Earlier this week I asked for recommendations for comic book stores that were friendly to women, and y’all certainly came through.
I’ve sorted them by region, sort of, but in a very loose way. If you have recommendations and missed the initial call, good news! There is now a dedicated tumblr for this, haterfreewednesdays, and you can go and submit a recommendation there for female, queer, and PoC friendly comics stores. A big hand to seekanewerworld for setting that up and modding it.
My recommendation in Chicago is for my local, Chicago Comics, and if you’re into nerdery in any way GayMart on Halsted, which doesn’t sell a lot of comics but does have a truly death-defying selection of action figures, kitsch, and Pride merchandise.
Behind the Read More you will find a ton of recommendations for shops in a variety of locales. Support your local comic shop and vote with your moneys!
I can put in a good word for Third Coast Comics, in Edgewater! It’s got a diverse staff (females, PoC, queer people) and is super friendly to newbies. They also have a craft night and a monthly karaoke! I know that’s the sort of thing tumblr likes.
I’ve heard good things about Third Coast. They sponsored a “Marvel Vs. DC” debate during the last presidential election debate season. :D
I took Lemonsharks to Alley Cat Comics in Andersonville tonight, and the ladies outnumbered the dudes, and the dudes were very nice.
Also in Chicago, I’ve only been to the three in the city proper, but I’ve had good experiences at Graham Cracker Comics. The Edgewater location (about a block from Dice Dojo) even has a female manager and is my regular shop, though the downtown location is probably the biggest.
Edgewater and Andersonville, just for out of towners, are both neighborhoods of Chicago.
I haven’t been to the Edgewater location of Graham Cracker, so it’s probably not the case there, but I’ve been to the downtown location and got kind of a sketchy vibe off it. Nothing in particular I could put a finger on, but the guy behind the counter creeped me out (and kept watching me). YMMV, I’ve only been in there once.
I have had a really good experience at G-Mart in Champaign, IL(their main branch is in Chicago). The guy is always very polite, and helpful, didn’t steer me toward the “girl” comics, and the patrons are really respectful.
I go to The Dreaming Comics and Games in Seattle. Aron (the owner) is very enthusiastic about greeting people and loves helping folks find new comics to read. He actively discourages sexism/racism/other isms in the shop, and most of the customers help in this effort. I highly recommend a visit if you’re ever in Seattle!
Portland, Oregon - Bridge City Comics.
Although I’ve heard from others that every comic shop in Portland is pretty female-friendly.
St. Louis has Starclipper, which I recommend wholeheartedly. They even *gasp* employ at least one woman. Bonus points for well lit, not smelling of damp carpet, and avoiding sexist language during purchase.
Another good St. Louis location is Newcastle Games & Comics. Lady friendly, and great hours. I’ve even played D&D there with nary a second glance.
In the LA area, Burbank’s House of Secrets is fantastic, and gives you a 20% discount for being female and purchasing things.
My own shop in San Diego is Villainous Lair comics, on Adam’s Avenue, which I adore. I end up spending at least an hour there when I go in to pick up my pull, because the staff are friendly and helpful and LOVE talking comics. They give a 15% discount on print comics if you have a pull with them. I seriously love these guys. They are awesome.
When I lived out there (near Riverside, CA), years ago, I used Players - family owned and run and always a pleasant experience. Mind you, this was YEARS ago - I live on the other coast now.
Players Comics & Cards. There’s one in Riverside, but the Moreno Valley one is better. I’ve just started reading comics (thx to Hawkguy) and they are cool people.
Geoffrey’s Comics, Gardena CA and The Comic Bug, Manhattan Beach CA
in Oakland/Berkeley, CA go to Dr. Comics & Mr. Games. Great shop, lots of female staff. Been around a long time!
Amazing Comics in Long Beach, CA, has been pretty good in my experience. I get a little uncomfortable just because I am me, but they have female employees and plenty of female customers, and I have never been hassled in or near the shop.
There’s 4 Color Fantasies on Archibald in Rancho Cucamonga. Do yourself a favor and at least go there on Free Comic Book Day. They put on a huge event, with food and music and tons of comic artists, many of whom are doing custom sketches.
