Bitter Much?

“[I]f you support DC Comics, then personally, I really can’t consider you a feminist.” — Valerie D’Orazio, January 16 (link no longer available) (via Ragnell)

Yet… “If you really want these comics [starring and/or created by women] to be successful — and, in turn, convince Hollywood to make more movies starring these superheroines — then make more of an effort to support these comics. Talk them up on your blogs, and support them with your wallets. No, I’m not saying support the ones you think are “crap.” But go support Wonder Woman.” — Valerie D’Orazio, January 9 (link no longer available)

So, if we’re supposed to support comics about and by women … yet we’re not feminists if we support DC … I guess that leaves Marvel. Which has a new series coming out, Cloak and Dagger, starring a woman and written by a woman … Valerie D’Orazio. How convenient!

Update: Gail Simone discussed sexism at Marvel in August 2006 (link no longer available). So does that make D’Orazio not a feminist because she still supports the company? Or does it just point out how stupid these kinds of litmus tests are?

Update 2: Valerie responds (link no longer available) by ignoring the contradictions in her posts and playing victim once again. It seems I made her afraid! — her emphasis — to express her opinions for over a year. Why does she care what I think? (Unless, maybe, I have a point?)

Her post is, however, also a great summation of my comments on working at DC. I’m not sure what she thinks it proves, other than we both had bad experiences with some of their staff. And that, once again, my headlines get me in trouble because some people ignore the entire post following and only pay attention to the title.

(Oh, and can someone explain to me why anyone would consider receiving review copies a conflict of interest?)

Similar Posts: Noted Female Blogger Breaks With Fangirls § Stuff the Zuda Ballot Box § Congratulations, Valerie! § Friends of Lulu Awards Move to Long Beach, Nominations Open to Public § Archie on the Cover of Rolling Stone


99 Responses to “Bitter Much?”

  1. caleb Says:

    It’s even weirder in its full context of Marvel rules, DC drools (How feminist was the cover of this week’s Spider-Man that didn’t feature the president-elect?)

    So what if you work for DC Comics, in a freelance or staff position? Is Jann Jones a feminist? Gail Simone? Nicola Scott? G. Willow Wilson? Karen Berger? Shelly Bond? Chynna Clugston…?

    What was up with that whole chauvinist Minx imprint experiment…?

  2. Johanna Says:

    Well, I kind of understand her perspective: she thinks that if someone tells you of terrible behavior on the part of a company, and you decry the behavior but keep supporting the company, then your fidelity to your principles may be in question.

    The flaw in her position is that it assumes that the terrible behavior is unarguably terrible and we’re sure of the reason. In her particular case, I’m sure she was treated horribly, but I’m not sure it was because she was a woman; I think lots of it can be explained by corporate blindness and the usual way a business doesn’t mind grinding employees through the cogs.

  3. Johanna Says:

    OK, I’ve removed several comments from this thread because we are NOT going round about whether “Simpsons drawings are child porn” again.

  4. Charles RB Says:

    Sorry.

  5. Johanna Says:

    I’m sorry to have to play bad cop.

  6. Suzene Says:

    So if my sub list is 95% Image books, does that mean I get to stand in the hallway while the big girls shout at each other or something?

  7. Kristina Hubert Says:

    I think it’s unfair to imply that her criticisms of DC are motivated by a desire to promote her own book at Marvel.
    Given her unpleasant experience at DC, I’d say that seems much more likely the genesis of her dispute with them.

  8. Rivkah Says:

    So far, I’ve had a far better experience at DC than I’ve ever had at Tokyopop and have seen nothing even remotely sexist in my interaction with them. They’re a big company, and like you said, they have the same kind of corporate blindness that most publicly traded companies do. But they’re also realistic and tell you how it is, no fudging around the truth. Money comes first, but they still play by the rules.

    But . . . I think a lot of a creator’s individual experience relies heavily on their interaction with their editor. My experience at TP improved significantly when I finally switched editors, and I’m enjoying working with DC because my editor there doesn’t make promises he can’t keep but still strives to make sure I’m getting what I need. Who’d know what I’d be saying had I a different editor. You can’t deny that some editors DO treat women different. Perhaps not in a sexist way but in an um . . . relationship way.

    As for content: Both DC and Marvel have blatantly sexist content. But the majority of their demographic is 30-something-year old men and teen boys. They’re writing their fantasies, and a man’s fantasies aren’t always the reality. But neither are a woman’s fantasies always reality, either. Just look at romance novels: NO self-respecting man would act like the men in those books, but it’s how some women apparently WISH their men acted. Now nobody’s going around calling romance novels sexist, are they?

    Fervently wishing right now that they’d given Minx more of a chance, though. :( I think there was still a lot of potential. Who knows when there will be decent girl superheroes written for girl teens now?

    Just sayin’ . . . There needs to be a new batgirl series. Something fun and lighthearted but still dealing with serious issues. :) I’d devour that series like downing a pan of rice crispies treats. XD

  9. Johanna Says:

    You’re very likely right. But it’s still an awfully interesting combination of events, I think.

  10. Kristina Hubert Says:

    I’d say that for Valerie, it’s certainly a fortunate turn of events, at any rate. Especially for someone who probably thought she’d be blackballed in the industry for whistle-blowing.
    I think she deserves the break, and I haven’t exactly seen her beating the “buy my book” drum, but I wouldn’t blame her if she did. If I ever write a book, I’ll promote it anywhere and everywhere I can.:)

  11. Glory Rays Says:

    It seems to me that Valerie has taken Marvel to task before:

    http://occasionalsuperheroine.blogspot.com/search/label/Tigra

    And I seem to also remember the thing about the Mary Jane statue and the Heroes For Hire cover. I would imagine her Marvel series was already in the works when these issues came to the fore.

    I think everyone is drinking too much hyperbolic kool-aid.

  12. Ray Cornwall Says:

    “As for content: Both DC and Marvel have blatantly sexist content. But the majority of their demographic is 30-something-year old men and teen boys. They’re writing their fantasies, and a man’s fantasies aren’t always the reality.”

    Um…I’m a 30-something year old man.

    Why is it always assumed that we like the objectification of women in our comics? I’m not going to claim I’m an angelic, perfect reader. But I get as sick about the gender gap in comics as anyone. I think there are execs who THINK we like it, and keep putting it in there regardless of the truth.

    (Caveat: I did like Empowered. Like I said, not perfect. But I found the book funny and charming, although there certainly was an emphasis on T&A in there. The charm outweighed my objections.)

  13. Gail Says:

    Valerie is a good person, Johanna is a good person, and one feminist telling another feminist how they should behave, even with good intentions, is guaranteed to end badly.

    What about a retreat to neutral corners? I’m sure this is at least halfway a misunderstanding.

    Just sayin’.

    Gail

  14. Rich Johnston Says:

    Johanna,

    You can be aggressive, dominant, abusive, self righteous, sarcastic and controlling. I can see why people would be afraid of you.

    Valerie replied, not by addressing her posts, but by pointing out hypocrisy in yours. It’s a fair tactic. She says, hell at some points she’s said little else, that she’s a flawed human being.

    But you’re holding her to account for being “bitter much”, by juxtaposing quotes of hers. She has responded by doing the exact same thing to you.

    You call her “bitter”. She says “snap”. And leaves us questioning why you write a post that criticises her “bitterness” rather than addressing your own?

    Mote and beam, mote and beam…

  15. Johanna Says:

    Rich, call me blind in addition to your other compliments, but I don’t see how any of those quotes makes me a hypocrite or contradict each other (unlike Valerie’s).

