If there’s one thing I know about women (or shorties and hunnies, as they prefer to be called), it’s that they are the gender who can sit naked in a wicker chair.
But seriously, folks…women in comics, both as creators and characters, have been the main conversation around the blogs and cons lately. A cosplayer known as “Batgirl of San Diego” stood up and asked where the female writers and artists were at the ALL NEW DC Comicon panels this year, and made enough noise that co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan Didio eventually heard her a month later. They even issued a formal response on the DCU Blog last week actually called “We Hear You.”
In other lady funnybook news, a woman’s comics anthology called “WOMANTHOLOGY” tried to raise 25 thousand dollars on Kickstarter this month, and accidentally raised over a hundred thousand bucks in a few days. The can of worms this bucket of cash has opened is too complex to go into here, but it’s more proof that August is lady funnybook month.
This Just In: A comic store in Toronto called Paradise Comics is holding an all-female creators in-store signing next weekend (Aug. 20th) called “Girls Day Out”, the first store signing my wife’s invited to, that I’m not. Estrogen August Marches On!
I’m no fool, I spot the trend – and I heartily support the whole thing. So today, I’m joining up and taking one for the team…stepping aside, offering up my audience, putting my blog where my mouth is, and handing over the keys to Bun Toons this weekend to a wonderful shortie-hunny/cartoonist named Eden Bachelder. DC might not be hiring enough women, but I sure as hell am. Take it away Eden…
Eden’s pretty fond of the Phantom characters, so that’s where her tooning heart went. You can see more of Eden’s lovely paintings and illustrations at www.edenbachelder.com and you can see more of my straight white male oppressor Bun Toons next week. But let her know what you thought of this, either in the comments below, or on her website. I’m all for women creators, and by taking the week off, it was clearly the least I could do.
Ty the Guy OUT!
Here now, your Girl Comics Bonus Moments. You’ve come a fairly short distance, baby.
Conventional wisdom holds that female readers would be the ones most likely to respond favorably to more female creators, and maybe that’s true but I can’t help feeling that whenever this subject arises, we overlook how important it can be for us guys to realize that the stories we enjoy were written and/or illustrated by women.
I remember my adolescence vividly. It was a time when there were two kinds of guys: geeks and the ones who got girls. You might get away with a comic book that wasn’t necessarily geek-centric (Strangers in Paradise, and Bone come to mind), but that was about it. The effect it had on me as a reader was that every issue I bought felt like another nail in my “you’ll never socialize with girls” coffin.
The first time I became conscious of a woman in the industry was when I realized Lynn Varley had colored Dark Knight. That gave me pause to consider that a woman had been partly responsible for what may still be the baddest Batman story ever printed, which in turn meant that at least one woman was out there helping to produce these comics I so enjoyed. Subsequently I became aware of Louise Simonson, who was writing Superman: The Man of Steel when I came to start reading Superman comics, as well as the late Kim Yale, who came to my attention as editor DC’s Star Trek titles. She ran one of the most gracious and fan-friendly letters columns I ever read. That a woman was passionate about Star Trek and was the editor of its comic books just blew my mind.
The sum effect of this was that I really did begin to feel less handicapped in the realm of meeting girls. I knew this didn’t mean that the ones I knew were any likelier to overlook my enthusiasms, but it did mean that there were girls and women out there who shared them. Eventually, I found one and believe it or not, but we planned our honeymoon around Wizard World Chicago 2006 (well, that and a White Sox/Yankees game…which my wife will tell you was more for her than for me, but it’s probably a draw!). Peter David was kind enough to inscribe my hardback copy of Imzadi to the both of us.
First person to hire me as a paid comic book creator: cat yronwode at Eclipse, where I inked Lee Weeks’ pencils in a book called NEW WAVE, written by Mindy Newell. First editor to hire me at DC: Barbara Randall. First person in comics I ever wrote a fan letter to: Jenette Kahn (thanking her for 100 page DOLLAR COMICS, which I LOVED as a kid). First comic book to make me laugh til I couldn’t breathe: Not Brand Ecch by Stan Lee and Marie Severin (I read it before I’d ever read Kurtzman’s MAD, of which it was a slavish imitation).
