Mainstream comics fandom skews male, although it's difficult to establish accurate current rates of gender participation. Comics writers and editors have historically been male, even at the height of the Golden Age of comics, when women were the target demographic of the hugely successful 'Romance Comics'. Women entering comics fandom will find that the comic fan is assumed to be male. Comics themselves may be overtly or covertly sexist, with highly sexualized drawings and lesser story parts for female characters.
A female fan is often assumed to be less serious, and less legitimate. One mode of interacting with the text, centred around collecting and mastery of the minutiae of comics' long history is often seen as the "male", "right" way of being a fan. The "wrong" way of being a fan, therefore, is to be female, to interact with the text by writing fiction in a community, and specifically to read, perhaps resistantly, a sexual component to the (male) characters.
Currently, comics fandom seems to exist in two parallel groups, one predominantly (although hardly exclusively) female, located primarily on Livejournal, and one predominantly (although hardly exclusively) male, located on messageboards, and to a lesser extent, blogs.
Women in comics fandom Edit
- Colleen Doran - comic writer/artist
- Shaenon Garrity - webcomic writer/artist
- Rachel Hartman - comic and webcomic writer/artist
- Karen Healey - feminist comics blogger and academic studying superhero comic fandom
- Joan Hilty - comic writer/artist/editor
- Kalinara - feminist comic blogger
- Jenny Mathews illustrator/Single Zombie Female creator
- Linda Medley - comic writer/artist
- Ragnell - feminist comic blogger
- Ursula Vernon - artist, comic writer/artist, author
- Elizabeth Watasin - comic writer/artist
- Unrealistic depictions of female characters, with impact on female readers' Body image
- Invisibility and marginalization of female comics fans (LA Times: Girl's Guide to Comic Con is a great example of this)
- Sexualized environment at comic conventions, etc.
- Harassment at cons, in comic stores, etc.
- Sexist advertising of comics and in comics-related publications/websites
- Pigeonholing of women in comics fandom as being only interested in certain sub-genres
- Women in refrigerators