    (Wanna talk sexism? I bet no one would post that particular list of adjectives to a guy and consider them a negative.)

    Another big difference between us: I started on Usenet. No matter what someone says about me, I’ve heard worse. Which leads to a certain amount of fearlessness that I wish I could somehow share with her. She cares too much about being disagreed with. Me, I laugh or reconsider, whichever makes sense. In your case, you thinking I’m bitter, I laugh, because I know it’s not the case.

    I should pay more attention to Gail’s comment, although I’m not that good a person.

  16. Rich Johnston Says:

    As for receiving review copies, as a conflict of interest, different industries treat this differently.

    Consider the restaurant critic to whom the restaurant provides free meals?

  17. Rivkah Says:

    Hey Ray,

    Thanks for pointing that out. I was trying to point out that sexism exists on BOTH sides but that nobody makes a fuss when it’s sexism against men . . . not that it makes either acceptable. Personally, I don’t get why so many women read romance novels either, but I can understand why content such as this exists (because many people do still buy in to the hyper-glorified stereotypes, wishing for something they’ll never have) and that complaining about it isn’t going to change it, especially when it’s under a company that has perpetuated a certain image for the life of its business.

    I don’t think the fantasy sexism will end, but I do think that if DC or Marvel can put out successful series with very different feminine images directed at an audience who wishes fare of a different sort and do an amazing job of it, then the money would speak for itself, and we’d see change. But labeling either company sexist won’t make them stop producing such content because it’s what’s currently selling. Their current model was working, has been working, and will continue to work, and considering the way the economy is going right now, I very much doubt they’ll be taking any major risks in changing their image or the diversity of their content any time soon.

  18. Rich Johnston Says:

    > I don’t see how any of those quotes
    > makes me a hypocrite or contradict
    > each other (unlike Valerie’s).

    They make you sound bitter towards DC Comics. Your post critiques Valerie for being bitter towards DC Comics. You do not critique yourself.

    >Wanna talk sexism?

    I wasn’t going to.

    >I bet no one would post that particular >list of adjectives to a guy and >consider them a negative.)

    Do you consider them negative when applied to a gal? I wasn’t considering gender, I was explaining why some people might find you scary. Some people find Mark Waid scary for the same reason. At least, online.

    >Another big difference between us: I
    >started on Usenet.

    Ditto

    >No matter what someone says about me, >I’ve heard worse.

    I’ve worked in advertising.

    >Which leads to a certain amount of
    >fearlessness that I wish I could >somehow share with her. She cares too >much about being disagreed with. Me, I >laugh or reconsider, whichever makes >sense.

    Ditto. However, Valerie is a better writer than both of us, so it rarely matters.

    >In your case, you thinking I’m bitter,

    See how bad a writer I am? I don’t think you’re bitter. I think you can sound bitter.

    >I laugh, because I know it’s not the >case.

    Tricky isn’t it?

    >I should pay more attention to Gail’s >comment, although I’m not that good a >person.

    Few people are. Not even Gail.

  19. Rich Johnston Says:

    Also supporting Wonder Woman and not supporting DC Comics is not in itself a contradiction.

    I’m not a fan of supporting publishers or comics myself. I used to. Ended up with a bunch of comics I didn’t like but, you know, I was supporting an ideology. Not good.

  20. Johanna Says:

    Oh, see, that’s the title thing I was talking about — my post isn’t about her being bitter. She can be as bitter as she wants, justifiably. It’s about giving people contradictory advice and the egotism of judging who is and isn’t properly feminist.

    And in general, yes, someone telling you you’re scary is generally not considered a positive. Unless you’re trying out for slasher films or something.

  21. Anun Says:

    So I’m trying to figure out her point here…she thinks it’s wrong for feminists to call her out on not being the “right” kind of feminist, but then feels it’s justified to tell other women whether or not they’re feminist by her criteria? I feel I’m missing something really key here.

    Also, I happen to think she should feel free to openly support comics by her friends if she likes them and all that, but I fail to see how professional critics receiving comps for impartial review is a conflict of interest. Again, that’s just me speaking crazy talk.

    Finally, comparing people potentially disagreeing with her on their own blogs — you know, their places to soapbox much the way she keeps emphasizing repeatedly that her blog is HER safe place and should be respected as such — to being like the daily grind of mental and sexual harassment is one outstanding feat of self-victimization. It would be great if she would just openly admit she’s unable to support DC in almost any form anymore and can’t bring herself to say anything positive about them, outside of Zuda, but right now, she’s fooling no one but herself on appearing non-biased. I don’t quite get why she limits her revenge tactics to just sniping at DC and their evil dark money-grubbing conspiracies, but it’s starting to come off fairly desperate and the insider knowledge condescension is tiring. She’s in a position to do great good for the industry, and it just feels like she’s wasting it in favor of being Queen of the Internet Whom None Dare Contradict.

    Fighting for womens’ rights in the industry, fighting for good comics, fighting to break the silence around certain practices…I think those are great goals. But I read her stuff nowadays and find it somehow dishonest, which undermines a lot of her arguments. I hope she finds a way through to some personal peace and clarity, otherwise it’s going to eat her up inside and derail all her good intentions. The road to hell and all that.

  22. Daniel Best Says:

    Rich Johnson: “As for receiving review copies, as a conflict of interest, different industries treat this differently.”

    Forget it Rich, you’ll never get Johanna to admit that she’s a hypocrite for pointing out what she sees ‘conflict of interest’ yet utterly ignoring her own. I guess once her site hits drop she goes on the attack to boost them up again.

    I wonder, Johanna, is the amount of comp copies you receive at all tied into the amount of people who ‘visit’ your site to read your gushing reviews? No, don’t bother to answer that, I doubt you’d be that honest. The only bitter person I see in all of this you see in the mirror each day Johanna.

  23. Gail Says:

    “Few people are. Not even Gail.”

    ESPECIALLY not Gail, Rich. But I don’t think the sideline commentary is helping either party.

  24. caleb Says:

    How is reviewing review copies a conflict of interest? Film critics don’t pay to see films, theater critics don’t pay to see plays, comic book and book critics don’t pay for the comics they review.

    That’s a bit different than reviewing the work of your friends and boyfriend without noting that the work you’re reviewing was created by one of your friends or boyfriend, isn’t it?

    Rich, why do you keep saying Valerie is such a good writer? Do you read her? (I’m guessing not; how do you–how does anyone–defend a sweeping statement like, “If you read DC Comics you’re not a feminist.” Whether that contradicts the second statement Johanna posted or not, it’s a stupid thing to say).

    If you really honestly believe D’Orazio is a good writer, you’re selling yourself really, really, really short, man. And you also should really start reading more.

  25. caleb Says:

    Gail Simone, you write for DC comics. If one can’t read DC comics and be a feminist by D’Orazio’s logic, can one write for them and collect a check from them? Isn’t she implying that you aren’t a feminist? How exactly does that not annoy you?

  26. David Wynne Says:

    How on earth is a critic recieving comp copies a conflict of interest? If it is, then the vast majority of critics in every part of the entertainment industry are irreversibly compromised.

    But it blatantly ISN’T a conflict of interest in our gracious host’s case, as demonstrated by the amount of negative reviews posted here that end with the words “a complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher”.

    On the other hand, the president and spokesperson for the most high profile feminist organisation in the comics industry using that platform to publicly persue a personal vendetta against her current employer’s biggest business rival? I’d call that a conflict of interest.

