Monday, March 2, 2009

DOUBLE FEATURE!

A special double feature since I got them both done: The Prologue to my Amazons Attack Review (starting next week) and the Spider-Man Clone Saga in 5 Panels!

NOTE: Since this isn't really a review, it's more informative than comedic, so don't expect as many jokes throughout.




THE SPIDER-MAN CLONE SAGA... IN 5 PANELS!

53 comments:

Jesse Haller said...

An interesting thing about Marston. The contract he made has in it's fine print that DC HAS to publish Wonder Woman. If a period of time goes by without a comic being published, all rights to the character will be given to Marston's estate. SO no matter how BAD sales get, there will always be a Wonder Woman comic.

Cab329 said...

Amazons attack preview- From ambassador to person who can't pump gas...who was taking a jackhammer to reality that day?

Clone saga in 5- You know, I really have to wonder how I managed to be a Spider-man fan when I was a kid since the only comics I got when I started was from the clone saga...Think it must have been the cartoon (on second thought, nah) or the action figures.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Actually, that's only a partially-true urban legend.

While that deal did exist for a while, under Jeanette Kahn's run as EIC, Wonder Woman's rights were bought whole-sale, so they CAN stop doing a Wonder woman comic if they were to so choose.

Jesse Haller said...

If it was true at some point, does it still count as an urban legend? Really?

But, yes it seems you are right. My knowledge of comic history seems to have some holes when it comes to 80's DC. D'oh.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

It still counts as an urban legend if people think it's still the case. ^_~

And hey, I'd heard the same legend for a while, myself. ^^

Aurabolt said...

Okay, I have to ask you something at this moment, because lately I have had issues with the sense of "feminism" so much that I had my own term for awhile to assume equality in the way sexes are portrayed in both lights, in response to my good friend and the comics I read. It was Gender Neutralism, and I admit it helped me, but it might not help others understand.

Basically, I say that a male or female character can be either strong and still kind, or ruthless and not-so-powerful, or those who get themselves in trouble and are still effective, or any of the multitude of different choices that exist with making a character and how they react. As long as they are made well and develop well, bad or good things can happen to them despite the connotations.

On more than one occasion, I have seen a lot of recent articles and talk in comics mainly that go against those views, saying that I'm supporting "damsels-in-distress" and what-have-you. At the same time, these same people judge the opposite gender in comics or the authors, writers, and artists involved.

I've been exposed to this information, and I realize there are a lot of bastards out there who do some pretty crappy things to women in comics. My question to you is this: You have said you're a feminist, and if we're not talking about the militant kind here, you strive for equality between the sexes. Where do you stand when it comes to how characters are perceived or taken in this light of recent argument against or for men or women in comics? I assume you take a gender-neutral stance which supports both sides and strives for good character development, but I'm not really sure.

Sorry I got so long-winded and/or if I got confusing, I just wanted to get this off my chest before I got too far into the Amazons Attack prologue, or the review to come.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

I think significant progress has been made in regards to eliminating a lot of sexism in comics, in particular the "Women in Refrigerators" phenomenon is no longer as active as it once was...

...that being said, there's still a lot of work to be done. Let me list off some more recent examples of problems that have popped up, mostly from the DC side, since I read more DC than Marvel.

-In the Jodi Piccouly issue I showed in the video, another problem that sprung up was where Diana, in her secret agent mode, heard a disparaging insult against Wonder Woman, and she cried because of it. Mind you, she wasn't sobbing her eyes out and it wasn't some thorough, well-thought critique of her, but a tear did run down her cheek. This is the same character who, just over a year beforehand, had slain Maxwell Lord without remorse, stabbed out her own eyes so she could fight a medusa without getting turned to stone, and again, wrote a book on philosophy. Complex character development or just crappy writing?
-During Infinite Crisis, there were two blatant examples of Women in Refrigerator syndrome. Geoff Johns had the character Pantha killed because, by his own admission, he wanted to write a story where Red Star had to deal with losing her (by the way, that "story" ended up being about four or five panels spread out over two completely different books). Another was Green Lantern longtime supporting character and superheroine Jade, who died and as a result, her powers got fed into Kyle Rayner so he could become the new hero Ion. A natural progression of events, or creators thinking shock deaths, in particular the deaths of heroines who subsequently inspire male heroes into action, are necessary in order to craft an epic story?
-Black Canary is the chairwoman of the Justice League. She swore to herself she would never allow herself to be a damsel in distress ever again, retraining herself with a multitude of martial art styles that made her a reckoning to anyone who tried to combat her. However, barely a month or so ago, she was held hostage by an inexperienced metahuman criminal who in nothing more than a simple headlock had her restrained and she apparently didn't know enough about her own canary cry superpower (the one she's been using for at least a decade in-story) to know how to fire it in a way that didn't harm innocent people. A mistake under pressure, or a writer who decided he wanted to create a new supervillain because of a silly superheroine who thought she knew how to use her powers?

