Please go look and see…
That is part of your audience, comics industry. Please note that they are all colors and orientations and from many different faiths and countries.
And please note they are women. And they are reading comics.
Take a look at what comics they are NOT reading on this photo list, it may be the most important detail you take from the entire affair.
Women are embracing comics fandom with a vengeance, as they have already done with sf/fantasy and as they have done with many other media. Women were key to keeping Star Trek’s memory alive in the days when such a thing was unheard of. Women have made the careers of too many beloved film creators to mention.
They can do that for comics, too.
It would be better for everyone if you made that easy. But if you don’t, they’ll do it without you. They don’t NEED to support you. They can always find someone putting out stories that don’t alienate, infuriate, and insult them.
Take a good look because these women are a huge part of our shared future. If doing the right thing because it’s right isn’t enough motivation, then do it for purely selfish reasons, because the female audience is out there, and those publishers smart enough to realize that will benefit while others do not. People like Joss Whedon, Greg Rucka, Brian Bendis, Warren Ellis, Neil Gaiman, Stephanie Meyer, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Brian Lee O’Malley, Terry Moore, Brian Vaughan, Allan Heinberg, and many more already know the buying and buzz-creating power of the female readership. It is no longer hypothetical. It requires no more proof than the repeated successes of these people.
Most of the women involved in Read Comics In Public Day were doing it for fun, just as a shared bit of love for the medium, and that’s wonderful. But sometimes fun is the best activism. Many of these women don’t just buy comics, they cosplay, they write fanfic and draw fanart, they write columns about their favorite books, they convert their friends and sisters and boyfriends and girlfriends to their favorite titles in droves. Time and again, when looking at the surprise hits of the industry, the game-changing titles that came out of nowhere (Sandman, Teen Titans, Swamp Thing, Scott Pilgrim, Strangers in Paradise, Batwoman, on and on), women were at the center of those tornadoes. No simpler lesson is out there than the decades-long support system for the X-titles that has always included huge numbers of female readers.
Don’t be afraid, industry people. You already know how to tell great stories. All you have to do is take a moment to realize, as many of the most successful people in comics and film and prose already have, that the audience is a lot more diverse than you have been told over and over. And they WANT to like your stories.
It doesn’t have to be threatening. It might even be a great deal of fun.
I do believe we’re on the cusp of some wonderful things. Let’s be the highway, and not the roadblock.
And thanks to all the awesome women who participated in this fun event. See you next year with an even louder response!
And again, thanks to the mighty, mighty http://dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/ for spearheading this idea. I don’t know who came up with it, but she definitely seemed to be the chef who baked this delightful cake, so please follow her and drop her a note of thanks!