The Comments Thread: Busiek Tells It Like It Is

Kurt Busiek took to the comments thread of an article on The Beat yesterday to settle the score on the sexualization of women in the comics industry.

So this morning I was checking out an article on The Beat, and as usual proceeded into the belly of the beast, a.k.a. the comments section, to see what great things people men had to say on the subject of the sexualization of men vs. women in comics. The post had used a few pictures to highlight what it looks like when men are sexualized.

It started out as expected, with commenters wondering just what sort of problem women could possibly have with this unequal and oftentimes inappropriate representation. It must have something to do with our self-esteem! Continue reading “The Comments Thread: Busiek Tells It Like It Is”

On Marvel’s All-Girl X-Men

A ton of hype surrounded the launch of the all-female X-Men team, and now hype is about all that’s left.

X-Men #1 by Terry Dodson

The all-female X-Men started off full of promise. The first issue had a solid premise and was graced with Olivier Coipel’s stellar lines. The first arc laid the groundwork for a variety of female characterizations we rarely get to see in superhero comics like single-motherhood and alpha-female postulating.   Continue reading “On Marvel’s All-Girl X-Men”

DC Ruins Wonder Woman, Twice in One Day

DC makes strides in stripping their flagship female character of everything she has ever stood for.

The women of G3 stopped buying Wonder Woman months ago. But on occasion, I still read the issues in order to review them. Today, I read Wonder Woman #25 for that very reason (review forthcoming).

EDIT: Here’s that review.


The issue opens with Zola, Hera and Diana having coffee talk. In a flagrant “Fuck you!” to the Bechdel Test; first they compare notes about Hermes spying on them, then they expound upon how Apollo affected Hera and then Orion shows up to “save them” from Hermes’ watchful eye. The pixie-dream Strife punctuates the family gathering with an obvious attempt at subversion. Strife doing what Strife does, gives Diana a gift. It’s the helmet of the recently deceased Ares and we are presented with this gem of a panel … Continue reading “DC Ruins Wonder Woman, Twice in One Day”

Missing Stair, Beware

Creators fighting for change in an industry entrenched in harassment.

Calling Out Shady Behavior in the Comics Industry

Perhaps you are familiar with a specific situation that’s been going on in the comics world, started by a string of tweets from creator Tess Fowler. It has been gaining momentum since a few weeks back, when Bleeding Cool published this article, chronicling a horrifying interaction Fowler had at SDCC one year with a high-profile creator, which continued even after the con ended.

She has continued speaking out about it, detailed here.

This trend of calling out creators and the industry as a whole for their bullshit was recently reinvigorated on Twitter by Brandon Graham, which propelled Fowler to share her experience. Continue reading “Missing Stair, Beware”

Gail Simone on Writing Female Characters

Because diversity of female characters has been lacking in comics, film and just fiction in general, coupled with an upsurge of feminism; there seems to be this perception that IF you choose to portray a female character, then she HAS to be a positive role model. I think that is absurd, unrealistic, and stifling of creativity.

Today, Gail Simone posted a response to an anonymous question on her Tumblr addressing this very thing, and her response is highly rebloggable:

No one is ever asking for all females to be perfect avatars of all good things. Most sensible people are looking for a SPECTRUM of qualities for female (and other gender specifications) characters.

We want bad girls and good women and selfish ladies and caring mothers and terrible daughters and nasty wives and sacrificing girlfriends, we want villains and heroes and supporting cast members.

There’s no ‘wrong’ female character or scenario, it’s all purely in the execution.

Yes. It’s in the execution.

Write any kind of character that you like, that fits the story, that is creative and honest. Write every kind of female. Write lots of female characters. Then maybe we will get to a point where there is something for everyone, and she won’t have to be everything to everyone.

NRRD PROBZ – 10.23.2012

With yr pal: Lindsey Morris

This week, dear readers, it is I who has a problem. Mostly likely you have seen this in your DC comics from last week, but in case you haven’t, here is the gist. DC is running a College Humor ad in their issues which could be considered largely offensive to women and also just everyone! The humor website has five other “great villains of nerd culture,” all of which made me lose brain cells as I read their offenses against … I don’t know … well-adjusted, casual readers? Continue reading “NRRD PROBZ – 10.23.2012”

The Not So New DCU

You may have read Erika’s review of Batman Incorporated #2, which is a stellar issue. Everything she said about it is true. Talia most certainly is a great character and Grant Morrison writes her well. But the issue stood out for me because it is full of DC continuity past. Somehow (we all know how), the rules of the relaunch don’t apply to Morrison.

And you know what?

Thank goodness for that.

While the relaunch boosted sales in the short term, and perhaps set up for DC’s attempt at a decent film franchise … almost one year later, I am not impressed with the DCnU. In fact, I am so not impressed that I am on the verge of barely having any DC books left on my pull list. Before, they made up the bulk of it.

