Green Arrow, Black Canary, and the Wedding Issue: AKA Let’s destroy the viability of this franchise!

Dear DC
Why are you systematically trying to destroy the Green Arrow and Black Canary franchise? Why must you insist on adding Deathstroke the Uninteresting into the mix? Deathstork hates Ollie. We get that. We got it the last 3 times, and the time before that and over in JLA and would you just get a new schtick here? Oh, look Deathstrokinghimself has pointed his big sword at Canary again… twice or three times now? CANARY CRY? No. Canary whimper.
That’s okay, it’s not like Canary wouldn’t be able to hold her own against a human oppone… oh forget I said anything.
Plus, for the record, as a man who has been hit by their partner (said partner is an ex-partner), no, it doesn’t lead to hot sex and lasting marriage. It leads to damage, confidence loss, feelings of betrayal and a shit load of other problems with later relationships, trust and friendships. It’s abuse, it’s violence and that whole fight to slap sequence is serious domestic abuse from both sides. Why did you turn the Canar/Arrow relationship of sheer joy at being reunited after the OYL absence into something so destructive?
So, fuck you DC. If you wanted me to quit a franchise, next time, send a fucking e-mail. I’m out. It’s only a matter of issues before Mia and Roy and Connor are trainwrecked as well. I’d rather remember the Black Canary of Birds of Prey, and the Green Arrow of Quiver than this mess.
Disappointed Sidekick
PS: Why don’t you go commission a movie where you take GA out of the costume, confiscate his arrows and bow and stick him in a super villain prison just to finish off the franchise?
PPS: Go read Karen’s take on the comic.
PPPS: Thus far, I’ve seen one positive review of the comic. If you liked it, that’s your choice, and I’ll respect that so long as you respect my choice to dislike it. Agreeing to disagree is part of the way the world works.

Designated Survey 01: What are your priorities for art, character and costume in comics?

Missing Attachment
There’s a lot of assumptions in comic book fandom about what’s important, what other people like, who reads what and what priorities people put on different factors.
Me? I like a little bit of numbers with my speculation. So with that in mind, I’d like to introduce to you all…
Designated Survey

Designated Survey

Click Here to take survey
This debut issue of the Designated Survey is asking you to put some preferences down on what you want in a comic book, what’s important in comic book characters, and what makes a superhero outfit more than just a fancy dress costume?
Plus a couple of questions of what really matters when it comes to parting with money for four colour stories.
Links for spreading the survey around the place after the cut.

For those of you who wish to pass the survey around, copy and paste the link

Click Here to take the Designated Sidekick Designated Survey

When worlds collide: X-Bratz?

Arad, the man behind the ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Fantastic Four’ franchises, raised eyebrows in Hollywood when he switched gears from his comic book safety zone to produce the tween-empowerment movie inspired by the freakish dolls with enormous heads. In explaining the move, he insisted that Bratz are ‘X-Men for girls’ — it’s just that their superpowers are singing, fashion, soccer and cheerleading.
Oh. My. PLEASE? PRETTY PLEASE? Can we have X-4 be just that?
Wolverine singing cabaret numbers?
Cyclops shopping for brand name glasses?
Soccer with Nightcrawler? and with Colossus in a little cheerleader outfit cheering his beloved Nightcrawler on?
Professor X’s Magic Makeover Party!
Iceman’s and Pyro arguing over who has the prettiest scrapbook (then making up and making out)
Angel being all angsty and writing poetry and standing on the roof of … damn, is this X-men or Buffy? Um, Warren being all pretty and winged and trying to find a salon that styles feathers.
Please? It’d be like ‘Bratz for Boys!’. A sure fire winner!

The paper mirror

I didn’t see myself reflected in the same panels which tekanji used, which itself is the nature of the paper mirror. What I did see in these two frames was something I’d taken for granted. Something Willow E pointed out…
… I want to see myself reflected in our modern myths, in these powerful tales of courage and wit, bravery, sacrifice and determination. I want my own heroes (those just like me through appearances, background or ethnicity) to be weaved into the general tapestry. I want the lessons learned and encouragements given to apply to me (and other women like me). I want to see aspects of my dreamings.

