There are more of us than you think

I was chatting with a client at work the other day, and the conversation turned to video games and comic books (as it tends to do when I talk to people). And, the gentleman I was talking to pointed out that we would both be very hard pressed to find a woman his age (mid-forties) that plays video games or reads comic books. But in my generation (35 and under) there seems to be a lot more women who are into these nerdy kinds of things. After pondering this for a while, thinking of all the friends and associates I know, comic stores and conventions I have been to, I realized, he’s right!

So why is it? Why is it that you can throw a stone in a crowd of 20 somethings and hit a girl that has read a comic and/or played a video game before? In my opinion I chalk it up to one thing, the Internet. Cons and comic book stores can be very intimidating, especially for a first time comic reader and even more so for a girl. The Internet has allowed nerdy curiosities to roam. If you are interested in Wolverine, you can just jump online and find out which comic he first appeared in, or get suggestions on where to start reading in the X-men series. It also allowed women to have a voice in the form of forums and chats, where they are just a screen name, allowing them to be taken seriously simply (well as seriously as you can be taken on the internet) and not judged based on their sex. The Internet opened up a door to women that wasn’t there before.

Above is a photo of Team Unicorn. See end of post for site.

We are also louder than we used to be because of the Internet. There are sites and groups that are only for nerdy women. Instead of hiding our love for comics and games we let the world know we exist. So maybe there aren’t more women into comics than previous generations, maybe we are just more vocal about it.

I also think that comics are less geared towards men than they used to be. Comic books now cover a very wide range of topics; they can be anything from romantic to violent, dark and funny. These types of comics can also act as a gateway to spandex-clad muscly super heroes. So watch out comic girls, you might be reading Superman in no time!

Another theory as to why there seems to be more women into comics is that we have been exposed to them longer, growing up with T.V. shows and movies that are comic character based.  These different mediums for comic characters weren’t as available to an older generation.

I would love to hear other theories as to why the ladies are loving comics more than ever. Or maybe I have it all wrong and there is the same amount of women into comics as there ever has been. But currently as the token girl on CBD (cough-Shelley needs to write more-cough) I am proud to say that comic girls are quickly rising in numbers, and in 20 years we might actually out number you boys.

Some girl nerd sites to check out:

Team Unicorn

Leigh Hart
Leigh Hart

Leigh Woodhall - Soapbox Nerd. Aerialist. Writer. Podcaster. All around tough guy (but a lady version). Follow me on twitter @Leigh_Louise

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Ed Campbell
11 years ago

I think there are lots of ladies in their 40’s and beyond who do “geek” out. The only thing is it isn’t comic books.

The “Mom” crowd has evolved over the years with what they find entertaining. They used to read all the Harry Potter books, that evolved into Twilight. Now that crowd of ladies are geeking out over 50 Shades and Magic Mike.

If there was a way the comic book industry could create something of that ilk, maybe they could attract new readers from the 40’s something woman demographic.

Scott VanderPloeg
11 years ago

Variety article today about the same topic states:

An estimated 40% of Comic-Con attendees are now women, according to organizers.

11 years ago

I think the biggest trend I’m seeing now is that being a nerd girl doesn’t make you a special snowflake. I think all girls like something nerdy at this point.

My mom loved comics growing up and she’s 60. She is shy to admit it to this day because in her day it wasn’t cool. Now it’s cool to be a nerd and so everyone is happy to admit their nerdish leanings.

Stanley Jon
11 years ago

I don’t want to poop on the stat but it would be interesting to see how many of the twihards go back to Comic-Con next year.

Stanley Jon
11 years ago

I wonder if the he popularity of The O.C. among the 18-34 year olds had anything to do with this. The show premiered in 2003 and it was the first network TV show which made comics “acceptable” by having a fun and likable character (Seth Cohen) who was heavily into comics and annually went to Comic-Con. Seth never seemed to be the stereotypical geek destined to be an Otaku whose comic collecting hobby was never made of fun of but just treated as part of his character. There were even scenes in which Ryan was reading comics. I have to believe there were a lot of females watching this show and, while The O.C. did not make them immediately rush out to the comic shop, it at least left them with a positive impression of comics and that maybe they were even kind of cool.

11 years ago
Reply to  Stanley Jon

They’ll be lining up for the 50 Shades of Grey panel