With kids:

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.

With women, via Laura Hudson:

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.


  1. Hard to image back in the day when Iron Man used to be kid friendly.

    See, if they had those classic Marvel Superheroes cartoons on DVD LIKE they were SUPPOSED to be released a year ago – Iron Man would be the BOMB and winning kids’s hearts and minds the world wide over – instead, in 2008 we’ll have Robert Downey Jr. stumbling around in the iron suit like a drunken jackass just like his old man Mort back in the day.

    Somedays, it just doesn’t pay to be a Iron Man fan…



  2. I was in a well-known bookstore once and a mom came back to return some Batman comics which she felt were inappropriate for her son. Luckily there were some copies of “Batman Adventures” available instead.

    I suspect this sort of thing goes on more often than gets reported.

  3. “Robert Downey Jr. stumbling around in the iron suit like a drunken jackass just like his old man Mort back in the day.”

    You know that Morton Downey Jr. isn’t Robert Downey Jr.’s father, right?

  4. The Iron Man story is, as you know, my weekly experience in comics shops regardless of the character I’m looking for. The other day I was reading my son a copy of the generally kid-friendly Adventures in the DC Universe and there was Miracle Man as a private snoop taking pictures of adulterous couples for divorce settlements. Try explaining that to a 5-year-old.

  5. Whether we be fans (in a store or on a board) or creators, we do seem to be good at alienationg new readers. As for girls in comic stores, I have to give a big thumbs up on that to Atomic Comics in AZ, for having most wonderful co-ed staff you could ever ask for.