    As for D’Orazio’s apparent belief that she AND SHE ALONE gets to decide who is and who isn’t a feminist (seemingly based on the sole criterea of whether or not an individual helps her postively promote her public profile); and her astonishing self-righteous indignation at other people saying what they think on their own blogs, while furiously defending her right to say whatever she likes on hers; and most irritatingly of all, her constant insistance that she’s done SO MUCH to further the cause of women in comics, but *in private*, and she can’t possibly tell you what those things actually are, what do you think she is, THE PRESIDENT AND SPOKESPERSON FOR THE MOST HIGH PROFILE FEMINIST ORGANISATION IN THE COMICS INDUSTRY or something?- gah, don’t get me started.

    Forget Marvel and DC, I used to be an unquestioning supporter of The Friends Of Lulu, but that’s no longer the case, and won’t be ’till they get a new president.

  27. Johanna Says:

    Anun, you said, “she should feel free to openly support comics by her friends if she likes them” which I totally agree with, so long as the person mentions the relationship in the post. I like to see recommendations like that, especially if they give reasons to try it beyond “it’s my friend’s work”.

  28. Rivkah Says:

    Reading the comments and follow-up posts just made my brain hurt while thinking: *rowr!*hiss!*catfight* Seems like everyone’s jumping to conclusions without actually reading entire posts.

    Anyway, I thought this post was about whether reading DC comics made someone anti-feminist just because they’d had sexist business practices in the past, not a personal attach. Or to take the same visual sample that Valerie used but putting it in a different perspective: Is it the coffee of the company that’s sexist or the barista who pinched your butt who happened to work for the company? Should you no longer drink double soy latte from Latte Inc. because of a few stupid employees?

    People have different responses to that.

    However, Johanna, I can see where the title might be misleading. Perhaps retitling it to, “Is It Hypocrisy?”, because it seems this is more a question of who is hypocritical (DC, Valerie, or the consumers?) than bitterness.

  29. Johanna Says:

    Daniel Best, I don’t think I’ll take advice on comp copies from someone whose blog says “Review copies of books, comics, CDs, DVDs and free tickets are always welcome – if you send it we will plug it.”

    And yes, I get more readers than some other sites, so I get more comps than some other sites. From a publisher’s perspective, that’s smart business.

  30. Johanna Says:

    That’s a much better choice, Rivkah, but I’d rather not change it at this point, given how much discussion has gone on. I made the bad decision of the title, I’ll live with the lumps.

  31. Charles RB Says:

    I’m confused at the idea D’Orazio gets intimidated into not stating opinions due to this blog. I might be naive on politics in the comic “blogosphere”, but I’m not sure how criticism from this blog is damaging enough to be intimidating, especially as Occasional Superheroine itself has many viewers, gets refered to a lot, etc. The criticism itself might be intimidating but that goes with the territory of posting your opinions in public, surely.

    Re caleb – she is a good writer. She’s got a good grasp of narrative, structure, pacing, rhetoric and all that good stuff that a writer needs to get their opinion across & convince people to agree with it. Sweeping generalisations are a different issue.

  32. Rivkah Says:

    Charles. She states on her blog:

    “I’ve endured this woman’s complaints/backhanded compliments regarding Friends of Lulu for over a year in silence. I’ve had to read about her accusing me of “conflict of interest” while she reviews her stacks and stacks of comp copies. I was so impacted by her words that I was afraid — afraid! — to support the comics of my friends and loved ones for fear that “CWR” would call me out on it.”

    I’ve always disliked the word “feminist”. It means nothing other than that you support women’s issues, but for every woman, there’s a different issue to support and a different side to take and rarely do we all see eye to eye.

    And where are the masculinists, dangit?

  33. caleb Says:

    She’s got a good grasp of narrative, structure, pacing, rhetoric and all that good stuff that a writer needs to get their opinion across & convince people to agree with it

    Um, no she doesn’t. Do you have any idea what her opinion regarding reading DC comics and feminism is? Did she convince you share it?

  34. Rivkah Says:

    Oops. Just read your comment through another time, Charles, and I just realized you were criticizing that exact statement, not asking where it was.

    I couldn’t agree more. Comics blogs may help people find more readers but I’ve never seen an incident where they killed a title. Usually seems that if anybody actually gangs up against a title, they end up helping sales, not hurting them.

  35. Anun Says:

    Johanna, I figured that was your stance and I agree. It goes along with the dishonest note I get from her entries at times. I think she’d be happier if she had a thicker skin and was just more upfront about why she likes or dislikes something.

  36. Johanna Says:

    ha ha ha! You’re right, Rivkah, that’s the best check to a critic’s ego online.

    Charles, I learned on Usenet that if you’re afraid of posting an opinion, you only need to pick one of these:

    1. Reconsider how sure you are of that opinion. If you don’t want to say it in public for fear of how people will respond, is that your brain acting in self-defense? (Like they say in ethics courses, if you don’t want to see it in the newspaper, don’t make that choice.)

    2. Post with enough evidence, examples, or support to avoid criticism. This is the one I try for, most of the time.

    And ultimately, what’s worse? Being responded to, or being ignored?

  37. Gail Says:

    “Gail Simone, you write for DC comics. If one can’t read DC comics and be a feminist by D’Orazio’s logic, can one write for them and collect a check from them? Isn’t she implying that you aren’t a feminist? How exactly does that not annoy you?”

    Well, because, for one thing, it isn’t true. I don’t trot out my feminist credentials every time I receive explicit or implied criticism, but I believe them to be quite extensive in both my private and professional life. If years of volunteer work at crisis centers doesn’t count in the feminist resume, then I think we need to reconsider how such things are totted up.

    When Valerie came forward with her story, I expressed support both publicly and privately, regardless of the fact that DC was the engine feeding my family, then and now. The abuse I have taken online for expressing distaste or anger for gender nonsense in comics, including for publishers I work for and otherwise admire, is considerable.

    It is also unimportant. My mantra has been for years, “I can always go back to doing hair.” And I stand by that. If I had to apologize for who I worked for to that extent, I would go back to my previous career. I have quit books over ethics in the past and expect to do so again. But my DC experience has been ridiculously positive in general, and I could say the same for nearly every publisher I’ve worked for. It’s just a fact.

    As for Valerie’s comment, well…

    I, myself, have said a multitude of things that were either ill-considered, said in heat and regretted later, or just purely uninformed, often enough to have some sympathy for the occasional off-the-cuff snark said in haste. Some things bug me, this particular untrue charge doesn’t even register.

    Even if it were aimed straight AT me (and who knows, it wouldn’t be the first time someone’s taken that shot at me), I don’t think it would change my opinion here, much. Here we have two powerful female voices, both of whom have excellent credentials as commentators and feminists. My hope and belief is that this spat between two admirable people will be brief, as many of my own little temporary scraps have been (I once spent an afternoon exchanging sippy little posts with Martin Pasko, for Pete’s sake, a writer I not only admire tremendously, but one of the most generous and kind guys I’ve met in the industry). Bullshit slides downhill, and all the linens are clean again eventually.

    Even my best friends have said things I strenuously disagree with at some point. Isn’t that the case with everyone?

    Hope that made some sense.

    Gail

  38. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Speaking as one member of Johanna’s stable of reviewers, I’ve never felt compelled to write a positive review because I was given a comp copy. I hope my track record points that out.

    That being said, I’m not naivete enough to believe the books sent to Johanna are a completely random selection of the company’s current catalog. I wrote a very positive review of Tail of the Moon volume 9 and since then we’ve been sent comp copies of the subsequent volumes. As Johanna said earlier, that’s just good business. A thoughtful company will study a reviewer’s taste and send what they think will appeal to him/her.

