deantrippe
I really don’t think Marvel and DC are helping things by having gritty, R-rated versions of their superheroes in their main comics – what they sell as the “real” versions – while simultaneously selling those exact same characters in kids’ comics and plastering them all over lunchboxes and animated cartoons… Casual readership by kids, or by parents for their kids, is effectively impossible the way things are currently structured. And I think the waters are muddied too far now to claw that ground back. I think it’s insane that DC have spent 70 years making Superman as big as Mickey Mouse, and branding him to be understood by parents as being pretty much as kid-friendly as Mickey Mouse, only to piss that brand away in a decade. Nothing wrong with doing mature content in comics – in fact, it should be encouraged as often as possible – but doing it with characters who are on your kids’ lunchboxes is kind of moronic. Take a lesson from Watchmen and come up with new characters for that stuff. And then go back to Superman and Batman and put the same kind of love and effort and craft and intelligence you’ve been putting into all those rape scenes and body mutilations into something kids can read, and adults can also be proud to read because of all the love and effort and craft and intelligence you’ve put into it, and make those the “real” versions.
drewtos

drewtos:

Captain Marvel #9 (Preview)

Previews Contain Spoilers

A PERFECT JUMPING-ON POINT FOR FANS NEW AND OLD! PART ONE OF A NEW STORY.

• Carol finally returns home, but is changed. What is weakening Captain Marvel’s powers?

• PLUS: Carol gets a JOB.

• Find out why CAPTAIN MARVEL is being hailed as one of Marvel’s best new series this year!

(via ComicBookResources)

Available Wednesday, January 16th.

lulubonanza

deconstructingdamian:

This is completely non-Damian related, but X-Factor and Young Justice (both the original comic series, as well as several for the cartoon series) writer Peter David just suffered a massive stroke December 30th 2012 while on vacation in Florida. According to his wife, Kathleen, on his blog “he has lost most of the use of his right arm, his right leg is incredibly weak, the vision in his right eye is blurry, and the right side of his face is drooping slightly.” Though he seems to be improving with each update, the cost of recovering from a stroke is immense.

I ask if you want to help PAD, please click the link above and help out by buying his books until they come up with a way to donate more directly. If you don’t have the money but still want to help, signal boost.

Thank you.

comiccharm

Hawkeye Initiative and depiction of women follow-up. NSFW.

comiccharm:

Yesterday after I uploaded my submission to The Hawkeye Initiative, I had an anon send me this:

‘Please, the Hawkeye Initiative is about drawing Hawkeye smut, nothing to do with with showing the disparity between the genders. There’s nothing wrong with that, but lets not call it something it isn’t. ‘

I did write a reply which some people wanted me to make re-bloggable, so here it is with some elaboration on why we need things like the Hawkeye Initiative.


Firstly, the Hawkeye Initiative is all about showing disparity between the genders. It was created solely for that reason, and of course to have a laugh at the industry’s expense at the same time. What better way to show the difference between the depiction of women in the comic media then by swapping the genders of the characters being presented?

In most cases, people won’t recognize things like the presentation of women in the media until the tables are turned.  This initiative isn’t the first time someone has used it to illustrate such a disparity either.  Some examples:

Rion Sabean’s male pin-up calendar

Jim C. Hines poses like women from fantasy covers

Breakdown of ‘if men posed like women’

While this initiative may not seem like much to you, it means a lot to many of us who are sick and tired of women depicted as nothing in comics other than a walking set of breasts.  (Or asses, or both.)
Yes, it’s all in good fun and is pretty much just us having a laugh; and some people may be doing this for less than noble reasons.  But that doesn’t negate the gender disparity issue this initiative is making fun of. Just yesterday when I shared my Hawkeye drawing on Facebook I was met with comments like:

‘Sex sells, so of course women are presented this way in comics.’

‘The guys are half naked too so maybe you should complain about that instead.’

‘You want to take the sexiness away from comics, prude.’

Comments like this usually arise when the representation of women in the media comes up, but there-in lies the problem and what I feel is a miscalculation of the comics audience. People say that ‘sex sells,’ but I’d like to at least think that quality comics featuring realistic and relate-able characters and their stories is worth far more to the average reader than how low cut Catwoman’s costume is.

And even if it is the case that ‘sex sells’ to the lowest common denominator of your buyers, is that worth the numbers of readers who will drop the books who start overly sexualizing women for no reason? The comics market, and the audience has changed. The fact that publishers are still sticking to an unsubstantiated prehistoric paradigm who assumes that their audience is just a bunch of sweaty virgins who will throw money at anything with a pair of breasts is insulting, to me and to their ‘target audience.’

