Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: OMYGOD...There's a GIRL in the clubhouse!

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

OMYGOD...There's a GIRL in the clubhouse!

Up until now, I had been rather smug when comparing my experiences in Comic book stores, as compared to other women's, whether dealing with hostile owners or customers. Well, my smuggery has taken a nosedive.

I was entering my customary store, where I have been going to for years, the dispenser of my sweet sweet weekly delights. I'm very fond of Matt, the owner, I bake him cookies, and he saves me the best covers. Just yesturday, he was shorted on his order for the new hardcover FABLES: 1001 Nights of Snowfall" book, and he saved it for me. He was waiting on a nicely dressed middle-aged man who was inquiring about Derek Jeter baseball cards, as I entered and got the books he had pulled for me, before going to the display racks, exchanging a few pleasantries along the way as usual.

So I am standing there, and to my surprise the nicely dressed middle-aged man followed me, stared at me, and announced loudly, "My God! A girl is buying comics!"
I smiled and replied yes, that I was buying comics.
"You really read these?" he said, apparently dumbfounded.
My smile was getting a little more forced, but I said that yes, I did read them, and there were actually a lot more women readers than he realized.

He could just not get over it. He looked me up and down, amazed at the freak who had invaded his space. I was wearing loafers, corderoys, a sweater and pearls, but I don't THINK I looked like a freak. He announced to every subsequent customer that there was a GIRL buying comics! Since most of them were regulars and all know me, this didn't have the impact that he expected. My friend Mike told him, "Dude, she's in here every week."

Matt handled him with his customary courtesy of course, but by then I was getting a little fed up, and proceeded to pay for my purchases. The guy was STILL having a heart attack about it as I left the store. I felt like yelling, "Look! A
MAN with a tie in a comic book store!", but my parents raised me right, and I didn't.

I am probably making too much out of this, but really, I'm still a bit on the annoyed side. I've been reading comics for more than thirty years, and I thought that I had established my nerdy bonafides. I didn't mock this man for being a Yankees fan...and I could have, OH I could have. I just wanted to get my books in peace and maybe have a spirited discussion about how much Civil War blows. So now I'm feeling cranky, and no longer smug.


At 9:48 AM, Blogger Shelly said...

I would've been annoyed, too. I've been reading, and buying, comics for 45 years, starting with coins saved from my allowance and buying comics at the local candy store to now when I go to comics shops. Maybe I've been spoiled here in NYC, because even when I started going to comicons in the '70s, there were always females there. Not a lot and only a few of us in the shops, but I was never the only one.

And in the last decade or so, not only are female shoppers almost half the people visiting Forbidden Planet, which sells more than comics and where I have my pull list, but the same is true for the staff. And never over the years has anyone ever made a fuss when they saw me, except maybe to raise an eyebrow back in the '70s and '80s, only to quickly return their attention to the comics they were perusing.

Some men are just jackasses.

At 12:44 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Thanks, Shelly. I still don't see what all the commotion was about. If he had made just one comment, ok, but he wouldn't shut up about it. Glad that you've been reading for so long.

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Queer Legion (QL) said...

Please say he didn't actually use the word "girl"!! If he did (and unless you're regularly mistaken for a 14 year old), that's beyond sexist, it's just DAMN RUDE!!

If he ever pulls the same crap again, just look at him and say "Yeah, I'm a girl, but at least I'm not balding". Whether he is or not: a) it'll shut him up and b) he'll spend at least an hour examining his hair when he gets home!

At 8:31 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

I'm married with four kids. I haven't been a "girl" in quite some time.

At 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you should have told him that you are really a guy, watch him turn white in horror.
and then laugh about it when he is not around.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Romanticide said...

I bet that guy doesn't go out of his house much... O.o

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Brandon said...

About half the people I know who read comics are women. Most of them have told me this is exactly the type of situation that keeps them from frequenting certain comic shops.

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Palladin said...

You handled it well. I might have wanted to point and yell, there's a grown man buying baseball cards. Just to be weird.

I wish there were more women in the comicbook shops when I go in. I need to find women that understand why I like comics....

At 3:38 AM, Anonymous tekanji said...

Personally, I would talk to the owner about it. Although in your case it won't won't change your relationship with the store, if that guy does it to a potential new customer it might drive her away.

Since I'm more of a theoretical comics' fan than anything else, I know if I had a similar experience as the one you described I would hightail it out of there. I'm already indecisive enough about which titles I want to try picking up, and if I had to deal with harassment on top of it, I would just opt out of the whole thing.

Maybe I'm a special case, but I dunno. No one likes to be badgered and I don't think it would produce good feelings about the store to have it happen to someone who wasn't a regular.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

The thing is, I love my store, and I am good friends with the owner, so I can't really yell at him, it wasn't his fault...which isn't to say that I won't bitch about it this coming Wednesday. If Matt offers to fight a duel in my honor, all is forgiven.


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