    The only obligation I feel when I’m given a comp copy is to review the book. I’m trying very hard, and currently failing, to stay on top of my review stack. By whether a review is negative or positive will only be determined by my reading experience of the book. I only agree to review a book, I don’t agree to how the review will turn out.

    Whether she meant it or not, I found Valerie’s statement a question of my integrity, not just as a reviewer, but as person. I also felt she questioned the integrity all reviewers and critics. Needless to say, I was offended by the remark and would appreciate a retraction.

  39. Thomas R. Hart Says:

    Obviously, this would be the moment in a movie where the mercenary, played by either Sylvester Stallone or Jason Statham would mumble…

    … after being asked by a CIA agent (played by Forrest Whitaker) why they are doing this shit…

    “Guy’s gotta eat.”

  40. Kristina Hubert Says:

    I see some good points here, some reasonable opinions and some healthy discussion about feminism. As far as defining what a feminist is, I think it’s as simple as this: if you truly believe that women are equal to men, you are a feminist.
    On the issue of support of DC comics being anti-feminist, I feel like Valerie’s response was emotional, rather than logical. That said, it doesn’t invalidate her views, or even her arguement.
    The coffee shop example reminded me of an incident in the late 80′s, maybe early 90′s, where an internal memo from the corporate management of Cracker Barrel restaurants was leaked to the media.
    The memo concerned a company policy that employees not adhering to “family values” be summarily dismissed.
    Gay rights groups staged protests, Oprah did a show where she went to a Cracker Barrel, it was a whole big thing.
    I haven’t set foot in a Cracker Barrel since, because gay rights is the cause that resonates for me. It’s personal, it’s entirely emotional, but is it irrational?
    Caleb – Just because you don’t agree with her opinions, that doesn’t make her a bad writer. I enjoy Valerie’s posts, even when I don’t agree with her. (I feel the same way about Johanna’s.) Her blog doesn’t really seem to lean toward persuasive writing, so I don’t think your “did she convince you?” arguement holds water.
    David Wynne – You may not like her style, but you can’t deny that she does attract attention to her cause.

  41. Thomas R. Hart Says:

    … or in other words: it’s nice to stand on the moral high ground, ANY moral high ground, until one finds out that it is SO high that nothing grows there, and it might leave one starving :)

  42. Matt Adler Says:

    “Valerie is a good person, Johanna is a good person, and one feminist telling another feminist how they should behave, even with good intentions, is guaranteed to end badly.”

    Hear, hear. I personally admire a number of the people involved in this thread (Val, Johanna, Gail, Rich, Daniel) and enjoy their writing, so it’s disheartening when it gets ugly and personal. Dust-ups like this can focus discussion on issues that need attention, but it gets derailed if we instead focus on the personalities involved. You’re all intelligent, interesting people. Let’s have a discussion.

  43. Thomas R. Hart Says:

    As for feminism and written without the intent to offend somebody, but from this side of the pond…

    (where we DO have a female Chancellor in my country, who has proven over the past 3.5 years that women can be just as bad as men in ANY powerful position, something that the British probably figured out some time in the late 1980s already)

    … it appears to me (and it is early in Germany, bear with me) that feminism in the United States is still stuck in its Jesse Jackson phase, where great pleasure appears to be derived from attempting to out-ovary each other in the same way that Blacks tried to out-black each other during the earlier phases of the Civil Rights movement.

    There seems to be a lot of “how dare you” coming from those quarters, directed at each other. What is this? A rapper’s war? I find it very, very weird as it seems to be grounded in both relishing a victim ROLE…

    (please note that I say “role” and not just VICTIM, because to do so would deny that sexism does exist and thus belittle the very notion of it)

    … and a SENSE of ENTITLEMENT at the same time. Here’s hoping that — with only two days to go until the first post-racial President takes office in the US (and even we over here are terribly excited about that) that it will not be too long before the same applies to women in America as well.

    Now, would that mean that sexism, racism and anti-gay sentiment will miraculously disappear from the work place soon?

    No. But each step is one step closer to people being judged as individuals.

  44. Daniel Best Says:

    Johanna – “Daniel Best, I don’t think I’ll take advice on comp copies from someone whose blog says “Review copies of books, comics, CDs, DVDs and free tickets are always welcome – if you send it we will plug it.””

    The difference is, I’ll happily state it. The other thing is – I’ve never had a comp copy, hence there’s almost no reviews – in fact about the only things I’ve reviewed of late are the Flash Companion – which I bought (ask John Morrow if he sent me one free..lol) and Bill Schelly’s Kubert bio, which, again, I bought. I doubt you can say the same thing, so do try again dear.

    So, is the amount of comp copies linked to the number of visitors to your site? Simple question to answer isn’t it?

    Johanna, you’ve always been a hypocrite. You blast people for having what you see as being a conflict of interest and yet fail to see your own.

  45. David Wynne Says:

    Kristina- Your boycotting of Cracker Barrell makes perfect sense, since it’s based on something that came from the top of the company, rather than from individual employees. The company’s stance was institutionally homophobic, and deliberately so. DC comics does not, so far as we know, have an anti-feminist policy in place- D’Orazio’s issue is with the action of isolated individuals who happen to work for the company. Therefore a boycott makes no sense.

    Also, yes she does attract attention to the Friends Of Lulu organisation, attention that is increasingly negative. I think that’s a bad thing.

    Daniel Best- Johanna quite clearly states at the end of each review if a complimentary copy was provided by the publisher- ten seconds perusal of the site would’ve told you that. She also answered your question about whether the amount of comps she recieves is linked to the number of visits she gets upthread. You’re making yourself look stupid, mate.

  46. Rich Johnston Says:

    Johanna, yes the title thing is an issue. Might be worth amending if it’s obscuring what you’re saying. And I didn’t say that scary wasn’t negative, it was the attributes defining that that you had a gender issue with, which i don’t think applied.

    I was told by a publisher I know that a bunch of publishers he was talking to find me scary. I can’t see that myself, obviously, but I have to recognise there’s something in it and, if I want to counter that, amend my behaviour.

    Although I may not want to counter it. However, I guess I can’t be surprised when that reaction comes up. And neither, Johanna, should you.

    caleb, of course I read Valerie. She’s one of the best online comics writers going. Certainly on a par with Heidi MacDonald and Paul O’Brien. As for sweeping statements, she didn’t say what you attribute her as saying. She said what Johanna attributes her as saying. Different things.

    As to freebies, movie critics see their films for free, restaurant critics don’t. It can be an issue though.

    And I get read by more than all of you put together and no bugger sends me freebies. I got a Planetary hardcover once from DC, but I think that was mistake. As to the galley copy of Lost Girls… I can’t throw it out but it takes up an entire drawer.

  47. Charles RB Says:

    re Thomas Hart – there’s also spats and clashes (which I was not aware of until relatively recently) over whether organised US feminism is reflecting the needs/interests of working-class and non-white women, or if it’s dominated by white middle-class ones and that harms it. There does seem to be a whole lot of fundamental divisions there. Mind you, you could say that about any organised grouping of people: look at this very fandom, divisions are pandemic!

    re conflicts of interest – I can see comp copies being a conflict if they’re undeclared and this blog gives a suspiciously high number of favourable reviews, but it does declare them and it’s often critical.