Comic sales have been dropping steadily over the years, in 1966 the biggest selling title of the year as Batman from DC comics, they sold just under 900,000 copies.
In 1969 it was Superman, with just over 500,000.

In 1995 Marvel sold over 300,000 copies of Fantastic Four volume 2, #1.

In 2009, the highest selling comic was DC’s Blackest Night issue #3, which sold exactly 140,666 copies.
These days it’s phenomenal for a comic to break the 200k mark in sales, and there has been a steady long-term decline, with a small improvement in 2000 due to things like selling trade paperbacks and all of the comic book movies that had come out at the time.
Some of our comics are moretitillating than ever, so if ‘sex sells’ then why aren’t we selling more comics?

For that matter, why aren’t comic publishers like Zenescope and Big Dog Ink comics whose entire business model is based on the idea that ‘sex sells’ constantly out-selling the publishers like Marvel, DC and Image?

image

In 2011, Diamond’s final sale figures list the first company that wasn’t Marvel or DC to make it into the top 1000 best selling comics list for the year was IDW at 102 with ‘Godzilla – Kingdom of Monsters’ selling 71,700 books. Next, Image made it to 120 with ‘Spawn,’ selling 67,900 copies.

In fact, Zenescope first appears on the list at 487 for ‘Grimm Fairy Tales’ volume 9 with a mere 2,300 sales.


Gail Simone has pointed out that suggesting that we hate sex in our comics and want to ‘take the sexy’ away in comics is ridiculous, and it’s not what we want at all. I love sex in my comics and can enjoy seeing sex in comics, but my enjoyment comes down to how it’s presented.
Take these two examples of sex and ‘sexy’ female characters from two books that have come out in the past year or so. Catwoman #1 from DC and Conan the Barbarian #3 and #10 from Dark Horse.

In the first issue of Catwoman there was that infamous sex scene. I for one wasn’t bothered by the idea of a sex scene, especially one between Bruce and Selina. I think they’re a highly sexually-charged couple with a lot of potential for some hot and steamy rendezvous, but like most people who had an issue with this scene - I didn’t like the way it was presented to us.
image

image
For starters these scenes are about the male gaze. Selina is usually posed in ways to make both her buttocks and her breasts visible to the reader, even when it makes no anatomical sense.
Even in the last climactic panel when we assume they’re actually ‘doing it,’ we cannot even see Bruce’s face. We don’t know if he’s enjoying it, from what we can see it looks like he’s just sitting there not engaging with Selina at all. Like the viewer he seems like just a spectator, or another inanimate object for Selina to pose all over.

Not to be crude, but nothing ruins my lady boner faster than a guy who looks like he doesn’t even care if he’s having sex with me or not. For it to be hot for me, it has to be hot for him too.

Conversely, let’s look at a couple Conan and Belit’s sexual encounters. One thing to know about Belit, is that like Selina Kyle – this woman is sex on legs. She usually doesn’t wear much, at all… funnily enough Belit can usually be seen wearing more clothing just before sex than when she’s casually walking around her ship. However there is a huge disparity between the way Belit and the way Selina are both drawn from panel to panel.

image

During a lot of the sex scenes drawn by Becky Cloonan the emphasis is on touching and facial expressions. You rarely get a full-body glimpse of the couple, but the moment is still intense and you get the sense that the pair is a tangle of sweaty bodies and body parts.

image

In a later issue in a scene drawn by Declan Shalvey we have a clearer view of the couple in the throws of passion, and yet again we can see a lot of unbridled passion and intense need from both Conan and Belit.  Conan isn’t just laying there like a dead fish, nor is Belit posing for a viewer she doesn’t know is there. Both characters are right there with each-other in the moment, not taking a second away from each-other and not being distracted by anything other than their (shared) passion.

For further reading on the disparity between the presentations of gender in comics I highly suggest reading Kelly Thompson’s, ‘It’s Not Equal.’ Especially before you’re about to spout something like ‘men are also objectified and idealized in comics.’


And lastly, think about this - the entire blog and idea of The Hawkeye Initiative wouldn’t exist for you to have an opinion on if such silly comic covers and pin-ups didn’t exist in the first place.  So if you really feel that strongly, take your anger out on the industry that’s helping fuel blogs like this.

staticraining

The ‘Fake Geek Girl’ has got to go

randomredux:

And by that I mean the whole stupid, foolhardy concept. I’ve said before that if you really believe there’s a horde of attractive women faking interest in nerdy things just to get your attention, you have a massive case of unwarranted self-importance, and I still believe that. I also believe you’re incredible insecure, and threatened by some ‘enemy’ who is no such thing.

