Designated Sidekick: Wrapping up 2006

In summary, I wish to say this… My trolls are lame. Where am I going to get the XP if I can’t get a decent set of trolls to vanquish? GRC practically levels every second post, and I’ve been farming for months without a hint of something koboldian. Stupid orcs.
Slightly More Serious Note: Success or Failure?
So, it’s the end of 2006, and there’s no Robin-in-jar for Stephanie in the Batcave does this mean Girl-Wonder has failed?
One of the things I realised when I signed onto this gig is that my day job as a marketer meant that I was rather useful for the cause, if nothing else, for the fact that I really don’t expect to see name recognition achieved inside 18 months, and substantive shifts in marketshare inside of 10 years. Girl-Wonder’s name recognition alone is fabulous success.
Girl-Wonder isn’t a year old yet. That people know of the existence of the site, that the first letter campaign was met with letter writing and letter responses is a success. This roadshow is on track for the timelines that commercial marketers use for judging success. Y’all can have variable mileage on what you expect by what date I’m just going to cheer on the success that we’ve had in the short time frame we’ve been operating.
Bumps in the Road: Looking forwards
At some point in the next 10 years, several of the crew at G-W are going to leave. This is because 10 years is a long time, and any organisation will turn staff over in that ten year period. My prediction of G-W is that one staff writer/blogger/contributor/hard-core poster to the board will leave in a manner akin to a slam-the-door-I-quit! resignation. This to me is par for the course. Every organisation has these moments. In the world o’ privilege where I operate, this is so par for the course that you worry if you hit year five of ten without a stomping of the feet from someone on the squad. When it happens here, I’ll breathe a sigh of relief. It’s life as usual.
That said, it’ll be taken as an omen of dark times and gloom, spawn countless OMG!TheEnd! posts, and it’ll be a bit like finding out the drummer is leaving Matchbox20 tragic at the time, but later we’ll wonder why we thought it was the end times.
Things I can pretty much expect to happen next year
Somebody will say there’s no point to the mission.
Failure to deliver radical and long lasting change in comics will be deemed to be the fault of Girls Who Dare To Suggest Things Could Be Different (ps: That title free for a blog)
Some male comic book readers will defend their comics with impassioned outbursts against feminists who want comics to be decently written, well drawn and not traced from porn
Some female comic book readers will defend the same comic books for different reasons
Somebody will notice that not every woman is agreeing with the female bloggers and declare this to be proof of something. The fact that I’m around as a guy disagreeing with other men will be ignored for being inconvenient .
At least one person who’s working hard for our side of the argument (ie the argument you, the reader, cares about) will have some self reflection and doubt. At least one person on the other side of the argument will do likewise. Blog posts from both parties will be treated in diametrically opposite statements of ‘The cause has failed’ and ‘The cause has succeeded’.
Greg Land will draw Sue Storm with a porn face.
Greg Land will draw Black Canary as Sue Storm as Black Canary as Sue Storm.
Transformers:The Movie will lack any decent female characters, spark a rift in the fandom between those who saw their childhood trashed by the new movie, those wishing it was possible for a Transformers franchise in 2007 to include positive portrayals of women, and those people who wrote massive tracts of Optimus/Megatron.All claims on ruination of childhoods will be met with ‘We called dibs on that issue’ by Star Wars fans. In conclusion, another fandom will feel the pain that is X-men3.
Marvel, DC and Dark Horse will produce one or more ‘For Women’ comics special events. Marvel will make it pink, DC will sell special issues with a refrigerator on the front cover, and nobody will notice Dark Horse.
At least one male character (deceased) will return to life. To redress the balance in the force, six female characters will be killed. Two of those characters will be created for the express purpose of being killed. One of those characters will be killed onscreen at the end of Marvel’s Crossover-a-thon, and one will die at the end of DC’s next crossover arc.
DC will admit that OYL was a bad idea. Plans for One Really Long Year (ORLY) will be launched.
Dan Didio will hate the player (Dick Grayson) not the game (Crossoverarama).
Designated Sidekick will be fined by the Internet Bureau of Blogging for excessive word counts and sentenced to actually pay attention to his day job.
On reflection: Playing with the Full Privilege Deck
One thing that I have encountered over the past few months being involved in G-W, and then by extension feminist blogging has been the issue of privilege. Thanks to Karen (GRC) and the remarkable patience of arielladrake, I’ve been working on dealing with the fact that a lot of my responses are privilege based because I’m playing with the damn near full deck of privilege cards. I am middle class, highly qualified, work in an elite end of an elite industry, live in a nice suburb in the national capital and I went to a nice elite all male school. In theory, I’m one of the poster boys for the patriarchy on paper. In reality, I’m blogging for
Along the way, I’ve noticed various things that I freely admit confuse me, and then when I start unpacking the whole thing, it quite often ‘Okay, so that’s the non privilege position’ which is followed often by me saying ‘The privilege position of going ‘Yeah, and?’ seems a bit easier’. The longer I stay in this role, the more I think I’ll come to terms with the difficulties faced by those operating from a non privileged position. It’ll take time, and it’ll take effort, and I’ll get it wrong on the way. But that’s just reason to try again, not reason to give up (and that my friends, is an interesting statement I assume I have a right to succeed through trial error and effort. Not everyone feels that way do they?)
I came into the DS role because I also knew that having one of the bloggers operating from a white male privilege position gives the G-W squad a set of options that wouldn’t be available without my presence. In 2007, if there’s any time anyone on the G-W (or comics feminism) extended allies network thinks that a message coming from the Designated Sidekick would hit harder than from the other members, drop me a line. At the risk of going Boromir here, it’s an option, let’s use it if we need it.
Why I still want the Memorial Case
It’s been a while since Stephanie Brown died through editorial mandate. I have many reasons for wanting her recognition in the Batcave, but for now, I want to focus on one reason. As a young boy reading comics, I believed in what the characters stood for, believed in the notions of heroism, and the acceptance of personal risk for the greater good. Robin was an iconic role model for me, and I found myself identifying with him (and with Green Arrow).
I want the future young male readers of the Batman comics to know that there was once a female character, a girl of their age who believed in the things they believe in, who fought for the things they would want to fight for, and who was killed because she stood for what they believe in. I want them to know that when faced with the choice of owning the mistake, Stephanie Brown stood her ground and didn’t walk away.
I want the young male readers of the future generations to have the chance to honour Stephanie Brown because she was a Robin, and she stood for those things I believed in when I read those comics, that they believe in when they read those comics, and to know that yes, being willing to sacrifice safety, security and self for the greater good isn’t just what boys would do -it’s what heroes do. Heroes like Stephanie Brown.
I want them to have a chance to know firsthand that capes aren’t just for boys.