  48. Kristina Hubert Says:

    David Wynne – I don’t disagree that boycotting DC isn’t rational. Even if it were, I don’t know if I would. They publish too many of my favorite books. And Gail writes female heroes so well, I’d probably buy her books if the Kremlin published her.
    Thomas Hart – Of course, I can only get Wonder Woman from DC, I can get a chicken-fried steak on any block in Atlanta. And I’m in very little danger of starving. ;)

  49. Johanna Says:

    That’s an interesting perspective, that we spend too much time talking about books we like. I hadn’t considered that. My thoughts were that
    1) there’s too much negativity out there elsewhere
    2) the site title suggests recommendations
    3) smacking down books few have heard of seems like being unnecessarily mean
    4) I’d rather devote time (of which I never have as much as I like) to praising instead of panning

    But I’ll keep in mind that some will be suspicious of that approach.

  50. Johanna Says:

    PS KC’s response to being suspiciously postive was “he obviously hasn’t read the early years of the site.” :) Seriously, when offered review copies, I do only accept those that I think I might enjoy. There’s no point in wasting anyone’s money for stuff I expect to dislike, just to get something free. And I’ll repeat my advice on how to get lots of comps: do reviews for over a decade, working constantly to improve, with a wide range of coverage and trying for a professional approach.

  51. caleb Says:

    caleb, of course I read Valerie. She’s one of the best online comics writers going. Certainly on a par with Heidi MacDonald and Paul O’Brien. As for sweeping statements, she didn’t say what you attribute her as saying. She said what Johanna attributes her as saying. Different things.

    Heh. Johanna didn’t mis-attribute that quote to her. It’s what she said. I don’t think she meant it, but she said. I think it was a mistake, said off-the-cuff, out of emotion, but she said it.

    As for “best,” well, I guess there’s no accounting for taste…

    Caleb – Just because you don’t agree with her opinions, that doesn’t make her a bad writer. I enjoy Valerie’s posts, even when I don’t agree with her. (I feel the same way about Johanna’s.) Her blog doesn’t really seem to lean toward persuasive writing, so I don’t think your “did she convince you?” arguement holds water.

    Oh I know, I was speaking qualitatively. I don’t disagree with everything she’s ever written–she’s not, like, Bizarro-Caleb or anything–I just don’t thinks she’s a very good writer. But again, there’s no accounting for taste. Regarding her persuasive ability, I responding to Charles, who said she was very persuasive.

  52. Hsifeng Says:

    David Wynne Says:

    “Kristina- Your boycotting of Cracker Barrell makes perfect sense, since it’s based on something that came from the top of the company, rather than from individual employees. The company’s stance was institutionally homophobic, and deliberately so. DC comics does not, so far as we know, have an anti-feminist policy in place- D’Orazio’s issue is with the action of isolated individuals who happen to work for the company. Therefore a boycott makes no sense.”

    OTOH, I can understand how both boycotts would make sense, because both involve one not wanting to do more business with people whom one has had bad experiences with (Val’s being treated badly at work at DC and Kristina’s finding out about Cracker Barrel’s policy both count). For a non-comics and non-restaurant example, I used to have a Dell laptop for school and I was usually given the runaround whenever I called tech support. Was that the fault of a policy in place? Was that the fault of isolated individuals who happened to work for Dell? I don’t know, but either way I’m not buying another Dell product, and I recommend IBM/Lenovo instead of Dell whenever someone asks me for advice on buying a personal computer.

    caleb Says:

    “Heh. Johanna didn’t mis-attribute that quote to her. It’s what she said. I don’t think she meant it, but she said. I think it was a mistake, said off-the-cuff, out of emotion, but she said it.”

    …and I think it’s too vague. What did she mean by “support” in “[I]f you support DC Comics…”? Was she actually talking about a boycott in the first place? Does she count merely buying and reading DC comics as supporting DC too, or does she save the idea of “support[ing] DC” for actions going above and beyond that like promoting DC, defending DC in discussions, etc.? What about reading/buying/promoting/defending/etc. DC’s non-superhero imprints like Vertigo, CMX, and (now discontinued but its earlier releases are still available) Minx? If you’re a freelancer working for DC, does she count that as supporting DC or being supported by DC or both?

  53. Kristina Hubert Says:

    Great, now I’m paranoid that there’s a Bizarro-Kris out there somewhere. Thanks a lot, Caleb!

  54. caleb Says:

    Great, now I’m paranoid that there’s a Bizarro-Kris out there somewhere. Thanks a lot, Caleb!

    There is! And she am not worried if you no am out there or not!

  55. Charles RB Says:

    “Does she count merely buying and reading DC comics as supporting DC too”

    If she doesn’t, I’d find that odd. Giving a company money sounds a lot like supporting it to me – especially when comic fandom likes to present DC and Marvel as opposing sides and you’re a fan of one or the other.

  56. Thomas R. Hart Says:

    @ Kristina Hubert:

    See, that is the reason I should keep my mouth closed until there is enough caffeine in my system to generate the semblance of intelligent life.

    What it all should have read like is like this:

    So, if we’re supposed to support comics about and by women … yet we’re not feminists if we support DC … I guess that leaves Marvel. Which has a new series coming out, Cloak and Dagger, starring a woman and written by a woman … Valerie D’Orazio. How convenient!

    Obviously, this would be the moment in a movie where the mercenary, played by either Sylvester Stallone or Jason Statham would mumble…

    … after being asked by a CIA agent (played by Forrest Whitaker) why they are doing this shit…

    “Guy’s gotta eat.”

    … or in other words: it’s nice to stand on the moral high ground, ANY moral high ground, until one finds out that it is SO high that nothing grows there, and it might leave one starving.

    If you are in the “American mainstream comics industry” (C) TM or want to be, well, that only leaves Marvel and DC now, does it?

    And then it does become an issue of “well, you can have the moral highground, but…”

    One could very well argue that it is a bit hypocritical of the Occasionlal Superheroine to do exactly what she did, and Ms. Draper-Carlson cut through that with a logic blade.

    One could also say that what it is, there is a phrase for it, it’s called “floating truth”: the integration of two completely divergent truths in order to be able to function in a given situation.

    One could also argue that IF positive female role models etc. are so vital to Miss D’Orazio, why didn’t she go ahead and CREATE some instead of working on another corporate owned property, and this one for the company that had those “delightful” sadism scenes between Tigra and The Hood that Mr Deppey uses to illustrate his “superhero decadence” argument…

    http://tcj.com/journalista/newavengers35yeah.jpg

    … all those are valid questions to be asked, but in the end, I believe (and I could be wrong) it came down to:

    a) Miss D’Orazio loves to play in the corporate sandbox, but doesn’t want to get dirty (just like a lot of fanBOY writers do… that is not an issue of gender)

    b) Marvel and DC pay, and a lot of other publishers, even if they DO creator-owned things (or call them: original creations etc), they don’t.

    Longwinded explanation for…

    “Guy’s gotta eat.”

    …isn’t it?

  57. Thomas R. Hart Says:

    re Thomas Hart – there’s also spats and clashes (which I was not aware of until relatively recently) over whether organised US feminism is reflecting the needs/interests of working-class and non-white women, or if it’s dominated by white middle-class ones and that harms it. There does seem to be a whole lot of fundamental divisions there. Mind you, you could say that about any organised grouping of people: look at this very fandom, divisions are pandemic!

    Oh, sorry… I just saw that comment directed to me. Nearly missed it.

    Generally speaking, I think, really poor people simply do not have the time or the energy to get involved on a deeper level in most political or social movements on principle alone.

    They are just trying to survive.

    It takes a transformative figure to make them believe in a possible change. Without going into American politics too deeply, I believe both Obama and Clinton were that for certain segments of the Democratic electorate in the primaries. There was a “one of us” feeling that was generated, at least that is how it looked from this side of the pond, and from what I heard from my American friends.