The world of comic books, sci-fi, videogames, all these things, is no longer a boy’s club with a “NO GIRLS ALLOWED” banner hanging on the door, and it never should have been (indeed, I suspect it never really WAS but for this very idea - girls aren’t REAL nerds, especially attractive ones! And then the internet came up and holy shit look, women came out in droves to discuss their interest in these things, going back to the 1980s and earlier like the rest of us). If you insist somehow that it should be, that you should act as some kind of gatekeeper - he is a real nerd, she is not - then quite frankly you are just one of the saddest specimens we have to offer. Many of us grew up being picked on for having a non-mainstream interest, and now that this interest is spreading you attack and snarl and demean and exclude instead of actually being happy that you have new people to share these wonderful interests with.

You complain about games being rehashes, comic book reboots that are just retreads, but actively keep out the new blood and perspectives that could actually offer something you haven’t seen or considered before.

You demean women who cosplay as attention seekers in skimpy outfits, ignoring that they didn’t create those outfits, WE did.

Who cares if someone’s exposure and love for The Avengers came from the movie, and not the comics first?

Who cares if someone plays Angry Birds more than Dark Souls? What, you never fucking played Tetris? Don’t give me that non-game crap.

Oh no, she watches Thor because he’s tall blonde and built like a brick shithouse and isn’t afraid to comment that the guy’s a stud and so’s his brother? Yeah, because you read Tarot: Witch of the Rose for the riveting storytelling and characterization, right?

Oh no, someone’s writing fanfic about Tony Stark and Steve Rogers buttfucking! What a demeaning thing to do to the characters, you say as browsing the pictures I’ve been hired to draw of the women of X-Men having a lesbian orgy.

At the core of it all, for some insane reason, you are so threatened by the presence of women in your interests that you insult, you cajole, you harrass, and you embarrass the rest of us who are just happy to share. You slam women who are attractive and cosplay as NOT REAL NERDS, THEY’RE PREYING ON US POOR WIDDLE MENZ! And when they’re not as attractive as you’d like, you slam them for not meeting your standards. Or you slam them for daring not to give you the time of day when you grope and harass and hit on them. And if you look like me while doing it, that’s even more hilariously hypocritical and out of touch with reality. She’s not there for YOU, bro.

She’s not there for you.

She’s not there for you.

Let that sink in, guys.

She’s not there for you.

She’s not dressing up for you.

She’s not interested in comics for you.

She’s not playing games for you.

She’s. Not. There. For. You.

You are not the center of the universe, you never were and you never SHOULD be. It’s time to share your toys, guys. It’s time to be more mature. It’s time to drop the entitled attitude that insists our standards and our standards alone should be met. You do not hold the keys to the kingdom, for the kingdom has no lock.

My friend Kat - a geek with a cool job making awesome videogames like NFS The Run and mad cosplay skills - said something on Twitter earlier that summed the whole Fake Geek Girl BS up perfectly;

That’s just it- “fake geek girls” DO NOT EXIST. There are only WOMEN WITH VARYING LEVELS OF INTEREST IN DIFFERENT HOBBIES.”

Many of the women cosplaying at these conventions probably know more about the current state of comics than I do, but I’ll never be asked to prove my nerd cred if I roll up in a Superman tee - and I haven’t bought an issue since the New 52 launched.

Fucking afford them the same courtesy. Don’t be a douchebag.

She’s not dressing up for you.

She’s not interested in comics for you.

She’s not playing games for you.

She’s. Not. There. For. You.

“That’s just it- “fake geek girls” DO NOT EXIST. There are only WOMEN WITH VARYING LEVELS OF INTEREST IN DIFFERENT HOBBIES.”

Comics Get Scholarly Treatment at Columbia

Librarian Karen Green holds a stack of science fiction magazines donated to the science fiction collection in the reading room at Columbia University.

http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2012/09/17/graphic-novels-comics-get-scholarly-treatment-at-columbia/

By Lam Thuy Vo

For decades, “X-Men” author Chris Claremont kept handwritten notes about characters such as Wolverine and Magneto in dozens of boxes in the closet and basement of his Brooklyn apartment – as well as his mother-in-law’s house.

Perhaps not many outside of the comics fanboy community would consider this ephemera worthy of preservation, since even Mr. Claremont’s wife wanted to “get the crap out of the house,” he said. But Columbia University’s libraries deemed the journals, fan mail and correspondence important enough to be part of its archives.