Look, there can be damsels in distress. There can be lords in distress. There can be richly nuanced badasses who never cry, and whimpering individuals who wait for their lover to come to their rescue, but it should fit the character as established by previous creators and they should not be tossed aside as if they're just plot devices.

Hopefully that answered your question. ^_^

Sonic2nd said...

I've always been a bit lost when it came to Wonder Woman's comic book origin and I found this video to be really helpful.

I can also say that I've read some of Jodi Picoult novels and I'm utterly baffled at how she handled Wonder Woman during her run. Didn't DC give her any information on Wonder Woman & her backstory or did she just wing it?

InvisibleBrunette said...

You know the gas pump thing would've been funny if it had been a flash back to when she first came into 'Man's world', but I mean come on! She's been in there long enough to know how to pump gas! Piccouly obviously didn't know what she was doing. Frankly, I'm a little frightened. I mean, she can write a book on philosophy and not use a gas pump.... Maybe they should rename it to "When badly written Wonder Women attack!"

The Cheap-Arse Film Critic said...

I really enjoyed the informative nature of the Amazons Attack video. I you've got the time, maybe you sound consider a series of "Continuity Alarm Disabled" videos where you look at a specific character or book and explain why their continuity is so important, and why is occasionally gets trampled on. The Flash would be perfect for this treatment, as would, ahem, Spider-Man.

Aurabolt said...

Yeah, thanks so much, Linkara. That solved a lot of questions that were coming up for me, and quite a few sleepless nights working it through in my head.

I shall certainly watch the Amazons Attack review with a clearer head, and if I ever get the money due to the economy's issues right now, you can add another reader of Revolution of the Mask. It really helps to get an explanation sometimes, and you gave one very well. I respect that highly, and like to give back to people who do in the ways that I can.

Thanks again, and you'll probably see me around AT4W again, since I find that you are a great source of information on comics and this world I'm still getting used to. ^_^

Trism said...

I started reading Spidey during the Clone Saga and at the time I thought it was awesome (I was young and didn't know any better!). Now when I go back a try and re-read the whole thing I find my attention drifting so far it comes back with souvenirs

Anonymous said...

Shawn who?

Omac said...

Wasn't the whole secret agent thing really just a callback to when Denny o neil basically depowered her and added a kung fu/Avengers(the british one) element?

Also Besides Simone's run which other runs should I look into.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Those two weapons were the Dragon Dagger and Saba from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Are you ever gonna make references to the Power Rangers in your reviews, Lewis?

playah said...

Very nice videos, both of them. About Wonder Woman, her character stalked me all over this day. Not literally, just this day I had more WW then ever. First off finding out that the animated movie is out and getting bad sales (I'll still watch it though), then I read "10 reasons why Wonder Woman sucks" on Toppless Robot (I gotta admit, they are right, but a bit too harsh), I read a few articles on wikipedia about her and finally this video... oh well, gonna enjoy the full review anyway.

And about Pantha... sigh, I miss her. The way they killed her was not only messed up, but completely unnecessery, especially since she was starting to become kinda cool. From savage wild bitch, gradually into more caring, civilised person. Heck, even adoptive mother for Baby Wildebest (I miss him too). So much wasted potential...

Emrys said...

I loved both anyway is that the green rangers i dont know whas it a knife? i need to get one if it was. And WW rocks but damn those comic book artists suck.

Premier Blah said...

Your Clone Saga thing has more than five panels. I CALL SHENANIGANS! SHENANIGANS I SAY!!!

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Greg Rucka and Phil Jimenez's runs were pretty good, IMHO.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Your shenanigans is rejected. It's five panels, just reused.
One of Spider-Man, one of Scarlet Spider, one of Spidercide, one of the Jackal, and one of Norman Osborn.

sirkenz17 said...

I've never been a big Wonder Woman fan, myself, but from seeing how many writing SNAFU's she's been through, I feel bad for her.

Just be glad that Judd Winick's not writing the Wonder Woman comic. Judging by his recent track record for writing superheroines, I'd hate to see what he'd do.

Anonymous said...

What's women in refrigerator syndrome?

Queen Anthai said...

...were those a Dragon Dagger AND Saba?

...you son of a bitch. You just triggered Fangirl Jealousy.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

More or less, Women in refrigerator syndrome is when a female character is raped/maimed/killed/depowered so that the male hero can be inspired in some fashion to take action.

