When I entered high school, my brother finally allowed me to touch his comics. Not that I hadn’t been very carefully opening up the bag-and-boards and reading Zot! on the sly. He also shared a book about comics (Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud), which made me want to try reading all kinds of comics. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much that I liked!
My brother gave me the first Action Girl anthology around that time. It was a collection of comics by women, edited by Sarah Dyer (who has worked on a variety of comics and animation, sometimes with her husband Evan Dorkin). Her motto was “Girl-positive and female-friendly, but never anti-boy.” I loved it, but I never found any more for sale until I moved to Chicago for graduate school about 10 years later. Once I knew they were out there, I searched for them and bought every last one.