Quesada Steps in It Again

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.

56 Responses to “Quesada Steps in It Again”

  1. kate Says:

    I’m adoring (in a non-adoring kind of way) the fact that both Newsarama and Quesada spell Pierce’s name wrong. That’s Tamora Pierce, Famous Writer. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, spell check error. STILL.)

    As for the rest of it, bleh. Quesada is not so good with the thinking about sexism.

    I’d go with a boycott if I were buying any Marvel comics to begin with, but I’m just not. So while I could write them and tell them I was boycotting (which one should do when boycotting something anyway), but financially, they would not take a hit.

  2. Johanna Says:

    I don’t think I’m willing to give up X-Factor, myself, especially since it’s got such a diverse cast, compared to many Marvel titles. Layla could easily turn out to be the most powerful woman in the Marvel universe.

  3. Dorian Says:

    One might think, given the frequency with which Quesada is asked to “clarify” statements he made in earlier columns, that he would get the clue that perhaps he needs to, I don’t know, THINK for two seconds before answering a question that has the potential to make him or his company look bad or foolish. But the holes he keeps digging himself indicate that it just isn’t happening.

  4. Jeff Says:

    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.

    I think you misinterpreted this statement. He’s specifically denying that “if a woman does get work from them, it’s not because she’s good enough, it’s because she’s a girl.”

  5. Johanna Says:

    No, I didn’t misinterpret it, although I may not have explained fully. That he IMMEDIATELY jumps to that excuse provides a key insight into his thought patterns, that he thinks that women get work just because they’re women.

  6. Michael Rawdon Says:

    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.

    This statement shows the fundamental disconnect between the business of comics and the creation of comics: Creators are anything but faceless in comics, but companies both dislike this, and are motivated to behave as if things are otherwise because they don’t own the creators – rather, they own the characters.

    It all boils down to: (1) What a company thinks its market is; (2) What a company thinks it assets are, and (3) How a company believes it can best exploit its market to maximize the value of its assets.

    If a company believes its market is teenage and young adult males, and its assets are its characters, then it’s a fairly simple step to conclude that its best move is to employ relatively faceless creators who are those they feel are tapped into the young adult male market to create comics with those characters.

    That every one of these beliefs might be in error doesn’t really occur to them, and it leads directly to quotes from the editor-in-chief like you reproduce here.

  7. Lea Says:

    It’s funny he’d say creators are faceless, then he talks about being on TV.
    An attractive face DOES sell a creator. It’s naive to think otherwise.

    That whole part of the interview was just such a load of bullshit. Is Quesada really really as ignorant as he appears to be about sexism in the business, or is he lying to himself so he can sleep at night?

    What an ass.

  8. Alan Coil Says:

    It is obvious that Quesada is arrogant. His arrogance would keep him ignorant to the truth.

  9. Ragnell Says:

    Is anyone else thinking “boycott”?

    All I buy from Marvel is She-Hulk and maybe White Tiger when it comes out. I’m afraid a byocott would lead him to believe that female-led books don’t sell.

  10. Lyle Says:

    Sigh. At least the last time Quesada said something really stupid (gay characters would require a Mature rating) the stupidity didn’t seem to be showing up in what was on the stands (a few of commendable lesbian and gay characters, including in a younger-skewing title), I hear you in that call for boycott, it’s something to consider, as much as I like the few remaining Marvel titles I enjoy.

  11. markus Says:

    last time Quesada said something really stupid
    He actually does that regularly, and given that he’s usually very good at PR if he wants to, it strikes me as obvious that these outrageous statements are intentional.
    He gets talked about, and there’s always enough wiggle room for the faithful to defend him, feel unjustly attacked, point to exceptions etc.. Meanwhile, people who are offended and willing to act upon it keep the token diverse books so as not to send the wrong signal.
    So it doesn’t lose readers and gets lots of attention.
    Sounds like a win-win for Quesada to me.

  12. Ginger Mayerson Says:

    Like Ragnell, I’m not thinking boycott, but I do think Marvel’s and Quesada’s female problem should stay on the front burner. The more this issue comes up and gets chewed over the better.

