Creator Tim Broderick writes about taking his daughters into the comic book store and having them not see much that appealed to them, even comics like Wolverine: First Class, which are supposedly intended for them.
I’ve been in some good comic book stores — even when I was a young teenager, I remember going into one of our local stores with my brother and the staff was always nice to me and let me feel like I belonged there. I like the casual coolness of the area’s Big Planet stores and I certainly adore the boutique vibe of Isotope Comics in San Francisco. And yes, I’ve been in some bad comic book stores — ones where I’ve been ignored because I was neither a boy (of any age) nor a mother so I didn’t register. I’ve been in your stereotypically dusty, dimly lit stores.
But this isn’t so much about comic book stores. This is about what’s in them.
I don’t tend to think of teenage girls as of one mind — I was watching The X-Files and not Dawson’s Creek as a teenage girl. Yes, maybe I would’ve been inclined to pick up Wolverine: First Class because I liked both Kitty Pryde and Wolverine. But that was me. That’s the kind of teenage girl I was. I would not say I was typical.
Quite possibly, it’s an excellent title for teenage girls (although Broderick said his daughters didn’t care for it) but as he pointed out:
Even “First Class,” supposedly written for girls and targeted to that audience, featured an aggressively-posed Wolverine – claws out with a grimace on his face – while Kitty Pryde, supposedly the narrator and main character, was secondary.
He then compares it to the cover of the book Twilight (oh, our favorite easy example of Twilight) as well as the movie cover. Both are romantic and a little mysterious. Put side by side with the cover of Wolverine: First Class, I think the choice for most teenage girls is pretty clear.
There are wonderful comics for girls out there. But if they’re not presented in an appealing way, how are teenage girls going to pick them up? (Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane seems like it did a little bit better in terms of appealing to girls. I don’t know how many girls read it, though). And this is even if you get them into the comic book store in the first place (but that’s something of another matter).