Mr. Claremont’s 2011 donation is a game-changing addition to the university’s collection of graphic novels and related materials, which grew out of a pet project of librarian Karen Green.

“I think that our buying of comics and science fiction shows that we understand the value of things we used to see as perishable or less scholarly,” said Ms Green. It’s “not something we went after systematically before.” But now they are, she added.

The “X-Men” collection represents a core “around which we hope to build a collection of rich, comic-related material,” said Erik Wakin, Curator of Manuscripts at Columbia University during a symposium in March.

Graphic novels and the comic form — or what Ms. Green called “marginalized literature” — have crept into the mainstream in the form of television shows, young adult novels and Hollywood blockbusters. Preserving their history and documenting their rise from fringe to pop culture shows a further elevation of comic books as an art form.

Read More

So far I’ve liked all of the #0 issues that I’ve read. I haven’t ~loved~ any of them, but I liked them well enough. I think it helped that I changed my mindset before reading. I knew things were gonna be different, and in accepting that, I prepared myself to be open to what the writers/artists had to offer. And you know what? It wasn’t terrible. In fact, alot of it was interesting and can lead to more interesting characterization/stories.

Still missing the old continuity, but I can see good things coming from what’s happening now. Anyway, there isn’t anything I can change about there being a reboot, so I’m just going to make the best of what’s being offered now.

I’m getting kind of tired of people on Tumblr complaining about DC all the time. I know that I’ve posted my concerns and disapointments about things that they’ve been doing in the new 52, so I’m definitely not trying to say that everyone should just suck it up and take whatever is given to us. There comes a point though where you have to see things from DC’s point of view. We should remind ourselves that they’re not some evil organization that’s trying to ruin everything we love about comics; they’re just a company trying to sell their product in the best way they can. Picking apart every.single.thing that DC does and vilifying them as some supervillain that’s out to kill the fun in your life is just really pointless and false. I honestly feel that there are some people that will pick apart absolutely anything that DC does, just because they’re mad that DC decided not to bring back they’re character or something.

Of course, you’re entitled to your opinions and are allowed to complain about as many things as you want. I’m just sayin’ it’s annoying.

abbyromana
abbyromana:

holyismstogoddamn:

via herosandwich 

Born Yesterday?
So it looks like DC put a “Who’s Who” page in the back of this month’s Zero issues, as a way to re-introduce the rebooted characters to readers. Seems a bit of a foolish idea, since the creators should be introducing the characters in the regular issues, and if they can’t do that effectively, there are some bigger problems ahead.
The biographies for Power Girl and the Huntress in the back of this week’s Worlds’ Finest #0 (I hope to get to a review of that sometime next week, but I will say I thought it was a good comic) were… acceptable. Again, I think not really needed, since the title has only had four issues prior to this one. But it was mostly… acceptable.
But one thing really, really bugged me — something that I suspect is replicated across all of the “Who’s Who” features in the Zero issues:

No, DC Comics, I don’t care how much you want us to love the Reboot and accept that as ALL THERE EVER HAS BEEN, it just ain’t so. Power Girl’s first appearance was in All Star Comics #58 in 1976, and Huntress debuted in DC Super Stars #17 in 1977.
On one hand, I want to consider this a minor issue, but it does point up a certain tendency in the Nelson/DiDio/Johns/Lee era for the company to exhibit a lack of pride in their own long history, as well as a belief that the current leadership team is going to “fix” its comics by getting rid of the things the bigwigs are, for some reason, embarrassed about.
So please take some notes, Diane, Dan, Geoff, and Jim:
Your company’s previous 74 years of history are really not anything you need to retcon away.
Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, Wally West, Lian Harper, Donna Troy, Misfit, and the original Justice Society were actually excellent characters who don’t deserve to be ashcanned.
Splitting up Clark Kent and Lois Lane is just plain stupid.
You should really stop treating Alan Moore like crap.
Barbara Gordon was a better character as Oracle.
Secret Six was better than nearly every comic you’re printing now.
Vertigo and Wildstorm characters really do not fit in the DC Universe.
Jim Lee’s costume design skills ain’t all that.
It genuinely will not make you look less manly if you hire more women to create your comics.
Beast Boy is actually green, not red…
…and nearly all of your characters were actually created prior to 2011.
Grow up, DC. You’re embarrassing us.


