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    • CommentAuthorRed Deathy
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2011
     (10186.21)
    It's tricky to say from an Issue #0, since you spent a lot of the story both laying the background and not revealing too much at the same time. I did wonder about the gravity defying bosoms at points, but put that down to the style of the artist and also that maybe the adolescent market was in sight. After all, the sort of figure that would lead to an inevitable bad back does seem to predominate in comicky world.

    On a more positive note, I did like the inklings of the concept of Pandora, and would like to see where she'll go.

    basically, I gave thee a pass based on thy past work that'll keep me reading for a few more issues.
  1.  (10186.22)
    I think Jay kind of hit the nail on the head with the Witchblade comparison. The preview and all the covers (except the tarantula woman) all have a decidedly Top Cow feel to them, sans the ridiculously over-designed costumes that Top Cow always has.
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      CommentAuthorMike Wolfer
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2011 edited
     (10186.23)
    Various quick responses:

    COVERS: My original concept for covers was a more MARVEL TEAM-UP approach, which I thought would be fitting considering the concept of the series. Unfortunately, several artists were unleashed early on and they produced a whole bunch of covers before I ever got a chance to see a single one of them. Also unfortunate was that those artists were only supplied with a series concept and not scripts from which to draw inspiration, and the covers so far have leaned more toward “woman posing” designs. Fortunately for me, I’m also an artist, so I’ll be supplying thumbnail roughs for future issues, the first of which has been utilized for WAR GODDESS #6.

    WARDROBE: Pandora’s new look was designed by Jacen Burrows. Hellina was designed by Matt Martin. Widow was designed by me (although she wears far more SWAT-style body armor than on the cover above). Three different characters, three different artists and three different “costumes” which reflect the individual personalities of the characters. Yes, they’re all supposed to look sexy, but there are calculated reasons for what they wear. Hellina’s costume is a reflection of her suppressed, inner psyche and has links to her past incarnation, to be revealed at a later date. Widow is stationed as Head of Security on Little Inagua Island in the southern Bahamas. It’s freaking hot and humid, and she’s chosen not to wear a body suit beneath her standard-issue security uniform. And with Pandora, thought was given by Jacen to a semi-real world approach, as evidenced by her jeans and boots without heels (when she’s suited-up for battle, that is), along with a mingling of ancient Greek and modern weapons, clothing and armor designs.

    SEX/SEXUALITY: This series isn’t about sex, or the sexual liaisons of the characters, but that’s not to say those themes never arise, because they occasionally will. With that said, why are there inch-long nipples poking the viewer in the eye on many of the covers? Because it’s titillating and it’s what Boundless Comics has decided to put on the covers, simple as that. The question was asked, “Who is the target audience?” It think that’s pretty obvious. Look, no one is trying to pretend that this is anything cerebral, but I stand firmly behind what I have written, which is action-oriented, cheesecake fantasy… But I’ve also created characters who act and think like real people. If someone is dressed like a call girl, she’s going to get called-out for it by those around her. The stories explore mature, adult relationships and are heavy on subplots, and I think readers will be able to clearly differentiate between this and deviant fantasy, which many of you are probably assuming that WAR GODDESS is, based on the covers. And based solely on those covers, I would probably agree with you if I was giving an uninformed, knee-jerk critique. A female moderator on the Bleeding Cool boards said it best: “I enjoyed #0 too, in spite of the titstastic art.” It’s undeniable: the women are alluring and sexualized by their exposed midriffs and cleavage. And the men are ridiculously handsome. And the monsters are ookey and scary. And the science is super-science, the property damage is catastrophic and the locations are gorgeous and exotic. It’s a fantasy book.
  2.  (10186.24)
    Basically this sounds to me like one of those movies where you have to know what to expect when you walk in. Sometimes I want to see girls kicking things til they 'splode.

    Sometimes I want a more grounded, cerebral, thought-provoking experience. But I don't go to one and expect the other.
    • CommentAuthorAhlhelm
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2011
     (10186.25)
    It's a much better comic than the initial cover post lets on. I think the attempt to take the classic Avatar characters and turn them in to more than one dimensional sex candy worked very well in the zero issue. They all still have a level of sexiness, but they feel like characters that have reasons for being past a catch phrase and gratuitous nudity. I still haven't been to the shop today so I can't speak on issue 1 yet, but it is an interesting concept.

    I've got no idea how you can maintain it for multiple issues, but I will definitely give it a read and see.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMike Wolfer
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2011 edited
     (10186.26)
    Thanks, Ahlhelm. What you've described is exactly what I set out to do, and I'm glad that you appreciated and enjoyed what you saw.

    "I've got no idea how you can maintain it for multiple issues..." Ha! Is that a challenge? Actually, keeping the story fresh and moving is always a concern, but the regularly rotating cast of supporting characters is, by its very nature, providing me with some really interesting story paths to explore. In the next issue (#2), you'll see the reintroduction of Anathema, now residing in the Louisiana bayou as a "swamp witch." Yeah, I know what you're probably thinking... But the whole point of this series is to take established stereotypes and preconceptions and twist them into something totally unexpected. The storyline you'll see in issues #0 through #4 sets the ground rules for the series, establishing the dark matter event and its effects on our dimension, but threats which our cast will face will come in many forms, both modern and ancient, and not solely from the parallel dark universe invading our own. So, yeah. Just saying that I have no shortage of ideas. Thanks for your input!
  3.  (10186.27)
    I actually saw this at the store yesterday, and because of this thread thumbed through it. It was actually sort of highlighted away from the other books in the store, so hopefully that means it's selling well. It's still not my cup of tea(art wise, I didn't read the words), but I would say that the cover posted here, doesn't really capture the pages that are in the book.
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      CommentAuthorBeamish
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2011
     (10186.28)
    Only two books sold out this week. Justice League 1, and War Goddess 1. Granted the copies ordered were somewhat different, but I won't have a change to read it until next week. Hopefully another JL1 will come in for me too.
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      CommentAuthorMike Wolfer
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2011 edited
     (10186.29)
    I just took another look at WAR GODDESS #0 to see what the deal was with the Cleavage/Spine problem that was pointed out on Page 4.