  13. Johanna Says:

    Ginger, the problem with that is what Markus points out — if sales don’t drop, it doesn’t matter what anyone says.

  14. Ragnell Says:

    markus — You’re right, and really what it does is save me time and money.

  15. Ginger Mayerson Says:


    I love boycotts. I boycotted Nestle and GE for years. I check BuyBlue.org before I buy ANYTHING. But…

    Do we really know how much Marvel sales would drop even if a boycott could be organized? What if it doesn’t make a dent? Then what?

    For me, I only read three Marvel titles (She-Hulk, Black Panther, and Green Lantern), and two lf those only in tpb, so although I’m about to dump those three and go Marvel-free due to Quesada’s remarks, my boycott isn’t going to be a big deal for anyone, including my comic book store.

    Of course I’d be in and support however I could any Marvel boycott that comes along. I’m your girl, Johanna, I’m just concerned about the repercussions, at this time, of a boycott wasn’t a tour de force or something.

    By the way, Quesada says almost no women submit writing to Marvel. If that’s true, then that is something than can be changed.

  16. Johanna Says:

    Good questions, Ginger. Things are complicated by the fact that the retailers are the real Marvel customers. A boycott of your local store isn’t a good idea, and I’m not sure any of them could be convinced to participate without economic damage to themselves instead of the publisher.

  17. Jer Says:

    A boycott of Marvel wouldn’t do any good. If it was unsuccessful, nothing changes. If its successful, BEST case is the that the local shops get hit with poor sales because of it. Worst case is that Marvel takes a real financial hit itself and has to make cutbacks, hurting the industry as a whole.

    That said, I think a boycott of Marvel over this issue would be in the first camp, not the second (i.e. a failure, not anything potentially disastrous). Think about the target demographic of most of Marvel’s books, and think about whether the folks in that demographic are thinking substantially about whether there are even women characters in the books (as opposed to women-as-props), let alone whether women are writing the books.

    Something that might work slightly better might be a “reverse boycott” – find a book you might like that is being written by a female creator (and that you aren’t currently buying anyway) and switch one of your Marvel books over to it. The local store doesn’t take such a bad hit, Marvel and DC see a rise on a book by a good creator who happens to be a woman, and the message gets sent.

  18. Scott Says:

    When I was a manager in the software industry at a time it was 95% male, I had no trouble assembling a quality all-women team of 5 top-notch programmers who turned out a quality product.

    Quesada just isn’t trying very hard… to hire women (he doesn’t seem to have a great deal of trouble putting his foot in his mouth).

    As for a boycott I like the idea of picking up a female-created title instead. Is there a site that makes an effort to keep fandom apprised of female creators and their work?

  19. Ginger Mayerson Says:


    There ya go! I could quite easily switch from Hal, Shulkie or T’Challa to supporting the work of a female creator at the big 2.


    FOL keeps a list of women doing comics,


    but it doesn’t specify who their publishers are. However, I can’t imagine it would take long to make a list of female creators at the big 2.

  20. Scott Says:


    Thanks for that list.

    I’ll have to work through it to see what appeals to me, but I’m sure there is something on there I can redirect my Marvel dollars to.

  21. A.L. Baroza Says:

    By the way, Quesada says almost no women submit writing to Marvel. If that’s true, then that is something than can be changed.

    I don’t think Marvel currently solicits submissions from the general population (I may be wrong). So if Quesada says he’s not receiving pitches or samples from women, he’s talking about the pool of established professionals that Marvel does accept them from.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if the people who do currently pitch to Marvel are only those who are invited to do so, as Pierce and Del Rio were.

  22. Ginger Mayerson Says:


    Well, here’s the Marvel sub policy on their website


    Here’s about writers:

    “Please send us an inquiry letter, detailing your writing experience and why you would like to write for Marvel. Based on your inquiry letter, we may request to read a sample of your work. Please note: Unsolicited writing samples will not be read. Any unsolicited or solicited writing sample received without a signed Marvel Idea Submission Form will be destroyed unread.”