It was named by Gail Simone before she became a comic writer and is named in reference to Kyle Rayner, a Green Lantern, having his girlfriend murdered by a supervillain, then stuffed in a refrigerator.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for not doing a Dear Sister spoof....seriously thank you. Great commentary as well!

日本文化のマニアック said...

It's the Undecipherable Japanese Character Girl again...

Wow, Wonder Woman kicks ass! Makes you wish they'd give her a good Hollywood treatment, too - but they'd probably have her in stupid mode, knowing Hollywood's ability to mess up superheroes.

Blowshimselfupdude said...

Since your doing Wonder Woman any chance your going to do a written review of the Wonder Woman DVD?

batcookies said...

My favorite part about Amazons Attack is that it couldn't even maintain continuity WITHIN THE DAMN COMIC ITSELF. What kicks it off? "Sarge Steel" kidnaps and locks up Wonder Woman to torture her into giving away the secrets of the Amazons' High Tech Weapons. Then a few issues later, Batman examines a bomb and goes "Hmmm, well it can't be from the Amazons. They can make bows and arrows, but certainly couldn't make High Tech Weapons".

I swear I get a mini stroke every time I think about it.

Premier Blah said...

Bah I say! I guess I should ask of your Five Panels on the original Clone Saga then!
In any case, loved what you did this week, especially with WW. You didn't have any spare slabs of meat to punch in your training montage? Also where do you live anyway? It looks to be up north, like myself - it must have been freezing.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

I'm in Minnesota. ^^

And yeah, it was freezing.

m121 said...

Where exactly does the "I'm Batman and I can breathe in space" quote come from? This is the second time you've referenced it in this blog...

Lewis Lovhaug said...

It comes from the webcomic Shortpacked: http://www.shortpacked.com

Premier Blah said...

Ah, I get you. I live further east, Quebec.
Final Crisis I think

Jesse Haller said...

Minnesota huh? If you're near Minneapolis. There's a comic lecture and comic art gallery opening going on Friday, open to the public.

http://www.mcad.edu/showPage.php?pageID=1119&eventID=379

Not sure if it's up your ally or not.

Premier Blah said...

What's the music for your second montage? It sounds familiar...

Lewis Lovhaug said...

It's from Army of Darkness.

Anonymous said...

Do Batman Cacophony. I'd like to see your opinion on Smith's work. Keep up the great work.

Premier Blah said...

Ah, now it makes sense. You need more boomsticks though, I have a Hockey Club Stick I can lend? (And a lightsaber too for something more to your liking.)

mightysamurai said...

"-In the Jodi Piccouly issue I showed in the video, another problem that sprung up was where Diana, in her secret agent mode, heard a disparaging insult against Wonder Woman, and she cried because of it. Mind you, she wasn't sobbing her eyes out and it wasn't some thorough, well-thought critique of her, but a tear did run down her cheek. This is the same character who, just over a year beforehand, had slain Maxwell Lord without remorse, stabbed out her own eyes so she could fight a medusa without getting turned to stone, and again, wrote a book on philosophy. Complex character development or just crappy writing?"

Definitely crappy writing. Is Piccoult seriously saying that a public figure like Wonder Woman has never heard someone make a disparaging remark about her, or does Wonder Woman just cry every time someone insults her?

"-During Infinite Crisis, there were two blatant examples of Women in Refrigerator syndrome. Geoff Johns had the character Pantha killed because, by his own admission, he wanted to write a story where Red Star had to deal with losing her (by the way, that "story" ended up being about four or five panels spread out over two completely different books). Another was Green Lantern longtime supporting character and superheroine Jade, who died and as a result, her powers got fed into Kyle Rayner so he could become the new hero Ion. A natural progression of events, or creators thinking shock deaths, in particular the deaths of heroines who subsequently inspire male heroes into action, are necessary in order to craft an epic story?"

I wouldn't call either of those a natural progression of events, but they're not examples of Women in Refrigerator syndrome IMO. Yes, they admitted that they essentially killed of Pantha so they could give Red Star some character development. But so what? They wanted to write a story about Red Star coping with the death of a loved one, so they had to kill off one of his loved ones. So *why not* choose Pantha? Can you think of someone whose death would have had the same impact? They wanted to write a story about personal loss, so they had to sacrifice a character and they chose Pantha. The fact that Pantha is female is immaterial.

And yes, I admit that Jade was essentially killed off just to give Kyle Rayner a power boost, but again, the fact that she was a woman had little or nothing to do with it. They needed someone to die, and they needed a plausible way to give Kyle Rayner his new Ion powers. Can you think of any better solutions that don't come off as a massive deus ex machina? I certainly can't.

Besides, IMO the whole "Women in Refrigerator syndrome" has been blown way out of proportion anyway.

