“We’re here to disassemble the patriarchy!” yelled moderator Kelly Sue DeConnick, and thus the Valkyries panel at Emerald City Comicon got underway.
The Valkyries are a group of women working in comic book retail around the world. Comic book artist and writer Kate Leth organized the group when she worked in a store herself and wanted to find other kindred spirits to talk shop. Since then, the membership has grown to almost 400 women worldwide.
Discussion within the group doesn’t simply focus on ranting about customers, even though negative experiences as a result of being a female employee do occur. Together, the members discuss recommendations for customers and how to improve the comic retail experience for all visitors to their stores.
Their influence is now even felt by publishers. At Emerald City Comicon, Leth announced variant covers that can only be ordered at shops with Valkyries within their ranks. First up, variants for Dynamite Comics’ Swords of Sorrow and Image’s Pretty Deadly.
Curious if your comic book store will carry the variant covers? Contact the Valkyries through Twitter to find a member in a store near you. (I recommend following their account for fantastic comic book discussion, even if you’re not employed in a store.)
If you’re a woman working in a comic book store, “We’re recruiting all the time!” said the Valkyries at Emerald City Comicon. Visit their website to sign up and join the community!