Tag Archive: Feminism


A few months ago Marvel made big news by announcing a new Avengers title written by and starring all women.

A couple of weeks ago, The New Yorker published this. Many were, rightly, upset by the dismissive and shaming tone of the article, but I couldn’t quite put into words what bothered me so about it, so I stayed quiet and let those with more to say handle the matter, eventually including one of the writers, G. Willow Wilson.

Yesterday A-Force was released and, curious, I went back and reread Lepore’s article to see if it made any more sense in context. The result was a two-hour twitter rant that, to my surprise, articulated my frustration with the piece and just kept growing.

I honestly expected this to be a short twitter rant but it effectively became a blog post I wrote nearly on autopilot. Twitter isn’t really the best place for such things, but I actually was happy with how it turned out, as well as with the positive response it received, so, for the sake of reader convenience, below you can find an adapted and clarified version of my rant. Continue reading

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Women of DC Entertainment

New York Comic Con was, to my knowledge, a vastly improved convention in regards to its treatment of women. The addition of an explicit non-harassment policy, the presence of Geek Girl HQ, frequent reminders about consent, and a general tone of increased sensitivity showed that the convention was making an active effort. Nonetheless, comics remain an undeniably unfriendly field for female fans and creators alike and likely will until the companies themselves make gender equality the industry norm.

In a promising step, NYCC 2014 marked the first convention where DC and Marvel both held panels focused on the role of women in comics. DC was first, assembling a table of talented writers and artists.

“This is our world,” said moderator Amanda Salmons. Salmons, the owner of Muse Comics and Games, said that the women in comics panels always held tremendous potential in her eyes, but tended to encourage panelists to put words in others’ mouths and focus purely on the negative. Instead she opted to give fans a chance to hear from female creators, the way they always have from men in the industry.

The panel was composed of Shelly Bond, executive editor of DC’s Vertigo imprint; Caitlin Kittredge, novelist and writer of Vertigo’s Coffin Hill; Batgirl of Burnside artist, Babs Tarr; Meredith Finch, the soon-to-be writer of Wonder Woman; co-writer of Gotham Academy, Becky Cloonan; feminist icon and writer of the upcoming Secret Six series, Gail Simone; Marguerite Bennett, writer for DC’s Earth-2 and Earth-2: World’s End; Harley Quinn co-writer, Amanda Conner; and Bobbi Chase, DC’s editorial director. Continue reading

NYCC Report: Women of Marvel

Women of Marvel

In regards to its treatment of women, Marvel has oscillated between praiseworthy acts and deeply disheartening lapses of late. Ms. Marvel continues to dominate the sales charts but the choice of artist on the new Spider-Woman series left many women skeptical, all the more so when a variant cover by Milo Manara was announced.

Despite their uneven record, the House of Ideas spared no expense for their Women of Marvel panel. The panel was the single most massive that I’ve ever seen, with sixteen women sharing the stage.

Led by Kelly Sue DeConnick, the packed room and crowded stage constituted an all out assault on the erasure of female comic fans. Following a small giveaway to Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel cosplayers, DeConnick called for all the women in the audience who read comics to raise their hands. Seeing the sea of hands, she casually declared the discussion of how to get girls to read comics over. “Girls have always read comics!” She then asked all the women looking to work in comics to stand up, calling upon them to look out for one another and to hunker down and do the work. “The only way out of the woods is through. Be brave, do it. We believe in you!” Continue reading

Over the last week, the biggest story in comics has been female readers and the increasing attention that the Big Two companies have been giving them. With Gotham Academy and the new direction on Batgirl from DC and yesterday’s announcement that Marvel is chasing “an audience that long was not the target for Super Hero comic books in America: women and girls” with a new female Thor, it seems that, apparently all at once, the industry has come around to the bizarre notion that it’s worth appealing to 51% of their potential readership.

Great as it is to see such marked change in editorial policy, these announcements have had me thinking about what needs to change in the comics industry before it can rid itself of the boys club mentality that’s stifled it for so long. With that in mind, I’m introducing a new feature to the site each making a case for an (extant) female character who could easily fill the need for A-List female heroes and who the industry should be marketing to women.