There has never been a moment in my comics career that didn’t involve women co-creators, editors, publishers, or female fans. On my first date with my wife, the fact that I noticed a shelf full of Howard Chaykin comics in her home sealed the deal before I’d gone for the good night kiss. I’m gob smack baffled that anyone finds women in comics even controversial.
PS: As for Star Trek, Dorothy Fontana is as responsible for the character of Mr. Spock as Rodenberry and Nimoy are, she essentially created his back story on screen and in the novels. And let’s not forget BJO Trimble, who almost single-handedly forced NBC into a third season by organizing the famous letter campaign. Trek has ALWAYS been a friendly place for women.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but where I grew up (and still live), comic books were largely something that young boys read and then outgrew by the time they stopped fearing cooties. Little girls weren’t expected to want to read them, and boys weren’t expected to read them for long. We weren’t likely to read them long anyway, since we didn’t have a local comic shop out here and most parents I knew did not consider comic books an important enough reason to drive all the way to Louisville. If you were lucky, you got your parents to buy you something out of the newsstand selection at the gas station or pharmacy.
Ergo, by the time I was old enough to become conscious about such things as whether the editor of what I was reading was a woman, I was already past my expiration date as a comic reader in my community.
It used to be that the letters column was the primary source of community unless you were lucky enough to live near a comics shop (or have an indulgent parent willing to take you, as I did). Conventions? Yeah, not a lot of those in Kentucky. Today’s readers have it much better than we ever did, because so many of you creators maintain blogs or participate in online social networks. Those kinds of long-distance interactions really help break through the kind of isolation that readers like me lived in during our adolescence. I like to think that every time a young male reader finds Gail Simone on Twitter and begins following her, it helps him to cultivate a more egalitarian view of women not just in the context of comic books, but in general. (I suspect those who fail to do so don’t last long at following Ms. Simone!)
Hopefully one day, it will seem silly to all of us that we ever found it curious that women should be creators, or fans. But then, I live in an area where most adults think it’s silly that anyone is a creator or a fan. It gets to be depressing.
Oh, and you’re entirely right about Star Trek being “a friendly place for women.” It’s one of the aspects that makes me proudest to be a fan, really. Still, I would posit that the same issues I’ve just described about being isolated within my kind of community as a comic book fan applies just as much to being a Trekker. Dorothy Fontana has my admiration and BJO Trimble my retroactive gratitude, but Kim Yale was actively editing Star Trek *comic books* around the time I became a fan (I got into it in ’91, began reading the comics with the November issues of that year; her stint as editor began in ’92). That was quite the convergence in my 13 year old’s world!
Holy Horns of Horror, Ty, I spy some woman-hair on the bunny this week. Ahh, hunnies…
Sometimes I have to wonder that these conversations are still even needed. Are we really moving backwards or just have a ways to move still forward in this regard?
I say this is the same issue I have mentioned in the post concerning the half-latino half-black Spidey: if women authors were considered the same as men authors, there wouldn’t be the need to mention their gender as if it was something special. I’m not black or latino, but I am a woman so in this case I know first-hand what I’m talking about.
Just look at the female characters in american comic books. They hardly are as interesting as complex as their male counterparts…. well, at least judging solely from the comics I have read. They either fill the support role, or the sex appeal role, or even worse they’re a somehow blander gender-reversed version of an already existing (and more interesting) character. It’s like a comic book’s approach to female characters is that of an awkward 14 years old boy.
This isn’t always the case, and there’s lots of well-written female characters in comics, too. I recall reading a comic about a nurse working at Arkham Asylum, and it had many excellent female characters. But the curious thing is that these well-written female characters tend to be the background characters. The protagonists, the comic book superheroines, are the ones with a very shallow writing behind them. As if the comic book industry prefers to leave the psychological nuances and complexity only to the male heroes?
