Buzz Worthy

Girl Power at Big Monkey Comics

Lauren Alexander, left, reads with Tori Tyree, co-founder of a D.C. women's comics group, and Helen Haifley.
Lauren Alexander, left, reads with Tori Tyree, co-founder of a D.C. women's comics group, and Helen Haifley. (By Jay Premack For The Washington Post)
Sunday, September 30, 2007

You may think of a comic book shop as a grown-up boys' club where socially awkward men argue over who's more emo: Martian Manhunter or Spider-Man.

But at Big Monkey Comics, the D.C. store that recently moved from Georgetown to 14th Street NW, men don't have full reign over the nerd universe.

Twice a month, a group of women gathers at the store among the Darth Vader busts and Black Adam T-shirts to talk about comics. Think book club, but instead of Cormac McCarthy, the banter centers on legendary writer Gail Simone and speculation about Catwoman's baby daddy.

The discussion group was started by owner Scipio Garling and comics lover Tori Tyree as a venue for female comics readers to meet one another. Members include longtime fans who grew up idolizing Wonder Woman and She-Hulk, as well as those who started reading comics as adults. Interests vary from superheroes to independent presses to graphic novels. All are welcome, even the "just curious."

"I came because I was so fascinated to learn that there were other girls reading comics," says Melissa Gonzalez, 23, who recently joined the group.

There are no boys allowed -- except for the male clerks who mill about in the wings and will bring you a Diet Coke when asked nicely.

-- Jen Girdish

The next meeting of the Big Monkey Comics Women's Discussion Group is Wednesday at 7 p.m. 1722-B 14th St. NW, Second Floor, 202-333-8650, http://www.bigmonkeycomics.com.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company