"-Black Canary is the chairwoman of the Justice League. She swore to herself she would never allow herself to be a damsel in distress ever again, retraining herself with a multitude of martial art styles that made her a reckoning to anyone who tried to combat her. However, barely a month or so ago, she was held hostage by an inexperienced metahuman criminal who in nothing more than a simple headlock had her restrained and she apparently didn't know enough about her own canary cry superpower (the one she's been using for at least a decade in-story) to know how to fire it in a way that didn't harm innocent people. A mistake under pressure, or a writer who decided he wanted to create a new supervillain because of a silly superheroine who thought she knew how to use her powers?"

Okay, I'll give you that one. Just god-awful writing.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

The very definition of a WiR is to kill/depower/rape/maim/mutilate a female character in order to advance the plot of a male character, not the one who was killed/depowered/raped/maimed/mutilated.

And as I said, their purported desire to tell this story ended up being no story whatsoever, but a vague reference in two unrelated comics. The point is they shouldn't needlessly kill characters. You ask how they could've supercharged him into Ion? It's comic books - Vril Dox could've had Jade fire a beam of energy out into a techno-doodad he just invented and supercharge Rayner, or Rayner could've been hit with two different ray beams at once. Instead, they chose the path of killing off the superheroine so that the male could feel angsty about it.

It's NOT blown out of proportions. This kind of crap happens all the time, even if it's not as prevalent these days.

mightysamurai said...

"The very definition of a WiR is to kill/depower/rape/maim/mutilate a female character in order to advance the plot of a male character, not the one who was killed/depowered/raped/maimed/mutilated."

Well that in itself illustrates the problem I'm talking about. Why is it a "syndrome" when a female character is killed/depowered/raped/maimed/mutilated/etc. in order to advance the plot of a male character, but not a syndrome when the exact same thing happens to a MALE character? For instance, why did no one complain about any "syndrome" when Kyle Rayner's gay friend got beat up? Why did no one complain about a "syndrome" when John Stewart was paralyzed and had to drop out of the superhero business for a while? For that matter, why doesn't anyone ever complain about a "Parents in Alleyways" syndrome? Think about how many superheroes received their character motivation from the death of their parents or parental figures. Why is there no "syndrome" for that?

I agree they shouldn't needlessly kill off characters, but let's try not to make more of this than really exists. As Robert J. Hanlon once said, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

"You ask how they could've supercharged him into Ion? It's comic books - Vril Dox could've had Jade fire a beam of energy out into a techno-doodad he just invented and supercharge Rayner, or Rayner could've been hit with two different ray beams at once."

Still sounds like a deus ex machina to me. Would inserting a magical techno-doodad into the story completely out of the blue just to supercharge Rayner really have made any more sense than Rayner being supercharged by the Starheart after Jade's death?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Well that in itself illustrates the problem I'm talking about. Why is it a "syndrome" when a female character is killed/depowered/raped/maimed/mutilated/etc. in order to advance the plot of a male character, but not a syndrome when the exact same thing happens to a MALE character? For instance, why did no one complain about any "syndrome" when Kyle Rayner's gay friend got beat up? Why did no one complain about a "syndrome" when John Stewart was paralyzed and had to drop out of the superhero business for a while? For that matter, why doesn't anyone ever complain about a "Parents in Alleyways" syndrome? Think about how many superheroes received their character motivation from the death of their parents or parental figures. Why is there no "syndrome" for that?"

Okay, you really want to play that game? BECAUSE IT HAPPENS TO WOMEN MORE THAN ANY OF THE OTHER TIMES. You listed off Kyle's gay friend getting beaten up? Name ten instances of a character's gay friend getting beaten up to advance their story. Name ten instances of a male character getting killed/raped/depowered/maimed/etc. to advance the storyline of a female character. Name ten instances of parents getting killed to start a superhero's- well, okay, that one's easy. They DO have a trope for that, it's called "My parents are DEEEEAAAAD!" ^_~

The point is there's a loooooong history of women being nothing more than objects to be discarded for the male character even beyond comic books, so much so that it's a huge discrepancy when you try to compare it to the other examples.

Yes, a magical technicle doodad would've made more sense than senselessly killing off a character just to supercharge another one (plus adding ANOTHER dead girlfriend to Kyle Rayner's already ruined psyche when it comes to relationships).

mightysamurai said...

"Okay, you really want to play that game? BECAUSE IT HAPPENS TO WOMEN MORE THAN ANY OF THE OTHER TIMES."

Women get killed, maimed, or mutilated to advance the story more often in comics than men? I greatly doubt that.

