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Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books by the Women Who Love Them Paperback – April 10, 2012
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I'll have to admit that I fell out of comics fandom over 10 years ago, but re-discovered them recently thanks to digital versions. Collecting comics got so expensive back in those days and I initially had the intent to buy every single Vertigo title ever written. Needless to say, I ran out of money before that happened and lost interest.
I'm back in the game, though, thanks to Comixology and other comics readers. Right now, my favorite, without a doubt, is the Locke & Key series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. I've also recently been turned on to Fables, as well as Alabaster.
So back to the book. I'll admit that I related to almost everything these women had to say. My favorite essay had to be by Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman, Deadpool), who stated that women have secretly won the war in the comics industry. When Simone says "They are going to have to produce product that the female reader enjoys to survive," I believe it.
I also related to Erica McGillivray's essay on being an accidental cosplayer. When referring to preparing for her first cosplay event, she attributed it to being more important than getting read for the prom. And she's right. She goes into mentioning how more women are now being seen at both comic book stores and conventions and how we tend to embrace fandom at a higher participatory level. I was a first-time cosplayer a few years ago. And now? I'm always actively planning outfits.Read more ›
I got completely hooked, because Chicks Dig Comics is a love letter to something I adore. It's about passion. It's comics readers and comics creators sharing why they adore the stories found in comics, from superheroes to horror to comedy to soap-opera melodrama. It shows quite clearly how much better comics fandom has gotten for women in my lifetime. So many of the essays pointed out that in years past, comics conventions were almost exclusively male - these days, women and girls are well represented. When some of the contributors in this book were growing up, it was impossible to find another female comics fan. Now with the internet, it would be hard not to. And there are enough fans, and enough interest in the topic, that Chicks Dig Comics can be a viable project.
I found the whole thing so incredibly refreshing.
I'm not sure that any further description of which bits I personally liked is terribly useful to anyone else. There are 30 pieces in the book if you don't count the introduction and foreward, so everyone who reads the book is going to have their own favorites. The collection as a whole moves along quickly due to the length of each piece and the variety of subjects and approaches. Some pieces focus on the writer's personal experiences, while others focus on specific characters and books or describe working in the industry. Marvel, D.C., and indie fandoms are all well represented. Editors Lynne M. Thomas and Sigrid Ellis did a fantastic job mixing the essays together so that each piece feels fresh as you get to it.Read more ›
I know that sounds like we are off to a negative start, but here it is. This book really is only for 1 of 3 types of people:
1. People who already follow a specific writer (internet personality) most of whom have some vast conspiracy theory about patriarchy keeping down all women writers & want more of the same.
2. Comic book fans who regardless of gender who purchased this because it looked uplifting & comic based when you read the title: After all, you consider yourself to be socially conscious enough to endorse equality.... You will likely off-load this book at the earliest convenience, when you realise a surprising amount of it is pretty insipid & repeated things you as a comic fan have heard before online for free.
3. Some vaguely interested potential female reader picking this up hoping that its going to be an entry to getting in on the interesting sub-culture of comics, possibly after seeing one of the many super-hero movies. After reading this chances are good she'll put it down & decide never to walk into the hive of sexism that is comic-book fandom & alas she will never discover the levels of hyperbole involved in some of these articles are EXACTLY the kind of commentary that poisons the well & itself keeps out women.
Okay, so if you aren't one of those three groups, this book is probably not for you. Heck if you aren't in the first category this book is probably not for you. If however what you were looking for is instead an entry level into comics, the following suggestions have been created for your reading convenience.Read more ›