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 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
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
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
Because diversity of female characters has been lacking in comics, film and just fiction in general, coupled with an upsurgence 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 respone 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Nimue does not take kindly to impending doom.
As with so many other things that are artistically awesome, they come to an end long before they should. Over at Bleeding Cool, rumor has it that Madame Xanadu will soon meet her demise at Vertigo. Whether because of corporate rearranging of characters, low sales, or the creators having other projects they deem priority, this falls under the category of tragic.
I only recently discovered Madame Xanadu. The first trade, “Disenchanted,” was exceptional. When I finished reading it, I immediately re-read it. Amy Reeder’s art is out of this world. She draws Madame Xanadu so beautifully, with ethereal hints of Manga that make her work bright and unique. Matt Wagner’s story is nothing short of brilliant. Continue reading
V. and I feel like proud parents with the posting of today’s guest essay from our fellow fangirl, Jenn. She’s the brains behind Dirty Blonde & Nerdy, where she writes about her adventures in geek. Jenn was also one of our earliest readers, and it warmed our jaded little hearts to learn that Girls Gone Geek had helped guide her as a newbie in the often overwhelming world of comic-book reading. Seriously; we had a moment. (Me to V: “Dude, she’s like our Padawan!”) Anyway, we enjoyed the heck out of her essay on DC’s throwback strategy, and we think you will, too. Take it away, Jenn!
WHYYYYYY!!???? Oh. Right. Darkseid.
There have been quite a few shake-ups in the DC comicverse in recent years. It’s been a pretty intimidating time for anyone to follow, especially for someone just diving into the fun. We had the Crisis siblings: Identity, Infinite, and Final; Bruce Wayne is now sleuthing up to his inevitable return after his supposed death, the Justice League has a new Big Three, if one at all, with a table full of new faces, and the big to-do with Blackest Night led directly to Brightest Day. And, of course, there is the new Wonder Woman run/temporary costume. DC has had its hands buried deep in the cradle of its characters and titles, and the editorial powers have been stirring things around for a while.
Let me make it clear that I have absolutely no problem with that. At all. I love nothing more than when someone takes the plunge and dares to do something different, outside the box, and makes people mad or excited about the idea. It garners plenty of attention, a necessity in any entertainment business. But an “A” for effort doesn’t really count. Success doesn’t ride on the back of good intentions and certainly not on the shoulders of half-assed executions. Continue reading
Messing with a classic is ballsy, but doing so successfully requires finesse. Do it right, and you get something like the “Star Trek” movie reboot. Misstep, and you’ve got New Coke. It is not for the faint of heart —or the clumsy.
This brings us to Wonder Woman’s new costume, which you can see today in its full glory with the debut of issue #600. As this is being written, V. and I have yet to read new Wondy writer J. Michael Stracynzski’s first issue, so we can’t comment on the story. The outfit, redesigned by none other than Jim Lee, is another story.
Here’s what we like: The old-school top is fine, and the gloves are hot in an I-will-beat-you-down-in-an-alley kind of way.
What don’t we like? Let’s start with the boots, which pissed us off mightily. If you’re going to put Diana in black leggings, why not let her keep some version of her iconic, red kicks? As V. put it, it’s all about the fucking boots, and the mall footwear with golden frippery isn’t going to cut it. And we like biker chick chic as much as anyone, but the star-spangled blue jacket looks like a Black Canary ripoff. And a choker? No. Seriously, no.
Wonder Woman’s new clothes aren’t terrible or offensive; but they are disappointingly generic and dated. As one person wrote on the DCU blog: “Looks like she’s just changed for happy hour after work. In 1996.” Continue reading
By the absurdly slim margin of 51.7% over 48.3%, it has been decided that I should finish reading Crisis on Infinite Earths. Hooray for me.
For those who voted for me to move on, thanks for trying. I’ve got some juicy stuff waiting for me. Now it’s taunting me. Perhaps that will get me through the 200 and some odd pages remaining.
For those who voted for me to finish, I am a woman of my word. I will do it, however begrudgingly. Once I am done, I will also write about it honestly. So, if by some slim chance I end up liking this bullshit, I will tell you that I liked it. BUT if it continues to suck, my review will contain as many four letter words as possible.
I do know one thing, Crisis will be the last time I tolerate the uncreative, plot-devouring, manga-robot mothafucka that is the Anti-Monitor. Brightest Day, consider yourself dropped from the pull-list.
It’s time to go rip this band-aid off.
Cover art by Dan LuVisi
Secret Six #20 played out like a well-acted revenge thriller. Catman reminded me of Liam Neeson in Taken. Those baddies effed with the wrong guy! Still, I wish Cheshire had come along to help with the revenge portion of the show. Maybe Gail will bring her around later. Let’s hope.
On the whole, this issue was fast-paced and full of that shock factor these characters are known for, and it set the stage for a hell of a story arc. Thanks again, Gail, for reminding me why I buy monthly issues instead of waiting for the trade. Continue reading