September 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SeanTheSean @ 1:25 pm

-Of all the problem’s with the DC reboot, making Amanda Waller skinny. DC Women Kicking Ass sounds off on what we love about AW. There’s a campaign going on the Twitters.
-An open letter from Juliet E McKenna: everyone can promote equality in genre writing.
-It’s been a good(?) few weeks for awful t-shirts, and now Topman is in on it.
-Graphic representations of who’s publishing the work of female creators. Frankly it doesn’t look great for anyone.
-What Every Woman Should Know is a brilliant piece of journalism in comics form, discussing reproductive rights and the anti-choice organs known an “crisis pregnancy centers”.
-Remember Kyrax2, who caused a (well-deserved) stir at SDCC dressed as Batgirl? She talks here about the parlous state of the comics industry.
-Jezebel rounds up critics concerned about the level of sexism in this fall’s TV lineup.

September 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SeanTheSean @ 11:34 am

-Black Widow has a complex relationship with sex and slut-shaming.
-Awesome women of history: Spanish folk hero Juana Galan, who in 1808 as a 20-year-old barmaid organised the women of her village to resist Napoleon’s invading troops.
-Mary Jane promotes a new yoga position.
-With DC’s relaunch comics hitting the stands, reacts are coming in. Chris Sims is unimpressed with BATGIRL #1, a reaction I share, but hopefully it’ll solidify over the next couple of issues.

September 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — SeanTheSean @ 2:00 pm

-Sady Doyle demonstrates the proper response to mansplainers.
-JC Penney’s ridiculously awful shirt for young girls.
-Great essay on the Bechdel Test and its contemporary relevance – especially useful with the DC relaunch hitting shelves Wednesday.
-Maid of Might pours scorn on Supergirl’s new costume. It wouldn’t even be that hard to fix.

August 29, 2011

Standard-Issue Links with Standard-Issue Lateness

Filed under: Uncategorized — SeanTheSean @ 11:20 am

First up, an apology – last week’s linkpost incorrectly attributed a blog post by S.E. Smith to their blogmate Sady Doyle. It’s been corrected, and I’m sorry for the error.

Second up, a plug – Girl Wonder tumblr No More Invisible Girls is looking for self-identifying female comics fans to tell us their stories.

And finally, our links:

-Fantasy fans in particular may appreciate this tumblr of Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor. They’ll be adding sci-fi ones too soon.
-Hurricane Irene failed to dissuade many women from reading comics in public.
-Some great stuff at Sequential Tart lately, in particular this piece on the opportunity represented by the DC reboot and this Barbara Gordon retrospective.
-Speaking of my personal favourite member of the Bat-Family, the New York Post has previews of BATGIRL #1!

August 21, 2011

I Heard You Like Links

Filed under: Uncategorized — SeanTheSean @ 2:03 pm

-Sady Doyle S.E. Smith wants to know what a “strong female character” is. [Originally credited Sady Doyle - sorry, S.E.!]
-When fandoms go toxic.
-A historical gem in this Legion of Super-Heroes retrospective: “there are no black people in the future”.
-This has to count as corrupting children: a book called ‘Maggie Goes On A Diet’, for four to eight year olds. Ugh.
-A young girl is invited to a party where the rules are “girls come as princesses, boys come as superheroes.” She wants to be a hero, so her dad sews her a Wonder Woman costume. Awesome.

August 14, 2011

Getcher Hot Links Here!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Poison Ivory @ 4:39 pm

Women in Comics:
-Coelasquid’s delightful take on the David Finch Justice League cover is rendered even more delightful as the fevered minds at 4chan get in on the action.
-Get ready for the second annual Women Read Comics in Public Day!
-Anne Hathaway’s favorite Catwoman comic is delightfully whackadoodle.
-Analyzing the art of Sara Pichelli, who’s penciling the new Ultimate Spidey.
-In honor of the end of Bryan Q. Miller’s excellent Batgirl series, a few of my favorite Steph pieces by Dustin Nguyen.

Women in Other Media:
-Melissa Harris-Perry argues that The Help sanitizes the history of African-American women in the Civil Rights-era South.
-And Martha Southgate points out that the true heroes of the Civil Rights movement were, you know, black people.
-But what happens to the future of films featuring black women if we don’t all go see it?

Women in Real Life:
-Ladies! Are your headphones too mannish? Try these lady headphones for your delicate lady ears! (Men, be warned: putting these on may cause you to burst into flames.)
-Real life badass Keiko Fukuda is the first woman to earn a 10th degree blackbelt.
-Cecilia Payne is yet another example of women not getting credit for their contributions to science.

August 8, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — SeanTheSean @ 2:00 am

-NBC is apparently pitching their new show, The Playboy Club, as “about empowering women”. There’s some weird stuff going on there.
-With reports that Captain America whitewashes World War II, Charles Blow fills in the blanks.
-Let Sady Doyle introduce you to the men of #reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend.
-Sarah Cook of Bad Reputation pines for comics. They’ve got a site-wide comics season going right now, check it out.

August 1, 2011

Your Weekly Link Allocation, Citizen

Filed under: Uncategorized — SeanTheSean @ 2:21 am

-How DC’s previews reveal their priorities.
-An interview with the now-infamous Batgirl of SDCC, who made it her mission to ask important and uncomfortable questions of DC Comics.
-The good and the bad from the SDCC ‘Oh, You Sexy Geek!’ panel.
-Female creators are having to go to extreme lengths to get a writing gig at DC these days…
-Answering Dan DiDio.
-Not only has DC’s relaunch taken their female-creator percentage from 12% to 1%, approaching the percentage of female Popes, there are even fewer female characters – Straitened Circumstances has the stats.
-On Amy Winehouse and double standards.
-And finally, the joys of cosplay.

