to explore comic book titles without the ridicule or incessant mansplaining some dudes resort to when engaging female geeks in conversation. I feel empowered by the selections they discuss and the titles offered because they are female centric and off the beaten path. (Except for Wonder Woman, the rest of the titles are original and very unique in nature.) It is always an invigorating experience to find like minded individuals, especially of the female nerd kind, which opens the door to make friends with people I wouldn’t normally run into at work or in my every day life. If you ever need to “find your tribe” this is one of the coolest ways to do it. Great minds think alike, and read together!
Take a moment to explore your town’s stores and if need be, consider opening a location where there are none and there’s a need to form a nerdy community. Who knows, you may end up learning about Frank Miller or meeting the next Stan Lee or Bob Kane! (I recently bought a book about female comic book pioneers to add a few women to this list.) The universe is the limit when it comes to comic book as they don’t discriminate due to race, gender or creed. Diversity at its best.