It’s this week’s links, and the big story is DC’s explicit confirmation that the “target audience” for their giant relaunch is “men age 18 to 34″. You’ll hear much more from Girl Wonder on this – we are still co-ordinating our response, but this is exactly the sort of problem we face in mainstream comics today. A round-up of good responses:
-thegeekifiedgirl drops some stats and backs them up with a solid argument.
-It’s interesting to look at which books CBR’s readers are actually interested in buying.
-… and Johanna at Comics Worth Reading’s personal take on the new titles from earlier this month also merit a read.
-Maid of Might highlights the fact that this relaunch (like most other relaunches?) was allegedly meant to bring in new readers rather than the same-old gradually shrinking group DC had been catering to for years. She and DC Women Kicking Ass both remember getting male friends and partners into comics.
More on this issue soon. In the mean-time, keep sending in your suggestions for links!
There’s been a lot of buzz recently about the decision by DC, in the upcoming reboot, to make Barbara Gordon Batgirl again instead of Oracle, taking her out of her wheelchair in the process and removing one of the only high-profile disabled superheroes. Here’s a round-up of some of the best writing on this:
-Jill Pantozzi’s personal account of her reaction really brings home how important Babs is, and her interview with Gail Simone (writing the new book) about the reboot is essential reading.
-Andy Khouri’s ComicsAlliance editorial provides a look back over what makes Barbara Gordon so iconic.
-The ever-brilliant DC Women Kicking Ass recaps previous attempts to get her walking again.
-And finally the Oracle Create-A-Thon, a tumblr set up in response to DC’s decision, collecting fanart of Oracle “to support visibility for disabled characters in mainstream comics, and comics in general”. Some amazing stuff in there.
And a couple of non-Oracle links to round you off:
-I just found this handy illustration, from last year, of a particularly irritating sexist trope.
-And I fell in love with Cliff Chiang’s rendition of Wondy as Joan Jett, with Black Canary, Zatanna and Batgirl backing her up.
I doubt this will be the last from GW on Barbara Gordon’s reboot – watch this space. And if you’ve got anything for us on this, just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gwog rises once more from the deep! With our new Board in place, we are returning Gwog to its old status of a weekly roundup of Links Of Interest, with ad hoc guest posts by the mysterious Directors. If you have any links you want us to publicise, or anything else you’d like to contribute to Gwog, send it to us: email@example.com. Our operators are waiting for your call.
This week’s links, first the comics-related:
- Colin Smith’s detailed and engaging essay on FLASHPOINT #1.
- More FLASHPOINT fail: DC should really consider how this shit looks.
- Laura Hudson, Blair Butler, Heidi MacDonald and Jill Pantozzi form a roundtable on the “Geek Girl Phenomenon”.
And the non-comics:
- A pair of insightful posts by ginmar on rape culture and the myth of false rape accusations.
- The reprehensible decision by the equally reprehensible New York Post to publicise an alleged rape victim’s alleged HIV+ status.
- An Open Letter to Nice Guys of the World.
As far as I’m concerned, Free Comic Book Day should be printed on every calendar in America. It’s one of my favorite holidays, and why not? A day celebrating comics, when the comic book stores give you free comics! What’s not to like?
And, after all, what are we at Girl Wonder but comic book lovers at heart? This is a holiday for us, too, why shouldn’t we claim it as our own? Why not take this day to celebrate all the things we <i>love</i> about comics, and all the things we hope they can become.
Free Comic Book Day is a great time to give the curious a taste of comics. And hey, while the comic shops are recruiting new readers, why not recruit new G-Wers?
So I don’t know about you, but I’m going to wear “Ask Me About Girl Wonder” proudly, and hope someone asks. I’m going to post Girl Wonder flyers proudly. I’m going to blog about my favorite woman-friendly comics and let people know Free Comic Book Day is coming. And also, I’m going enjoy all those free comics!
If this sounds interesting to you, here’s a link to the Celebrate Free Comic Book Day with Girl Wonder forum.
Referee Michelle Campbell was told not to officiate a high school basketball game in Kansas by a official of St. Mary’s Academy:
The reason given, according to the referees: Campbell, as a woman, could not be put in a position of authority over boys because of the academy’s beliefs.
So far, so irritating religious-based sexism, of the kind that infuriates, but does not surprise. But what did surprise (and delight) me was that her male colleagues refused to cover the game:
Campbell then walked off the court along with Darin Putthoff, the referee who was to work the game with her.
Fred Shockey, who was getting ready to leave the gym after officiating two junior high games, said he was told there had been an emergency and was asked to stay and officiate two more games.
“When I found out what the emergency was, I said there was no way I was going to work those games,” said Shockey, who spent 12 years in the Army and became a ref about three years ago. “I have been led by some of the finest women this nation has to offer, and there was no way I was going to go along with that.”
The Kansas State High School Activities Association is now considering removing St. Mary’s Academy from its list of approved schools.
David Brothers is writing daily posts this February for his Black History Month at the excellent 4th Letter.
Of particular interest to Girl-Wonder.org readers (though it’s all great) might be this entry, where he ponders the lack of reaction to the death of Orpheus, in comparison to that for the Spoiler:
Why is Orpheus forgotten and why is Spoiler an icon? Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but this sounds familiar.
I’m not trying to diss anyone here. It’s just an interesting little comparison that I thought of while I was mulling the two characters over in my head.
I think it boils down to this: Spoiler is much, much more marketable than Orpheus is. If vigilantes were real, and Spoiler went out like she did? It’d be a 24 hour news cycle with breaking updates from various talking heads, constant news tickers, and the whole shebang. She’d be Jonbenet Ramsey, Natalee Holloway, Laci Peterson, and Chandra Levy all in one, with a side of Patty Hearst.
Orpheus… not so much. History bears this out. Crimes against black people just don’t get a lot of media attention, unless it’s something either a) totally outlandish or b) talked about enough that the media can’t get away with ignoring it.
If you opened your newspaper today and noticed some of the comic strips seemed similar, it’s not unintentional. 11 minority cartoonists have banded together to protest the unequal treatment minority strips receive in many American newspapers.
Listen to NPR’s interview with Cory Thomas (or for those not audio-inclined, read the Washington Post article), and check out his awesome version of the strip.
Other strips participating include Herb and Jamaal, Housebroken, Cafe con Leche, The K Chronicles, Compu-toon, editorial cartoonist Tim Jackson, and Candorville.
One of the Super-Top-Secret projects I’ve been hard at work on has finally made its public debut!.
An update since the article was written: We’ve now donated over a hundred comics to organizations in and around Portland and have developed ongoing relationships with several of those. With luck, our website will be up and running within the next week or so, at which point we’re hoping to see an explosion of both requests and donations.
November 25 – December 10
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.
I found out about this toward the end, but that’s no reason not to check it out!