July 29, 2011

Yes, Actually, I Do

Filed under: Comics,conventions,Gender,Women in comics — Poison Ivory @ 11:53 am

By now the company-wide relaunch of all of DC’s titles shouldn’t be news to anyone in comics fandom, nor should the fact that with the reshuffling around of talent, DC has gone from women making up 12% of their credited creators to 1%. This has, understandably, raised a lot of concerns with fans, several of whom – male and female – broached those concerns at last week’s San Diego Comic Con, where they were met with deflection, jokes from male creators, and a bewildering amount of hostility from Co-Publisher Dan DiDio, who demanded to know who they should have hired.

And here’s the thing: several popular female creators were approached to take part in the relaunch, like Kelly Sue DeConnick, Marjorie M. Liu, and Rebekah Isaacs. Probably more were approached or submitted pitches that we haven’t heard about. Maybe a lot more. So yeah, I don’t entirely blame DiDio for being frustrated, if he tried to get female talent, was unable to for various reasons, and is now being taken to task for it.

But 2 women to 105 men is a pretty hefty imbalance. And I doubt 103 women were approached and turned DC down.

I’ve been reading a lot about this and the comment I keep seeing is “What do you want, a quota?” People critiquing the hiring decisions are quick to deny that they want a quota and instead offer lists of female writers and artists they’d like to see in the relaunch: “No, I don’t want a quota, but how about Amanda Conner?”

I’ll say it: I want a quota.

This is not to say that I want DC to grab the first ten women who walk by the office and give them jobs writing and drawing comics. And I’m aware that DC doesn’t hire people who haven’t already established themselves in some way, and with good reason. Top publishers don’t take unsolicited talent. (Despite Grant Morrison’s implication that you can simply “send in your stuff” to DC and be considered.)

I’m also aware that there are far more men working in the comic book industry than women. And I would assume that there are more men trying to break into the comic book industry than women, though of course it’s nearly impossible to know the stats on that. So if there’s one writing job and 9 out of 10 of the people gunning for it are male, odds are it’s going to go to a dude.

But it’s a self-perpetuating cycle. The reason there are more men trying to break into comics is because comics are still perceived as being Not For Girls. Because the industry is already male-dominated. Because the comics are mostly about (straight, white, cisgendered, able-bodied) men. Because the industry markets itself to men. So women consume manga and independent comics and webcomics, and the superhero comic book industry ignores that audience – and its potential revenue.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t women trying to break into superhero comics. It just means that there are fewer women trying to break into superhero comics, because they’ve been told so often – by the marketing tactics, by the covers, by the stories from the industry, by being mocked and dismissed at conventions – that superhero comics are Not For Girls.

But as Laura Hudson points out beautifully, a more diverse stable of creators leads to better comics. Plus, simply by appealing to women – who, you know, make up half of the world – DC has the opportunity to nearly double their revenue. Twice as much money! Who doesn’t want that?

If DC wants to rectify their skewed gender ratio even a little, they need to start by mining that small pool of aspiring women more heavily than the larger pool of male creators. Again, I’m not saying DC should hire women at random or compromise their standards. But here’s a thought: why not open up a month-long call for submissions from female writers and artists who’d like to break into the industry but haven’t quite gotten there yet? Female artists can send in portfolios; female writers, pitches and scripts. Sure, you’ll have to wade through a lot of dross, but that’s what interns are for!

I’m not suggesting putting an untried artist on Detective Comics right off the (forgive me) bat. Just let her get her foot in the door. Hire female artists as inkers as a stepping stone to them becoming pencillers. Give female writers one-shots and miniseries as trial runs, or backup strips. Give women who don’t necessarily write or draw in the house style a chance, as Marvel did with Girl Comics.

And if you do that, if you open that door for women and tell them that you want to see what they can do – and if you look at what they can do in good faith, with the intention of finding creators to hire among them – you can easily bump that 1% up to 5%. Or 10%. Would I love to see 50% of the creative credits on DC’s titles taken by women? Of course. But even 10%, aggressively sought after, would make a difference to the market, and be an enormous show of goodwill to fans everywhere who are concerned about the current gender ratio.

Dan DiDio was asked if DC was committed to hiring more women. He didn’t exactly answer the question (“I’m committed to hiring the absolute best writers and artists.”), but if the answer is yes, then they should show that commitment by actually hiring more women.

And if the answer is no, then they should say so, and we can all stop wasting our time.

July 25, 2011

Another Week, Another Linkpost

Filed under: Uncategorized — SeanTheSean @ 5:47 am

-Archaeologists used to assume that skeletons buried with swords were men; apparently, this was not an accurate diagnostic tool (swords rarely are). A significant proportion of England’s Viking invaders now seem to have been female.

-The failure of comics marketing.

-The latest Summer’s Eve advertisement suggest that you should keep your vagina fresh if you want men to keep fighting over it. I guess it’s a memorable theme, at least.

-An uncomfortable story from SDCC, as a women and her daughter ask pointed questions of DC high-ups and get mocked and dismissed for their troubles.

-We’ll all miss the Hermione Granger series.

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