Even now I don’t know many women who are really in to comic books. Or at least not in a way where it’s an obvious part of their everyday lives. Like, they aren’t wearing it like some kind of badge of honor. They may be just as versed as other fans, but it hasn’t consumed their identity in the same way you get with some people. Makes me wonder if that’s a function of gender, society, or some combination of factors. I can only think of one female comic fan in my limited circle with a wide scope of knowledge about American comics in general, and Marvel comics in particular. My sample size is admittedly far too small to be representative of the outer world.
My discord server is very male dominated, and I’ve always assumed that my fanbase is as well. There are only, like, 5 women who identified themselves as such on the server, although there may be secret ones. Of them I know that they all do have hobbies that they are passionate about in a similar way to male counterparts. Some hobbies that would be considered traditionally male ones. Although no one on the server has ever framed it that way in any interactions. Everyone just accepts it without question.
On the other hand a lot of the males seem to enjoy shows that skew more towards a female audience. (Although I think the creators would probably think of the shows as inclusive rather than being gender targeted) Steven Universe & Star Vs stand out in my mind as examples of this. Although this isn’t super surprising since my work is very relationship focused so it shares some qualities with those shows.
Politically the males tend to run center right to right, and the girls are generally left to far left leaning. Which has led to more than a few problems between people. Although most parties manage to remain civil inside and outside of the political channels. I do find it odd that the girls tend to lean left so much more than the males, but that may be a result of the types of women my work attracts. At least that’s my guess. It does seem a little odd that my work has attracted so many right leaning males. I’m not sure what to make of that. On some level I think that male “nerd” culture has shifted to the right in general. The strong reaction to changes in various franchises seems to have caused this perceived shift, but again that’s just a guess.
In any even I’m glad that various kinds of people can get along in the server most of the time. Hopefully the exposure will mend more fences than it breaks, but it may all go horribly awry. My intentions were good, even if I might be paving the road to hell.
That’s the biggest problem I have with the Batman trilogy. No penguin but we get bane. Come on penguin is a way better villian.
The Bane we got was a cultural touchstone though, so that was fun.
Maybe- Bane was chosen because he’s easier to draw.
If you draw the Penguin, he’s wearing a tuxedo, top hat, cigarette, and glasses, and etc.. While, if they draw Bane, you just need to draw a mask, and jeans. [Whelp! Too much work! let’s draw the EASY guy!] ;)
The Batman trilogy was live-action, though, not a cartoon – so I don’t see how “easier to draw” factors into that.
You bet. My joke does not follow real life, + has mistakes in it.
[ That’s kinda how we do jokes, isn’t it?] :)
Actually, DrunkenNorman, I apologise for my response.
I had a p*sser of a day, and…looking back on it… I shouldn’t write replies when I’m in a mad-at-the-world kind of a mood.
Sorry about that.
For what it’s worth, I am a female reader but not on Discord (I have three kids now; my online time is limited). Used to be much more into comics than I am these days, now it’s mainly webcomics. Still a gamer, though! Oh, and politically moderate…
I don’t use the Discord, but I am a reader, a male, and I lean pretty far left. I’m a Quaker, which is essentially like being a less-ostentatious hippie as a religion.
I feel comfortable enough in my own skin to admit i am a male centrist leaning slightly more towards the right
“The strong reaction to changes in various franchises seems to have caused this perceived shift, but again that’s just a guess.”
A good portion of it comes down the SJW tendency to “other” anyone that is not 100% obedient to their platform and actions and call them a bigot, racist, sexist, etc when an existing character gets retconned for diversity points instead of creating a new character with the desired traits. It’s a very lazy way both intellectually and artistically to go about it in the first place, and then adding in the abuse of social dynamics against anyone criticizing it……it’s not a constructive business or social model to engage in, let’s just say that much.
I’m a female reader whose never commented and is only commenting now to tell you I am a female reader.
I’m glad to know there’s over 5 of you at any rate. XD
Same here. I might have commented once before. Just a female reader with too little free time to engage online. So I lurk instead.
Figured I’d let you know I am also a female reader not on your Discord. Never did get in to the comic books, though, just the numerous webcomics.
Tarzan was brought up by wolves, in the wild.
Meanwhile, Rulette was brought up, in the Jungles, and in the wild, by comic books!
