Be careful: I'm reading a comic!

When I was younger I didn't really notice, so I can't tell you if it was like this in the eighties and nineties, but I'm noticing now. Whenever I go in public with a comic (usually a TPB or HC, I wouldn't take my single issues outside ;-) ) people tend to look. I can imagine them thinking: "What the hell are you doing?" or "Are you insane?" or "But you're a woman." and many other things that are not very positive. Whenever someone even dares to mention it I get one of those looks with one raised eyebrow and their going "So... you read comics?". Because I like to rub feathers my usual reaction is "Yes, what gave it away?" (Sometimes I just point down to my Converse All Stars Wonder Woman shoes). Sometimes I try to explain about the story lines or the great artwork or whatever is great about that particular comic, but it just doesn't seem to register apart from it being a comic and apparently nothing good can come of it. People who read books don't get half as much hassle. I don't actually feel I'm doing anything different than reading a book.

Trough press and comic-reading-caricatures in movies and the likes the all over image of comic-reading-people isn't all too great to the 'outside' world. Either we lock ourselves away reading comics and planning a new Columbine or we're extremely smart people who read comics and spend our evenings on each others couch. Let's just say, for arguments sake, that I don't fall into either category. What then am I? Well... nothing more than you can tell from watching me. I'm a mum that likes to read comics. No more, no less.

So my question is this: Do you ever get strange reactions when someone sees you reading a comic and if you get them a lot, what's the strangest comment anyone has made to you in regards to you reading a comic?

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Posted by Roekon

I've never taken my comics outside, apart from taking them from the comic store or convention to my home. So I can't relate to that part of your story. But I remember introducing my girlfriend to comics years ago. She was open minded about it and tried to do her best to remember all their names and their powers. Many times, she asked me "what can he do?" or "why does she have green hair?" and all sorts of questions. And I tried to do my best answering them all. The same girlfriend stayed and became my wife eventually. Her influence on me was so great that I asked her if she liked a particular statue of a comic character before buying it. If she didn't like it (which happened sometimes), I didn't buy it. And she had a vote in which statues to display in the living room.

But apart from an occasional strange look from her when I did my best to explain certain powers or storylines, she was really supportive. Maybe the strangest comment from her was "And how much did they drink before they came up with that story?"

My proudest moment: convincing her to read several issues of Deadpool and her liking them.

Posted by Yokergeist

I don't take my comics outside because I don't want them to get damaged.

Edited by Farkam

Nope.

Posted by AllStarHit-Girl

You read comics? G33K!

Posted by Youmika

@roekon: Your wife's comment about the drinking made me lol :) It's very good when spouses don't ridicule our hobby, but I guess that's why we choose them.

@supernategames: I only read comics outside in my car in front of school. Parking there is a b**ch so I'm usually pretty early and what's a girl to do when she's all alone in the car ;) Now I've got a Tab3 so I sometimes read comics on that, but I only get the free ones, so that's pretty limited (don't want to stock up on something that'll never be mine :)

@robogeist: Thank you :)

Posted by God_Spawn

I've never had a bad reaction. I bring comics to work all the time for something to do in between clients, shifts, or on lunch. My co-workers just treat it as if someone is reading a regular book and some of them have even read some stuff I leave there. It's as if they've seen it happen a dozen times.

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Posted by TheTrueBarryAllen

I bring a comic or two to parties I go to so I can sit back and read them when I get sick of drunken fellows.

Posted by Lvenger

I've never had a bad reaction. I bring comics to work all the time for something to do in between clients, shifts, or on lunch. My co-workers just treat it as if someone is reading a regular book and some of them have even read some stuff I leave there. It's as if they've seen it happen a dozen times.

Lucky you GS. I wouldn't dare bring comics into university or out with me. Partly so the paper copies don't get damaged but also because of the looks the OP describes getting.

Whilst I haven't had situations that relate to what you describe, I do feel the caricatures that non comic reading people have of comic book fans are negative portrayals of the actual reality. There's nothing out of the ordinary in reading comics when their level of story telling and writing in the best comics reflects some of the best writing in human literature. Plus it's up to each of us to decide what it is we like reading and that's how it should be. I applaud your attitude towards those who give you funny looks.

Posted by ShootingNova

I've never had a bad reaction. I bring comics to work all the time for something to do in between clients, shifts, or on lunch. My co-workers just treat it as if someone is reading a regular book and some of them have even read some stuff I leave there. It's as if they've seen it happen a dozen times.

I think that's a bit rare (and lucky). Not a whole lot of people get to just read comics in public without eliciting some sort of kerfuffle.

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Posted by lykopis

That's too bad about the negative reactions people get when reading comics in a public area. Last year, I had a great experience on a plane when an older gentleman saw I was reading a comic. It led to a great conversation which lasted the whole four hour flight.

Could be geographic. It's not such an odd thing where I am now although while in high school, I was a bit secretive about it but that was because I wanted it to be a "me" only thing.

Edited by westy206

Me and another guy at work both read comics and if I have something he wants to read or visa versa we'll bring them into work to let the other borrow, other people at work see and don't say anything or make a look. One or two get curious and you can tell actually they want to know more and more.

That being said none of my friends read comics and they sometimes make a little nerd joke but that's banter so it's not the same type of thing as I ridicule them also.

I don't see my self as a nerd, just putting that out there.

Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k

I don`t really show my enthusiasm for them in public.

One time I read one at school, and some irritating twat gave me one of those "you a loser" looks. Didn`t really think that much of it. Continued reading Sin city: Family values.

I also read comics when on public transportations. Nobody says nothing. Doesn`t give any looks. Is it because I live in Finland, or is it universal? No idea.

Maybe it`s also because alot of the time, I use to read Donald duck pocket books. Disney-ducks are a national treasure here.

Posted by Youmika

@god_spawn: That's really good. I work in a place where there are a lot of scholars and they really don't get it.

I was explaining to one of my colleges about zombies, she said: "Oh, I thought they were just acting funny."

@lvenger: I completely agree with you. Some of the comics I read are so good, the storytelling can be really amazing.

@lykopis: I suppose you're right about the demographics. My friends and I often buy comics together. We visit the UK about once or twice a year and we usually stock up there. There are also more comic bookstores in the UK then there are here. My town, though fairly large, has none.

Nice story about the encounter with the man on the airplane. Those chance meetings, whatever started them, are usually very memorable and always give a deeper feeling of meaning.

@westy206: Oh I wish I could swap with colleges. I sometimes do with friends though.

I like going into the comic shop where I've been going for the past 20 years or so. I'm usually one of the few females in there. Once I was standing at the discounted HC and TPB issues looking trough them when a guy came up to me, stood next to me burped and farted and then proceeded to look at me intently as if to say 'Why don't you move along there little lady'. I raised an eyebrow and smiled (with one corner of my mouth) and just continued to keep looking trough them. It was clear he wasn't used to that happening cause he just stood there looking like an idiot. I was very proud of myself :)