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Noelle Stevenson’s Comic Shop Experience Makes Us Sad


Noelle Stevenson, aka Gingerhaze, is an accomplished creator. She creates the weekly webcomic Nimona and her latest outing is the fabulously named Lumberjanes from Boom. But you see, that all amounts to nothing when entering certain comic book shops. 

Do head over to Stevenson’s tumblr to read the rest of this rage-inducing comic strip (and a follow-up rant on this reblog) you just might relate to. Also read her great response to someone telling her they “don’t want to be rude or ignorant but…

If this worries you, don’t fret, there ARE good comic shops out there. A tumblr user told Stevenson, and in turn us, about a great resource - Hater Free Wednesdays. They list great, and not so great, comic shops around North America and you can submit others you know of.

What I want to know is, when will women stop getting this reaction in comic shops?

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  • http://svalb.org/ Tomb Svalborg

    I wish all comic shops could just clone Amy Dallen.

  • hh

    I should never read the comments sections on these blogs. It just makes me sad.

  • Elias Algorithm

    This is funny to me because my partner’s name is Noel (she goes by Ellie) and she’s had so many great ideas about comic shops when I was running one, and once I lost that, I found a guy to feed my addiction and viola! He’s come to the same ideas she had and they work (a couch to start).

  • Charlie

    This is why I order online.

  • HappyCat

    Perhaps when women own them, run them, and write scathing reviews on Yelp. Seriously, take names, complain and publicly shame.

  • http://the-nerdmuffin.tumblr.com/ Sara Goodwin

    I started getting comics in the early 90′s, and never had a single bad experience. Most of the time, if anything at all, the dudes in comic shops were at worst surprised to see me and my friend, and asked what kinds of comics we were into. Nobody gave us any crap. We felt like honored guests, and then more and more girls were getting into comics and things and coming in and we weren’t even special anymore. Dammit. :-) Kidding aside, it sucks to get an unfriendly reaction from anyone ever, and especially when it’s a retail situation and the person should really just be trying to sell things to you instead of run you out. That guy sounds like a turdmuffin sammich.

  • Anonymous

    Always regret that. I keep forgetting to just stop scrolling once the post itself has ended.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, same here. I haven’t had a bad experience in a comic book store. The guys at my local shop were always happy to have my business and we’d always hang out yakking about whatever new fansubs were coming out or good series to start. Sucks to hear there are still douchebag gatekeepers.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    ugh. ’bout 20 years ago there was a comic shop where I used to live and the counter guy there was cool and smart. The first time I went in he saw me buy X-Men and a lot of older manga and he chatted me up and from then on every week we had conversations about comics and artists. Then a few years later the store changed ownership and the new guy was such a jerk. Completely ignored me until I put cash on the counter. I tried to engage him in conversation once and he damn near got violent when I mentioned what a shite artist Liefeld was.

  • http://the-nerdmuffin.tumblr.com/ Sara Goodwin

    The main place we went was run by old dudes, and they were super nice and kind of dad-like in a good way. They’d see us pulling new X-Men titles and make sure we knew where the back issues were and which ones were most important to fill in the story arcs that were started before we were born, etc. I started going there with my dad when I was probably 5, but I suspect I was probably in a baby backpack in there as well. I’m definitely a nerdspawn. :-) They had a cutout of Wolverine with a speech bubble that said, “This ain’t no library, bub!” I miss that place!

  • http://bcauseboomerangs.tumblr.com/ Thaddottir

    It’s such a drag that this is still such a problem. I’ve been reading comics for 20+ years, and I’ve been lucky enough to never really have a problem going in to shops, and the few problems I did have were as a teenager, and, well, being 6 feel tall and wearing steel toed combat boots put an end to it pretty quickly! I’ve been ignored a bit in certain shops, but fortunately, I’ve never been talked down to or mocked. (At least not to my face.) I have an awesome shop now that I go to at least once an month, and I often take my 4 year old daughter. The owner is always awesome to us, and to everyone else who comes in to the shop. (Insert shameless plug for Hypno Comics in Ventura, CA, here. Seriously, it’s the best comic shop I’ve ever been in.)

  • http://groggybot.blogspot.com/ grog1138

    What? I find your story hard to believe. No one defends Liefeld’s work.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone remember the Sandman Comic where Barbie goes to buy a comic for Wanda, and has to deal with this?