 

She-Hulk

She-Hulk is probably the most obvious of the characters I considered for this inaugural article and, as such, it should come as no surprise that she’s the only one with her own monthly solo comic. However, while I tried to avoid some of the more obvious choices, She-Hulk holds a special place in my mind. Continue reading

photo 1Following Marvel’s Next Big Thing, room 1E19 was turned over to a very different sort of panel. At once more important but less serious, Reimagining the Female Hero was my favorite panel at Special Edition: NYC and, judging from the reactions I’ve seen, I get the sense I wasn’t alone in that.

In a stark inversion of horror stories from previous conventions where feminist panels were trolled by attendees waiting out more traditional fare, I noticed many fans sticking around from The Next Big Thing. In fact, despite taking place in the same room as DC and Marvel’s offerings, the panel gave us reason to hope and easily held its own in terms of attendance.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the panel had some pretty excellent creators. The line-up included Jenny Frison, a talented cover artist for series including Revival and Red Sonja; Emanuela Lupacchino, the artist on DC’s Supergirl and the Superman: Lois Lane one-shot; Marguerite Bennett, the writer of Superman: Lois Lane and Batgirl #25 and #30; Gail Simone, feminist icon and writer on Batgirl; and Amy Reeder, the artist behind Madame Xanadu and Rocket Girl, who arrived from her dedicated panel a short while into the discussion.

It’s also worth mentioning that the panel had an excellent moderator in the form of Professor Ben Saunders of the University of Oregon. While I hesitate to devote too much praise to the only man involved with the panel, Professor Saunders did an excellent job of keeping the focus on his panelists, encouraging their relevant digressions, and recognizing their celebrity while keeping the mood light yet respectful.

In short I left the room with a greater respect for everyone involved. Continue reading

black_history_month_superhero_by_anoma_lee-d5tsb7bIt’s February, and that means that it’s Black History Month here in the United States. Whether you’re excited about it, indifferent to it, or upset by it, Black History Month is valuable as a time set aside to remember the impact that people of African descent have had on history, hopefully a supplement to their presence during the rest of the year.

With that in mind, I thought I’d do something to celebrate black characters in comics. There are probably lots of best black superhero lists out there, but I don’t know that it’s terribly useful for one fallible comic reader to try to rank the diverse and varied black characters of comics (and I admit that the white part of me is not entirely sure that numbering African-Americans is the best way to celebrate the month). Instead I thought I would write up a list of black characters who aren’t being utilized as well as I think they deserve. Whether they’re minor characters who could be more or veritable icons who have lost their spark; whether they’re struggling to find their voice or simply not getting the screen-time they deserve, here’s my list of black comic characters who we should be seeing more of, starting with the honorable mentions.

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didio nycc 2013

While I attended many panels over the course of New York Comic Con 2013, I’ve chosen to start with the ones that will matter most to you guys. With that in mind, I’m going to fast forward to Sunday Morning.

On the tail end of the convention, Dan DiDio, Co-Editor of DC Comics held a surprisingly intimate discussion about his tenure, the directions that DC has and will be heading, and his thoughts on the state of the brand – and on his birthday, no less!

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Small-Scale Revolution

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On the first day of NYCC, I spotted one of the staples of a modern convention: a Stephanie Brown cosplayer.

For those of you who don’t know, Stephanie Brown Batgirl has become something of a statement at cons, a symbol of protest against the way DC has handled its tone and its female characters since their New 52 reboot.

Needless to say I asked her for a picture.

The next day I saw her again, standing between the rows of DC’s Batman panel.

After the panel I caught up with Steph and asked her a few questions.

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Fit for a King

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This one won’t be too long but I had an interesting experience at Comic Con that I thought I’d share with you. After Thursday’s Editing Comics: The BOOM! Studios way, I had the great fortune to speak with Grace Randolph for far longer than I deserved. In fact, we spoke for so long that it became rude to a fan who came up part way in to wait for her turn. As a being of immense guilt, I stepped aside and let my fellow geek talk to Grace for a while.

Though I intended to just wait it out until Grace was free again, I couldn’t help but pop in on their conversation at one point.  I’m not exactly proud of my self-control in that instance, but I’m fairly glad I did, because I caught the two of them discussing something that I found rather fascinating. Continue reading

Xavier Day

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Happy Xavier Day, everyone. Continue reading