‘The Rack’ Offers Sensitivity Training for Bad Comics Retailers [Webcomic]
"Not every comics shop needs to read this as something directed against them. A truly stupefying number of them do, however," writes Kevin Church in a supplement to his latest episode of The Rack, a webcomic strip that takes place in a comic book store. The second in a series of "public service announcements," the strip is illustrated by guest artist Sandra Lanz and features Lydia Park, the store's lone female employee, admonishing real-life comic book retailers for their treatment of women customers. The special strip guest-stars ComicsAlliance fashion blogger Bethany Fong, and you can check it out after the jump.Now in its fourth year and regularly drawn by Benjamin Birdie, The Rack is one of the seemingly few webcomics not based in single-serving punchlines but rather in ongoing, character-driven stories (although it's still funny). In this case, the characters are all associated with a comic book store called Panels. Memorable storylines include the crew getting fired from Yavin IV Comics; Aaron's tenure at Admiral Snackbar's; the quitting of Lydia (who spun-off into a finite web series of her own); and the Great LARPNess Saga.
Church and Birdie previously addressed the geek community in a similarly-themed public service announcement starring Lydia, who admonished the social convention of using the word "rape" too liberally in too many contexts -- specifically, in discussions about the Star Wars prequels and things of that nature. The latest PSA, guest starring our own Bethany Fong, addresses the treatment of women in comic book stores, which is of course a subject that can never really go away as long as the problem persists.