  • Willow E of Seeking Avalon guest blogging on GRC …
    I have to admit to being both clueless and getting the point in parallel. It’s not an acheivement, it’s a mistake of assumption that because I read that as a post from a fan of comics, so would everbody else. We’d all pick up the column, see that point, get that point, and go ‘Yes, this is what comic creators need to think about. Telling stories that resonate with the readers through characters they can identify with in their own lives’ . After all… back in January, I was after the same thing
    Some of those more and more readers might actually want to see characters that speak to their lives, their desires, their hopes and their dreams. When I was in high school, having Oliver Queen and Dick Grayson was to have characters who I could identify with, and to use to pin my fantasied reality of an ideal world to my reality. I wanted to be Oliver Queen, muckraking journalist by day, costumed crime fighter by night. I had that character, and the white male middle class entitled and privileged costumed hero to call my own.
    For me, Ollie Queen wasn’t about being deniably ambiguous. He was about being identifiable and unambiguous.What’s wrong with wanting the rest of the place to have characters they can call their own without having to permanently wear a shadow of deniability?
    There’s something about the paper mirror that I’d forgotten. Something, that by virtue of my position in society, I’d overlooked. I’m used to seeing the reflection, to seeing the character that’s about me, for me, by people who want to tell stories to me. I talk a lot about identifying with Green Arrow as my paper reflection, as many people have noticed. In the last couple of days, I realised something.
    Green Lantern, 76
    I may want to be Green Arrow, but I’m Green Lantern. I’m white, I’ve got authority and power, I’ve got privilege, and I’ve been blind to race. I never addressed race because I never thought of it because I’m part of the crew that benefits from the invisibility of others. When Willow E talks of identity, it’s identity of race. When I talk of identity, it’s for gender or sexual orientation, because I have unambiguously white characters to call my own. I can identify with Dick Grayson or Oliver Queen or hundreds of other white characters. This option isn’t there for everyone, and I never noticed that.
    Since Willow’s post, I’ve been facing up to that realisation that I never dealt with an issue so ingrained to the treatment of people as people, not little categories of [Us][Sort of like us]and[Other]. Part of facing up to that fact has been that I have not wanted to willingly accept the responsibility for missing this, or taking it on in the future.
    I wanted to say ‘Hey, look, having enough trouble holding it together on the whole feminism front, so, uh, I’ll take a pass on the race issue’. Here I am sitting in my nice safe suburb, with my nice safe career in my nice safe established comfort zone thinking about conceptual paradigms of ‘mission creep’ to justify ignoring racial issues.
    I want this to be very clear. I wanted to not tackle this, and I wanted to justify my way out of dealing with the issues and excuse myself from room and slink off to a comfort zone.
    It’s one thing to be blind.
    It’s another to close your eyes tightly and claim not to be able to see.
    So, the way I see it is this I have a choice.
    I can open my eyes, and start down the path to doing something positive to address the issue of race in the DS column, and in my life.
    I can keep my eyes closed and say ‘I benefit from this, I wish for it to continue’.
    I could mount an argument against getting involved, I could justify my way out of it, and I’d be able to point to all sorts of justifications and probably even some citations and references. I’d be talking complete bullshit though, I didn’t tackle race before because I didn’t see it. Now it’s been pointed out to me, I don’t have that excuse.
    To be bluntly honest, I ran through a bunch of thought processes.
    ‘I don’t want to have to deal with this’ (What? I think everyone else wants to?)
    ‘But I’m just a white guy with privilege, what use can I be?’ (this stopped me with feminism?)
    What do I know about race?’ (what did I know about marketing before I started studying it?)
    ‘I’ve been a big enough class traitor over feminism*’ (seriously, see the footnote for explanation)
    I spared myself the embarrassment of dredging the truly inane squares on the bingo card, but I figure 3 squares and the freebie before I hit the brakes on shy of calling out ‘HOUSE’.
    For a few days, I have given the idea of keeping my eyes closed serious consideration. This is an unpleasant truth to consider, for me to say and perhaps for you to read. But it is a necessary truth for me to have to realise for a period of time, knowing that there was a problem, I wanted to not get involved. I ain’t no saint, I ain’t looking for pats on the back (or the metaphorical cookie). Just a record of the realisation that I had a choice here, and I had to think about that choice, and when I made that decision, it was just that a decision. It wasn’t innate, it wasn’t automatic and for anyone else who finds themselves in my position, understand that the temptation to look the other way was strong.
    I want to open my eyes. The light’s gonna hurt like hell, but I ain’t doing this because I want to feel better about myself. I’m doing this because closing my eyes and wishing for it to go away is to support making people invisible. To perpetuate something that is wrong, and to support with actions what I oppose with words.
    Individual responsibility means fronting up and making the personal changes. It means saying ‘I’ a lot, and doing things by myself but not necessarily for myself.I have a lot of work to do to in this area, and I will make mistakes, and I run the risk of backsliding and not addressing any race issues over time. But I know as well, I’m not doing this alone, and I know that I have access to a truly amazing community of people, both within Girl-Wonder, and across the broader internet.
    Year Two of operation ain’t gonna be easy.
    Count me in.
    Designated Sidekick
    *I do want to put an explanation on this point: This is a surprisingly recurrent issue in my head. I know that I was raised by the patriarchal system and attending an all male Christian Brothers school under the patronage of Saint Joseph is pretty much the pinnacle patriarchy factory. Some days, I can’t stop the thought that I am actually a traitor to my class from popping into my head. There’s some deep code that runs under the surface and I know it’s there. That’s doesn’t stop the code from running, it just helps identify the source of the pop-up windows in my mind, and knowing what’s my thoughts, and what’s a residue from the system that was meant to keep me in line.
    Discuss the post here in the comments, or down yonder on the G-W Message Boards
Green Lantern, 76