    When it comes to feminism, well, in order to comment on that without talking from my buttocks I would have to obtain some numbers, some kind of demographic breakdown within the organised parts of however we choose to call that movement.

    And one shouldn’t argue, or so is my motto, unless one is sure of the facts… and I am not.

    Otherwise, I’d have a show on Fox News ;-)

  58. Charles RB Says:

    “Generally speaking, I think, really poor people simply do not have the time or the energy to get involved on a deeper level in most political or social movements on principle alone.”

    Arguably true, but the general point with the criticism is that organised feminism/feminists aren’t offering anything that’s relevant to the needs _of_ really poor women, it’s all aimed at ones at a certain income level.

    (How true this is is probably debatable)

  59. Daniel Best Says:

    David: “Daniel Best- Johanna quite clearly states at the end of each review if a complimentary copy was provided by the publisher- ten seconds perusal of the site would’ve told you that. She also answered your question about whether the amount of comps she recieves is linked to the number of visits she gets upthread. You’re making yourself look stupid, mate.”

    So, clearly it’s in Johanna’s best interests to generate as many hits to her site as possible to ensure her comp copies and income stream remains intact. Now if those hits begin to drop then a little controversy, such as attacking others for ‘conflict of interest’, wouldn’t go astray now would it? Jeez, Johanna might be smarter than people think, she’s got a lot of people sucked in here.

    Keep generating those hits, I’m sure she’s sitting back chuckling away and getting ready to show DC and Marvel a healthy lot of site traffic, none of which has anything to do her ‘reviews’.

  60. Johanna Says:

    Just FYI, webcomic topics get more hits than DC/Marvel coverage (which I rarely do), and manga gets more than either. What drives hits up most, though, is an active comment thread, because people keep coming back to see what new things have been said. So if you really want to disrupt my “income stream” (ha!), the best way to do it is by not participating.

  61. Thomas R. Hart Says:

    Keep generating those hits, I’m sure she’s sitting back chuckling away and getting ready to show DC and Marvel a healthy lot of site traffic, none of which has anything to do her ‘reviews’.

    Actually, Mr. Best — and far be it from me to defend such a scary, aggressive and dominant personality as Ms. Draper-Carlson is — your logic does not hold water, since you did not take into account the actual numbers of what reviews are being posted here on the site. It’s relatively easy to do, they are on the left hand side below the comment box.

    Superhero Reviews: 149
    Manga Reviews: 332
    Indy Comics Reviews: 59

    In other words, if you DO want to argue the finer point of this site being in the pocket of somebody, you should probably not use DC or Marvel as an example, since the numbers do not support such a theory.

    In order to support it, the site would have to be a lot more fangirl-ish with regard to the “mainstream”.

    Even Webcomics Reviews have a higher number than Superhero Reviews: 152

    Now, a smart argument would have used THOSE numbers and claimed that ComicsWorthReading is in the pocket of the manga publishers in the US.

    I personally think Ms. Draper-Carlson is in the pockets of Archie Comics (109)… but perhaps that is just an unhealthy fetish of hers. We all have some of those.

  62. Charles RB Says:

    Does this blog actually act as an income stream? That’d be news to me.

  63. Rivkah Says:

    Gleaning through some of the finer bits, there’s an interesting discussion on feminism going on here. Not that I agree with any of it (preferring to use the term “equalist” than “feminist” because IMHO “feminist” is a sexist word in its own way) but still an insightful read.

    Personally, I think feminism stands for a completely different set of mores in the current generation than it did for those say raised in the sixties. There were several news spots several years ago about women embracing their sexuality and individuality from traditional masculine mores as their brand of equality between the sexes, essentially, being equal by being proud of our differences. I even know quite a few anti-choice women who still consider themselves feminists, and hey, that blows my mind but it shows that the definition of “feminism” is incredibly broad and every woman has a different idea of what it means for her.

    Each individual woman can only speak for herself when it comes to this subject, so to accuse other women of not holding up to THEIR definition of feminist is well . . . completely hypocritical. Technically, every woman is a feminist as long as she’s a woman and not a masochist.

    And that’s why I think people should use the the term equalism. General fairness and equality between all people, because sexism isn’t purely a female thing. It happens to men, too, if not reported as frequently.

  64. Kristina Hubert Says:

    And one shouldn’t argue, or so is my motto, unless one is sure of the facts… and I am not.

    Otherwise, I’d have a show on Fox News ;-)

    Careful, you’re drifting into my territory now. Also, you made me spit soda on my keyboard. Good one.

  65. David Wynne Says:

    Daniel- what does any of that have to do with your A: inaccurately accusing Johanna of not declaring when a complimentary copy is provided for review, and B: acting as if she hasn’t answered your question, when the answer was in the very comment you were replying to? Or you not willing to cop to those mistakes and trying to cover with bluster?

    And as for this:

    I’m sure she’s sitting back chuckling away and getting ready to show DC and Marvel a healthy lot of site traffic

    What on earth are you talking about? Are you saying that she gives Marvel and DC internet traffic (because that doesn’t make any sense)? Or do you think she sends them copies of her site statistics in an effort to get them to send her more review copies? Because I have to say, I think it’s hilarious that you would think that, since it shows that you have a woefully inadequate grasp on both how the industry works, and the kind of material that generally gets covered on this site.

  66. Thomas R. Hart Says:

    Also, you made me spit soda on my keyboard.

    Obviously, to be the cause of a spit-take is every writer’s wet dream :P

  67. Rich Johnston Says:

    caleb, I didn’t say Johanna mis-attributed. I said she attributed. Correctly. I said you rewrote it when you repeated it so it didn’t mean what Valerie said. Valerie said “supported” you rewrote that word as “read”.

  68. caleb Says:

    caleb, I didn’t say Johanna mis-attributed. I said she attributed. Correctly. I said you rewrote it when you repeated it so it didn’t mean what Valerie said. Valerie said “supported” you rewrote that word as “read”.

    Then you completely lost me. Let me go reread what you’re referring to…

    You mean where I said, how do you–how does anyone–defend a sweeping statement like, “If you read DC Comics you’re not a feminist.”

    That’s exactly what she said. Did my using quotes throw you? Because I used the world “like” right before them. She said something like that, not that exact statement in that exact order.

    She said “[I]f you support DC Comics, then personally, I really can’t consider you a feminist.” Does that not mean, “If you read DC Comics you’re not a feminist.”

    “Support” doesn’t mean “read” in this context, in your estimation?

    Well, you’re enamored by Valerie’s writing, so you probably think she was communicating quite clearly in that responses– what DOES she mean by “support,” if not “read”?

    It seemed to be, from her coffee shop analogy, she meant “read” (Support, by iteself, doesn’t much mean anything).

    Or is reading okay, but BUYING DC comics isn’t, since if you don’t buy them you aren’t financially supporting them? Like, you can drink the cappuccino, but only if you do it without paying for it?

    Was Valerie saying it’s okay to read and buy DC Comics, so long as you do so grudgingly and unhappily? That Najika is welcome to read DC comics, but only so she doesn’t make supportive statements?

    I’m not trying to be overly negative or antagonistic here, but I honestly don’t understand what you mean when you say I “rewrote” what D’Orazio said (unless you’re just being picky and saying I changed the exact wording in that example I asked you. Which you didn’t get around to defending, by the way–that DOESN’T sound like total nonsense to you? Don’t you “support” DC comics financially?)

