New Female Company Head at Top Cow

Renae Geerlings has been named Editor-in-Chief of Top Cow, publisher of boob-heavy Tomb Raider and Witchblade comics. What mixed emotions that news raises! (Jim McLauchlin, former EIC, is going back to being a sportswriter and will remain president of the ACTOR Comic Fund.)

Update: Newsarama (link no longer available) never fails to disappoint, with some of the first comments on this news focusing on how “she looks hot” and fantasizing about her becoming a “sultry” actress. Paul Sizer jumps in to patiently explain why this is a bad idea and juvenile behavior, which leads the respondents to start talking about which guy creators are hot.

That was kind of funny, until the idiots to return and attempt to justify their evaluation of a comic company head’s looks as an important factor in the job. Sad, sad, sad.

12 Responses to “New Female Company Head at Top Cow”

  1. James Schee Says:

    I really liked what I’ve seen of Adriana Melo’s work elsewhere, so her on Witchblade is kind of interesting. (I’m not familiar with the work of the female inker or colorist though)

  2. MangaBlog » Blog Archive » New kids on the block Says:

    […] Finally, Renae Geerlings has a new job and Top Cow has a new editor in chief. Johanna at Comics Worth Reading has a good summary of the reactions (and an interesting reaction of her own). […]

  3. Paul Sizer Says:

    Thanks for the nice evaluation of my attempts, but at the end of the day, I just felt like I had been whacking a beehive and had the stings to prove it. Sheesh, what a mess! Every response I got back just proved my point, and I was dumbfounded at the depths of stupid, sexist justifications for behavior. Granted, I must have looked like a ranting lurking troll, but come on..! If what I was saying was SO alien to these guys, it is a sad commentary of how far up it’s own ass fandom can shove it’s collective head…

    The dumbest thing was, I was actually really glad to see Renae Geerlings get the job. Maybe it will steer the company in a more enlightened woman-friendly direction.

  4. David Oakes Says:

    When I first read the blurb at the Beat, I had the usual “More Women = Good”, reaction. When I saw it was Top Cow, I thought “Well, that’s interesting”. Then I saw there was a picture, and I started to worry. When it turned out she was a) Blonde, and b) good-looking, I just knew it was going to end poorly. One case where I would like to have been proved wrong.

    I was going to say that one usually doesn’t get head shots with this sort of PR, but then I realized that I have been seeing a lot more pictures or creators and background folk – since I started reading the Beat. And it seems pretty equitable, with pictures of Paul Levitz, Seth Fisher, or John Cassaday as well as Renae Geerlings. Maybe if this were more common, we would stop caring as much. (I have to be proved wrong somewhere…)

  5. Paul O'Brien Says:

    “Maybe it will steer the company in a more enlightened woman-friendly direction. ”

    I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Top Cow has an established niche, which is adolescent boys and men who haven’t yet realised that they are no longer adolescent boys. Expecting it to become “woman-friendly” is a bit like asking Maxim to start running pictures of half-naked men. It rather defeats the point of the exercise.

    The best that you can really expect from Top Cow is a sincere effort to tell a decent story rather than just rest on the tits and phone it in from there.

  6. Paul Sizer Says:

    I agree, Paul. I just thought I’d throw that hope out there as a wonderful, magical pipe dream.

    Top Cow books don’t interest me for exactly your points. I’m just floored by all the responses on that forum thread that are relatively well thought out, but then the last line of their post is “but she IS hot…” Talk about pulling your own rug out from under oneself.

  7. Paul Sizer Says:

    Here’s my favorite line from those posts. Sorry to sully Johanna’s blog with them, but these stood out as real “winners”:

    “Kudos Renae, & best of luck.
    (plus: she looks hot. That’s always a plus, and a definite step up from that McLaughlin guy.”

    “Congratz, and shes a hotty too.”

    “How is calling someone “hot”, sexist or disrespectful to their achievements?”

    “Even so, she is still seething with hotness and will thus be complimented on said hotness.”

    “Jesus H Christ.
    Even calling a woman who is atractive “hot” or beautiful or whatever is a controversial thing here.
    Congrats to Renae, if i worked at T.C. i wouldnt mind having her breath down my neck ”

    “And this whole sexist thing? Please. I’ll tell anyone they look good if I think they do, and if that person immediately thinks I wanna get into the sach with ‘em, just cos of that remark, there’s something wrong with them, not me!
    & Renae’s still damn hot, you got that?”

  8. James Schee Says:

    Am I being too optimistic to hope that she might have a positive influence? I’m not sure how much power there is in the position, what with the company’s creator still working there too. Yet who knows?

    I’m wary of taking the position, after wanting more women in positions like this in comics, of then saying “well that is nice, but it likely won’t make a difference.”

    Paul O. can’t that description pretty much be made of fans of most superhero based comic companies?:)

    These days fans don’t really have to go to TC for their T&A, as DC and Marvel have more than a few books for that these days.

    Paul S. thanks for posting those comments so I don’t have to go there and read them I guess.:)

    I notice that Renae’s website has a photo gallery, first ever comic EIC with one of those that I know of.:)

  9. Johanna Says:

    I think the error there, James, is in assuming that all women agree on what’s sexist or objectifying. Trina Robbins, for example, even though she’s a feminist comic “herstorian”, was proud of having helped create Vampirella’s two-suspenders-and-a-bikini-bottom costume. So Geerlings may not feel that there needs to be a “positive influence” at the company.

    And given that she’s also an actress, the photos make a lot more sense now.

  10. Johanna Says:

    And no problem capturing some of the standout stupidities here, Paul. It’s good to have a copy, just in case.

  11. James Schee Says:

    True, true. I know that women aren’t this consolidated block who all love Sex in the City, fantasy and Strangers in Paradise.:) Yet I do hope that she could possibly bring a different perspective than the typical middle aged white male who usually fills the role.

    I went to do some research to see what books she edited, thinking perhaps she’d been behind books like Common Grounds or Joe’s Comics. Which were quite different from the standard TC books.

    I couldn’t really find any info on that one way or another though. I did discover on the TC board that she has her own thread for fans to interact with her, and her favorite books as listed are:

    “Top Cow past: oh crap, I love so many for so many reasons. It’s a three way tie.
    Aphrodite IX – some of you know why
    Midnight Nation – most proud of
    Witchblade first arc – because it was so multilayered and really drew me in to Top Cow in the first place

    Top Cow present:
    Hunter-Killer – Marc is drawing again. That’s pretty freaking exciting for me. And Waid is writing it. We have a few great books right now but I gotta go with my boy, Marc.

    Other books:

    We3. Maus. Watchmen. Oh, and Bone. “

  12. Johanna Says:

    Whoa, cognitive dissonance. “I’ll list generally recognized modern classics… and Hunter-Killer because of the ARTIST.” Sheesh.




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