Ooh ma! Star Vs is sooo good. I’m so surprised how serious they’re getting, especially on Disney, but I guess anything goes after Gravity falls. Seriously though, I saw an interview once that Teen Titans writers were told to push the boundaries of a children’s cartoon and I think Star is following the same path, it’s so deep.
Well, if your goal was to get women to reveal themselves as readers to get a better grasp on the demographic, this was one way to do it. LOL
“Steven Universe, Star Vs.” You forgot My Little Pony. There are a lot of males who watch MLP (which was kind of the indicator for some networks who were thinking about putting female content on normally male dominated time schedules – such as Cartoon Network in Steven U’s case – that these things would be successful).
I think the belief that comic books is mostly a male dominated industry is going away. In my circle (and this is all anecdotal, which is not concrete proof), 11 of my 13 female friends read comic books. 11 of them read Marvel comics, 5 of them read DC, and all of them read an independent comic of some sort. They all also read web comics (Webtoon comics mostly). Last weekend, when I was at Dragon’s Lair (my local comic store), the women in the store outnumbered the men. They were there for comics, boardgaming and D&D. There were two groups of 4 women each, and they were really getting into the game.
I was talking to the owner when I noticed a few guys in the corner who seemed to be … hostile? … to all the women in the store. They made a lot of very negative comments and picked on a few girls lingering around the Magic the Gathering display. Not sure what their objective was. They weren’t Brad Pitt level looking dudes – quite the opposite if you get my drift. I get jealousy may have been part of the equation, but one guy told one woman that she “didn’t look the type to be playing (finger quotes) table top games (finger quotes),” as if implying the woman took an hours of her day to go to a comic book store to be a “fake gamer,” or something.
The two groups were playing D&D, that is.
I think the store had like 30+ women in there when I was there.
Being near two colleges might help your local game/comic store draw more folks. Helps connect with other like-minded people when you are living away from home. :) That being said, yeah, I don’t get the ‘boys-only’ attitude some people have. I’ve always liked mixed groups when playing games. due to different perspectives.
Lets face it many people never put away childish things, that is: “boys only forts”, selfishness and ignorance.
To be fair men and women are different (theres an argument starter these days right?) We often have different ways of speaking about the same things, working out problems etc. In many ways its like two different languages. guys are different when it is Just guys, same goes for girls when they are just in a group of girls.
It is good to have time to do our own things and get to choose our own group, for many guys, board game nights and comic book gatherings have long been their fortress of solitude, their time to be in their own band and tribe, speaking their own language. For others it’s hiking, or hunting etc. which is good to take that time, in the right place and time.
I see the negative reaction from guys in stores more as kids holing up in their fort waving their cardboard sign of “no girls allowed” in a place where they really do not get to have any say whos allowed, they haven’t grown up and they don’t know how to share. Its cool if they want to have guys only in their own private board game night at their buddies garage, but they bring that same exclusivity to a public space, or anothers space where they don’t have any say.
Your comic has appealed to me as a guy because it deals with alot of issues far more honestly than other comics i’ve read. It seems too many stories handle characters with alternative sexualities in the same “born that way” cliche, and i think thats because they are afraid to really dive into the fact that we are the sum of our choices and our reactions to others actions. From my own personal experience the people i know that are alternative have had to deal with some serious stuff in their past and that plays a part into their sexuality, whether they see it or not.
You haven’t shied away from that, your characters are layered and complex, you don’t maintain a character stereotype, our understanding of them gets to grow ever page. I think Reggie has been the pinnical of showing this layering. But even the coffee shop guy (i still think the shop should have gone full pun and been called “He Brews”) I was bracing myself for the same Jesus hate that most of the other comics i read toss around when they touch on chrstianity, i really liked how you handled it. This also is in regards to the history of Thomas and Carol, their views on religon and such, very well written.
Ultimately, your characters and world are some of the most “real” to me that i have read, while still being entertaining and diving into the fun that you get to have in a fictional world.
And likewise all women’s organizations, professions, networks, scholarships are required to be equally open to men and the voices of men.
(Though to be fair we actually need to favor men in order to eradicate historical inequality. For example, at least 50% of nursing and HR, among others, should be required to be staffed by men.)
I am sorry but i disagree with you. That kind of equality seems not only impractical but also horrible imo.
Long-time reader here, noticed your comments about females and figured I’d pipe up and list myself as a female reader as well :) I actually created my patreon account to support you!