The Cover for Heroes for Hire #13. DO NOT WANT. [Bonus, open challenge to the defenders of this cover art]

I am a male. I read comics. If this cover of powerful female comic book figures tied up, helpless, suits zipped down to expose the maximum flesh without revealing a nipple is designed for the arousal of the male reader, then I’m going to be blunt
You fail. It is not arousing. I do not want. I am not excited or titillated by the prospect of this cover. Further, I’d be embarassed to walk out of a comic store with this in my hand. One glance from the average punter, and I’m some freakshow. Ordinary punters thought the Mary Jane statue was bad. What the hell are they going to make of this? It’s reinforcing the stereotype of comic book readers as strange individuals who lack social skills, haven’t met a real female in their lives, and have immense forearm stamina.
Thanks Marvel. Way to help show comic books aren’t just for kids, they’re for perverts.
Thank god this is a Max title, and won’t make it to a really broad audience.
The Story: The Heroes for Hire find themselves in the middle of World War Hulk when their mission to Hulk’s stoneship leaves them on the Warbound’s death list! It’s divide-and-conquer as each hero is hunted by a member of the Jade Giant’s band of alien soldiers.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Appropriate for readers of all ages.
9+ years old Appropriate for most readers, parents are advised they may want to read before or with younger children.
OH SHIT. What where you thinking? Wait. I remember, Marvel isn’t misogynistic! The chief editor of Marvel has a daughter. I bet he’ll sit there and read this comic with his daughter. That’ll make it all fine.
Breaking out the details
This is my personal shortlist of issues I have with the cover.
The cover is sexualised violence. The women have bared breasts without the shot of an unclothed nipple. Shaded nipples are acceptable. So are erect nipples through the cloth of their costumes. Sure, defeated, semi conscious, captured by aliens, but sexually aroused by the moment. They may be about to suffer painful torture, but they’ve got hard nipples about it. (No, I ain’t screen capping that. It’s creepy, and it’s a demonstration that the artist painted the costumes over a naked female form. I suspect porn tracing) Could you imagine a cover with Spiderman and Wolverine and Cyclops strung up, each sporting obvious erections about what will happen next? (Yo! Alex Ross! Buddy, do it. It’ll be worth the lolz)
The hands are also important here the female characters are in signs of defeat and submission, and the one set of male hands are in active resisting poses (I’m assuming that’s Shang-Chi from what I’ve read around the place)
Male handsFemale hands
It’s freaking Bratz Porn. The eyes that set it off.
Bratz Porn
Finally, remember, even if you’ve been fighting your way through an alien strong hold, lip gloss is important.
Faces of Defeat
So, I want to make this clear. This is a cover that has women portrayed at passive sexualised objects in the name of selling comics.
It is sexist.
It is reinforcing the misogynist view point that women are to portrayed as passive sexual objects to be acted upon by men, in this case, the male viewer of the comic.
It is offensive to consider this cover art for a series that is considered suitable to be read with children as young as nine, or read by children as young as nine.
If you want to persuade me that this cover isn’t sexist, because men are drawn in similar poses, then I’m up for the challenge. If you can find me a cover with up to three men, all drawn in passive poses, with demonstrable hardness of the nipples or penis, sad faces, and the female hero (for what little of her is seen) being active, you can tell me that this cover isn’t sexist because stuff happens to guys as well. Especially on the cover of T+ rate comics.
Checklist for you
Up to three males. I’m not even looking for parity of numbers (there are four women on the cover of Heroes for Hire).
Some obvious arousal at their situation (erection of nipples or penis is fine). If this is missing, then no dice. Harden those man parts up or go home.
Some costume change/ removal of costume. Preference is for removed pants/trousers, will settle for opened shirts (even though that’s not the same level of sexualised posing. Pecs != Breasts for sexual connotation otherwise men would own bikini tops). There has to be some evidence of interference with the uniforms of the men. I’ll accept torn (bonus for tears with bleeding cuts under them), cut, removed or opened (Nightwing’s chest to ceiling mid 80s open V won’t count unless it’s been obvious interfered with by a third party. I’m looking for parity with the white jump suit, not Black Cat’s costume)
Passive/defeated demeanor. No struggling resistance against the bonds. They need to be defeated AND enjoying it.
BONUS POINTS: An active female hero presence, doing something active about the dramatic situation that the men have accepted.
Prove me wrong with evidence. I’m not even asking for a one to one swap on most points.
Show me that the Heroes for Hire #13 cover is simply a gender reversal of existing cover art. Show me that there’s no sexism, because this has happened to men before.

Questions for male comic book bloggers who wrote about the MJ statue

I’m interested in talking to male bloggers who posted criticism or negative reviews about the Mary-Jane Watson statue, and the responses they received to their posts. I’d like to hear/read your opinion of how people reacted to what you had to say, types of commentary/feedback you received, and volume of commentary/feedback on the issue. If you have links to the posts you’d like to contribute that’d be helpful as well.
Drop me a line at if you want confidentiality or post up to the comments.
This is a rapid fire, non scientific approach for me to get some shared experience from fellow male comic book bloggers. From one male blogger to another, I want to swap notes on the incident, and people’s responses to your posts.