And my problem isn't that WiR has been turned into a trope. My problem is the fact that people point to it as if it's proof of some vile undercurrent of hatred and contempt against women in the comic book industry. The fact is, comic book readers are predominantly male. Therefore, the stories are necessarily going to have to resonate more with men than with women. And having your female love interest die or become hurt resonates with male readers. Seeing the hero's response to such a personal tragedy touches the reader emotionally and helps him to connect with the main character (particularly if the reader has experienced something similar).

I could probably survey a bunch of women's romance novels and dig up all sorts of equally prevalent "syndromes" perpetrated against men. Does that mean romance novels contain a vile undercurrent of misandry? No, it just means that romance novels are written with a female audience in mind and therefore will contain things that resonate more with women than with men.

I'm sure there are more than a few comic book writers with some bad attitudes about women that carry over into their writing. But I think sometimes people see sexism when it just isn't there.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Clearly you need to do a little more research into this issue. I recommend a few good starting points:

Women in Refrigerators itself

Girls Read Comics (and they're pissed off)

One particular post from the blog, addressing various issues of sexism in comics

mightysamurai said...

I actually have read all three of those links before. All I can say about Women in Refrigerators is this: making a list of women killed off to give the male lead some character development doesn't mean anything without a point of comparison.

As for Karen Healey, she's actually the person I was thinking of when I said people are overstating the problem. She's an intelligent writer but IMO she VASTLY exaggerates the problem of sexism in comics, and the post currently at the top of her blog illustrates that very point.

http://girl-wonder.org/girlsreadcomics/?p=249

In this post she talks about diversity in comics and criticizes the fact that with the latest wave of cancellations at DC, most of the title characters will be white males (the Newsarama article she quotes even goes so far as to call them "WASP-y" as though this were some sort of horrible disease). While she does make a good point that there is a shortage of prominent female and minority characters in comics, like so many "activist fans" she forgets that the comics industry is first and foremost a BUSINESS.

If a comic isn't selling well enough, it's going to get canceled no matter what the gender or ethnicity of the title character. The fact that DC is canceling these comics does not indicate an undercurrent of racism or sexism, it indicates that these comics simply aren't selling well enough. But of course, Ms. Healey can only bemoan the lack of diversity, as though diversity (rather than good storytelling or compelling characters) was the most important thing in and of itself.

Her anti-feminist bingo post is also illustrative of my point. First of all, I'd never even heard half those "anti-feminist arguments" before I read her blog post responding to them. I mean, are there really that many people going around saying things like "You should just read manga like all the other girls" and "But doing martial arts in high heels is perfectly reasonable"? Because if there are I've never seen them. I can only assume these are things people have said to her in emails or comments on her blog, but that makes them anecdotal and subjective (maybe her blog just attracts lots of unintelligent jerks for some reason, I dunno). Second, making a list of arguments made by some unknown "opponents" and "refuting" them is not terribly convincing. It's very easy to pick and choose which arguments to address and which ones to ignore, and by the looks of things it seems that's exactly what she did. Almost all the arguments she lists are things a retarded monkey could take down (like the "comics are never going to change" argument). And when they aren't flat-out stupid they're extremely oversimplified caricatures of actual arguments. After all, it's much easier to subtly portray your opponents as morons than actually respond to their points, now isn't it? Third, she sometimes merely dismisses the arguments rather than engage them (though since the original Anti-Feminist Bingo! post from Hoyden About Town did nothing BUT dismiss the arguments, that's not surprising). For instance, take the "If you don't like it, shut up and write your own" argument. Rather than responding to this argument, Ms. Healey responds with a dismissive "Oh, please" and says that sexism is always "deserving of anyone's disdain". Well, yeah, it is. But that doesn't explain why you have not gone out and personally done something about it. If you think there is too much sexism in comic books, YOU study art and writing for years and get hired as a comic book creator. If you think comic companies don't hire enough women, YOU study business, start your own publishing house, and hire lots of women to make your comics. Unless you're personally doing something to rectify the problem, all you are is an activist. And 99% of activism is just glorified free-loading. (Also note how Ms. Healey clearly added the words "shut up" to the anti-feminist argument just so she could dismiss it as rude. I found some of her other points rude, does that mean I can arbitrarily declare them epic fail?)

I'm not saying she doesn't make good points. Sexism does pop up in comic books from time to time and a lot of the arguments used to defend it are utter crap. I agreed with her comments on the "alien culture with no nudity taboo" argument, the "super-strong women don't need bras" argument, and the "girls wear skirts in real life" argument. But her thesis is not nearly as concrete as it seems and her message suffers because of it.