  • Brian McDonald

    Somehow, I just knew that the rude commenter was going to be the older nerd with the martyr/sadist complex. “I was victimized as a young nerd, which I hated more than I can possibly articulate, and I want you to go through that before you can call yourself a ‘nerd’.” I like to think I’m a pretty smart guy, but I cannot for the life of me understand this mentality. No one (except maybe masochists) should have to suffer for the things that excite them. Idiots like that guy are an embarrassment to geekdom.

  • Sherrie Ricketts

    I’ve had only good experiences in comics shops so far, but not so much with a couple of game shops. Being either ignored or stared at and whispered about by people who seem confused you’re there can make you feel like crap.

    I’ve had people say that girls don’t really like comics/video games/sci-fi/[insert other things here] because they’ve never met any girls who were REALLY into those things. I responded to one guy by telling him that girls tend to stay away from sexist d-bags, so if he didn’t have any girls in his circles, there’s probably a good reason, and it isn’t because they don’t like the same things.

  • Jamie Jeans

    And that is when I burned the comic store down, your honour, after ensuring the moronic employees could not escape.

    And thus the gene pool was cleansed a little bit more of their idiocy.

  • Charlie

    It’s even worse to read that when you were badly bullied as a little girl sometimes specifically for liking sci fi, fantasy or gaming. I remember I drew the Zentradi alphabet from macross on my art folder and I got beaten up by a group of older guys for being ‘a nerd’.
    That said, getting victimised should most definately not be a prerequisite for enjoying ‘geek culture’.

  • frictionandbone

    This is one of those times I’m thankful for where I live, in Cape Town the comic scene is pretty small. We have about two stores with really small, fairly new communities. Something I found really heartwarming was when my local shop was offering 10% of anything in the shop purchased by any girl under 21, after Lauren Beukes (Vertigo, Fairest, proudly South African) visited and tweeted about how more young girls should read comic books…

  • Cad Wallader

    Bad customer service is why these shops are going extinct. They’ll learn too late that being a dickhead is how you ensure your obsolescense. It sucks that places I used to love as a kid turned so harshly against their customers, male and female, by assuming the role of gatekeepers to an already (by then, the 90s) niche media.
    Amazon’s cheaper, has everything I’m looking for, and isn’t a fucking dick. Oh look, they just remembered the stuff I looked for a month ago, asked me to treat myself by getting something off my wish list, then suggested ten other things I’d like I’d not even thought of based on my shopping habits.
    Good luck, comic shop asshole.

  • Anonymous

    That sucks. I’ve never had that happen to me (granted, I’ve only been in two different comics shops on five different occasions total); when I go into comics shops they treat me like a customer, and some of the employees are women.

  • Anonymous

    When I started reading comics at about 10 years old, girls didn’t go into comics shops. Period. This was in the late 60′s early 70′s. You were a freak; you were the only female in the room. That ended my interest in buying comics, because my self-esteem couldn’t take it.

    There was no “geek girl” support in those days.

  • Anonymous

    Checked out Hater Free Wednesdays to make sure Vault of Midnight made the list as safe. That store in Ann Arbor is the only comic store I’ve ever felt safe in that was full of friendly, helpful, non-judgemental staff. Since I moved out of that region, I just stick to buying comics at the book store. I don’t understand why they tend to be hostile environments with poor lighting.

  • locuas

    Okay, to be fair, that comic shop Could be extremely popular with bronies, and he is more surprised that a non-brony entered the shop…

    Now let’s be serious here. When you go to a comic book shop for the first time you are likely to have a similar experience no matter the gender(i still remember my first experience). that does not make it any less wrong, of course, but when you go to the same place on a regular basis, those experiences kind of stop(IF the people who work in there are not assholes on a regular basis). If you do not want people to suffer this, The best you can do is open a comicbook shop yourself to give people a place they can go where they will not have to endure that kind of experiences.

    BUt when will it stop? that is something harder to solve(because, honestly, you can suffer this in ANY kind of enviroment, but how much that has changed in comparison to comic shops is an entirely different discussion). the best you cold hope for to make people act nicer would be asking to talk to the manager and complain that their employ behaviour makes you feel uncomfortable or insulted. That or wait for the day people stop hiring assholes.

