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Issue #249: Stigma, Shunning, and the Comic Book Fandom

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The gang gathers to share in Steve’s joy as he recounts his recent proposal (congratulations, Steve!). Bob, Mara, and guest Carolyn Cocca spearhead the conversation on shunning in the geek community. We explore why we do it, personal fallacies, and what we could do to be more open with new fans. Fear not, comics are discussed as well, including Joyride, Wonder Woman #5, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, and Emma.

Click here for our updated LIGHTNING ROUND list!!!


You can order Carolyn Cocca’s newest book here!

Want to know what we explored to find out more about exclusion in fandom? Here are some key articles worth checking out:

Journal Articles:

Lopes, P. (2006). Culture and stigma: Popular culture and the case of comic books. Sociological Forum, 21(3).

Groene, S. L., & Hettinger, V. E. (2015). Are you fan enough?: The role of identity in media fandoms. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, Advance online publication.

Busse, K. (2013). Geek hierarchies, boundary policing, and the gendering of the good fan. Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 10(1).

Gagliardo, D. R. (2013). Comic Book Fandom and Stigma Consciousness. Masters Theses, Paper 124.

Tocci, J. (2009). Geek cultures: Media and identity in the digital age. Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations. Paper 953.


talkingcomicslogoThe Comic Book Podcast is brought to you by Talking Comics ( The podcast is hosted by Dr. Mara WoodSteve Seigh ( contributor), Bob Reyer, and Joey Braccino who weekly dissect everything comics-related, from breaking news to new releases. Our Twitter handle is @TalkingComics and you can email us at

About The Author

Columnist and Talking Comics Co-Host

Mara Wood holds a Ph. D. in School Psychology. Currently, she works for a public school system assessing students for educational placement. Her research focus is comic books and how they can be used in therapy and educational settings. She tends to spend most of her day reading comic books, writing about them, and thinking about comic books (kind of a one-track mind…). Mara’s other hobbies include reading manga and Star Wars novels, and playing Dungeons & Dragons. She co-hosts Talking Comics and Talking Shojo, and you can find her on twitter (@megamaramon) or on her blog,

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