I’ve been in your discord for awhile, but never really said anything. The fact that you say you have people of very different beliefs in the same server actually really makes me happy. We need more spaces where people can discuss outside of echo chambers. It says something really important, and really good, to me that you have a mix of people, and that no particular “side” has been taking over in said discord. I don’t use discord very much, but the way you made your discord sound in your post today makes me think maybe i should be more active in yours.
Thanks for your consistency and constant hard work, i enjoy your comic very much.
I was on the Discord – as you know, Jackie, and I left for good reasons.
I encounter so much goddamn gatekeeping with male nerds in my life, frequently. Especially around tabletop – altho, I’ve gotten much better about singing “I don’t caaare” when someone tries to quiz me on specific stats of a specific skill not related to my characters at all. jfc.
Honestly, I comment less on comics these days than I did when I started reading BF. It also seems to have gotten more hostile to do so. I like the comic still, even if we disagree on some ways things are handled, but gatdamn, some of your fan base make it hard to engage.
As far as the girls vs boys stuff…I agree, women and men are socially coded differently for different expectations. It’s interesting to examine and compare notes with a lot of my male friends. I generally resent a lot of the cultural expectations of women – and the expectations placed on the men in my life.
It certainly does play out weirdly in the nerd divide.
This “No girls allowed” treehouse mentality is something that really truly confuses me. I for one like girls. I like girls that are into the same things I’m into,especially geek/nerd/otaku things. I think there should be more of them. I want to welcome them. Why in the bloody blue blazes would I ever want to chase them out?
I hear stories of girls/women encountering gatekeeper mentality in video game development too and it boggles the mind. Nothing is sexier than a girl who can code with the boys…
Thirst is a real thing.
It doesn’t even have to be sexy, to be honest. It’s actually engaging to have women enjoy the same hobbies and such because it’s better to have MORE of us enjoying a thing and adding to it, rather than HALF of us. Especially in the video game world. Women who play video games and understand video games and know games do what … they help other people. And back other gamers up.
Yeah, this is cool and all but can we get back to actual characters story?
This is their story.
Let the author do his work dude.
I grew up with two sisters (older and younger), without comic books or board gaming (besides standards like Monopoly, Clue, etc.) and very few female friends, especially past grade school, so I’ve never understood the whole “boys/girls only” playground mentality very well. I understand that there are some activities, like running around playing “war” and such, that are things only boys like doing, but that’s something you generally outgrow unless you’re into something like paintball, which I’m not sure existed when I was a kid, and if it had existed, we couldn’t have afforded it. As an adult, I think it’s great having women around to play board or computer games with since they typically have a different perspective that adds dimension to the gameplay. That being said, I’m rarely in a game store and if I am there generally aren’t many people looking for games, let alone women, so it’s rare that I meet any. I think when you get to my age most women are usually married with kids (or even grandkids) or otherwise busy on weekends with home chores or other social commitments. Then again, maybe I’m just boring and don’t notice things that other people do. :)
Well if we’re talking demographics I’m another female in your audience. And I would say that my nerdy interests are fairly integral to my personal identity, but I think that’s more a result of my absorption of male nerd culture all through my high school years, as the only girl nerd in my social group. If I were to posit a theory, I would say that women in general don’t fly their nerdy flags as loudly as their male counterparts because of a combination of social factors.
Examples being the idea that nerd culture is in direct opposition to athletic culture. So males, who are encouraged to engage in athletics because that is normal and attractive according to society. Anyone who opposes that is naturally going to be protective of an identity that they feel is already under attack. Whereas women are not encouraged to be TOO athletic, cuz ew muscly girls are not hot (this is starting to change now, obviously, but I ain’t that old and this was still the case in my teens). So women don’t have the same strong feelings about being nerdy being a rebellion again enforced standards. At least not in the same way. I know a lot of girls who felt like they had to, or even still have to, hide their nerdy interests because women who are nerdy have their own weird stereotypes that are seen as unattractive.
Anyway, my point being that women don’t carry the nerd “identity” the same way because up until recently we weren’t allowed to be nerdy at all without basically being categorized as sexless, tomboyish, or unattractive, or a combination thereof. Or, you run the risk of your particular interests being dismissed as girly or quaint, like people who dismiss romance novels as not real books, so women who read a lot of them aren’t book nerds, they’re just aw so cute and dumb, thinking their silly novels count as reading. I don’t even like romance novels, but that’s always irked me.