  • Daniel Aubrey White

    People hate my town. They say it’s a shitty suburb of a cool city. You can even read about it in Patton Oswalt’s Zombie Spaceship Wasteland. He had a really bad experience at a comedy club here in 1994. In the building right next to where that club used to be is a comic store owned by two sisters. It’s one of only two stores we have here. The other, I’ve been shopping at since 1991, and there hasn’t been a time since the 90′s when they haven’t employed a young woman at the till. At least seven have worked there.

    People say what they like about my city, but what they never say is that we make women feel unwelcome buying comics.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never had that experience. My first time in a comic store, my only experience was reading a few of my dad’s comics and watching superhero cartoons. I knew nothing. And I was in college. But I didn’t have any kind of bad experience. Of course, I’m a nerdy looking white guy.

    You would hope that a group of people that were so often marginalized and ridiculed for the things they enjoyed would be more accepting and inclusive. Unfortunately, too often that’s not the case.

  • Brian McDonald

    I’ve never had anyone question my choices, or insult my taste in books while I was standing right there. Yes, there are assholes who look down on everyone, and perhaps treat everyone with disdain, but if you think that men and women are always treated similarly, well, the women here can tell you much better than I can how wrong you are.

    As for “the best you can do is open a comicbook shop yourself”, that’s just ridiculous. Critiquing a store’s service in the hopes that they change it is a much better, and more realistic reaction to bad customer service. I mean, did you open a restaurant the last time you got shitty service at a restaurant? I had a doctor treat me like an idiot. Do I have to become a doctor and open my own practice? Because to be honest, I don’t have that kind of time.

  • Jo Perrett

    Luckily my local comic shop is run by an awesome lady. The first time I went in she struck up a conversation with me and helped me pick out a green lantern comic for myself as well as age appropriate christmas presents for my brother. I now go there every Tuesday for MTG club. Oh and did I mention she was awesome?
    Hopefully that will give people hope (:

  • Jo Perrett

    I should mention the comic shop is called Darkside Comics and is located in Chelmsford, Essex in England (:

  • St. Jason

    I travel for work a lot so I wind up visiting a lot of comics shops in all different areas and my experience has been that while most are pretty great there are quite a few turds in the punch bowl. When the owners are a-holes they tend to be a-holes regardless of the gender of who they are a-holes to. There is even a shop in college station that is run by a lady who is just the worst asshole and yells at people for touching or thumbing through the books.
    I’ve had the same deal where I have been completely ignored and then given dagger eyes and annoying scoffs for interrupting whatever they were doing so I could give them money. As a guy getting into comics I felt just as intimidating and lost when I first started going to stores and had the generally feeling I was invading someone else’s space. So I can definitely vouch that the overwhelming nature of a comic shop is not just a girl thing (all though I recognize ladies may have a worse deal of it). The most direct example of that feeling is i’ve had is when I go to somewhere like the DMV where every one working there knows what forms you need and how your suppose to do things but you as the customer don’t and they get pissy and mean because you don’t know their weird arbitrary rules.
    Honestly I prefer to be left alone sometimes but it’s still blows my mind that shop employees would go out of their way to ensure I won’t come back. On the flip side my “regular” shop is awesome and friendly and nice and I will spend extra money buying crap just because I want to support them.
    I usually find my justice in yelp, if they are dicks I’ll give them a bad review, and, just as importantly, if they do a good job I’ll give them good review.

  • http://entirelyawayfromhome.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

    One of the worst things in nerd culture is that some people who were picked on for their interests will go on to do the same thing to other nerds. “I was bullied and no one should have EVER done that to me, but I’d like to bully you for those same reasons.” As if your past justifies you treating others like garbage. It’s time this culture broke the cycle of abuse and started treating everyone else with a modicum of respect.

  • locuas

    my point is, that kind of people exist and anytime you go to a new comic shop you risk having one of them there. if someone does not want to risk having one of those experiences, even when there is a high chance the place could turn out to be nice.
    that’s why i mentioned other things you could do instead.

  • locuas

    my opinion was with the understanding that, yes, there are some excellent places you can go and you will have no bad experience, but talking specifically about the bad ones.

  • Anonymous

    It’s sad that stories like this are still so common. You’d think that shops would welcome business, and would realize that treating their female customers like this is just going to hurt them in the long run.