P.S. Also (and this is just a pet peeve of mine) she uses the word "misogyny" incorrectly. Misogyny is the hatred of women by men. Wanting to see women in short skirts and tight tops does not automatically equal hatred of women. But that's just me being a language nazi.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Her anti-feminist bingo post is also illustrative of my point. First of all, I'd never even heard half those "anti-feminist arguments" before I read her blog post responding to them. I mean, are there really that many people going around saying things like "You should just read manga like all the other girls" and "But doing martial arts in high heels is perfectly reasonable"? Because if there are I've never seen them."

Just because YOU have never heard them doesn't mean it hasn't happened. I HAVE heard it said before, particularly by complete jackasses. And the fact that we have to even bring up high heels on female characters is terrible enough. An artist should know better.

"In this post she talks about diversity in comics and criticizes the fact that with the latest wave of cancellations at DC, most of the title characters will be white males (the Newsarama article she quotes even goes so far as to call them "WASP-y" as though this were some sort of horrible disease). While she does make a good point that there is a shortage of prominent female and minority characters in comics, like so many "activist fans" she forgets that the comics industry is first and foremost a BUSINESS."

First of all, companies will cancel titles all the time regardless of sales because they want to go in a different creative direction and whether or not the book is actually making them money suddenly takes a back seat to the whims of a particular creator or two.

Next, fuck the "it's a business" excuse. Trying to sell your product does not give you free range to be endorse sexism, nor does it give them a free pass from criticism about it. You say sex sells? Then there's a problem with the market, and that problem is perpetuated by the people who feed it.

"For instance, take the "If you don't like it, shut up and write your own" argument. Rather than responding to this argument, Ms. Healey responds with a dismissive "Oh, please" and says that sexism is always "deserving of anyone's disdain". Well, yeah, it is. But that doesn't explain why you have not gone out and personally done something about it."

Why the hell do you think Girl-Wonder.org exists at all? Or any other organization designed to educate and promote better ideals? Or any of their own personal lives? You don't know what they do outside of the internet. You don't know what I do when I take off the hat and live the rest of my life.

"If you think there is too much sexism in comic books, YOU study art and writing for years and get hired as a comic book creator. If you think comic companies don't hire enough women, YOU study business, start your own publishing house, and hire lots of women to make your comics. Unless you're personally doing something to rectify the problem, all you are is an activist."

Forgive me if it seems like I'm being overly aggressive towards you personally, but since this is a topic I really am passionate about, it may come off that way.

First of all, why the FUCK is it HER responsibility to be the last bastion of non-sexist bullshit? Why is it MY job to be the one who has to go into the industry, work damn hard, and probably not even accomplish half of what I want to do? Why the hell do the creators who DO have the problem get a fucking free pass?!

Second, again, what the fuck do you think they're doing with all of this? Do you think Gail Simone put together Women in Refrigerators because she had a free weekend? Do you think Rachel Edidin did a series of blogs about rape in stories because she wanted to stretch her activism credit? Do you think when I point out the utter sexist bullshit in comics like Titans #1 or Sinnamon or Amazons Attack that I'm doing it because it makes me feel better about myself? Hell no. We shouldn't have to be fighting this fight at all. We live in the 21st fucking century and artists still think "sexy" comes before "character," writers still think killing the female character is the best way to inspire a male hero to action, and companies still try to deny that any of this is sexist.

Furthermore, what the hell kind of a solution is that? "Just start your own club?" Do you think someone just STARTS a new company and suddenly they're able to compete and just because THEY'RE on the ethical high ground that everything's all hunky dory? I don't want to see fucking sexism in ANY company. I'm not here to clean up THEIR messes.

That is all.

mightysamurai said...

"Just because YOU have never heard them doesn't mean it hasn't happened."

But by the same token, just because you HAVE heard them doesn't mean they represent a serious problem or a prevalent mindset. I've heard people make all sorts of outrageous claims, like that the Red Cross implants mind-control chips in your body when you give blood, that the Titanic sank because it was carrying a cursed Egyptian sarcophagus on board, and that Jews or lizard-people (or sometimes Jewish lizard-people) are secretly controlling the world by means of a massive international conspiracy.

"And the fact that we have to even bring up high heels on female characters is terrible enough. An artist should know better."

Again, it's not the objection to high-heels on female superheroes that bothers me. It's Ms. Healey's implication that there are waves upon waves of people seriously defending it and claiming there's nothing wrong with it. Certainly there are some people who defend it, but how many people do you know who have tried to sincerely argue that performing acrobatic martial arts in high heels is a reasonable practice?

"First of all, companies will cancel titles all the time regardless of sales because they want to go in a different creative direction and whether or not the book is actually making them money suddenly takes a back seat to the whims of a particular creator or two."

And the reason they do that (and the reason the companies make them do that) is because they think it might make more money. Do you seriously believe DC would intentionally decrease their own profit margin just so they can "go in a different creative direction"?

