Female Comic Con attendees have a lot of bullshit to contend with — booth babe jokes, depressing "women aren't funny" quotes from Joseph Gordon-Levitt — but before they can deal with all that, they have to get dressed. Until a few years ago, it was difficult for comic aficionados who also have vaginas to find appropriate clothing that wasn't designed to fit men — unless you were in the market for a slutty Xena costume, of course.
Thankfully, over the past few years, more geeky women have started catering to their fellow New York Comic Con fans, according to the New York Times. One of them is actress Ashley Eckstein — most famous as the voice of Ahsoka Tano on "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" — who founded HerUniverse after she couldn't find a Star Wars t-shirt that fit for her 2009 Comic Con appearance.
"For so long, fan-girls were ignored," Eckstein said. "I wanted fan-girls to step into the spotlight and say, ‘I love sci-fi and fantasy.'" Apparently, that's exactly what they're doing — Eckstein will make around $1 million this year. "In my research, I found that 80 percent of consumer purchases are made by women," she added. "Why wouldn't you pay attention to women?"
That's an excellent question! Yet one that companies often fail to ask in almost every non-"pink" consumer sector. It's getting better, though, according to Lance Fensterman, the show manager for New York Comic Con: 60 percent of the 1,200 exhibitors this year are small businesses or publishers and a "growing number of them" (how many??) are owned by women. Some of whom have some dubious-sounding ideas (at least to me) about how to entice the xx-chromosome set:
"We find our fan base and devotees of vinyl art is male-dominated, although we are trying to change this," said Claire Beecham, who is bringing her London-based company, Dudebox, to the New York Comic Con for the first time. "We have used some female artists in our portfolio to get some softness into the designs."
More female artists? Awesome. More "softness" for the ladies? Meh.
Then there's Wendy Bryan, who sells her "I Heart Guts" plush toy line at the convention and other trade shows. "A geek girl wants to buy a uterus that she can hug or punch depending on the time of the month," she said.
Does she? Really? Well, if you do, now you know where to get one!
(Image via HerUniverse.)