Women are more than plot device characters for the story arc of men, they're more than visually appealing caricatures, and in the real world deserve equal treatment and respect, not harassment or patronization, according to Sarah Gaydos.
"I see myself as 'what happens when things go right,' because I was, thankfully, lucky enough to be shielded from all of that in my career," says Sarah Gaydos, group editor at comic book publisher IDW. "But it shouldn't be luck."
Gaydos has been a comic lover since her days at Clairemont High School when she discovered indie comics Love and Rockets and Action Girl. After college, the "deeply obsessed" Trekkie went to work at WildStorm, a DC Comics imprint in La Jolla that was established by comic artist Jim Lee. She was working in editorial in Los Angeles when the IDW position opened. Gaydos jumped at the chance to come back to San Diego.
She has seen shadiness and stereotypes behind the scenes, but she's also seen a rise of women both in the industry and in readership.
"It's been wonderful to see. But really, what it is, is a realization of many companies that there's been women all along. If you just reach out to them and don't actively insult their intelligence or womanhood, women as readers multiply exponentially," Gaydos says.
Gaydos actively hires men and women who are eclectic and bring diverse stories to the page.
"Not just because it is right, and I want a cookie for it, but because diverse stories make for the best, most compelling, most inviting stories," she says.