"Next, fuck the "it's a business" excuse. Trying to sell your product does not give you free range to be endorse sexism, nor does it give them a free pass from criticism about it. You say sex sells? Then there's a problem with the market, and that problem is perpetuated by the people who feed it."

Then your problem is with the culture, not the industry. The industry just responds to what the people want. Complaining about the comic book industry without doing anything to change the culture it responds to is putting the cart before the horse.

"Why the hell do you think Girl-Wonder.org exists at all?"

I know exactly why it exists. To let the blog owner vent her complaints about the comic industry. But that doesn't actually accomplish anything. Constantly yelling about things you don't like doesn't convince anybody, unless you do it so long and so hard that you simply annoy people into agreeing with you.

"First of all, why the FUCK is it HER responsibility to be the last bastion of non-sexist bullshit?"

First of all, that's not what I said. I said that merely complaining about a problem doesn't accomplish anything. Doing something about a problem can accomplish something. If your goal is to change the comic book industry for the better, then the proper thing to do would be to actually do something to change it, not just sit around on the internet complaining about it. All that Ms. Healey is (and this is by her own admission, incidentally) is an activist. And like I said, 99% of activism is just glorified freeloading. You're not solving a problem, you're complaining to other people and asking them to solve the problem for you.

You say that the portrayal of women in comic books is a topic you are passionate about. Well the inherent laziness of most political activism is something that I am very passionate about. I became a school teacher because I saw the numerous problems with the American public school system and resolved to help solve those problems. But I HATEHATEHATE when people (on BOTH SIDES of the political aisle, mind you) blather on and on about the problems of the American educational system even though they themselves have never personally done anything to fix our schools. You know how some people rant against "armchair quarterbacks" and "armchair generals"? Well it's the same concept here, only it's "armchair school teachers". Screw you, I'M the one responsible for teaching these kids, so I'M the one who has the right to complain about the educational system, not some "activist" who can't be bothered to contribute any real effort towards solving the problem beyond complaining about it.

Gail Simone has the right idea. She's in the industry and is actively working to change it. She has the right to complain about sexism in comic books (though I still think its prevalence is exaggerated). Random internet bloggers do not.

"Furthermore, what the hell kind of a solution is that? "Just start your own club?" Do you think someone just STARTS a new company and suddenly they're able to compete and just because THEY'RE on the ethical high ground that everything's all hunky dory?"

Why not? It should be easy if there are as many female comic book writers and artists who've been snubbed by major publishing houses as Ms. Healey implies. If there is truly such a huge block of visionary female comic creators out there that DC and Marvel refuse to hire because they're such an Old Boy's Club, it should be easy to snap them up and organize them into a competing company. Show those sexists at DC and Marvel what they've been missing out on! After all, the best kind of revenge is personal success.

"I don't want to see fucking sexism in ANY company. I'm not here to clean up THEIR messes."

I don't want to see a lot of things, but simply complaining about them isn't going to make them go away.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

It's not complaining, it's criticism. Complaining is when I simply say, "I don't like this." Criticism is when I say, "I don't like this, and here's why it's bad." You can say something's bad criticism, but then on the same token you have to justify it or else the other side is just complaining to.

And you obviously don't know shit about Girl-Wonder.org if you think the Blogs are they only thing going on. They organize letter-writing campaigns, offer resources to victims of abuse (or simply feminist resources in general), encourage people to buy comics that don't, make appearances at panels, start other campaigns designed to help people, and oh, yes, provide blogs to individuals who wish to express their opinions.

"Gail Simone has the right idea. She's in the industry and is actively working to change it. She has the right to complain about sexism in comic books (though I still think its prevalence is exaggerated). Random internet bloggers do not."

And again, GAIL SIMONE STARTED HER CAREER BY BEING SAID RANDOM INTERNET BLOGGER.

"Then your problem is with the culture, not the industry. The industry just responds to what the people want. Complaining about the comic book industry without doing anything to change the culture it responds to is putting the cart before the horse."

If the industry is perpetuating the culture, you'd better damn well believe it should be gone after.

"You say that the portrayal of women in comic books is a topic you are passionate about. Well the inherent laziness of most political activism is something that I am very passionate about."

You and me both, but I'm telling you this ISN'T lazy political activism.

"Why not? It should be easy if there are as many female comic book writers and artists who've been snubbed by major publishing houses as Ms. Healey implies. If there is truly such a huge block of visionary female comic creators out there that DC and Marvel refuse to hire because they're such an Old Boy's Club, it should be easy to snap them up and organize them into a competing company. Show those sexists at DC and Marvel what they've been missing out on! After all, the best kind of revenge is personal success."