    D’Orazio’s accused me of twisting her words in the past by drawing conclusions from them. But there’s absolutely nothing nefarious about reading the implication of a statement into it.

    If “supporting” DC comics means you don’t believe women are equal/should be treated equally to men, as D’Orazio said, and reading DC is supporting DC, then she’s saying reading DC means she considers you someone who doesn’t believe women are equal/should be treated equally to men. Right? What exactly am I missing?

  69. Tim O'Shea Says:

    I’m actually pulling for these posts to be christened Great Moments in Blogging History (in tribute to Letterman’s retired bit of “Great Moments in Presidential History”)

  70. Alan Coil Says:

    I’d re-title the entry “Hypocrite Much?”

    Valerie made her name writing “Goodbye To Comics”, yet now she is head of Lulu (an organization promoting the involvement of women in comics), and also writing for Marvel.

    I stopped reading her blog ages ago because of the constant bashing of DC. DC puts out some fine comics, as well as some turds. It was obvious the constant bashing was her way of getting revenge on people who had offended her in the past. That’s dishonest.

    As to her fear of stating her opinions lest someone not find her likable, that is the way of people who want everyone to like them. Most people outgrow that phase when they enter adulthood.

  71. Charles RB Says:

    To be fair, she didn’t think she was going to be working for Marvel or running Friends of Lulu when she wrote Goodbye to Comics.

  72. Rivkah Says:

    Ouch. I’d never read “Goodbye to Comics” before and out of curiosity looked it up.

    Now I really, really, really wished I hadn’t. Gross. There is such a thing as TMI. I only made it halfway through and never got to the actual point (if there ever is a point because it rambles so much).

    I also fail to see how DC was the fault of her physical or mental misery. It sounds very much like she’s blaming everything on everybody else without taking any responsibility for her share of the blame as well. But blame is a two-way street.

    BTW, a woman sleeping with somebody else who works in comics doesn’t mean they’re sexist unless one or the other party is doing it for personal gain. But why can’t two people be attracted to each other? Survey says that the majority of married couples in the US met at the workplace. With women becoming more common in the comics industry, there are bound to be more relationships as well. Women don’t need to be sheltered from such relationships. They just need to be taught how to handle them and to learn how to maintain a professional relationship outside of the romantic (or how to stand up for themselves and request a change in who they’re working with). But this applies to any industry . . . and it applies to men as well, because the confusion comes as much from their ends as ours. Not every man is a raging rapist, neither is everybody of either gender completely innocent.

    So instead of getting defensive and yelling “sexist” and “anti-feminist!”, maybe the industry should be focusing on forward-thinking education instead. MOST people are in the dark about how to handle these kinds of romantic/professional situations. I don’t think it’s a fault of the comics industry nor confined to DC in particular.

    If I missed the point of her post entirely, enlighten me. I skimmed the majority of it because her style is so stream-of-conscious-rambling I developed a headache instead, and I’m still not entirely sure what her point was.

  73. Rivkah Says:

    *scrubs brain with soap*

    Seriously TMI.

  74. Kristina Hubert Says:

    Alan – Hypocrite? Really? Because she wrote Goodbye to Comics? Dishonest? Because she criticizes DC? Unfair. If she does have a bias against DC comics, well, Goodbye kinda lays that right out for ya, doesn’t it? Or, is it possible that she has more to say about DC than Marvel because she reads more DC books?
    Maybe we can keep the personal attacks on Valerie out of the discussion for a change.
    This is an actual person we’re talking about here, who may very well read these comments. And correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t know her, do you?
    And Rivkah? Your post is disappointing. Just…you did miss the point, that much I agree with.

  75. Rich Johnston Says:

    caleb, one can buy DC comcis without going on message boards and saying “DC Comics are tops. What they are doing for women is wonderful”.

    That she encouraged people to buy Wonder Woman, is evidence enough that your interpretation was incorrect.

  76. Rivkah Says:

    Kristina. I would like it if you informed me what the point was. I’m merely stating the overall impression of someone who’s never heard of this person before and doesn’t have the time to nitpick through the details of a hundred-page collection of posts. I guess I get irritated with bloggists/journalists who sacrifice the clarity of their immediate point for the sake of sensationalist writing. Yellow journalism is the correct term, I believe? Because I put my brain through that wringer for an hour and still didn’t come out with any coherent thread or thought other than one gruesome instance that gets drawn out through a number or excruciatingly long journal entries.

    And I made a perfect score on the reading portion of my SATs, so it’s not like I suffer in reading comprehension. Perhaps just patience. But if I truly wanted somebody’s life story, I’d buy a book. The internet was never intended for patient people.

  77. caleb Says:

    caleb, one can buy DC comcis without going on message boards and saying “DC Comics are tops. What they are doing for women is wonderful”.

    That she encouraged people to buy Wonder Woman, is evidence enough that your interpretation was incorrect

    Heh. Okay. Personally, I don’t think “good” writing should require all that much evidence and interpretation, particularly by a third party arguing on behalf of the writer to the readers, to clear up a point.

    So you’re saying she’s saying it’s okay to go to the coffee shop and buy the cappuccino, but not talk up the fact that you buy that cappuccino from that coffee shop?

    Sorry, but that doesn’t make very much sense to me. Besides, I’m sure DC would rather have readers’ money then their vocal support on message boards.

  78. Hsifeng Says:

    Rivkah Says:

    “I guess I get irritated with bloggists/journalists who sacrifice the clarity of their immediate point for the sake of sensationalist writing. Yellow journalism is the correct term, I believe?”

    I thought that she’s not a bloggist/journalist in the first place and instead her blog’s one of the many that aren’t journalism. Likewise, Bloggus Caesari and I Can Has Cheezburger? and Media Notes are really blogs. After all, they’re really websites with new entries appearing in sequence as they are written and uploaded – web logs, or blogs for short. Since all three of them are blogs, does that make all three of them really journalism too?

  79. Rivkah Says:

    Meh. I just realized I let myself get sucked into lowering the level of discussion. Apologies to Johanna AND Valerie. It’s not my place to judge.

    For a much healthier discussion about feminism (which I feel was the actual, overlooked point of this post), I just posted an entry plus feedback from readers here: http://lilrivkah.livejournal.com/265587.html

  80. Johanna Says:

    Interesting. Personally, I’m beginning to wonder why my pointing out a contradiction in her posts got labeled a catfight, while a guy practically calling for her to be ousted from Friends of Lulu because of this contradiction got his point taken more seriously.

    Yes, yes, it must be the headline, I know, I’m working on that skill!

  81. Kristina Hubert Says:

    Rivkah. I think the point of the story was just to relate the author’s experiences. The intentions behind it, I couldn’t say.
    Possibly she felt others might identify with some of what happened, and it might alleviate shame or stigma in some small way.
    Unlike clever commentary like “gross” “TMI” and “scrubs brain with soap”.
    Hell, maybe it was just cathartic for her. That’s fine, too.
    I hardly think it rates as “yellow journalism” to recount the events of one’s own life. If you found it too graphic, well, I just can’t imagine why, honestly. I’d have to go back and re-read it line by line to be absolutely certain, but if I recall correctly, the most graphic language used was the word “vagina”. If that’s offensive to you, well, that’s another issue altogether, isn’t it?
    Look, it wasn’t your cup of tea, I get that. I just feel like the harsh, and yes, juvenile, tone of your post was uncalled for.
    Oh, and congrats on your reading score.

  82. Rivkah Says:

    Because you’re both girls, Johanna. Everybody knows that. *tilts head ditzily while fluttering eyelashes coyly* (if somebody didn’t just get the sarcasm there, I WILL punch you.)

