Women read comics. Any questions?

Brace yourselves. Blake Petit, columns editor of ComiXtreme.com, published a startling finding about women and comic books.

“I want to talk about what women would want out of comics now. And here’s the thing I think will surprise people … women want exactly the same thing as men: engaging characters, intelligent stories and great art.”

All together now: Duh.

Comments like that used to irritate me. Now they just make me tired. I mean, next we’ll read that women like food that tastes good and cars that get good gas mileage. And breathe oxygen.

Granted, many, if not most, comic books are written for men, probably because drawing babes with boobs is a whole lot simpler than developing a compelling story. (Not that I’m against babes with boobs.) But AfterEllen.com makes a point of letting you know when we find good comics that we think you’ll like. Whenever I have a chance to spend more time in my comic store than it takes to pick up my subscriptions, I find new titles that appeal to me. And more are on the way.

I’m eagerly looking forward to Echo, by Strangers in Paradise creator Terry Moore.

Moore is keeping mum about the specifics of Echo, but he posted a five-page preview on his blog that already has me hooked. And I have my fingers crossed for a lesbian character to pop up eventually. Moore is also taking over writing duties for Runaways and Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. The Moore, the merrier.

Manga is normally not my thing, but Sorcerers and Secretaries, by Amy Kim Ganter, is a clever, two-issue book series about Nicole, who writes fantasy stories inspired by her dreams. As the story progresses, her fantasy world seems to be coming to life. Sorcerers is a teen title, but hey, I never claimed to be mature.

I just made my first venture into Yuri lesbian-themed manga and anime, with Yuri Monogatari, Book 5, from Erica Friedman‘s ALC Publishing. I liked some stories more than others and, although I doubt I’m going to become a Yuri fanatic, this was a good overview of the genre.

My favorite recent discovery is The Foundation, written by John Rozum. The premise is that a secret organization has access to unpublished prophecies of Nostradamus and uses this knowledge of the future to protect the world. It’s very X-Files — and I’m hoping for a Scully to emerge soon.

The Guardian recently did a story on several trends in the comic industry that indicate TPTB have noticed that women read comics. I’m especially interested in checking out some of the titles in DC’s new Minx imprint, which targets teenage girls. And I always make a point of checking out titles recommended by Girl Wonder, Friends of Lulu and Sequential Tart.

Maybe it’s big news to Mr. Petit, but I think women and comics go together like, well, women and women. What’s in your comic pile? Have you discovered any new titles lately? What do you read that we might not have heard of?