- Posted by Johanna on January 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
Superhero comics are, as a business, at a nearly dead end. Prices are rising to $4 a pop for a measly 22 pages of story. Writers are pacing stories for the eventual collection, which means the tales are less interesting to readers unless they “wait for the trade” — which is often a better deal anyway, at a lower price and often with extras.
So the big two American superhero publishers have tried going online, each with their own webcomic initiative. Some people are jaded about the efforts: Marvel doesn’t pay royalties for the material they republish, while the DC Zuda contracts were the subject of much debate.
What struck my eye about the latest press effort, though, was how typical it was of an industry that’s given up on appealing to anyone but the adolescent (and not-yet-mentally-outgrown such) male. The Black Cherry Bombshells, Zuda winner of the month in March, will be one of the titles reprinted on paper, sometime in 2010. Here’s the promotional art for their upcoming second online “season”:
What’s particularly strange about this choice is that the regular strip doesn’t look like that. So in addition to being typically exploitative of the female form, it’s non-representative of what’s it’s supposed to be selling. Says one of the writers, “We want to write women like action heroes.” I don’t recall — did Bruce Willis drop trou in Die Hard? I know Arnie got naked in the first Terminator, but he was the villain.
Given that the other writer (this takes two?) says, when asked why they wanted to work with Zuda, “And all those webcomic fan girls. w00t!” I can guess how seriously they take women readers. Shame that the future-looking webcomic initiative seems to be tainted with the same it’s not for girls thinking that DC puts into their superhero comics.