I took a couple of hours out of my day to be on a panel for Young Author’s Day, an event put on by the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association. I was invited to join by John Lustig, who I feel very lucky to call my friend and mentor. We answered the usual questions about the writing process and how we broke into comics, but I was even more intrigued by the audience. Notice something about them?
Yeah. GIRLS. Very. Young. Girls.
So I asked THEM some questions. “How many of you read comics?”
All hands went up.
"How many of you want to make comics some day?"
Most of the hands went up.
Here’s where it really got interesting. “How many of you BUY comics?”
Only one hand raised. I asked her where she buys her comics. She said, “At the comic book store.”
"Do you have a comic book store you like going to?" I asked.
She hesitated. “It’s complicated.”
That’s 10 year-old speak for “I have to go there to get comics but the store makes me uncomfortable.” The rest of them read webcomics. None of them had heard of Comixology before, but they knew all about it by the time the panel was over. What comic would they like to see most? Minecraft. Only Steve needs to be a girl.
It was a fascinating experience, especially in the wake of this article detailing why girls in the 1980s (like me and one of the moms nodding eagerly in the audience) stopped buying comics for 20 years.
The future of comics is bright indeed.
This is absolutely wonderful.
The part where the girl says she feels uncomfortable in the comic shop she goes to upsets me.
Me too, Brian. That was the kind of experience I had literally 20 years ago when I went into my first shop. I didn’t go back into a shop for 8 years and only then because I was coaxed and accompanied. I hate that it’s STILL happening.
This is why libraries need comic book collections. The shops aren’t safe spaces? Damn well sure the library is!
As an experiment in kick-starting some creativity and making space for people who might not always feel they get to be creative and also to document our experiences and recording our collective histories. Starting JUNE 21ST and ending SEPTEMBER 26TH you are invited to CREATE a zine OR zines over the period of the summer!
Zines content and style is completely up to you! PERSONAL WRITING, PHOTOS, COMICS, FOOD, HOW TO and everything in-between. All persons participating will receive a copy of all other participants zines at the end of summer! In order for this to work we need all people wanting to participate to ~SIGN UP~
Sign up to participate via THINKANDDIETHINKING@GMAIL.COM
In true Think and Die Thinking fashion, we will have an end of summer dance party event to celebrate what we ALL have done! ALL PERSONS are invited to this event even if you did not make a zine! It will be DONATION based so dont trip.
—-THERE WILL BE A FEW CHECK IN DATES—-
• June 21st FIRST DAY OF SUMMER
• July 21st Sign-up cut off day
• August 21st First check-in to make sure you are still on board.
I wrote the following via the Library of Congress suggest terminology form:
It would be super helpful if you could add terminology to describe works about fat empowerment, fat activism, and the like. Similar terms are already associated with “Discrimination against overweight persons,” but…
UPDATE — Received from Libby Dechman at LC, shared with her permission:
Funny you should bring this up… on Monthly List 6 (June) we just approved the new subject heading:
I know, it’s just a beginning, but recognition of the topic has begun!
"I don’t want to be telling you this. My ego is screaming at me to stop writing about [cutting myself]. I want to be a good role model, someone who deals with her depression by going for a bike ride, taking to a friend or writing in her journal. But if you are depressed then you know that part of depression is that you don’t always feel like doing these things. Sometimes you feel like hurting yourslef."
I gotta say this excerpt reinforces the power of zines: first person reality, stuff that couldn’t get published published because it might be considered dangerous, but might actually be the most useful and relatable thing a person could read. Quoted with permission.
The Santa Clara County Library District is one of the best libraries in the nation. We seek enthusiastic employees to work in our fast-paced, culturally diverse libraries throughout the County. Established in 1914, the Santa Clara County Library District has been ranked as one of America’s top 100 libraries for the past decade. We serve the cities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, and the unincorporated areas of the County.