San Diego Comic-Con—an annual conference celebrating all things gloriously nerdy from The Avengers to Star Trek—has had a reputation as a boys’ club, albeit a geeky one. Many unfamiliar with the event might assume it’s made up of nerdy boys in Star Wars costumes ogling “booth babes.” But attend this year’s Comic-Con, which began Thursday and runs throughout the weekend, and you can visit a panel on the women of Marvel comics, watch a geek couture fashion show and meet female writers of iconic shows like The Walking Dead.
This year’s Comic-Con will draw 130,000 fans, almost half of whom are female. It will feature 12 panels focused specifically on women—more than ever before. And that doesn’t even count panels that feature female writers without advertising it.