Well, it’s not like nerds have ever been considered sexy or attractive in the first place so choosing that identity has some builtin difficulties.
I think to some degree, we’re also moving away from the “jocks do sports, the nerds do video games/role-playing games” mentality as the population ages.
For example, I know that right now there are a lot of younger people who get on at our … cyber cafe for lack of a better description … that all get on a computer and play on a WoW RP server together. Now that’s pretty nerdy, if you ask me. However, I know that two of the attendees are star athletes at the high school. One is a major defensive player on the varsity football team, the other is a key setter for the varsity volleyball team. And it’s not like they hide it – the cafe is right there where everyone in town comes in or can see them sitting there.
Here’s the thing – the other football team players are cool with it. They actually talk to the other people in the guy’s guild sitting there. HOWEVER, the adults are not. The football player’s dad came in once and said, “How can you sit there with these … people and play that game?” and the kid said – and I laughed when he said it – “With these nerds? Dad, I’m a nerd – get over it. I just play football because I like to do that too and you wanted me to. In fact, I’d say that being so into football is a nerdy obsession of yours.”
Needless to say, the dad and several other parents of athletes I have met have been “grumble grumble video games grumble nerds grumble my kid shouldn’t be doing that with those geeks,” while the younger generation is now more, “What Magic deck are you bringing on the bus trip to the game at the next town?” – generally more accepting of nerdy culture.
I read BF for the same reason I read all of ShortPacked! The characters and relationships overcome my near-total lack of interest in comic books, figures, superhero movies, etc.
Wondering where this pair might be going.
I’m conservative(don’t hurt me…..) and I’ve found this to be one of the more accepting sites in which to comment, even if people don’t necessarily agree. I’v commented on some other sites, and was not nearly so well received(cough DOA). We should strive for amicable discussion-not necessarily agreement. Someone (Patton?) said ,”If everyone’s thinking the same, someone’s not thinking.”
Nah, man, most of us are in both the conservative/liberal camps. Like I love my guns and hate too much gun control, but I think we should doing something to lower the cost of education for kids and not pushing abstinence in place of birth control. I think we should have some decorum in traditional things (such as not forcing churches to do things that they feel does not fit their faith), but we need to be progressive as well (let gay people live their lives and treat them like everyone else outside of the walls of the church).
I find myself fairly moderate on a lot of things, leaning conservative, and I don’t fault a lot of people who are conservative for certain beliefs, but what I don’t like is when a conservative tells me I can’t raise my child a certain way because of their beliefs and that my kid can’t be legally married to the same sex because, “ew, God hates gay people.” How about everyone gets a legal fair shake and the other stuff is kept in the realm it resides?
Other than that, I don’t have a lot of problems with conservatives. Now, if you want to talk about the GOP who has not been truly smaller government, economically sensible policy since the last Bush’s administration which is why I stopped registering as a Republican and started being an Independent voter …. I could have nice polite discussion about that.
Conservative does not necessarily equal republican. At all. And I wish gay people were treated the same, but right now they’re an exalted class who can take your livelihood, career, and reputation because you didn’t bake them a cake. I think any private store owner should be able to refuse to do whatever for whoever for any reason or no reason whatsoever if they’re not a doctor or providing some lifesaving service.Religion need not factor in at all, though the general misunderstanding and misapplication of the 1st amendment is another point of contention.
Love your comments about girls/women with decidedly “male oriented” hobbies – it reminds me of the first time I met a friend’s (now ex) girlfriend. She was going through my iPod to check out my music and remarked how much she loved Slayer, Amon Amarth, etc. – it surprised the hell out of me for a very obvious reason – Metal (especially the more extreme stuff) doesn’t exactly have a large female following … especially in North America. However, she never got flak from guys for her taste in music – it was always from other women – who couldn’t understand why she liked the music she liked.
Is this Loss?
Lmao I hadn’t noticed the shirt until this comment
It might have been said before, but-
One reason that some [cranky comics book + RPG games guys] might not like girls appearing in their comic book store is- In my schools + college, a lot of the comics guys, + RPG guys, were NOT the handsome football players, not the popular sports guys, + not the otherwise-popular guys…in the room.
So, these guys we’rent the guys, who [usually] had a lot of success at getting girlfriends, + maintaining a romance with these girlfriends.