Looking back, I was optimistic for B-list characters to get some love – Mr. Terrific, Voodoo, and Justice League Dark. All of which fell from my pull list within a few issues. I liked Blackhawks, but that got canned. I had slobbered all over every solicit for Batwoman, and was ecstatic that Wonder Woman would be drawn by Cliff Chiang. Now, both of those books, while beautiful and featuring characters I adore, are on the verge of being dropped. Continue reading “The Not So New DCU”

Thoughts on Azzarello’s Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman means a lot of things to a lot of people. She’s iconic and has permeated the collective consciousness in probably a million different ways depending on the person. So naturally, when Brian Azzarello comes along and changes every damn thing about her save her looks, it is most certainly going to make waves. In the instance of Wonder Woman #7 … he made tidal waves. I am definitely on Team Kelly when it comes to the horrific tradition the Amazons have apparently practiced for centuries, but that wasn’t enough for me to drop the book. Continue reading “Thoughts on Azzarello’s Wonder Woman”

‘Fan’ Misogyny

E. examines the not-so-polite side of some fan art.

One of the beautiful things about the Internet is that it gives comics artists, writers, and readers a way to share their work and ideas with the world instantly. Pardon me while I hoist my cane, but I remember when you had to put a little effort into discovering the good stuff. Now it’s all right there at our fingertips, and I am grateful.

The flip side is that if you Google “Jubilee illustration,” even with some filters on, you’re gonna turn up some gnarly fan art. These are the kinds of things that were once confined to diaries and sketchbooks buried under mattresses (or perhaps passed around in locker rooms). It’s a free country, so if you want to draw Starfire in a compromising position with The Spectre, well, that’s your business. Continue reading “‘Fan’ Misogyny”

A Word About Diversity


A character, not a "statement"

By now, you’ve probably seen Gail Simone’s fierce, utterly awesome rebuttal to an aspiring comic book writer who said, essentially, that characters should not be forced on publishers for the sake of inclusion. Specifically, gay characters. This person’s argument is annoying for a number of reasons, but what struck me is how frequently I’ve heard versions of this from otherwise reasonable people. Continue reading “A Word About Diversity”

Pull List Pomposity

Your pull list is an embarrassment.

Every community, from LARPers to knitting circles, has its version of the hipster. If you think about it, comics are particularly fertile ground for these creatures, because the medium marries literature and art — two subjects that bring out the hipster’s trademark qualities: pretension and a penchant for constant one-upsmanship. Continue reading “Pull List Pomposity”

The Tyranny of Crisis

The jig is up, and V. just can’t do it.

Yeah. I feel your pain, bro.

Some of you may recall that a while back, I did a poll asking whether or not I should finish reading Crisis on Infinite Earths. At the time, I wasn’t enjoying the book, but I thought I’d let you guys decide. By a very slim margin, it was decided that, yes, I should finish the book. I said that I would do it; therefore, I felt like I had to do it. I also had some sort of misplaced loyalty to comic fandom. Much of what I read is DC, and this is a part of DC continuity — a very big part. But you know what? Continue reading “The Tyranny of Crisis”

Lights, Camera, Wondy!

If only.

There’s some great work being done on television, and there are a number of shows I’d watch gladly before forking over $10 for a paint-by-numbers blockbuster. The big screen isn’t always superior, and lots of comic book characters would be well-served by a thoughtful TV vehicle. Just look at Smallville.

And yet, when the story broke that David E. Kelley was developing a new Wonder Woman TV series, I was somewhere between indifferent and disappointed. Continue reading “Lights, Camera, Wondy!”

Integrity Fail

V. vents about the apparent similarities between Madame Xanadu #28 and Chew.

So I’ve been stewing on something for a few days now. At first I was all Benefit of the Doubt Girl, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more it bugs me. Of course, it is something I have zero control over and may not fully understand. Perhaps you can help me. Continue reading “Integrity Fail”

Desperately Seeking Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is all-new, but not improved.

THIS is the Amazon I'm looking for.

Where the hell is the Amazon Princess? The real one, I mean. Because this chick ain’t it.

I’ve been trying to identify exactly why, after some inspiring moments, the Wonder Woman reboot is beginning to get on my last nerve — why it feels so inauthentic and flimsy. The mythology is there. Her warrior pose and heroism are intact. I’m (mostly) over the costume change, and as someone who loved Mark Waid’s Superman: Birthright series, I’m not averse to radical overhauls of iconic characters. If it’s done well and truly game-changing, bring it on.

And yet, as I read Wonder Woman #603, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Diana deserves better than this. Continue reading “Desperately Seeking Wonder Woman”