- Posted by Johanna on May 14, 2007 at 7:35 am
- Category: LinkBlogging
My very best wishes to Scott at Polite Dissent who has suffered a mild heart attack.
Like it or not, superhero comics are made by and for men. That doesn’t mean that’s all they can ever be, but that’s the way it is now, and until female fans gain enough economic clout to dictate terms, they’re going to remain safely ignorable. Want to change that? Make the f***ing comics and build the audience you need to affect change. Granted, it’s easier to demand that other people do what you want them to do, or whine about statues, but that’s how success works: If you want the world, go out and carve yourself a piece of it.
There’s lots more at the link, including comparisons to the John Byrne forum and pictures of Betty Page and gay porn (so probably not safe for work). It’ll be interesting to see if he receives the same level of outrage I did. I suspect not, for several reasons: the first blush of venom has already been expended; he’s known for being outrageous (working for Fantagraphics gets you that rep); and he’s not female, which I suspect played into the kind of attacks I received. (I think both men and women see females as easier targets online, and I could be considered more of a betrayer to my gender, thus raising more of an emotional response.)
(Because I’m still gun-shy, comments on this post will be moderated. Discussion, debate, and disagreement are welcome; insults and personal attacks will be deleted.)
But back to the point: I think Dirk goes too far. I think accurate, well-reasoned criticism can have an effect, but I think the most important immediate action to take is simple. Stop buying what you don’t like. To take a non-gendered example, I can’t believe I see people saying “the first issue of Countdown was bad, so I’ll only give it 4-6 more issues to see if it improves” or “I hated Countdown, but I have to get it because everyone’s going to be talking about it all year”. Just stop.
What you say doesn’t matter if you keep giving them money. If you object to the way superhero comics portray women or if you just don’t enjoy reading them, quit buying them month after month.