    I can’t say that I’ve been to a ton of comic book shops, and when I was growing up, there wasn’t one in town. I’d been reading comics since I was 10 or so and I got into Archie and Sonic the Hedgehog comics (don’t judge me, I thought they were good). I started picking up superhero books as I got older, and would make regular trips to the local Borders to try and get new issues of the books I liked. It was always fun, but they didn’t always have loose issues.
    My first trip to a comic book store was when I was 16 or so. I was learning to drive, and my mom was able to coerce me into practicing on the highway by promising to take me to a comic books shop on the way home. So, first trip, not sure what I wanted to get, and on top of that, I was going with my mom. Recipe for disaster, right?

    Actually, it was a really good experience. The man at the desk was really nice, offered good recommendations, showed me and my mom where everything was, and he didn’t judge me based on the books I ended up choosing. It didn’t matter to him that I was a 16 year old girl, or that I’d never been in a comic book shop and had no clue what I was doing. I was a customer, and I was a budding comic book fan, and that was what mattered.

    Nowadays, I’m lucky enough to live within walking distance of two comic book shops, both of which I love going to and have never had trouble at. One of them feels a bit more inclusive to me than the other, but that may just be because the people behind the desk are more personable and willing to chat. The other shop isn’t bad, it’s just quiet. They’ve both got good stock, nice staff who are very helpful, and I’ve never felt out of place, I’ve never been mocked…I’ve been very lucky.
    I’m glad to see both of my shops listed on Hate Free Wednesday. I’m glad to see the shop my dad goes to when he’s away on business trips on Hate Free Wednesday(he’s a guy in his later 50s, I know he wouldn’t have to deal with this, but I’m glad to know he likes a place that doesn’t put up with this stuff). I’m glad to see my first shop experience up there.

    I just wish we didn’t need a list of shops that are safe to go to. But I guess as long as there are stupid assholes in the world…

  • Anonymous

    Aw that’s awesome! :D I want that Wolverine cut-out! Yeah I didn’t make it to my neighborhood shop often but the one I went to was run by older guys who were cool as hell and my go to place for bootleg anime tapes. Even got me set up with a Pokemon movie fansub. I don’t read too many trades and I did brace myself when I asked the guys at another store what’d be a good She-Hulk to start with and they could not have been more excited to hook me up. I kind of feel bad when I talk about how I haven’t had a problem in the shops and the douchebags I’ve encountered have been pretty evenly mixed between male and female. Guess it just depends where you travel?

  • Anonymous

    Props for recognizing the gender disparity, brother. Yeah, my experience with douchenozzles have been pretty mixed between male and female. I’m glad we’re at a point that I don’t need to give them my money or get involved in their drama because there are finer folks elsewhere and they’re the ones who need my support more than I need theirs.

  • Erika White

    When I had the time (and disposable income) to go to the comics shop regularly, I had a generally good experience. The owner knew me by name, would recommend comics based on the characters/creators I liked (didn’t always like it but it was always based on my tastes). Hell, his wife (someone I only ever met once) knew about me by name. I never felt unwelcome or ignored even though I was often the only girl and definitely the only Black girl in the store.

  • Nicoclaws

    Yay ! Go follow the machine instructions and buy buy buy !

    I was with you with the “bad service is a good reason not to buy in bad service stores” and “booksellers shouldn’t be gatekeepers”.
    But praising Amazon for “not being a dick” is really ignoring a bigger issue than unhelpful retailers.

  • Anonymous

    if you find yourself in los angeles and specifically in the valley, i heartily recommend earth 2 in sherman oaks:

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/earth-2-comics-sherman-oaks

    ive never actually bought a comic from a man there (not that i would decline!), and the women are uniformly fabulous people.

  • Cad Wallader

    I’m praising Amazon for being helpful. They’ve always got what I want in stock, their customer service bends over backwards to solve any issues I’ve got, and for ten bucks a month, I get all their streaming content and free two-day shipping.

    I don’t get mad at the machine when it’s very good at it’s job. Much better than the local stores at theirs. That’s like getting mad at Netflix for putting Blockbuster out of business. You jerks made the things I love convenient and cheap! How dare you!