Incidentally, one of my favorite Riddler stories was in fact co-written by a woman, Christina Weir: http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/3/32606/762853-cover_super.jpg
if women authors were considered the same as men authors, there wouldn’t be the need to mention their gender as if it was something special
Even if we lived in a society that fully respected and accepted women creators as readily as male creators, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with celebrating and recognizing the women from time to time. Similarly, I think it’s perfectly okay to take a look at how minority creators are faring at a given time, or LGBT creators, or those of various faiths. Just because you put the spotlight on a given group doesn’t have to also mean that you’re trying to play up the disparity between that group and the rest. It just means that you acknowledge these distinctions exist (people really are of different genders, races, sexual orientations, faiths, etc.).
While I could point to well-written female characters, the truth sadly enough is that you’re right: they’re still the minority. It gets even worse if you concentrate exclusively on superhero comics. If you’re looking for something to read, I suggest Mike Madrid’s The Supergirls, which explores “fashion, feminism, fantasy and the history of comic book heroines.” Not as comprehensive as I had hoped, but still a fairly decent survey of the themes.
Have Lucifer who is Satan show up like God created him in his former glory, and humans will think a real live super hero showed up, but death would be in his wake convincing humans that killing is good even as he does now through humans, and jailing humans doing bad,and having man think he can save himself, and the planet.
On another note the bull has a sheath which is a good thing, but he looks like he was altered. The bull looks impressive with his physical form not covered with a man made thing. The rabbit furry male, and female would look even better without a covering, agreed?
What are you talking about? How did Satan get into this conversation? And are you talking about naked cartoon rabbits? If I had the slightest idea what you were getting at, I’d play along, I swear.
Thank God I’m not the only one who has no idea what this is about! The upshot is that this is easily the leader among “WTF? Forum Responses” for the year. And I’m going out on a limb and I’m just going to agree that the rabbit furry male and female would look even better without a covering. Rabbits are beautiful and should not be shamed into hiding themselves. Or something.
All things in nature are naked showing their parts. Why can’t cartoon rabbits etc have them too? Humans need to relax, and accept them. It will be a learning process to get them just right. Satan is in all things that die, and in persecuting humans acting holy like they are doing something good. God is in all things that are living, and all things man did not make. The coverings we put on are made by men to cover us, and the land God made. When God makes all things new our bodies will change to not harm what God makes. It will be like it was in the beginning with all things nude having no guilt . It is Satan in the souls of men to give humans with the innocence of a child like the furries guilt to hide genitalia in their art for fear of rejection. Satan does not want the same innocence to be portrayed in humans like they were before man fell. That is what is behind the law of man called indecent exposure. That law originated in the mind of Satan. When I see clothed anything I think of this.
Much like yourself, I prefer nudity to clothing. I tend to draw while not wearing pants, and encourage nudity in my friends and business relationships. My 50th Birthday Party is coming up in a year and a bit, and I’m not letting anyone in if they’re wearing clothes. But you and I part on the magical creatures involved in any of this stuff. Lucifer is a character of fiction (mostly from Blake’s PARADISE LOST and to some extent, Dante’s Inferno) and not scriptural at all. Most of what people believe about “Satan” is NOT from the bible whatsoever, certainly none of the things you’ve ascribed to it. If you want to believe in Jesus, that’s your thing, cool. But you’re inventing things about “Satan” that simply aren’t part of any religious texts whatsoever, which means you’re basically making up your own version of the character. I’m not interested in your unschooled inventions on the subject. As the son of an evangelical preacher, and as someone who wrote and researched heavily about the satan myths when I was young, I’m somewhat of an expert on the subject and don’t wish to listen to any more of your unique theories about made-up theology, thank you.
I have it on good authority that Satan is a pretty good fiddle player, though.
Not as good as Charlie Daniels. (People always forget he LOST that fiddlin’ contest to a human being. )
I’m from the South. I’ve never heard of anyone who forgot that he lost the contest to the human being. Who, incidentally, was not Charlie Daniels the co-writer and performer. The character in the song is Johnny. Though, as I reflect, I too gaffed; I should have written that I have it on good authority that he plays a pretty mean fiddle.