So, what is one way to unhealthily deal with- your not getting girlfriends?…well, some of these guys shift into denial, + [wrongly blame] girls, for their non-success, and so when girls show up at RPG night, they say- Ugh. It’s some annoying girls. Let’s keep all the girls out of here. Sad, but some people act like that, sometimes.
BEHOLD! THAT WHICH YOU CANNOT HAVE WALKS AMONG YOU! FRESH REMINDERS OF YOUR FAILURE STALK YOU EVEN IN YOUR GREATEST SANCTUARY!
moo hoo ha ha.
*Snrrk* That’s fun!
I’m pretty good friends with a lot of women who like a lot of comics, its usually just not DC or Marvel comics. The reason I’ve usually heard from them is that female characters and readers were mostly treated like crap by the Big Two and their fans over the years. Even today, where Marvel and DC are trying to improve representation, it is sometimes done in a way that comes across as cynical marketing and that is combined with all the gatekeeping manbabies screaming about SJWs ruining their comics. Why would they want to waste time and money getting invested into an awesome female superhero just to have her murdered or raped to further some male character’s story (something DC in particular has done A LOT)? There are tons of other awesome comics that don’t pull that shit and have had great women characters from the start and they are way more accessible in this digital age than when the Big Two completely controlled the market.
I agree with these points.
There’s also a thing that I don’t like, in a lot of professional, US fiction and books-
For my entertainment, I don’t like stories that have molestation, rape, or other sexual abuse/sexual crimes, in them. That’s just my point of view about it.
Such as- I once saw a play, based on a 1600s novel. In the play, a woman has an argument with a group of men, and to show their displeasure with her, they do a horrible crime to her,
In my view, that isn’t necessary.
The author could have made the [group of bad people], a group of women…or a group of anyone else, who threaten to beat up the woman, in order to get a tense and shocking scene into the play.
I know it’s just my taste in fiction,…to not want these things in my fiction, but to me- fictional…violent threats, and fictional…violence, are all that I see as needed, in my dark fiction, and in my gritty or tense fiction.
These molestation crimes, and similar crimes- done to women, girls, and to other people, they don’t add to the fiction I like. More likely, adding these crimes make me feel very disturbed.
For what it’s worth- I don’t feel a need for these [crimes against females, and against any others], in the fiction that I read.
I’ll say that I’m libertarian (in the sense that as long as you don’t hurt others and take their stuff, and any between others involves consenting adults). I believe the urge to meddle in affairs both personal and ecomonic from the top down, (goverment in most cases, but also corporate) ends up causing most of the harm we see. I will note that I see that these people intentions are mostly good, but the results rarely match that, and results are ultimatly what matters, intentions being quickly forgotten. My view is that people are inhierently decent, and that ignorance, not malice, tends to cause most harm.
How many times have you heard someone ask, ” but how would you control people?” Really important to make them see that that desire to control people is where the damage starts. Totalitarians love gun control. It makes things so much easier. Amazing how much support it has in a country that owes any freedom it still has to the ownership of guns by the general populace, and where it is specifically prohibited by the document our legislators swear an oath to before assuming office.
In the war for independence if I wasn’t clear.
The problem with that is that people in positions of wealth and privilege rarely, if ever, are fully capable of perceiving how their actions hurt others. Air, water and soil pollution is a primary example of this. If you’re wealthy enough, you can offload all the nasty chemicals into poor neighborhoods, so that your kids get to go to private schools, and the poor kids get tumors. Financial fraud’s another area like this–it’s remarkably easy for the wealthy to bankrupt a company, putting thousands out of work, but to walk away with large golden parachutes for themselves.
And if you don’t think that, say, there’s a cost to you if someone else doesn’t have health insurance, well… ask a hospital administrator sometime how much of your bill is because they have to cover the shortfall from people who declare bankruptcy. (Medical expenses are cited as a primary cause of about 2/3 of bankruptcy cases, last I heard.) Furthermore, most folks don’t just declare bankruptcy for just the bill that pushes them over the edge–they’lll also seek to wipe out credit-card debt, student loans, and so on. Very few debtors just swallow the loss–they spread it around to their still-paying customers, in order to protect the bottom line. This constitutes a completely invisible tax that everyone ends up paying.
Typo in the last panel
On audience identity. I’m a 71-year-old male, who has long felt more comforta ble with other nerds and with women (except ones I had a crush on be ause I become massively tense then). I’m into serious science-fiction, and into shoujo and yuri manga and anime. Kimi ni Todoke is great. So is Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
And, of course, this comic.