DC. I swear to God. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging your history and all the great people who came before you. 99% of comic fans will agree its 70 years of its ups and downs is much better than throwing it all away.
There are somethings that should have been erased, (<cough> Rise and Fall.) but using an iconic character as Barry Allen as a scapegoat was a bad move to begin with. There are people like myself who hate that his recklessness has not been answered for and apparently won’t be.
For the love of all things holy, grab your existing writers, weed out the duds, get in some new ones and get them to rescue you from the hole you’ve dug yourself in during this past year and try to reconfigure quickly.
Because cheap tricks, like putting Wondy and Supes together; or bringing back Thomas Wayne Jr. are going to get stale quick.

I’ll just end with a comment posted on the original site:

I’m not sure I’d put it past DiDio to show up at some future convention and start slagging Wally Wood and Julius Schwartz and Curt Swan. He knows it’d make everyone mad, and the only thing he seems to live for is making comic fans angry…


#Gettin’ real tired of your shit DC
^THIS




I don’t love everything DC has been doing, but I’m ok with this. I think sending new readers all the way back 30 years, to read about a character who’s personality and history are different from current continuity, is way too confusing. It makes sense to me that they would point people in the direction of what the company is producing now, to make it easier for the readers, and to help sell their books. I don’t think DC has some master plan to erase years of continuity, they just need to do what makes the most sense from a marketing point of view.  

abbyromana:

holyismstogoddamn:

via herosandwich

Born Yesterday?

So it looks like DC put a “Who’s Who” page in the back of this month’s Zero issues, as a way to re-introduce the rebooted characters to readers. Seems a bit of a foolish idea, since the creators should be introducing the characters in the regular issues, and if they can’t do that effectively, there are some bigger problems ahead.

The biographies for Power Girl and the Huntress in the back of this week’s Worlds’ Finest #0 (I hope to get to a review of that sometime next week, but I will say I thought it was a good comic) were… acceptable. Again, I think not really needed, since the title has only had four issues prior to this one. But it was mostly… acceptable.

But one thing really, really bugged me — something that I suspect is replicated across all of the “Who’s Who” features in the Zero issues:

No, DC Comics, I don’t care how much you want us to love the Reboot and accept that as ALL THERE EVER HAS BEEN, it just ain’t so. Power Girl’s first appearance was in All Star Comics #58 in 1976, and Huntress debuted in DC Super Stars #17 in 1977.

On one hand, I want to consider this a minor issue, but it does point up a certain tendency in the Nelson/DiDio/Johns/Lee era for the company to exhibit a lack of pride in their own long history, as well as a belief that the current leadership team is going to “fix” its comics by getting rid of the things the bigwigs are, for some reason, embarrassed about.

So please take some notes, Diane, Dan, Geoff, and Jim:

  • Your company’s previous 74 years of history are really not anything you need to retcon away.
  • Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown, Wally West, Lian Harper, Donna Troy, Misfit, and the original Justice Society were actually excellent characters who don’t deserve to be ashcanned.
  • Splitting up Clark Kent and Lois Lane is just plain stupid.
  • You should really stop treating Alan Moore like crap.
  • Barbara Gordon was a better character as Oracle.
  • Secret Six was better than nearly every comic you’re printing now.
  • Vertigo and Wildstorm characters really do not fit in the DC Universe.
  • Jim Lee’s costume design skills ain’t all that.
  • It genuinely will not make you look less manly if you hire more women to create your comics.
  • Beast Boy is actually green, not red…
  • …and nearly all of your characters were actually created prior to 2011.

Grow up, DC. You’re embarrassing us.

DC. I swear to God. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging your history and all the great people who came before you. 99% of comic fans will agree its 70 years of its ups and downs is much better than throwing it all away.

There are somethings that should have been erased, (<cough> Rise and Fall.) but using an iconic character as Barry Allen as a scapegoat was a bad move to begin with. There are people like myself who hate that his recklessness has not been answered for and apparently won’t be.

For the love of all things holy, grab your existing writers, weed out the duds, get in some new ones and get them to rescue you from the hole you’ve dug yourself in during this past year and try to reconfigure quickly.

Because cheap tricks, like putting Wondy and Supes together; or bringing back Thomas Wayne Jr. are going to get stale quick.

I’ll just end with a comment posted on the original site:

I’m not sure I’d put it past DiDio to show up at some future convention and start slagging Wally Wood and Julius Schwartz and Curt Swan. He knows it’d make everyone mad, and the only thing he seems to live for is making comic fans angry…

I don’t love everything DC has been doing, but I’m ok with this. I think sending new readers all the way back 30 years, to read about a character who’s personality and history are different from current continuity, is way too confusing. It makes sense to me that they would point people in the direction of what the company is producing now, to make it easier for the readers, and to help sell their books. I don’t think DC has some master plan to erase years of continuity, they just need to do what makes the most sense from a marketing point of view.