LFG Quest for Missed Point. PST.

Oh sigh. Good post, great stuff, then a ‘Ooh err missus!’ moment to derail the train of thought.
From the subset titled ‘Gee, Can Even I Get Away With Saying This’ (answer: Yes. You appear not to be dead, retconned or drawn by Greg Land subject to a Marvel Comics Shipping Schedule)
Every time I see a fanboy or fangirl entitlement rant disguised as a serious discussion of gender issues, I cringe, because all those false accusations of sexism confuse the signal to noise ratio to the point where genuine issues of sexism and misogyny get lost, or dismissed out of hand.
Okay, now that you all hate me…
Memo. This picture is the borg.
We’re not them. Any of us. Even the collective type ones. That thing about the internet? It’s full of people who won’t argue with you, won’t agree with you, will agree with you, will blog or not blog about what you said/didn’t say.
Baseline pal: It’s the internet, not the Borg collective.
Why did you have to assume you’d be hated?
Actually, now I come to think of it how’d you even work up a sweat about writing that part of your post?. Blogging a ‘I can’t believe I’m getting away with writing this’ is to giggle at your self proclaimed OMGNAUGHTY stance and leave me looking slightly baffled at where I was meant to be offended by a difference of opinion, since you’ve flagged this play as ‘Here! Something controversial this way blogs’.
Unless, y’know, you think we (the rest of the internet) are a collective borg hive mind. In which case, pass the talcum powder because these leather body suits chafe a bit.

Designated Sidekick: OFL*

One Fortnight Later( for a given definition of fortnight equalling the gap since the last post. Hey! Look! Comic book time! It’s squishy!) So I’ve been off in my day job, doing things that are a lot like what I do here, except with longer reference lists and slightly less snark (only slightly less though). In my absense, a) Greg Land is still alive. This strikes me as a sign that I need to break more wishbones. b) Creepy comic book related stuff continues to happen on the internet. Check the results of a meme… Super Hero Comic You are SUPER HERO COMICS! You’re everything that’s good and slightly old fasioned! You’re honorable, fair, and attractive, though at times you can be predictable. You have a strong moral code that you abide by at all times. You may also have problems connecting with the opposite sex. But don’t worry, you’ll get the girl in the end! If by ‘get’ you mean ‘stuff into a refrigerator’ umm……CROWBAR THWACK*
If by ‘get’ you mean the conquest of women through some form of conquest thing. CROWBAR BEATING
If by ‘get’ you mean accepting that you are currently perpetuating sexist through to misogynist attitudes through the storylines, porn still trace art work, utterly stupid costumes, and you will attempt, and succeed despite the occassional setback, mistake or other problem to create an industry welcoming to both genders, then yeah, you might ‘get’ the girl. By ‘get the girl’ I mean ‘understand the girl’.
In the interim…
a)what’s the protocol for referencing relatively recent comics for making points. What’s the time delay for it to still be a spoiler?
b) I have several megatons of coolant with a delivery address of ‘Hell’. They’re planning to annoy DC editorial for Christmas by bringing the time line of ‘DC Getting It Right’ forward.
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