Hey Fanlib An open letter from a marketer watching yet another fan connected company self harm

Dude. Mimbo, dude.
After the Mary Jane saga, I thought Sideshow’s inept approach to marketing couldn’t be beaten. Thanks for proving that was undue optimism. Chris, look, fanfic ain’t my thing, and this is a comics book blog, but I can’t watch a wounded company suffer.
In summary: Your marketing sucks.
Your site? I can’t say either way since I don’t write fanfic (if you exclude that Dr Seuss/marketing crossover one, and the Ice/Rogue/Pyro one). What I do know is marketing. You, despite your match practice at Yahoo! seemed to have forgotten a bit. The bit that starts with the words ‘the customer’.
Here’s a couple of freebies to remind you.
Do not attack the community you’re trying to recruit from ever. You want to set up a commercial fanfic archive? You need fic readers and fic writers. Don’t hurt yourself by alienating them.
Do not spam LJs. Especially when you’ve got a reputation that’s ankle-locked on the LJ base. Dude, seriously, don’t jeopardise 6A and LJ by being a jerk over another project. You’ll regret the brand damage in the morning.
Take criticism from the people who are doing what you’re setting out to do. If the fanfic community is reacting badly, then you have a problem that they are identifying for you. For free. If your lawyers and expensive people couldn’t see those problems, you hired the wrong expensive people. Ask for a refund
Accept criticism. See if there’s a valid point. If there isn’t, don’t give the critic a valid point by being a jerk (or appearing like one, or whining in LJ posts). You’re tired? Tough. Cowboy the fuck up son. This is business, you’re in a gorram startup. Start acting like the leader of the company and lead from the front. Long hours? Don’t complain to the internet about long hours chances are, we’re working crappy shifts and pulling overtime to get by. Then we get home and do this internet stuff in our limited spare time.
Above all, yes, you’re doing this for the money. NOBODY CARES HOW MANY HOURS YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR YOUR MONEY. Shut up, front up, and work for the pay cheque. Or do it for the love. Just don’t whine. Nobody likes an emo CEO with a pay cheque, options and an aversion to long hours.
Dude, seriously, you seem to be freaking because your beta test uncovered problems. That’s what a beta test and market test is about test marketing to see where the errors are, finding bugs and patching systems. You have problems, you have unresolved bugs. Shouting ‘LA LA LA HOBBITS’ won’t help.
If you’re serious about providing a decent service, start with being a decent company. Do that by listening to the market you so very much are trying to emulate. Work with them, not against them.
Above all, if you’re planning on converting a large rich mine of freely devoted time, effort and love into something that gives you financial reward don’t piss off the people who are providing the resource you’re trying to tap.
Yours Sincerely
Designated Sidekick

Money talks II: The Mary Jane Statue sells all 900 copies (Boromir sold 2000 copies without a g-string in sight)