    But who knows what they do with the stuff they get.

  23. BarryDubya Says:

    “An attractive face DOES sell a creator. It’s naive to think otherwise.”

    Then how did Quesada get to be so successful?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. :-)

  24. BarryDubya Says:

    For those who don’t want to go with an all-out boycott, a suggestion: only purchase books with female creators listed in the credits and avoid any others that feature all-male creators.

  25. Blog@Newsarama » Meanwhile… Says:

    […] Johanna is back and still waiting for Joe Quesada to really answer the question about women posed in last week’s New Joe Fridays. 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. […]

  26. kelvin Says:

    this is ridiculous. have fun pushing your agenda though.

  27. Johanna Says:

    Let me guess — you came over from Newsarama, right? This kind of insightful, well-thought-out comment is why I write for the net! You\’ve really made your case and changed MY mind, for sure!

  28. Xtatoo Says:

    I would just like to say that I feel you have completly twisted things for your own agenda.
    He states facts not what he and you would prefer to be the situation but the facts.
    We can twist anything and look at things differently from what is stated in anything but why pick on JoeyQ? Ahh yes because he is an easy target.
    Some people have got far too much time on their hands, stop over thinking – he just got to the heart of the matter – that’s why nothing is getting done in society nowdays – to much thinking and not enough action!

    Oh and what the fook is this boycott business? So your gonna boycott Male creators? How sexist is that?

  29. Johanna Says:

    Look! A real-life example that demonstrates nearly every common strawman and distraction attempt from fanboys afraid of the truth!

    Joey’s an easy target because he keeps saying stupid, sexist things. Blaming me for pointing it out demonstrates ostrich thinking. And any post that says “you’ll be happier if you just don’t think about it” deserves nothing but to be laughed at.

  30. Xtatoo Says:

    Yeah yeah yeah. I didn’t say don’t think about it, I said your thinking TOO MUCH about it. But why should I be suprised you have twisted what I say?

    He is not sexist he was stating facts – there is a difference from facts and opinion you know.

    Oh right you don’t know do you.

  31. Johanna Says:

    Oh, you’re back for more? Masochist.

    What he’s saying is as outdated “if you sail too far, you’ll fall off the edge of the earth.” It’s a worldview from the 50s that refuses to understand how they’ve created a boys-only playground. Their situation isn’t a “fact”, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  32. Lucas Says:

    Howdy. I did, in fact, come over here from blog@, which, for the record, is run apart from the rest of the newsarama site and linked your blog as it seemed interesting. Please don’t bash newsarama in general, as it detracts from your points.

    Ginger, for the record, Hal Jordan and every other Green Lantern is still owned, created for, and published by DC Comics, not Marvel.

    Johanna, I personally don’t feel him saying that the female writers are junior at Marvel is sexist. The fact is, they have all written very little for Marvel and are not yet on Marquis books. When Gail Simone was writing Deadpool and eventually Agent X for Marvel, she did in fact attend the X-Men summit, even though those two books had little effect on the general universe.
    The list of writers at any summit is usually very small. There were a lot of junior writers or non-exclusives left out, men and women included. Exclusivity has become a very big deal in the comics world, and exclusive writers simply get the bigger books and get the larger say in what happens to the Universe as a whole. That seems to make pretty good business sense, as those people are guaranteed to not be taking ideas elsewhere.
    The creators that attended the summit only numbered in 7. 42 Writers are listed in the October solicitations. Those do not include the three female writers whose projects haven’t yet started. So, lets say at any given time there are 45-50 writers working for Marvel. If only 3-5 of them are females, and you only have 6 or 7 writers attending, a female may not necessarily be included. Also, you have to assume priority will go to Exclusive writers, and again to writers on top selling or marquis books. Heck, even Jeph Loeb wasn’t there and he’s being much touted, as he’s a huge name that’s newly exclusive. By the names listed, I would say it seems to be focusing on fitting the major events of the main X-Titles, the Hulk, and the Spidey titles together for the next year.
    Now, if he had presented it this way, I’m sure it would get a better response, and I do appreciate the way his response could be construed as too curt or not much of a response. That’s the way I see things, though. I do have some friends working in the industry (including two females- artists, though), and this seems to be pretty accurate as to how the major summits go.

