I was wandering aimlessly around my very first comic book expo, rocking my custom TerrorVision tank top, the first volume of Hellraiser in my giant purse, trying to look like I knew anything about anything. “Are you the sidekick accompanying the comic collector?” asked a guy who happened to be one of the co-organizers of the expo, referring to my buddy from my writing critique group who actually knew what she was doing.
Apparently, I wasn’t blending in at all.
It was unsurprising, though. I had never really been into comics before, at least not before five months ago. I wasn’t into the tights-and-capes crowd (except when directed on the big screen by Joss Whedon, for the most part), and I thought that was all comics were.
Since then, I’ve torn through the first five volumes of Lumberjanes, the first four volumes of Giant Days, Nimona, Love Is Love, the first volume of Saga, and anything else I can get my hands on. A couple days before the expo, I read the first volume of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, which I’d borrowed from the library. WTF, I thought to myself as I began to read. This is so random, I muttered aloud as I continued to read. THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED! I finally concluded.
And I am so hungry for more.
But it’s so hard to find comics featuring kick-ass female friends that are actually written and illustrated by kick-ass females.
When I read Rat Queens, for example, I was immediately smitten. But then I found out that the original artist had been charged with domestic violence and rape. And my heart broke into a trillion tiny pieces.
After the expo, my friend and I hit up Hot Grill (as you do), and then went to a local comic shop that was having signings with female comic artists in celebration of the town’s women’s empowerment week. I was tempted to ask one of the salespeople: “Can you share with me the equivalent of Rat Queens, but created by someone who doesn’t practice violence against women?”
But I am a wuss.
Still, I snatched up additional volumes of Lumberjanes, Giant Days, and Squirrel Girl.
I’ll be back, I thought to myself after I eventually tore myself away from the stacks and walked out the door.
I’ll be back.