Well, the news is in.
All 900 copies of the Mary Jane statuette have sold out. So, 900 sales are out there.
The New York Post slagged the MJ statue. Dunno what their readership looks like, but I think it’s more than 900.
Boingboing covered the negative response to the statue. Their readership? Over 95,000 unique users per day.
Feministe and Pandagon carried coverage. Their readerships? Probably more than 900.
In summary Sideshow sold 900 x $125 statues and received $112,500 for their effort
What’s the dollar value on the negative publicity? (more marketing thoughts after the cut)
Since this is a Marvel related issue, let’s bust a Stan Lee move, and present a ‘What if’
What if Slideshow had said
‘Okay, look, this product we make has made you pretty damn unhappy. Can we make something else that you’d buy? We need to replace $112500 of revenue to make this thing go away without suffering a financial hit. What can we do?’
How many suggestions would they have received? What if they engaged with the market that had arrived at the gates and said ‘We made this because we saw economic gain in exploiting women. We’re seeing an error in judgement here. What can we do different?’
Because Sideshow also happens to sell more than just this one piece. They sell products in the lines of
Aliens, Anime / manga, Buffy, Famous persons, Hellboy, James bond, Legendary musicians, Lord of the rings, Marvel, Military, Morpheus, New line horror, Planet of the apes, Predator, Scarface, Star wars, Terminator, Vintage monsters and X-files. Products that attracted a fair level of internet based interest, and internet support.
Sideshow was faced with an unhappy crowd and they choice to wall up the kingdom, delete posts and send back ‘Not thine’ level responses. How many messages did they receive? How many very unhappy people did they send to the wilderness?
In marketing, one of the things we have as a rule of thumb is that one happy customer tells three people, and one unhappy customer tells ten. When the unhappy customer tells you, that’s when you have a chance to perform service recovery, and potentially convert the unhappy person into a loyal customer.
What if II : Regaining ground
What if Sideshow responds personally now to each of the people who wrote to them?
What if they write back to everyone who wrote to them, and post on the board and apologised for having been in idiots about it and for dismissing their responses.
What if they asking for buy-in, and for suggestions? About what could do have done differently? About how to do things differently for next time?
We do this in marketing. It’s called responding to customer feedback. Ask Seth Godin about it sometime. He’d say that right now, Sideshow have created an ideavirus. The ideavirus being that they don’t like women, and don’t listen to customers. That’s an idea virus that’s spread to the New York Post and to Boingboing. Boingboing, which is a major metafilter point for online influencers. Online influencers who probably liked something in the Sideshow extended product catalog and won’t touch the ‘the creepy mary jane guys’.
So maybe the people who complained weren’t customers. Now they’re definitely never going to be customers because their complaints were dismissed and deleted. Which, even if you don’t like what they had to say, tells you, the Sideshow paying customer that Sideshow likes you when you give them money, and don’t give a damn if you have a problem.
For me, that’s one unexpected bit of news out of this I was going to buy some Sideshow products actually. Lord of the Rings figures to be precise. Boromir to be exact. I was going to join the backorder queue for one of the next 2000 statues.
Right now, unless I see Sideshow front up and take some ownership in this situation, I won’t feel safe putting my money in their hands, because they’ve demonstrated they don’t respond to feedback, delete complaints off the bulletin boards and those aren’t the features of a company I want to spend my money supporting.
Which also is contributing to why I’m quite so bloody annoyed I want that Boromir statue.
Sideshow, why don’t you want my custom?
Dr Stephen Dann

Chiming in on the Mary Jane Statuette Saga: STFU about the money boys.