  33. Johanna Says:

    You’re right — taking shots at Newsarama is a cheap joke. I shouldn’t do that, because I do very much respect the gang at their blog.

    The problem with your hypothetical numbers is that Marvel has rarely (if ever) HAD as many as 5 women writers working for them at any time. The problem isn’t really the summit attendance (because I agree with you, it’s only intended for a few people who are shepherding Marvel’s core books) — it’s the stench of “who cares, it’s not an issue” wafting out of their executive offices when the numbers so clearly show the entrenched sexism. And yes, presentation is a huge factor.

  34. Shane Says:

    Hi, Johanna. I just wanted to let you know I wasn’t poking fun at you by linking to this. I just thought it was an interesting discussion that needed pointing out. It was also a follow up to last week’s links on the same subject. Enjoying the blog as always.

  35. Johanna Says:

    Shane, I know, and I do appreciate the coverage, thank you.

  36. Ginger Mayerson Says:


    Hey, good news! I’m down to 2 Marvel titles! Lucky me!

  37. Xtatoo Says:

    Hi Masochist is back.

    Just because there are not many female writers currently at Marvel, you are casting unjust accusations on Marvel being sexist. This forgets Marvels past for one thing, where you had top writers/editors such as Louise Simonson and Ann Nocenti working for them for a number of years and who’s titles I would glady pick up and read at the time. In fact Nocenti is one of my all time favourite writers. I don’ differentiate between gender, I go by their abilities as an artist on how I see them. Which is what Joe Q was saying and is what you should judge people on – not if they are female or male.

    You also forget there are plenty of people within Marvel editorially that are currently working for them who happen to be female.

    So really don’t you think your twisted opinions should be directed to them? If they are female they should be on your side shouldn’t they? Making waves to get more females into the business.

    Oh but then they are not the problem are the they? They are just slaves to the corporate machine that is marvel. lol

  38. BarryDubya Says:


  39. Johanna Says:

    That pretty much sums it up, Barry. I especially laughed at the way Xtatoo thinks all women are supposed to think the same way — kind of sums up his agenda to prove that Marvel isn’t sexist because they once upon a time had a good female writer and an editor.

  40. BarryDubya Says:

    Yeah, and it also drives home your earlier point that if you can actually list the names of females working as comics professionals, there’s a huge gap between the number of men and women working in the industry.

    Q-tip mentions that it’s not his fault if Marvel doesn’t receive many (or any) submissions from female creators. Yet as someone who is one of the most powerful guys in comics (guys being the operative word), has he been in any way proactive in seeking out or encouraging female creators? Probably not. Why? The answer, like with so many things, is that there’s no money in it. Except of course, there could be, if it means cultivating the next great crop of talent, which might even (*gasp*) attract new readers.

    But that would require thinking ahead. Or thinking.

  41. Xtatoo Says:

    Yeah I said all women should think the same didn’t I?
    How utterly pathetic you are.

    And there are several editors currently working for Marvel, on the latest Civil War the Editor Molly (sorry don’t have the second name to hand – oh that means I’m not taking her seriously doesn’t it because she’s a woman), and she mentions the very thing you are talking about – women readers and women in the comic book industry in general.

    So get your facts right, oh that’s too much to ask isn’t it? It goes against your prejudiced view of Marvel in particular.

    Oh and Joey Q does think – That’s why he has an amazing job creating comics and you just offer your biased opinion via a blog. Cool – I know who I respect more.

    Enough from me; you don’t deserve my attention any longer. Oh yes, I’ve just played into your hands again havn’t I? You can now continue to slag me off for not agreeing with you and how I’m a mysonistic pig that gives no women respect.

    Oh but that doesn’t explain how I think like this being an actual woman now does it?

