Friday, June 08, 2007


Is this, as posited by Douglas Wolk in The Huffington Post, true? Does the comic book industry hate girls and do they have no interest in their $$$?

Well, if there is one thing I have learned in business it's that there is always interest in $$$. I just don't buy that the male-dominated comic book industry would be so anti-woman, so zealously protective of their Rocketship Clubhouse, that they would purposely turn away dollars.

But also, it depends on what genre of comic book you're talking about.

There is a push in the industry now to put out girl-friendly comics to compete with manga. That is because there is an in$entive to do so. There are proven numbers of female readers buying this stuff.

But the jury is still out as to whether there is a solid potential female readership for mainstream superhero comics.


I think now is the time to gamble with the idea of putting out mainstream capes-and-tights comics either targeted directly towards women or towards both genders (more or less) equally.

Because if you've got women enjoying the Spiderman & X-Men & Fantastic Four movies...well, I don't see how big the leap is from that to comics.

I'm not appealing to high-falutin' notions of ethics or feminist philosophy.

The women are watching the superhero movies. And Pirates of the Caribbean. And the Lord of the Rings Stuff.



That's what I would tell the titans of comic book industry in regards to courting female audiences.



  1. According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, Barns & Noble reports equal numbers of men and women buying graphic novels.

  2. The Wall Street Journal article is very encouraging. But what types of graphic novels are these female readers flocking to? Are enough women reading mainstream superhero comics to justify an initiative to make these specific books more women-friendly? Because the push in the industry now is to focus on manga-sized female-oriented books. Imprints like DC's "Minx" have put out good product for women, but it is still a separate imprint. Is that good enough? Or is the general consensus in blogland that separate-but-equal is not good enough in comics? Are the genders so basically different in entertainment choices that we need separate imprints? Or can females enjoy superhero comics too?

    I think women have the same potential to enjoy well-done superhero books as men. I will go out on a limb, however, and say that I think women are a little more attracted to capes-and-tights books that highlight the interpersonal relationships between the characters. Which is why X-Men had more appeal to me than, say, Captain America.

  3. Team superhero books do seem to do much better with women. In fact, all of the female customers I have that buy superhero comics all get x-men titles, in addition to some other things.

    I think the non-superhero comics appeal equally to men and women. I've sold lots of copies of Preacher and Sandman trades to both men and women. Some people like superhero comics, some don't, and really it shouldn't matter if they're men or women. Same standards should apply to superhero comics as all other comics - make them good and PEOPLE will read them, not just white men.

  4. If you have the chance and interest, check out POWER in Comics, an online community of people getting together to work to promote getting more women and minorities involved in the comic business.

  5. Actually, take the www out.