I’m going to be short, sweet and blunt. Dirk Deppy called out a request.
…fangirls want female-friendly superhero comics, they’re going to have to prove that this time an audience is ready and willing to buy them, and to do that, one is basically going to have to be built from scratch.
Spiderman 1, Spiderman 2, Spiderman 3. I believe money talks, and that money says the world is ready for Spiderman. There’s your female fan base Dirk, right there in the cinema audience. Now pony the reason why they shouldn’t be given a quality product that meets their needs since they like the character, and paid the admission price to see the show.
But I’ll go one better, I’ll give you ten good reasons why comic books should ditch the whiny boy brat base and go mainstream
Spider-Man (2002) ($806,700,000) [Marvel]
Spider-Man 2 (2004) ($783,577,893) [Marvel]
The Incredibles (2004) ($624,037,578)
Men in Black (1997) ($587,200,000) [Marvel]
Spider-Man 3 (2007) ($474,829,653) [Marvel]
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) ($455,260,014) [Marvel]
300 (2006) ($436,723,517) [Dark Horse]
Batman (1989) ($413,200,000) [DC]
X2 (2003) ($406,400,000) [Marvel]
Superman Returns (2006) ($389,569,408) [DC]
Actually, make that USD $5,377,498,063 in cinema revenues worth of reasons for mainstreaming comics. After all…
The problem is that when dealing with business interested in earning a profit, moral arguments have far less weight than economic ones, and the economic argument here is what is driving the product — I choose that word carefully — that shows up in comics-shop shelves.
So why the fuck are Marvel and DC bothering with the pathetic little bottom grazer market of male comic fans? They’re a small little perverted niche that smell bad and hang around tiny little shops that don’t like expanding their market. They whine, they hate new people coming in, and apparently, they buy comics and statues as sex aids.
That’s creepy. Really. Fucking. Creepy.
Dirk thinks that ‘pictures of nekkid chicks and post-coital lesbians sell comic books’. (BTW the word is naked. It’s not that hard to spell). Well, that’s lovely Dirk. How many post-coital lesbians can you spot in Hasbro‘s line up? In fact, Dirk, I have a challenge for you go through the Top 100 IMDB films, and bring me the financial value of the naked women.
Maybe economic rationalisation is what we need the industry might just wise up to the fact that the ‘traditional’ comic book market shares suck when you compare them to the sales from movie licences. After all, there’s no moral argument to support servicing the fanboy market when you put the mass market dollar up against it.
The Spiderman movie franchise opened the door to the Spiderman franchise to a new range of minds, wallets and income. A new set of markets to pour financial support into the industry.
We should be out there welcoming these new arrivals. The people who saw the movie, and wanted more. Instead, newcomers to the Spiderman franchise, potential and would be comic book fans were treated to another round of cliched cheesecake crap when they were looking for the Mary Jane that was portrayed by Kirsten Dunst . The Mary Jane Watson of the $2,065,107,546 Spiderman movie money machine. Instead, they were met with Sideshow’s cheesecake and a bunch of male bloggers complaining. (Oh hai blogger boys, why don’t you just shut with ur whining? If you don’t like an internet with women with opinions, go make ur own BBS clubhouses.)