    I’ll just continue to be a traitor to the cause, I suppose.
    Bye bye x

  42. kylieblueangel Says:

    Hi, So I see you’ve banned me for “spamming”.

    You really don’t like people to have an opinion that isn’t the same as yours do you?
    Keep your narrow view of the world and continue to revel in it. It suits you.

    Your are a pathetic excuse to women and democracy and freedom of speech. When something contradicts your own world view, you choose to ignore it. It’s a dangerous way to live your life.

    I suspect you live in the states where your angry not having the due respect women should get. I feel for you honey I really do, but don’t let your a anger cloud your judgement too much or you’ll lead a very loney sad life.

    I won’t bother you again.

    Xtatoo ( a WOMAN!)

  43. Johanna Says:

    I haven’t banned anyone. The “spamming” warning is a built-in function — I suspect you were trying to post repetitive messages too quickly.

    And I think your descent into insults and attacking strawmen in lieu of substantial discussion says more about your lack of point than I ever could.

  44. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] This post, another reactionto Quesada’s cluelessness, has an interesting comment by a female Marvel editor, asking for more submissions by women: Why do women submit in smaller numbers? This is a more complex question than I feel qualified to get into here and now, but it’s certainly something I would love to see change. If you’re a female comic writer or artist, please consider this my personal invitation to submit to Marvel according to the guidelines here: http://www.marvel.com/company/subs.htm […]

  45. Rachel Says:

    Just a question. If writing and drawing comics is solely a talent-based profession, how can anatomically challenged artists like Turner have jobs? Methinks a factor or two has been unaccounted for.

  46. Johanna Says:

    Yeah, that’s the problem with words like “art” or “talent” — they’re not objectively qualifiable.

  47. myk Says:

    The one thought that struck me when reading this; and in the days since… why would anyone want to have more women write for Marvel anyways?

    I mean, I can understand why Marvel wouldn´t let a girl ruin one of their top books. The logic is perfectly straight in their little boys-club part of the comics world.

    Why not let them slowly fade out of relevance?

    I, personally, would rather have Alison Bechdel do FUN HOME than, say, SILVER SURFER…

  48. Alan Williams Says:

    Sorry to be jumping in late; didn’t find out about this blog until recently.

    No, I didn’t misinterpret it, although I may not have explained fully. That he IMMEDIATELY jumps to that excuse provides a key insight into his thought patterns, that he thinks that women get work just because they’re women.

    That sounds like you’re making some assumptions there. The original statement was

    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.

    While I understand the desire to spin this statement beyond its face value (and there’s circumstantial evidence aplenty to do so), two things have me questioning the merit of suggesting that Quesada’s statement means the inverse of its face value.

    First is the existence of “quota” requirements in the United States that sprang into existence in the wake of Affirmative Action. While the existence of such quotas is questionable (I’ve never seen such things in action), the concept has become ingrained in much of the American psyche in one form or another (usually either because someone believes they exist and is outraged at them or because someone thinks they’re a good idea). It seems reasonable that someone who’s involved in hiring and firing would think “quota” when confronted with questions of sexism/racism/homophobia/etc. in the workplace.

    Too, this statement is also not what he “IMMEDIATELY” jumped to. His first statement was that he didn’t even get many submissions from women. And that statement–

    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.

    –can conceivably raise the question of “What about the .1% of pitches and samples from females?” Taken in context, Quesada’s comment about not accepting work “just because” it’s from a woman instead of a man could be a misguided attempt to fend off a followup question he thought would come from his initial statement.

    There’s also the issue of numbers. How many women really do submit material to Marvel Comics? I’m talking numbers, not anecdotal evidence. I don’t for a minute believe Quesada’s correct when he says 99.9% of submissions are from men, but the actual numbers and percentages could do far more to damn Quesada’s assertions than ripping apart his rhetoric with counter-rhetoric. :-)

    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.

    Does any comic book industry have these “ways to seek more diverse talent,” or are they exempt from scrutiny because they have more female employees?

