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A woman walks in to a comic book shop
February 9, 2013 11:33 AM   Subscribe

HaterfreeWednesdays, a new tumblr to help comics fans find shops that are friendly to those of us who aren't straight white guys.

The focus seems to be mostly on women for now, but it's open for suggesting GLBT and minority-friendly comic book shops, too.
posted by dinty_moore (23 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
A Tumblr doesn't seem to be the best form for this, at least not as it's being used. It needs some way for people to find stores near where they are.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:46 AM on February 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Art is a metaphor and a mirror. It allows us, when it is done well and is widely available, to consider as Gauguin put it "Where We Come From, What We Are, and Where Are We Going."

This only works if the the "We" includes all of US. This is to say that I was thinking the other day how excellent comics and videogames are as relatively new/evolving mediums through which to pursue this project. This was quickly followed by the thought of how awful/absurd it is that misogyny etc. keeps people away from these mediums. "Way to hold back the specie, assholes!" I thought.

I'm glad this tumblr exists to be useful to folks. I wish it wasn't necessary though.
posted by sendai sleep master at 11:50 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


A Tumblr doesn't seem to be the best form for this, at least not as it's being used. It needs some way for people to find stores near where they are.

Are you kidding? This is exactly Tumblr.
posted by kafziel at 11:52 AM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


But once there's more than a page full, how do you search? It doesn't help me much to know about stores a thousand miles away from me. (Though I should probably contribute some of my favorites regardless! It's a neat project.)
posted by asperity at 11:54 AM on February 9, 2013


A Tumblr doesn't seem to be the best form for this, at least not as it's being used. It needs some way for people to find stores near where they are.

Well, posts are tagged by location. I've submitted an ask to see if they're planning on putting a link to the tag list, which should do the trick.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:55 AM on February 9, 2013


This is the most Tumblr thing that ever Tumblred.
posted by downing street memo at 12:01 PM on February 9, 2013


I've never felt anything but welcomed in most of the Seattle area comic shops. My usual shop even has several women who work behind the counter on and off.
posted by egypturnash at 12:06 PM on February 9, 2013


No Million Year Picnic, yet? Must fix that.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:06 PM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've never felt anything but welcomed in most of the Seattle area comic shops. My usual shop even has several women who work behind the counter on and off.

From the Seattle comic shops I know that doesn't actually narrow it down.

(Xanadu is the best though)
posted by Artw at 12:11 PM on February 9, 2013


As I recall, Metro Entertainment in Santa Barbara was pretty friendly, and had a couple women working there. It's been a while though since I was there, so that may have changed.
posted by happyroach at 12:47 PM on February 9, 2013


Big Brain Comics is awesome. Comicopia is much more my idea of a comic shop than Million Year Picnic. It's clean, well-lit, has a friendly staff, and seems to open according to a schedule.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:23 PM on February 9, 2013


My usual is the U Dist Comic Stop, which is formerly the U Dist Zanadu.

Never felt unwelcome in Million Year Picnic when I lived in Boston, either. Or at the shop I went to when I lived in Santa Monica. I was a boy back then though so I dunno.

I wonder if there are any patterns about where comic shops are For Straight White Guys Only. My instincts lead me to suspect that the more urbanized you get, the more likely you are for the comic shops - like everything else - to be aware of, and tolerant of, people who are not SWGs. When you're the only shop in the whole county you don't need to worry as much about driving away everyone but the bros looking for their superbros.
posted by egypturnash at 1:26 PM on February 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I used to go to the comics store in Roanoke three hours from my house, B&D Comics (which is owned by a woman) whenever I went to visit a friend who lived there, rather than go to the comics store in my town. This is because the comics stores in my area tended to be inhabited by the kind of guys who would gawk at an unattended woman in their domain as if I had six arms and was wearing a chain metal bikini. Since I only have the two arms and was usually clad in a t-shirt and yoga pants, it was a trifle off-putting.

Now I buy online rather than be irritated by getting boggled at as if I were a zoo animal wearing a tuxedo just because I want to buy some picture books. It is sad, though, because I like the experience of wandering through a bookstore and finding things I didn't even know I wanted.
posted by winna at 1:47 PM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of my roommates works in Pike Place Parker, right next to Golden Age Collectables, which has a number of women working there, and usually browsing as well, and she has never complained about them.

Admittedly, she's been known to bring them cookies, so she may have a special status there.

But that's the Market, where I don't think anyone could really get away with the oblate sexism in some stores.
posted by mephron at 2:05 PM on February 9, 2013


The Star Clipper in the Delmar Loop in St. Louis is owned by a woman. And they hosted a wedding reception for Northstar and Kyle.
posted by BlueJae at 2:29 PM on February 9, 2013


Wait, there are still people who buy physical comics? In bricks-and-mortar stores?
posted by baf at 4:11 PM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I sometimes do! I admit I do most of my comics buying online these days: I never liked buying single issues in paper for storage reasons, and I like buying something to read on my phone during my commute. But there's stuff I can't get on comixology, or maybe I want to get a trade paperback so I can lend it out to friends, so I go down to Big Brain and get what I like.

And I don't know, I know of a couple sketchy/unhelpful/noninviting comic book/gaming shops in urban areas. The main difference is that there are more comic book shops, and I can choose to never set foot in the crappy shop again.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:35 PM on February 9, 2013


This is a great idea. I'm tempted to do a similar one for game stores.
posted by happyroach at 6:40 PM on February 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Happyroach: if you do, let me know! I'd love to contribute and promote the hell out of it.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:24 PM on February 9, 2013


If y'all do the above, happyroach and dinty_moore, someone link it from MeFi. I would love to know where woman friendly gaming shops are.
posted by SuzySmith at 10:45 PM on February 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


While James who owns Isotope in San Francisco is certainly a white dude (and I'm fairly sure he's straight); he runs a SUPER friendly store. He's carries and promotes a ton of indie comics by women, queer & non-white authors. He's super welcoming to comics noobs, too. Also, his hair is nothing short of amazing.
posted by mollymayhem at 11:03 PM on February 9, 2013


I'll put in a plug for Action City comics, in Federal Way (a half hour drive south of Seattle, if the traffic is friendly). Jim Elmore is welcoming to everyone venturing into his store, and I knew he has a gaggle of regular female customers (including my wife, on occasion). And his mom runs the store on his days off...
posted by lhauser at 10:38 AM on February 10, 2013


A mother/daughter run comicstore.
posted by Artw at 8:35 PM on February 14, 2013


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