If this new market of wallets and minds was repelled at the doors by the gatekeeper cheesecake and misogyny, Marvel’s losing market share. So if we want to play economics here, Marvel’s best economic interests are not being served by Sideshow Collectibles if Sideshow is producing material out of touch with the movie going Marvel target audience. They could dump Sideshow Collectibles in heart beat and still afford to fund a new Hulk movie, Captain America, Iron Man, Fantastic Four and a Magento film.
Come to think of it, they are funding a bunch of new films for these markets. Great thing about cinema? Women and men go to the movies. Market shares for women are rather equal to market shares for males. Just imagine how much more money DC, Dark Horse and Marvel could make if they had female readership levels around cinema’s female viewerships? After all, we know that women watch comic book movies. Can’t be that hard to get them to read comic book movie stories.
Unless something was stopping them gee, I wonder what that could be.

Remember, genres are determined by the penis and the vagina… or not

Look, anyone who tries to tell me that I need a vagina to read a romance novel is clearly misusing their equipment (book and body part). If you try to tell me that comic books require penises to be read, I’m going to ask you to leave, and I won’t want to know what you’re doing with the print media and your body parts. So basically, quit trying to tell me that I need a gender to get into a genre. This ain’t world of warcraft people, you can equip genres of any type, in any class.
Johanna, you are one of the gang. It’s just that your gang is trying to horde a genre away from a group of people who are practically trying to beat the door down to get access to give these industries their money.
In the industry I come from, when we’ve got a market that keen to participate, it’s seen as a gift from the market segmentation gods. For the sake of improving a few standards that make the superhero genre relevant to the 2007 (like racial diversity, like gender equality, like remembering that the porn industry is a separate business, and like hiring artists who can draw) the industry could expand beyond the currently shrinking market share.
For the sake of defending an industry with declining sales figures that is hell bent on thwarting willing markets from participating, you want to describe someone as ‘unusual or non-standard or atypical’. Both of your posts seem to take a pride in fending off would be new market participants in an industry that could use a sales boost.
In paraphrased words of Jon Stewart… Why do you hate the comic book industry?
Now for a little fact check shoot down.
‘I’m sure there are occasional males who read romance novels, too, but if one started blogging about how the genre needed to be overhauled to be made more attractive to men, they’d be giggled at… and rightly so’
You might want to have a chat with the Romance Writers of America. According to Romance Writers of America’s 2005 Market Research Study on Romance Readers,
22% of romance readers are male — a significant increase from the 2002 survey that showed only 7% of readers were male.
See, rather than giggling at those aberrant males who read romance, the romance industry treated them as a viable financial growth opportunity. They were seen as a market. A market to be grown, nurtured and respected.
From 7% to 22% in three years. Giggle giggle.