First of all, if as you say it's the culture that's already gone off the deep end in regards to buying sexist tripe, then by your own admission such a company would be doomed to failure.

Secondly, I like DC. I like Marvel. I like their characters. I don't like it when they get treated like shit, though, and I want to see things improve for them.

Thirdly, they refuse to hire because there's already an oversaturation of talent in the market, both good and bad. Marvel has just recently closed its open submission policy because there's just too damn many people who want work and they can't give everybody a job. I'm not faulting them in that. It's one of things that I'm not entirely sure I agree with Karen about, so if you really have issue with it, complain to her, not to me.

Lanthroviel said...

Blah, clones.
To me, it is the "easy plot" gift.It's a plot twist that can allow you numerous of scenes you wouldn't do before,like the superhero, in an heroic scene, dying FOREEL while fighting something, just to say after that it was just a clone.
I never digged into spiderman that much, though, but after watching your Spiderman 56 review, it seems that they sticked with that (the cover just say "the REAL spiderman finally revealed?").Plus, correct me if I'm wrong, but it also seems that they corrected the flaws that a "real" clonage would do:Fast (instant?) growth, and especially, copy of the memory (Poke to the Superman AatEE comic:You CAN'T bring Hitler's memories back with a hair, you CAN'T).
Therefore, the clones being REALLY identical (except maybe that they are time limited?), the only way to solve it is with a guy saying "lol you're a clone, you're going to die nubz^^" (again, tell me if it's not that, but that's the feeling I had with your old review and this video).

But that aside, good video :D

Telyra said...

Hey, do you know superdickery.com ?
It's a great page, you should check it out! The creator of the page collects hilarious comic-covers, most of them featuring Superman being a total dick towards other people.
There is also a whole category only for Wonder Woman in bondage (called "Suffering Sappho" ). I mean, GOD, doesn't WW in bondage start to get boring after a while?

Filip said...

"Gail Simone has the right idea. She's in the industry and is actively working to change it. She has the right to complain about sexism in comic books (though I still think its prevalence is exaggerated). Random internet bloggers do not."

I think that what you said goes against freedom of speech. Can you tell me which school are you working in, so I can make sure that neither my children or their grandchildren will even go there?

'You say that the portrayal of women in comic books is a topic you are passionate about. Well the inherent laziness of most political activism is something that I am very passionate about. I became a school teacher because I saw the numerous problems with the American public school system and resolved to help solve those problems. But I HATEHATEHATE when people (on BOTH SIDES of the political aisle, mind you) blather on and on about the problems of the American educational system even though they themselves have never personally done anything to fix our schools. You know how some people rant against "armchair quarterbacks" and "armchair generals"? Well it's the same concept here, only it's "armchair school teachers". Screw you, I'M the one responsible for teaching these kids, so I'M the one who has the right to complain about the educational system, not some "activist" who can't be bothered to contribute any real effort towards solving the problem beyond complaining about it."

One thing you don't see, and as I teacher you should (which makes me seriously doubt your statement) is that among people who reads posts on GirlWonder there may be some who are doing something in comics or want to - I, for one, am working on few project and I know I'm not gonna include any of those seksist cliches that GirlWonder bloggers pointed out in articles I read. If there are more people than me, and some of them will one day go to Marvel or DC or Image (Image is better recently, since Witchblade stopped ripping user's clothes and Robert Kirkman's "You really though I'm going to kill a woman?"), they will carry on ideals GirlWonder taught them. This way we can archieve sucess in fight with sexism.

Sorry for my band English and writing under old post, but I just needed to comment.

Anonymous said...

I've just seen both videos. The first one is pretty interesting and the second one is really funny.

I don't think that Jade's death is a straight example of WiR. Yes, Kyle Rayner now has one more dead girlfriend to angst about (the guy can give Daredevil run for his money) but her death helped to resurrect Green Lantern Corps. She died as a hero.
Not to sound like a jerk, but it's actually a news for me that they planned to use Pantha's death for anything else but making Superboy-Prime into a monster.

I actually like Clone Saga. Maybe it's because I've read it all at once and already knew the basic plot and how it would end. While there are plenty things I didn't like (non-stop wangst about being a clone, for example) and I can see why many people dislike it, there also are many good things and at the end there was a pretty strong base for character development, like Peter and MJ becoming parents. Sadly, all this potential was wasted, not unlike Brand New Day.

BTW, can you, please, tell me which comics the page with Wonder Woman and wounded Superman (young but in Kingdom Come costume) amongst the ruins is from?

Mateja Kovač said...

I didn't notice the lack of humor in the first video, it was as funny and laced with jokes as the previos ones have been.

And about the 5 panel Spider-Man Clone saga - ingenius :D