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    • CommentTimeSep 12th 2011
    Forty posts in and no-one has mentioned Gail Simone? Tsk tsk.
      CommentAuthorRichard Pace
    • CommentTimeSep 12th 2011 edited
    Gail Simone? I think she's competent, but overrated based on what I've read. That being said, the DCU has been a creative wasteland for so long even competence would stand out.
  1.  (10204.43)
    Artist says "I really wanted to draw a sexy girl uncomfortably-yet-seductively-posed in highly improbable armor." instead of "Her shiny metal bra and silvery panties distract and fluster her opponents and make them easier to defeat."

    Right. Because one is true and the other is complete bullshit designed to justify something that didn't need justifying in the first place.
  2.  (10204.44)
    I like Gail Simone. I feel bad that she has to be the one who carries all of the weight for "women in superhero comics". Seems like she's the one people to go to argue with. And she's also the one that they point to say "well see, it's not that bad".
  3.  (10204.45)
    I would prefer that they didn't try to explain Red Sonja's armor and just told good stories with the character. Red Sonja looks how she looks. She's iconic like Wonder Woman. Just accept that she looks how she looks, and move on with the character.
      CommentAuthorRichard Pace
    • CommentTimeSep 12th 2011 edited
    I've met Gail and she's a completely charming person and I like what I've seen her write outside of comic on the net, but she doesn't push her work in directions that would interest me, which is wholly her right and privilege, but means I won't find much reason to seek her comics out.
  4.  (10204.47)
    To be honest, how much of what comes out of the big two, is really pushing anything in any direction of interest. Those books are almost by genre designed to be some sort of static background for nostalgia highs
    • CommentAuthorjonah
    • CommentTimeSep 12th 2011
    It's hard because I only really notice when it's done wrong.

    The meager examples I can think up other than what's been mentioned are the short Jessie Lopez De La Cruz and Mother Jones comics by Joe Sacco included in the book "By the Folks That Brought You the Weekend".

    I know there's an Emma Goldman bio-comic, never read it....just searched for an image and found a blog devoted to jewish women in comics! Some are auto-bio and all auto-bio comics get it "right", I guess, unless you doubt the veracity of the of author.

    It's been ages since I read Doom Patrol by Grant Morrison and then Rachel Pollack and I remember finding all the characters interesting, but I can't say for sure.

    Ironically, sci-fi and fantasy should be places where women can easily be portrayed well, but too much of the time aren't. Although, a lot of stories take place in dystopian settings...

    @Paul Duffield RE: Gender swapping/neutrality.
    I've heard other people mention this, but I can't think of anything I've noticed. Could you point me to some specific examples of where it doesn't work? I've seen (too many) examples of a writer making a woman act like a stereotypical man, complete with clunky writing where the character points this out, but that's equally as unappealing to me as reading about a stereotypical man in the first place. I don't think that's what you mean in this case.

    Conversely, couldn't men be switched for women with no one noticing? Why isn't it Hermione Potter and Harry Granger? I know there are different issues men and women face, but is addressing either of these a requirement for the story? Often times, I think that in an attempt to address gender specific issues the writer will fall back on stereotypes and inadvertently perpetuate them. In fact, I'd say a fair amount of gender specific issues that men and women face in real life are as a result of gender stereotypes.
  5.  (10204.49)
    "But I am in favour of blatant attempts to curry some feminist points. Why is that a bad thing? "

    Because it's probably dishonest? I see it as a matter of creative integrity. I don't want to read Dave Sim's self-censored Cerebus; I'd rather read Dave Sim's Cerebus, misogyny and all, because it says something I don't already know.
    • CommentAuthorMercer Finn
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2011 edited
    I don't think it's necessarily dishonest. I suspect Oeming or whoever thought quite hard about how to write an empowered character who has to nevertheless pander to the male gaze. It's called out, which forces the reader to think about what the writer was thinking about... for me, that's more rewarding than just reproducing the sexualized image w/o comment.

    Red Sonja is iconic, but her 'look' obv carries certain connotations. Arguably, Wonder Woman's character has been hamstrung from the very beginning by being both a symbol of female power and an expression of her creator's sexual fetishes. I mean, how do you square that circle? It's unsurprising that she's such a hard character to write (the best WW story I've read also calls out the problem).

    As for honest misogyny... well, OK... but it's still misogyny, so idk if that make the whole "women's portrayal in comics" problem any better.

