In an episode of the popular television series The Big Bang Theory titled “The Bakersfield Expedition,” three girls walk into a comic book store, and the exclusively male customers all turn around and stare until the owner scolds them, “They’re just girls. It’s nothing you haven’t seen in movies or in drawings.” This scene emphasizes the common assumption that comics fandom is an unwelcoming and sexist space. However, this assumption is only partly true, because comics fandom is a broader category, including but not limited to men who shop at comic book stores.

This essay may be found on page 91 of the printed volume.

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