This week, dear readers, it is I who has a problem. Mostly likely you have seen this in your DC comics from last week, but in case you haven’t, here is the gist. DC is running a College Humor ad in their issues which could be considered largely offensive to women and also just everyone! The humor website has five other “great villains of nerd culture,” all of which made me lose brain cells as I read their offenses against … I don’t know … well-adjusted, casual readers? Totally the MAJORITY (haha j/k) of their readership.

Now, before I get all uppity, let me say that I realize that this was created as humor and probably not meant to cause offense to anyone (other than the stereotypes targeted). Perhaps the people who gave the go-ahead for this ad thought that everyone reading it would pat themselves on the back, knowing with satisfaction that they were not a horrible nerd. And then they would throw a party for all their nerd friends that were also not stereotyped and no. one. shows. up. Because you know, if you’re reading a DC comic, you are clearly none of these people. Except maybe the “bro” or “alpha nerd” wearing DC shirts. Oops.

It would be easy to just write this off as some crap created by out-of-touch idiots. In fact, that is exactly my opinion about College Humor’s part in this ad. But there is something more sinister afoot in regards to what DC is doing here. I mean, seriously, what were they THINKING? They are running an ad AGAINST their readers. They have essentially brought us back to grade school, and told us all about the types of people that aren’t welcome in their club. Which, by the looks of it, is more than half of their audience. Well played, DC, well played. I salute your gravitas.

I don’t even want to get into how the main image in this ad is the “Impostor,” aka an attractive female that likes nerdy things that are TOO COMMON or IS FAKING IT. I mean, WOMEN, amirite? You can’t trust those tricky minxes! What with their N64 systems and Facebook pages! Their genetic programming doesn’t allow for them to enjoy comics! Don’t make me laugh!

Ummmm … WAT?

I also very much enjoy that CHILDREN are vilified for their POOR TASTE. I guess they should just KNOW BETTER. Thank you, DC comics, for running this ad. I am learning so much about the world. And god damn, if it isn’t just HILARIOUS. I have tears in my eyes!

All that aside, I think at the end of the day this ad really just makes DC looks bitter that they don’t have the rights to the Star Wars franchise. They’d be KILLING IT sales-wise with all these nerd villains! Sorry guys, I know it must be eating you up inside that Dark Horse is taking that cash pony to the bank.

Maybe next time you decide to run an ad that condemns your readership, you can make sure that no one being slandered is wearing your own damn merchandise. That’s just salesmanship 101.

Do YOU have a NRRD PROB? Email your questions to Lindsey and look for them next week!

15 thoughts on “NRRD PROBZ – 10.23.2012

  1. First, your picking on DC. You are almost trying to make this a DC Comics ad, not ad which it is. If DC ran a ad would you still be offended. You should be. And turning readers away, DC has run Marvel Comics ads too. That is really torturing their readership. The Bro…you know the Bro, I know the Bro. The Pervert, yes ruining anything by fan fiction. The Youth, the Alpha Nerd, the Imposter, yes they come here. I think it hit a nerd nerve with you. Let’s see here, what do comic people call the common folk who do not read comics, mundies.. There should be an uprising. The only thing I was offended by was that the Big Bang Theory should go off the air. That thought is offensive.
    By the way, I own a comic bookstore. I think the Six Supervillains of Nerd Culture have their headquarters in the back somewhere. Let me see if I can ring them up on this purple phone they installed on my desk……


  2. ps – You are still the Bestest Girl Nerd I know….and you would kick ass in a Nerd Fight, so maybe you are just overall Bestest. Just don’t hate because I have a super secret villain headquarters hidden in the back…


    1. Haha, thanks for the input NED. This IS a DC ad… because they sanctioned and ran it. I know they did not MAKE it. It’s mind blowing that this ad is IN COMIC BOOKS and encouraging comic nerds to OUST these “villainous” nerd types. Can’t we all just get along? However true some of these stereotypes are, they are PATRONS of the comic industry and don’t deserve to be called out by the industry they support. This ad sucks ass and I hate it.


  3. Agreed … in fact, the Imposter image is exactly what I feel like every time I step in my comic book store … like I’m not supposed to be there. So I pick up my pulls and make for the door fast as I can. Kinda sucks.