  • Anonymous

    I shopped at a lot of second hand comics stores as a kid, but when I was a teen I discovered a ‘real’ one that imported new comics from the US etc. The two guys who ran it were great! One of them especially was phenomenal. He never treated me as an intruder, took note of what I liked and gave me tips (Sandman, Cerebus etc), chatted about artists and writers. There was never anything even remotely resembling a come on either. I spent pretty much my entire monthly allowance at that store…

    I honestly wish I could track him down and thank him – for just being a great human being.

  • Saraquill

    This makes me thankful for my comic book shops.

  • Anonymous

    I loved Gaiman for that! Well, that and 10.000 other things.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    oh this guy did. I made a tiny ankle joke and this guy started going off about “revitalizing comics! dynamic page layout! exciting poses!” That’s why i still remember the conversation some 20 yrs later. When your argument is “dynamic page layout” you’ve already lost.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    you knew the Zentradi alphabet? *tips my hat* that’s some fan love there

  • Suzanne Larsen

    My favorite comic shop had a cutout of Yoda saying “Buy or buy not, there is no browse”

  • Suzanne Larsen

    Hopefully you removed the comics first

  • http://www.fangirlwithtea.com/ Pamela

    Yeah, I wanted to ask that guy if being bullied for my SF/F love in grade school was enough to let me into his clubhouse or if I would be automatically disqualified because of my vagina.

  • http://groggybot.blogspot.com/ grog1138

    Ugh… I used to like those gimmicks in the 90′s (but I never like Liefeld). And those stupid holograms.

  • Meghan Bukowski Schulze

    I have several comic shops to pick from near me. My 2 that I actually frequent are not the closest, but by far the friendliest, are woman owned. 1 by a friend (who’s staff have no problem turning away nasty haters) and one that a friend has been going to for years. The 2nd one is owned by a woman, but managed (I have yet to see the owner in) by a wonderful man. He’s the nice version of Comic Book Guy on the Simpson’s. I have never felt uncomfortable or “talked down to” in this store and I send all newbies to both stores. I like spending my money where I’m wanted and treated with respect.

  • http://girlmeetslightsaber.blogspot.com Jenna Busch

    I talked about this on in the upcoming She Makes Comics documentary, but I was doing a podcast in a comics shop (which I won’t name) when this happened. I watched a woman walk in and say she’d just seen Thor and wanted to know a good place to start with the comics. The guy at the counter told her that she should stick to finding Chris Hemsworth hot and stay away from comics. It was disgusting. Yes, I said angry things to him, in case you were wondering.

  • Eric Montoya

    I hope these sorts of instances are rare. It’s a shame if they aren’t, especially in a comic shop which should always be a safe haven for fans of every size, shape, color and gender. As a lifelong comic book reader it’s great when I can introduce someone to the plethora of titles our beloved medium has to offer. I’ve never understood the whole “gatekeeper” mentality. Strength in numbers, folks.

  • Jamie Jeans

    All except the ones drawn by Rob Liefield…

  • locuas

    including the ones written by Alan Moore? you monster! :P

  • Pink Apocalypse

    Not to mention utility belts. Watch the vid of him recording himself doing art *while driving*. Such a tool. He and Lee’s crew spearheading the 90′s Chrome Age drove me away from comics. It took over 15 years before I came back.

    The wonderful variety of indies and alts are great, but the mainstream objectification is still the same.

  • Anonymous

    I would suggest that instead of making excuses for assholes, tell the assholes to stop being assholes.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    my brother and i still refer to ridiculously extravagant things as “chromium variant gatefold covers” (said in the Zoolander “orange mocha frappuccino!” voice).

  • Ashe

    I visit my local comic book shop once in a while and, I must say, I feel better that they have a few women working behind the counter. It’s hard to enter any geeky space without immediately being singled out (had a nice incident at a GameStop where the men behind the counter were griping about articles in their magazine ‘being written by women’ right in front of me and my friend), so a little diversity goes a very, VERY long way.

    It tells me, at the least, I’m not instantly unwelcome.

    And I really hate that a damn comic artist can’t feel welcome in her own environment because douchebag guy behavior is just that cloying, omnipresent and tolerated.

    She does fantastic work and deserves better than knee-jerk dismissal and snide remarks disguised as humor.

  • Ashe

    Power’s addicting. People who are used to being delegated to the bench while everyone else plays will just as soon point and laugh at those sitting down once they get their turn.

    I hear ‘victim mentality’ thrown around a lot to those who criticize this behavior, so I’ll in turn use ‘revenge mentality’.