    And if the scoring of feminist points is DISHONEST, well then we should all be prepared to call bullshit on whatever comic tries to do it. But then the argument becomes "that's not good enough", not "just give up on the feminism already".
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2011 edited
    one of the problems i see with comics currently is exemplified by this thread- theres more people talking about things that upset them in this thread than theres been people discussing actual comic books/trades/OGNs theyve read in ANY of the weekly reading threads. And note that i am not that i am saying any of these opinions are invalid or anything along those lines! i just feel like theres a lot more internet-grumbling about problems people feel strongly about/ feel like they are supposed to feel strongly about than any actual comics reading/discussion etc. Some issues, like the recent DC-women-employment flap, seem more interesting to a lot of people than the actual comics themselves anymore, which confuses me. I see a lot of 'well, i dont really read comics/mainstream comics anymore' in these conversations. and i quite honestly cant grasp why anyone who doesnt even read them anymore would care about these issues? maybe im the one who is missing something here?

    short version: lately i see more people that barely read comics complaining about comics than actual comics discussion and it bums me out.

    (and as another side note, that shit that happened when Wolfer tried to promote WAR GODDESS? what the hell happened there? this site is RUN BY AVATAR. you might not like the book [i dont have any interest in it] but that shit was ridiculous. it was the first time i though 'Shit, this place is gonna go to hell without Warren')
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2011
    "theres a lot more internet-grumbling about problems people feel strongly about/ feel like they are supposed to feel strongly about than any actual comics reading/discussion etc."

    "lately i see more people that barely read comics complaining about comics than actual comics discussion and it bums me out."

    That's been my experience since I first logged onto comic book forums in 1996.

  6.  (10204.53)
    If a writer is being honest and writing from his own point of view, he isn't doing "blatantly" to "curry points"; he's just doing it.

    "idk if that make the whole "women's portrayal in comics" problem any better."

    I didn't say it would. I'm strongly in support of portraying women better in comics (and try to do it myself, just because I want to). It's just that I'd rather have honest misogyny (and honest blasphemy, etc) than writers letting other people dictate how they write. Creative freedom is more important to me than any particular social or political agenda.
    • CommentAuthorMercer Finn
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2011 edited
    isn't doing "blatantly" to "curry points"; he's just doing it.

    OK my bad, I wasn't clear. I didn't think the expressions "blatantly" and 'curry points" necessarily suggested dishonesty, which is why I used them: you can be obvious and declare yr support for certain ideologies / movements / whatever while being perfectly sincere -- i.e. "just doing" the writing thang.

    writers letting other people dictate how they write

    It's all about how strong the meaning of "dictate" is. I mean, creative endeavour is always conditioned by context to some extent. We are never free to write perfectly honestly because we collect and reproduce too many ideas that come from other people. When disseminating art, we are limited by the law and by propriety. Now, I think the case has been made very well that censorship is bad. But there's nothing wrong with telling someone that what he thinks / argues is not OK.

    ETA: What I'm saying is that Sim should be allowed to publish if he wants. But it would be great if he GOT THE MESSAGE that the misogyny thing wasn't so hot and maybe he should think about it some more if he wants to keep his audience.
  7.  (10204.55)
    Also: since I haven't read any of Sim's work, I'll take the hint and shut up now.
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2011
    Just to lighten things up here...

  8.  (10204.57)
    How do you write women? You want them to be natural, but at the same time you don't want it to just be a man in a wig.

    Dear comic;

    You write a character and you leave the gender studies stuff to the first year sociology students. Nothing about the conflicts in Hamlet or Hercules requires those characters own a penis before their conflicts can have validity. Hercules owning a vagina would not make the Twelve Labors any less heroic.They are men because social expectations say that kings must be men, but that's not your problem. Since you are God to your fictional world your fictional vagina owners can be tormented by the ghosts of their murdered fathers just as easily as anyone else.

    Thank you for your time.

    - W.G.
  9.  (10204.58)
    Oy scs,I mentioned simone ages ago! I did!
    Me good boy.
    I think alot of this is the two stormfronts of our current culture with it's touches of narcissism and victimhood smashing up against these fantastical comic universe cultures and alot of people come out of the experience feeling sorta flat about themselves and who they are,so they want to inflict 'realistic' proportions upon the bodies AND minds of these characters,so they're always adjusting their wedgies and worrying about bills ...
    Let's not force too much of our crippling mediocrity (ha) on these poor characters,they're meant to be wildly fucking awesome and deep and majestic yes?I mean we can make them more sophisticated and satisfying for it's own sake,
    Evolving Their Universes without feeling the need to be specifically "represented".
    Ah, I dunno ,I'm still slightly high from earlier.
    And William George is cool.
    And Brian Wood is a brilliant writer,
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2011 edited
    @William George: I kinda think that was part of the joke. I mean, you're RIGHT in so far as you don't write "men" or "women" one way or another, and I think that's the point that the comic was making.
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2011 edited
    EDIT: What Alan said.