That is, until a kid comes in with his dad looking for an Iron Man comic. One of the other guys takes them under his wing and shows off our spiffy ‘kid friendly’ corner and notes that Iron Man happens to be in the most awesome book ever, Marvel Adventures: Avengers. The kid is not satisfied; he wants a book about Iron Man only. My fellow clerk gives me a look of helplessness and I nearly drop my stocking clipboard as my worst fear has been realized. The dad goes over to the new comics section as we have to explain that, no, his son might not be ready for the newer Iron Man books. The back issue bin is dived into as I look to the Trade Paperback shelves and see nothing but ‘Demon in a Bottle’, ‘House of M: Iron Man’, ‘Heroes Reborn: Iron Man’ and the recent trade wherein a kid is blatantly shot by SHIELD. While I hit the back and come out with an Essential Iron Man vol. 1, I find they’ve already left.
With the first couple issues of the Warren Ellis story.
I’ve been working in a comic book store for ten months now, and I still get near-weekly questions about whether I really read comics… for real? It’s not that people are trying to insult me–though that is the general effect–it’s more that they treat me like a magical unicorn whose existence is nigh-unreal. On the other hand, I notice that I put women at ease when they walk in the door–they tend to make a beeline for me, whether they’re comics fans themselves (who are perhaps also tired of being unicorns), or just people trying to find their way around a comic book store for the first time, something that can be a little intimidating if you feel out of place.
But it’s getting better. I certainly saw my share of girls at the comic con, and they weren’t all at manga booths. When I went to the Marvel trivia contest on Sunday (where I survived three rounds) there were at least four other knowledgable female fans competing, one of whom made it through to the end. All of this is good. And yes, it’s getting better. But it isn’t enough, not yet.