    1. Ahhh that makes me so sad :(

      I know walking into a comic shop full of dudes huddled together rings a lot of intimidating BOY’S CLUB bells. Don’t worry, those looks they’re giving you might appear hateful, but they just don’t know how to arrange their faces into expressions of wonder and awe. Casually express your feelings about Scott Snyder or Matt Fraction and they will be forced to accept you.


      1. Well, no … No one is FORCED to accept anyone. As for the stereotypical Boys Club, I hate to say it (as I have so often), but I really doubt anyone in a comic shop feels any hostility toward women entering the store. And, I’m willing to bet that they are not panting and lusting after you … They are probably grabbing their week’s picks, they might take a moment to check out your ass and boobs, and then they move along.

        Maybe I just frequented a better class of comic stores, but I think a female presence in a comic shop would raise eyebrows and elicit remarks like, “A girl in a comic shop? You dont see that every day.” Never heard or sensed any hositlity toward women.

        As for store owners that are hostile toward women, I think the Grouchy Comic Store Owner was standard practice in the 1980s and 1990s. Luckily, they seem to be disappearing as more savvy businesspeople better and more successful shops.


        1. Pardon my EMPHASIS but I enjoy using hyperbole. Take note, it will happen often. Of course no one is forced to accept anyone, but without basis for rejection, no one should be made to feel like an outcast.

          As I read your comments again, I’m starting to think that you didn’t read this article or the comments correctly. There was no mention of women feeling LUSTED after and grossed out by nerds. You may be projecting. It is just that women can be made to feel excluded and unwelcome when entering a shop holding what amounts to an inner circle of predominantly males.

          There is almost certainly a raised eyebrow or two when an attractive woman (read: all of them) walks into a comic shop, as well as some sexual objectification which you so wisely seem to consider appropriate (it isn’t) as a cultural norm. You make it sound like a routine every man should have a right to! Grab your comics, check out any T&A in the vicinity, and leave!

          If there is lusting, raised eyebrows, hostility, or otherwise, the bottom line is that women are not usually engaged in comic shops the same way males are. It could be for any number of reasons, but for now, that’s just how it is. And it continues to discourage ladies to visit comic stores, support local business, and partake in conversation with their peers.

          How about next time you see a woman in your local shop, you strike up a conversation rather than raising an eyebrow or taking a gander at the goods? They often feel like strangers in strange lands and you welcoming them into the fold could make all the difference in the world.


          1. “Of course no one is forced to accept anyone, but without basis for rejection, no one should be made to feel like an outcast”
            I don’t think anyone is being rejected, either.
            “How about next time you see a woman in your local shop, you strike up a conversation …”
            And get accused of harassment? (LoL) I usually just buy comics and bolt without chatting…. no time to stick around the store. Comic shops aren’t like biker bars, so I don’t think anyone needs to feel threatened upon entering.


          2. I don’t know how to put this in a way you will understand. You are a male, so perhaps this is just not something you can comprehend. You keep using words like “threatened” and “hostility” when what are talking about here are rejection and general feelings of being unwelcome. A person does not need to be actively rejected to FEEL rejected. It’s a perception, not likely a “Get out woman you don’t belong here!” comment. And while the biker bar analogy is a bit of a reach, it still hits on the same point I am trying to make. The same things women have told me more than once. Walking into a comic shop can be a high-anxiety situation. Women feeling this anxiety in stores are experiencing this because they are in a place where they have no personal connections. They might feel intimidated because they’ve just started reading comics, or because they’re embarrassed about the titles on their hold file. Either way, while you might not “think anyone is being rejected,” that is never the less the way a number of women are feeling. I don’t expect a welcome wagon for every female that walks into a comic shop, I’m just hoping that women will be treated more like peers and less like mythical creatures in the future.


    1. Thanks for the link! I’m all for satire and whatnot, but as you said this is just not funny at all. I would not give two flips about it if DC wasn’t running it, but they are and so I do. Are they so desperate to sell ad space?


      1. I can take the abuse but they’ve included my wife, my kids, my brothers, and pretty much 2/3 of my friend base (all 6 of them) in this campaign. I’m sure this was created to get back at the whole “fake geek girl” movement by pointing out all the other nerdish stereotypes, but it could have been done differently and better. I think they need a new Marketing person. Maybe I’ll send in a resume.


  4. I agree. DC decides who advertises in their book and must accept some of the responsibility/liability. Those ads would be more apprpriate in Mad or the late lamented National Lampoon.


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