    I have to say, however . . . that in spite of the territorial hissing of everybody defending their favorites, I’ve been seriously entertained. I really, really try not to read “he said, she said” posts, but it was just like a whirlwind sucking me in. I couldn’t seem to escape. I’m certain there’s some bizarre psychology behind all this.

  83. Rivkah Says:

    “Oh, and congrats on your reading score.”

    Thanks! Even if it that was sarcasm. :D

    Or course, I skipped college, so fat load of good that did. ;)

  84. Kristina Hubert Says:

    Strangely enough, I also aced that half of the SATs and yet did not go on to college. Although it was 20-some years ago in my case :P.

  85. Rivkah Says:

    Up with socialized education!

    Because the prospect of college was just $80,000 too expensive. Especially for a freakin’ art degree. I mean . . . who makes that kind of money in ART? Unless you’re dead, of course. -_-;

    BTW: I appreciate you clarifying your views. It wasn’t the language I found offensive so much as the content. I believe in speaking frankly about personal issues (heck, I do it all the time), but it was told in a style I am not personally comfortable with, preferring instead the quick, straightforward facts, not the roundabout. However, as a form of catharsis, I can understand. I wish that she would put a warning on the front of her posts, however, stating that there’s some graphic content that some may find objectionable within. Some of the language is enough to get more than a few people banned at work.

    I’m perfectly comfortable with my sexuality (and have had my own somewhat gruesome tales to tell, though I never stretched them out over multiple posts or centered a metaphorical theme around them), but I at least always put them behind a cut and warn my readers beforehand that there’s mature content. On the internet, you never know who’s reading, so I try to assume at least a PG-13 rating for the casual browser.

    It’s a common courtesy I think most people appreciate.

  86. David Wynne Says:

    a guy practically calling for her to be ousted from Friends of Lulu

    Who was that? Also, I haven’t seen anything about this on any other blogs or news sites (yet)- who’s calling it a “catfight?”.

    (I’m in the middle of a run of nights at work at the moment, and doing most of my surfing here- where blogger, livejournal and wordpress are all blocked, so my web-browsing is sorely limited; which may be why I’ve missed any repercussions. I entirely understand if you don’t want to add feul to the sensationalist fire and thus choose not to tell me where to look, of course)

  87. Johanna Says:

    http://everydayislikewednesday.blogspot.com/2009/01/ladies-and-gentleman-president-of.html

    And Rivkah’s the most recent one I saw who referred to kitties, although I trust she meant better than some others. :)

  88. caleb Says:

    Yeah Johanna, but that guy whose article you linked to? He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, so no one cares.

    Honestly, I don’t personally care who leads Friends of Lulu, I just think it’s weird that their president pretty much regularly does the exact opposite of what the group’s supposed to be about.

    Like, writing off one of the industry leaders (if by “industry” we mean “direct market”) and all people who read them as anti-woman doesn’t seem to advance the cause of Friends of Lulu.

    And since her role is to speak on behalf of women in comics, she bears paying attention to, especially when she’d advocating for/against things on the basis of how pro-/anti-women they are. If she were just an ex DC editor or a future Marvel writer or just a person with a web connection, she’d be easier to ignore…and certainly not worth engaging.

    But when the President of Freinds of Lulu measures feminism by what comics publisher you read, when she comes out and says you, reader, are no feminist until you quit reading this company’s product…well, that sure boggles MY mind. (Ditto the president of Friends of Lulu getting into these “Johanna said what?! That woman is awful! When Fangirls Attack said what? That organization is awful!! types of things.)

    She can call me names and it doens’t much matter, because I’m a male and therefore not someone she supposedly speaks for.

  89. Rivkah Says:

    Hey! Only because I LIKE kitties! ;) And I include myself in that, because I let myself get pretty riled up, too, though I tried desperately not to show it. Rowr!

  90. Kristina Hubert Says:

    It’s a common courtesy I think most people appreciate.
    And a good idea. I may try that on my own site in the future, although I’m pretty PG-13 anyway.
    I manage to be offensive without much obscenity.

  91. Alan Coil Says:

    Kristina Hubert said to me:

    “And correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t know her, do you?”

    There is a major logical fallacy in your statement, Kristina, in that you suggest I can’t comment on Valerie because I don’t know her. Under such logic, only her friends who have met her (and perhaps a couple enemies) would be allowed to comment about her. This would rule out just about everybody else on the internet, and thus nullifying the purpose of the internet, communication with people from around the world.

  92. Thomas R. Hart Says:

    *clears throat*

    And if this was a war of words between guys, somebody would say now, and heck, it might just as well be me (for I like to be the cause for another spit-take):

    “Take it out, so we can measure it and move on” :-)

  93. Kristina Hubert Says:

    There is a major logical fallacy in your statement, Kristina, in that you suggest I can’t comment on Valerie because I don’t know her. Under such logic, only her friends who have met her (and perhaps a couple enemies) would be allowed to comment about her. This would rule out just about everybody else on the internet, and thus nullifying the purpose of the internet, communication with people from around the world.

    There’s a difference between commenting on something she said, and attacking her. Some of the things you said? I would have taken personally.

    I don’t claim that I’ve never made a personal attack on anyone online, but I try very hard not to say anything I wouldn’t say to someone’s face. It’s easy to forget that actual people, with feelings, read these words. That was my point.

  94. Rich Johnston Says:

    caleb. One can buy fair trade coffee from a coffee shop while also condemning that coffee shop’s policies on its other coffees.

  95. caleb Says:

    caleb. One can buy fair trade coffee from a coffee shop while also condemning that coffee shop’s policies on its other coffees.

    Sure they can. Perhaps that’s what she meant. That certainly makes more sense than Valerie D’Orazio saying something stupid out of emotion to a commenter on her blog and then, rather than clarifying or correcting it, making a post about what a big meanie Johanna Draper Carlson is, and then hoping someone like you will find a way to make the mistake sound less stupid and defend the stupid thing she accidentally said.

  96. Johanna Says:

    Thank you, Kristina, for the reminder that we’re talking about and to real people here. That’s important to keep in mind.

  97. Kevin Huxford Says:

    Rich:

    As to freebies, movie critics see their films for free, restaurant critics don’t. It can be an issue though.

    Yeah, but it isn’t as if the writer and artist have the chance to fix the critic’s copy of the book up much nicer than the copies everyone else is getting. The comp copies I’ve received physically can often be treated rather roughly.

    You’re really stretching to make the support thing out to be drilled down to very specific items. Once the message board posting saying DC is tops was readily dismissed, we got to the free trade coffee premise…which doesn’t even work. That establishment still gets a profit off of the sale. You’d buy your free trade some place you didn’t mind getting your dime.

    Not supporting a company isn’t a small focus thing. I had a debate with a member of WashTech (a technical support union) where she tried to justify shopping at Wal-Mart (the most egregious violator of a working person’s labor rights) by saying it was the only way she could afford to buy her family steaks. My response? If you can’t afford to buy steaks from a decent company, you don’t need to be eating steak.

    Johanna: I’m glad to contribute to your income stream by bumping the comment thread. ;)

  98. Tax-Exempt Status in Danger » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] Valerie’s obvious hatred might have something to do with a post I made over a year ago calling her out on some inappropriate things she said, but that had nothing to do with the organization she’s [...]

  99. Do You Have a Vision for Women in Comics? Friends of Lulu Needs Help » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] it ever since) attacked me for asking a question about the organization. (To be fair, I’ve been tough on her before, so she felt we had [...]

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