If you’re looking for older comics (’90s and earlier), check out Bunky Brothers, also on Archibald in Rancho Cucamonga. You won’t find anything new, but what you will find is tons and tons and tons of older comics. They have gigantic shelves of $1 mixed comics. They buy used comics too, so the selection is ever-changing.
I assume this is Vancouver BC, but let us know if that’s not correct.all the comic shops in vancouver are super lady-friendly afaik. my local shop is owned by a woman and at least half the customers are women on wed nights!
…I live in Vancouver, BC, and my LCS is Big Pete’s in North Van. This shop is what made me start up an 8-item pull list after years away from comics. It has actual female employees (one of whom is the owner’s mum), is friendly and welcoming, has great selection and has neither a pull list deposit nor a minimum number of titles. They are, in fact, so great that I take a SeaBus across the harbour two or three times a month just to pick up my comics.
The famous Golden Age downtown is okay, too, at least for not-being-a-dick-about-gender-etc. - I go there occasionally for bag/box supplies and TPBs, since it’s on my way home.
Phantom of the Attic, in Pittsburgh. The one on Craig St in Oakland (there are 2 - a comic book shop & a game store — I mean the comic book shop). The space was *specifically designed* to help female comic book fans feel more comfy.
For the UK side of things, I’ve been going to the Sheffield branch of Forbidden Planet for years when I can afford it and I’ve never had any negative experience for being female. They’re lovely people in there. :)
When I was living in London, I had good experiences with Forbidden Planet and Orbital Comics. The staff at Orbital, in particular, answered my questions and offered recommendations without talking down to me. Both have a mix of male and female staff, which I think helped.
I’ll add Tate’s in Ft. Lauderdale.
Also Blackhive Comics in Jacksonville. I went there with my cousin (who is also a woman). Female employees! It was a bit unorganized because I think they were still remodeling, but that was back in December, so it could be better now. They were really nice to both of us.
New England Comics in Quincy, MA is full of nice people! I’ve also had sexism free experiences at Modern Myths in Northampton MA. Good luck!
For the greater Boston / Cambridge area, this female fan rec’s the Million Year Picnic all the way. (Site here, LJ here.) They’re a.) indie, b.) welcoming to everyone, regardless of gender presentation, c.) have an awesome selection, and d.) unlike New England Comics, will not come over and ask disapprovingly Are You Planning On Buying That if you look at a particular comic for longer than five minutes.
Hmm, opinions seem varied on New England Comics.
My pull box is at the Newbury Comics on Newbury St. (in Cambridge). The staff is just ridiculously nice. When I went in last Friday and they didn’t have the new Hawkeye on the shelf I asked at the register if they had any and this hilarious guy (Alfie I think), turned around from where he was stacking things behind the counter and just lit UP!
Best part? Once you have a pull box, Newbury Comics gives you 20% off all their single issue comics. All of them! The selection isn’t humongous, but they carry the popular titles which is what I’m interested in right now. So if you’re in Boston/Cambridge, and you don’t want to deal with the bro-club atmosphere of the majority of comic shops around here, that’s where I recommend.
bookwench:Drawn To Comics in downtown Glendale, Arizona is a great shop. Run by a really friendly couple, everyone there is very helpful and very friendly to everyone. I drive past two others to go there.
Silver Spring Md has Alliance Comics and it’s awesome. The staff is nice, especially on Wednesdays. They have female staff person and it’s within walking distance of a D.C. metro stop. I highly recommend them if you’re in Washington DC.
thebackendofnowhere:I am female, and I have always been well-treated by Beyond Comics in Gaithersburg, MD; good selection, knowledgeable staff, no dickery.
COME TO FANTOM COMICS IN DC! I’m organizing our first monthly LADIES’ NIGHT! for February 17th because I love all the rad female fans I meet all over the place who’ve never really felt welcome to step into a comic book store.I love comic books. I am a lady person.
I love meeting other people, no matter their gender or age, who love comic books too. If you are a gal and love comic books„ please pop by the store and I’ll give you a high five and a warm welcome!
laughingacademy:Criminal Records in Atlanta, GA. Comics guy is named Zano and he is fantastic. He helped me with my pull list, gives me recs every week, and made sure to invite me to their comics book club on my first trip in. Cannot recommend highly enough.
NYC: I’ve been going to Forbidden Planet on Broadway (a couple of blocks south of Union Square) for years, and the staff is unfailingly friendly and helpful.
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