  49. Alan Williams Says:

    Sorry, point of clarification for my last paragraph. That should read as follows [corrections highlighted]:

    Does any comic book company have these “ways to seek more diverse talent,” or are companies other than Marvel exempt from scrutiny because they have more female employees?

  50. Lyle Says:

    Alan, Oni and SLG come to mind as companies who hire a diverse range of talent and they’ve both grown nicely.

  51. Alan Williams Says:

    Thanks for the examples, Lyle. Do these companies actually seek the diverse talent or just attract it? I see a difference between actively recruiting diversity (which, IMO, they should be doing) and simply taking what comes over the transom and getting a rep for publishing based on that diversity. If Oni and SLG actively recruit talent, then Marvel needs to take a page from their collective book; if not, Marvel needs to write a new book.

  52. Johanna Says:

    Welcome, Alan. Let me see if I can get back to where I was thinking before.

    I’m proceeding from the assumption that the explanations people provide stem from the way they think. If someone doesn’t respond to my email, and I immediately jump to the conclusion that they must be mad at me, then that tells you that I think (perhaps subconsciously) that I’ve given someone a reason to be mad at me and/or that if I was them, I wouldn’t respond to someone out of a grudge.

    So if, when asked “why don’t you hire women”, someone responds “we don’t believe in quotas or charity”, then I find it telling that that person thinks of hiring women only to fill slots. “Charity” is a particularly significant word, because it assumes that women couldn’t get a gig out of their own talent but only because of a man’s generosity.

    Plus, that interpretation is in keeping with Marvel’s unfriendliness towards women demonstrated elsewhere.

    As for the question of hiring policies, no, I don’t know of any companies that have the kind of diversity policy common in other industries I’m familiar with, although they should. As Lyle pointed out, other companies are generally seen as more female-friendly, both in approach and content.

  53. Flaming Dork Says:

    Three thoughts. Prepare to flame me thricefold!

    1: The industry is unfriendly to women. If the writers and editors do not practice this in the office, they certainly do in their writing. According to writers and editors, there is very little use for women in comic book universes other than wiggling their softer parts, be victimized, or go insane.

    2:Fanmen and fanladies need to stop acting so surprised when Joey Q. puts his foot in his mouth. He’s the Geroge W. Bush of Comics. Smoking Gun = Dead is Dead. The sad thing about both of them is that they continously insult the public’s intelligence and think that they are witty.

    3: Do not boycott Marvel because you are trying to run them out of business. They do a good enough job of that on their own. Let’s not forget that when Neocons chose to “boycott France,” sales of imported goods from France actually went up. Stop buying the book for the right reasons. for the right reasons. Beacuse their comics are crap.

  54. Girls read comics » Blog Archive » And Women Aren't Interested In Politics. That's Why There's Never Been A Female USA President. Says:

    […] The interview itself is dissected in thoughtful and non-inflammatory fashion by Andrea Rubenstein here. She ably demonstrates that Joe's hyperbole is baseless and that "the law of averages" which he "can't control" is a bullshit excuse when you're heading an business that is often passively and occasionally actively hostile to female talent. Other excellent, more inflammatory takes on the giant foot in Joe's big mouth can be found at Hackenbush and Johanna at Comics Worth Reading […]

  55. Leo Says:

    you’re foolish. what is Marvel suppose to do? are they suppose to go out and find women and force them to write for them? if 99.99% of people making submission to marvel are male and you’re probably only picking up maybe, what?, 5%(and that is generous) of those people, the odds are against females being a large part of marvel. Joe is basically explaining that they arn’t going to hire the 0.1% of women that do submit work just because they are women. people who work for marvel must also be talented. the fact that there are any women writers do to this percentage rate is a wonder and speaks strongly as to the talent of the women marvel has hired. sexism is not a player in this, it is merely the demographics of writers that are interested in working for marvel and of those, who are talented enough to carry one of their stories.

  56. Johanna Says:

    You’re responding to a two-year-old post and I’m the foolish one? All of your assertions are commonly used to justify continued institutional sexism without acknowledging it as such.




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