  • luzzjl524

    my Aunty Grace got a nearly
    new blue Kia by working part time from the internet. look at this now
    B­i­g­4­1­.­ℂ­o­m

  • D33

    I had similar experience except I’m POC & the owner recommended BP & questioned my Batman pick. “Did that just happen?” YES. So Amazon prime for me.

  • Joanna

    Back then, I would have killed for nerdy friends. Now I get excited when my friends start to take interest in nerdy things. The more the merrier, you know? =)

  • Joanna

    Lol at guys who assume girls think Chris Hemsworth is hotter than Tom Hiddleston.

  • http://www.justplainsomething.com JustPlainSomething

    And that’s so ridiculous because those same guys say all the time how eye candy and fan service is totally cool in comics, but as soon as women (well, women who enjoy looking at attractive men) get thrown a bone, suddenly they’re into things for the WRONG REASONS. If liking hot people in your stories is okay for one gender, it should be okay for everyone.

  • http://www.justplainsomething.com JustPlainSomething

    I have pretty bad anxiety. The comic book shop near me has been generally positive experiences for me, although I don’t go often mostly because I just don’t have a lot of money for print comics anymore (I’ve been buying off of Comixology when I can) but also because I dread the idea of going in and learning that the other good experiences I had there were flukes. But I ended up checking out Hater Free Wednesdays’ masterlist of good shops and it just happened to be the only one listed for Indiana. That’s as good an excuse as any for me to get back into buying more print stuff, if only to better support the comics I enjoy.

  • http://www.justplainsomething.com JustPlainSomething

    It baffles me that part of his argument was “No one gave ME special treatment in my comic book store.” Um, yeah they did … they treated you better than women. They treated you like a regular person. Which is kind of the point of the comic you’re criticizing.

  • Rebecca Hernandez Gerber

    I remember a few times, in Kotaku, male commenters told me straight out it was ok to harrass me b/c everyone should go through the same level of bullying to be a nerd. And I responded with well, ok, so I guess being bullied my entire life both by the cool people (for being a nerd) and by the nerds (for being a girl), which got me DOUBLE bullied, isn’t enough for you? And there’s never a response. Fuck these people.

  • http://groggybot.blogspot.com/ grog1138

    That is funny. Did McFarlane start that trend with Spider-Man #1?

    Chromium variant gatefold covers, splash pages, utility pouches and Liefeld’s artwork/writing needs to be in a gasoline fight.

  • frankenmouse

    Just to pipe in with another recommendation: If you’re in the Pittsburgh area Phantom of the Attic is a great comic shop. They’ve got two locations, one in Oakland and one in Monroeville. The one in Monroeville is the one I’m most familiar with.

    Their staff was always unfailingly polite to a young teenage girl who’d just gotten into manga. Specifically, Inuyasha. They’d offer to order in volumes that they didn’t have on the shelves and suggested other comics they thought I might like. For them to behave that way to a young girl who wasn’t into “real” comics is (in retrospect) amazing. Props to them!

  • Anonymous

    To me, I thought the previous commentator was alluding to the accusations of Amazon actually harming the books industry by selling on a loss to undercut smaller competitors who can’t afford to (i.e. independent booksellers). Also, their restrictive model for selling e-books.

    “You jerks made the things I love convenient and cheap!”

    Well, yeah, convenience and low prices CAN be a problem if they come at other costs. An easy and obvious example is cheap fashion, which recently gained a higher media profile because of the horrific Bangladeshi working conditions.

    Hey, I’m not great at moving my money for social purposes. I shop at Amazon a LOT. I also try to buy more at my local bookstores, even if it costs more (it’s really hard). But there are indeed larger issues at play.

  • Anonymous

    It’s hazing, pure and simple. It’s emotional hazing.

    Reading that response to Noelle S.’s comic, I became infuriated by this line: “LOVE IT MORE! If you can’t find basic facts without being spoon-fed, do you really LOVE it?”

    So, because nobody helps you learn to do something, you can’t really want that thing. Did you nurture a love of cooking through taking a class? Well, sorry, you don’t actually love cooking.

    Also, you need to love something a lot before you even know anything about it. I don’t know how that works, but too bad for you!