    Ah-ha. It's a coloring error. A curl of Pandora's hair that is hanging over her collarbone was colored light blue, the same blue as her top. So now it looks like we're seeing both of her breasts, when only one was actually drawn in profile.

    I knew that there had to be a logical explanation. If anyone cares.

    @Andre Navarro: I meant to address this earlier. The line, "Go join her in Hell" might sound corny, but I needed to have Hellina utter something very recognizable/memorable because this links the opening "flash forward" scene at the beginning of #0 to the same scene seen from another perspective in the actual timeline in #1. There are other reasons that Hellina uses such stilted, villainish phrases, but the reason for it won't be revealed until #4.
    • CommentAuthorlomopop
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2011
     (10186.30)
    @ Mike Wolfer

    I don't want to beat a dead horse. Obviously this comic has a particular target market and I don't fall into it. However, you've said something like this
    If someone is dressed like a call girl, she’s going to get called-out for it by those around her.


    twice now and both times were in defense of the way these women are dressed. To me this is worse than just showing women dressed as sex candy because you then condemn them for it as well, sending the implicit message that while men can fantasize about and enjoy looking at half-naked women, they are also free to judge women harshly for the way that they dress.

    You can claim that these women all have reasons for choosing to dress this way and you might be tempted to say that the characters who call-out women dressed as call-girls are speaking from their own motivations but these are characters that you've created and you've written those motivations for them. Therefore, if you write characters dressed like call-girls for the purpose of titillating your readers and then, through your other characters, condemn those women for dressing as call-girls, you reduce them to sex objects and at the same time condemn them for being sex objects which is a classic example of a lose-lose situation for women.
  4.  (10186.31)
    I have written the characters, and of course I have created their motivations. That's all a part of the job we call "fiction writing." I'm not personally condoning nor condemning anyone for what they wear- A fictional character in a fictional comic book is condemning another fictional character for dressing totally inappropriately. That fictional character dressed like a hooker also eats the charred flesh from a dead body. Does that mean I personally condone cannibalism? No.

    And by the way, as I stated in an earlier post, I didn't design the costumes (except for Widow) and I also didn't create the characters, except for Widow, the one who utters the line in question. Since the book is out, here is the whole exchange:

    PANDORA: She's dead! I just killed an innocent woman!
    WIDOW: "Innocent?" She was dressed like a freakin' hooker. And I would know. I've been there.

    You've gone a long way to make your point by asking questions which you yourself have answered, specifically, "you might be tempted to say that the characters... are speaking from their own motivations." Well, yeah. They are.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2011 edited
     (10186.32)
    EDIT: You know what? Nevermind. Already determined early on that this book wasn't for me, so I'm just going to back off.

    But I would think a person less innocent of something if they were eating charred human flesh rather than dressing "like a hooker", but I guess the character has a motivation on why potential sex workers are okay to kill.

    Best of luck.
    • CommentAuthorlomopop
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2011
     (10186.33)
    I have written the characters, and of course I have created their motivations. That's all a part of the job we call "fiction writing." I'm not personally condoning nor condemning anyone for what they wear- A fictional character in a fictional comic book is condemning another fictional character for dressing totally inappropriately. That fictional character dressed like a hooker also eats the charred flesh from a dead body. Does that mean I personally condone cannibalism? No.

    I realize that fiction writing often means writing characters that do things that you may not personally condone but you also have to be aware of the way in which you present those actions. For instance, there is a difference between writing a racist character, where we're supposed to look at the character and think what an ass he or she is for being racist, and writing a racist character that perpetuates racist stereotypes. When someone writes a racist character that perpetuates racist stereotypes, they can use the same argument that you did (it's just fiction) but they're still contributing to racism by their treatment of the subject matter. In writing a character that dresses like a hooker and then having another character judge her for dressing like a hooker without acknowledging that this sexualization and condemnation of women is a negative treatment of women, you risk falling into the second category of perpetuating stereotypes rather than the first category which shows an awareness that these are stereotypes.

    The actual dialogue that you quote is a perfect example:

    PANDORA: She's dead! I just killed an innocent woman!
    WIDOW: "Innocent?" She was dressed like a freakin' hooker. And I would know. I've been there.

    In other words, because she's dressed a particular way, she couldn't possibly be an innocent person. Your story may have all kinds of reasons why this person is not innocent but having the character say that she's not innocent based on how she's dressed is no different than saying that she's guilty based on her skin colour (even if you've written the character as being guilty). Again, you can write characters who say and do these things but they're perpetuating sexism or racism unless you, as the writer, indicate that we're supposed to think negatively of these characters for saying the things that they say.

    You've gone a long way to make your point by asking questions which you yourself have answered, specifically, "you might be tempted to say that the characters... are speaking from their own motivations." Well, yeah. They are.

    I didn't actually ask any questions. I anticipated what your response was going to be and then tried to preempt that by saying why I didn't think it would be a good response.
    You also contradict what you've said at the beginning of your post which is:" I have written the characters, and of course I have created their motivations. That's all a part of the job we call "fiction writing.""

    And by the way, as I stated in an earlier post, I didn't design the costumes (except for Widow) and I also didn't create the characters, except for Widow, the one who utters the line in question.

    Okay, but my impression was that you are writing these characters and therefore have some say over how they dress. Even if that is not the case, you are defending the way these characters are portrayed and, as a result, are complicit in the message that they're sending.