*Honest to God, there's a freakish sort of pressure when you're a woman buying comics. I can't count the number of times I've walked into my local store and felt eyes on me, discreetly appraising my comic book choices. I know guys get this same pressure too, which is part of the problem, but women are judged twice as harshly and we know it (here's where I wish I had more women friends who read comics, so somebody could back me up).
This is a self-perpetuating attitude. Geekier than Thou. This is why the first week or two at Blog@Newsarama, most of my posts were greeted with one-upper comments, with the exception of Amateur Art Appreciation posts. Because those posts exude snobbery. They condescension. They have Big Words and they discuss Symbolism. The Geeks who ventured across them feared to challenge them because they may have to deal with long-winded and difficult to dismiss response. But my newblogging, on the other hand, was fair game.
All the newbies get the treatment from the old guard, and realize that's the way you need to be to fit in. The only way to deal with judgment is to be twice as arrogant as the person doing the judging. It's like some weird pack-animal dominance exercise. If you win, you get to be in respected and look down your nose at the losers who read the unpopular books (you know, the ones that actually sell). If you lose, you can look forward to pseudo-intellectual mockery every Wednesday.
You are scored at the cash register:
+3 for each Independant Comic in your pull.
-2 for every superhero book not written by Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, or Warren Ellis
-3 if you are Female*
+1 for every complaint company direction
+1 for every complaint about art
+2 for every complaint about writing
+3 for every complaint about editing
+2 for pessimistic assumptions about industry news
+3 for gratuitous display of continuity knowledge
+4 if you win a Nerd Superiority Challenge with another patron
+5 if you win a Nerd Superiority Challenge with the clerk
*This limits your social standing to a choice of "Fluffy Bunny" or "Force of Nature" depending upon whether you score enough to be in the in-crowd.