  • Laura Truxillo

    Ugh, those weird assumptions like that. I still remember my friend and I going to one place where the guy at the counter kept going on about how he’d've thought that our favorite comic would be Promethea because, it’s, like about strong women and stuff. I mean, no, I’m just walking up to you in a Flash shirt with an armful of Flash back-issues after geeking out over the Flash & JLI boxes your had, no, sure, keep telling me what my favorite comic is, dude. (And seriously, Promethea?)

    It wasn’t awful enough to keep me from going back (distance did that), but it was such a WEIRD moment. I couldn’t tell if he was passing judgement or trying to Impress Us with his Lady Knowledge.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Can I say that double-infuriates me because I’m not even a Thor fan and I can think of at least three things to hand someone who would come in asking at that question, just off the top of my head? Like, seriously, what is wrong with these people? Do they…not like money? Are they scared the money has cooties? And what’s wrong with finding Chris Hemsworth hot, dude who probably has at least one scantily clad lady poster in your shop somewhere?

    I’d kind of like to know the name, just to avoid it in future travels, but if not, eh, that’s fine too.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Kind of what I was wondering too. Do they just assume being a girl means that they never got teased? Or that they didn’t get teased enough? Didn’t these guys ever see after school specials? Or Mean Girls?

  • Anonymous

    Plus, you know, Hemsworth is actually a decent actor. I thought he did a rather excellent job as Thor. It wasn’t the deepest role ever, but he handled the larger-than-life dialogue and being a divine prince pretty well without seeming absolutely silly.

    It’s not just about his abs, man.

  • Laura Truxillo

    It’s a little about his abs…

    But no, yeah, I agree. He really was a perfect cast for that role, because he can somehow handle the dialogue and the costume and everything without looking ridiculous.

  • Charlie

    I was a little girl shut away in the North of England in the 1980′s with one video games store and a comic book shop that looked like something out of texas chainsaw massacre. I think I did quite well getting my hands on stuff to be honest.

  • http://daniellewarby.com/ Danielle Warby

    A similar thing happened to me in Sydney recently. They laughed at me when I asked about Saga comics…”hahahah! As if! Everyone is after those”… didn’t suggest signing me up for pre-order or make any suggestions of other comics I might like. Well, I’ll be buying them online or in trade so haha right back at ya. Let’s see how long your bricks and mortar store lasts with that ‘tude.

  • Carol Drysdale

    Alternately, customers who like actual customer service can leave without buying anything and let others online know to avoid the store, too. I tend to like comic book shops, but if one starts giving all comic book stores a bad name, I’m happy to let it go out of business.

  • Carol Drysdale

    Absolutely! I swear, half the problem is that these little boys never learned to share their toys. “Oh noes! Other people might share my interests and want to talk with me about them, even though I imagine that they haven’t suffered in life as much as I have!”

    There’s also this weird idea of scarcity, as if comic panels are a limited resource. Asking for some comics that don’t have women’s boobs on every other page is the same as depriving man-children of ever seeing boobs!

  • Anonymous

    Nerdy girls get a ton of shit for being nerds AND for generally not conforming to ‘feminine’ stereotypes, so any guy nerd who think we still need to ‘suffer appropriately’ in order to be accepted into their little bro-club is being a clueless asshole, frankly.

  • Raerae

    I’ve had that experience, most memorably in Hawai’i. It’s pretty off-putting. My best experiences were at the Dragon’s Lair in Austin, Tx….though I haven’t been there since my teens. They’ve always been friendly, an they were also my first introduction to manga.

    I’ve tried a couple of comic stores around here in Ohio, but I’m not all that interested in superheroes and indie comics are pretty scarce in the ones I’ve been to. Haven’t had too bad of an experience, though.

  • Laura Truxillo

    But don’t you see? We’re GIRLS! And GIRLS are that separate species that rejected guynerd and made him feel inadequate by not being willing to date or perform the sex act with him. It made him sad when GIRLS laughed at or ignored him, so ALL GIRLS MUST SUFFER.

  • Anonymous

    I just submitted two good reviews and one bad on that Hater Free Wednesday tumblr – an excellent resource. Now for Yelp!

  • Nick Gaston

    I guess I’m…fortunately…a statistical outlier: my local comic shop, The Comic Book Box in Rohnert Park, CA., is not only owned and run by a woman, but she’s even an Eisner Award judge. Awesome. B)