Are women comic book fans as rare as unicorns?
Patrons at the Unicorn Party.
November 1st, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Are women comic book fans as rare as unicorns?

Editor's note: Erika D. Peterman is a Florida-based writer and editor, and the co-creator of the comics blog

By now, anyone who has anything to do with comics ought to know that women are a big part of that world.

It’s certainly no surprise to Brian Jacoby, who owns Secret Headquarters and Games in Tallahassee, Florida. Since opening his shop almost five years ago, he’s seen plenty of female customers walk through the door on a regular basis.

Several months ago, however, Jacoby began pondering the outdated perception that women who read comics are scarce. When DC announced in May that it would re-launch all of its titles, there was much online discussion about how female characters would fare and whether major publishers gave much thought to their female customers.

At the time, Jacoby began seeing a flurry of Tweets from female comics fans who jokingly referred to themselves as “unicorns” — a direct challenge to the notion that women don’t know Barda from Banshee.

That gave Jacoby an idea. In September, he threw a “Unicorn Party” at his shop to bring female geeks together and show the world that they are not mythological creatures. The place was packed with largely female customers, including some parents who brought their little girls.

We talked to Brian about the party, controversial portrayals of female characters in the capes genre, the DC re-launch effect and the brick-and-mortar advantage in a digital age. FULL POST

The frontline in this fall’s comic book war
Zack Overton knows what's on Oxford Comics customers' minds.
September 12th, 2011
09:46 AM ET

The frontline in this fall’s comic book war

Editor’s Note: You know that deep conversation you have with the purveyor of your local comic book shop? The one where you have incredulous questions about what comic book publishers, artists and writers were possibly thinking, and the clerk gives you a Yoda-like lowdown that brings everything into focus? Those conversations are a more accurate litmus test of the comic book industry than any corporate interview will ever reveal, so that’s why Geek Out! is going straight to the brick-and-mortar source.

DC Comics is taking 52 of their superhero titles back to number one. Marvel Comics won’t take that lying down, so they’re turning the clock back on fan favorite “Uncanny X-Men” and then upping the ante by offering to reward comic book show owners who destroy DC comic books.

This war is not over, and it is not a clean fight. Zack Overton knows it, and as the clerk at Atlanta, Georgia’s Oxford Comics, he knows which books to recommend for you, your friend, your sister, your dad, and anyone else you might be shopping for this fall.

We sat down with him to talk about the current state of the comics industry and how the staff and customers of his little brick and mortar are reacting to the latest buzz. Specifically, Overton told us how comic book buyers are actually reacting to DC Comic’s plan to start 52 of their superhero comic books back at issue number one, rival publisher Marvel’s tit-for-tat and alternative publishers. Here’s what he had to say: FULL POST