- Posted by Johanna on July 15, 2006 at 11:16 am
- Category: Comic News
Newsarama “interviews” Joe Quesada (link no longer available) for an installment of “New Joe Fridays”, whatever that is. (One of the many problems with online comics journalism is that too often they assume you already know what they’re talking about, or that you follow their site religiously.)
I only read it because it promised to follow up Quesada’s much-berated comment about how Marvel doesn’t have any women at their summits because they don’t have any women writers working for them. Which it does, after eight other questions and answers about such pressing topics as Joe’s vacation and Marvel’s San Diego booth plans.
Quesada’s not out to win any friends with the beginning of his response:
I saw that somewhere on the ‘net there had seemed to be some sort of controversy about this. It was a simple question and I answered it very matter of fact, but I guess some folks need elaborating.
Implying that those who take you to task or disagree with you aren’t smart enough to understand why you’re right is an old tactic, but one that he’s not above descending to. People weren’t objecting to the fact, Joey, they were objecting to the blatant sexism displayed by the numbers and that neither you nor Newsarama seemed to think that this was any sort of problem or deserved any kind of followup.
By the way, the Newsarama question that introduced the subject is a master in suckuppery:
It’s perfectly reasonable that no women writers were present at the summit a couple of week’s back because no women writers are currently writing any Marvel series (minus Tamora Price’s upcoming White Tiger series). So perhaps the better question is, why don’t you think there are many/any women writers at Marvel, or in comics in general?
It starts off by agreeing with Quesada that his answer was “reasonable” and then tries to direct finger-pointing away from Marvel by extending the question to comics in general.
Quesada goes on, in his answer, to list three female writers at Marvel, one of whom is Price, whose name Newsarama has already provided, and another of whom is Tania del Rio, who’s writing a one-off story for the Araña Special. They weren’t included, he says, because they weren’t “working on titles that play some sort of significant role in our future plans.” Way to undercut the importance of what they’re doing. But wait, it gets even more belittling:
Perhaps in the future one of these women or perhaps someone new will be at the summit, but for now, the current crop of female writers are still very junior to the world of Marvel.
Newsarama tries again:
Again, generally speaking, is it the subject material simply doesn’t attract many women wanting to write comics? Or is the industry still not hospitable to prospective women writers?
What’s with the emphasis on “generally speaking”?
And here’s where Quesada simply doesn’t get it:
To think that the industry, Marvel, DC, or any publisher isn’t hospitable to female creators is ridiculous. The beauty of comics is that in a sense we creators are faceless.
Except at that convention you were just plugging, you mean?
Quesada obviously doesn’t believe that the many instances of sexism that have occurred, whether demonstrated numerically (more on that in a minute) or anecdotally (in terms of many women’s stories), exist.
Not so in comics, all that dictates the type of work you get is your talent.
And your connections, and your rate, and your willingness to work within the system… I was just saying that I agreed that the industry should work that way… but that’s a long way from being the case now.
What I can tell you is that is that when I look at the pitches and art samples that we get, 99.9% of those pitches and samples come from males. I can’t control that, that’s just the law of averages, that’s who wants to submit.
And even though he’s head of a major comic company and could put in place ways to seek more diverse talent, he’s obviously not interested in doing so. Instead, that’s just the way it is, shrug.
But, let me also add, that just because there is a lack of female writers doesn’t mean that we’re going to hand out a charity gig to a female just because of her gender.
Thus suggesting that if a woman does get work from them, it’s not because she’s good enough, it’s because she’s a girl. Because obviously, no women are good enough to work for them, or they would be. In Joey’s self-centered circular logic, anyway.
And in case anyone is wondering about the women of Marvel, here’s a list of some of the creators who work for us. Laura Martin, Christina Strain, Laurie Kronnenber, Gina Going, Debora Carita, Michelle Madsen, and June Chung all currently color for us. Colleen Doran, Amanda Conner, Frederica Manfreddi, Jo Chen, Claire Wednling, and Gurihiru also work for us as cover and or interior artists. Tania Del Rio writes and draws, and as I mentioned Robin Furst and Tamora Pierce will be writing for us.
And that’s out of how many men? Oh, don’t want to compare numbers, that would mean “quota”, and Sim forbid we think having vanishingly few women working for us is a problem. Let’s go on to talk for pages about Civil War and how Joey’s going to be on TV. Is anyone else thinking “boycott”?
Update: Hi to readers coming over from Newsarama! Before you start raving about feminists, check out this plea to Quesada to consider the kind of world he’s building for his daughter.