snickfic: Sif facepalming with text "breathe" (Sif facepalm)
Soooo, the CBR forums, widely known as a dudebro cesspit wherein comics are sometimes discussed, have just been rebooted after years of accumulated posts. Per the article linked, this was prompted largely by the vitriolic response on the forums to someone critiquing a comics cover a couple of weeks ago. Specifically, a woman critiquing a comics cover. It's been the latest talking point in the sexism-in-comics discussion, and I am well pleased to see the CBR site use it as a motivator to overhaul the way their forums do business.

But.

But years and years of accumulated posts! Some of those threads were into the thousands of posts over the course of as much as ten years. And those posts are going to be, apparently, completely unavailable starting two weeks from now. So I am torn between \o/ and DDD:
snickfic: [Hawkeye] Kate looking over the top of her sunglasses (Kate)
One of the things that I really appreciate about what Marvel is doing right now that I think contributes to the women-friendliness, if only indirectly, is how they're diversifying the 'look' of their books. The sheer variety of types of artwork across the Marvel NOW and All-New Marvel NOW books is really impressive, IMO. I note that the most traditional comics-type art happens on the central books, like Avengers, but then on the sidelines you have Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk and Journey into Mystery (RIP) and Young Avengers and Mike Allred's projects. (Linked art chosen more or less at random.)

Not only is the art for those books NOT prone to sexual objectification and male power fantasy depictions like a lot of the mainline books, but they don't have the general 'look' of books that do. I don't know if that makes sense. I, at least, tend to be put off at first by superhero comics that have that shiny spandex gradient coloring thing that's been so common, because even if the women aren't being objectified, that's still the association I have with that kind of artwork. It has a sign over it that says, "Not for you." Whereas something with art like Alphona's in Ms Marvel has a "For you" sign on it, quite aside from its actual content.

And obviously Alphona and Allred and some of the others have been around for a while now, but it seems to me that they weren't all getting brand new books in these numbers before. So. Yay.

(It's possible I'm just talking out my hat, since I have much less sense of the overall landscape of Marvel back in, say, 2008. But that's how it seems to me now.)
snickfic: (Spike love's bitch)
* Sooooo, James Marsters is writing a Spike comic.

* As previously mentioned, I've been wanting to read some more comics by female creators, preferably recent comics. I did a duckduckgo search and surprise, surprise, Kelly Thompson has exactly the kinds of info I wanted: two lists of her favorites in 2010, and another list of her favorites in 2011. Hurrah. I'm off to go read some comics now.
snickfic: (Clint)
* [livejournal.com profile] beccatoria has posted a pretty comprehensive timeline of how this recent scandal developed. Very well documented, in case you somehow found weeks-old back-and-forths on Twitter too hard to follow. Kudos to her.

* The discourse on this in the places I frequent has been much less terrible than I expected it to be, where "places I frequent" means the CBR boards and "much less terrible" means "still plenty of apologists and concern trolls, but they keep getting smacked down by other less terrible people." I hear that this ratio of terrible to not-terrible is not so low everywhere, however.
snickfic: (Fred math)
In the wake of the Brian Wood thing, I've been thinking more about the m/f ratio of comics creators. I knew it wasn't great, but when you get down to looking at numbers, well. A quick guesstimate for Marvel ongoings next year based on these tables combined with solicit data through February 2014 yields an instructive chart.

 malefemale
artists 371
author 373

In the face of that kind of disparity, details and caveats are basically irrelevant (though I've included them below anyway).

For the record, the artist is Sara Pichelli on Guardians of the Galaxy and the writers are G. Willow Wilson on Ms. Marvel and Kelly Sue DeConnick on Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble (although technically she's co-writing an arc with Warren Ellis for that book for the first part of the year). Recent Marvel regulars who don't have steady gigs right now include Kathryn Immonen and Marjorie Liu, although there are probably a couple more I'm not thinking of.

(Fiddly details: these statistics don't count the number of writers, but the number of writing slots. Brian Michael Bendis, for example, is counted three times here. OTOH, a book that's co-written by two authors still only counts for one slot. Note also that artists come on and off titles all the time, so those numbers are potentially more variable over time than the writer numbers.)

I don't know Image well enough to confidently say much about it long-term, especially since I think books are produced on a much less regular schedule there. A glance over the February solicits yields only a marginally better picture (although I'm only reading Rocket Girl, Pretty Deadly, and Saga, which together have a creator ratio of 2/3 women). And I don't know DC at all, so someone else would need to crunch those numbers.
snickfic: Sif facepalming with text "breathe" (Sif facepalm)
Barely three months ago, I posted about how pleased I was with Wood's work on X-Men and about my favorable impression of him generally. This has since changed. A couple of weeks ago comics artist Tess Fowler alleged on Twitter that early in her career he had sexually harassed her at a con and then verbally abused her, in public and later online, when she refused. The identity of the person in question was a bit vague, though, as she did this by piggybacking on someone else's Twitter rant.

The identity is vague no more; she's directly confirmed that this person was Brian Wood. Further discussion here here.

It's all very disappointing, folks. I was pretty upset when this stuff started airing two weeks ago; Wood's all-women X-men comic is the reason I am in comics. It's one of the things I point to to say that the comics industry is getting better in terms of its treatment of diversity, which only makes all this worse. I can only think of maybe one or two other comics authors I'd be sadder to learn this about than Wood.

Woe.
snickfic: Spaceman Spiff about to crash his spaceship (mood sf)
Strange Horizons has a this fairly depressing essay by Renay about how cold and misogynist she found mainstream SFF fannish spaces after growing up as a fan in online, female-centric spaces.

Obviously this is anecdata, but still damning anecdata it is, especially alongside all the discussion we've had recently of sexual harassment at cons.

--

From my previous comics exposure of "movies plus what my friend TheRazor told me," I've never managed to get even mildly interested in any DC characters, but nonetheless this costume design for the new Batgirl pleases me very much. Here are artist Annie Wu's considerations for the costume:

Well, when it came to addressing the needs of the story, I spent a lot of time considering each element with the lens of “If this is true, what else is true?" Okay, so, you’re a teenage girl AND a costumed vigilante so you need to design your costume to look extra-intimidating. All right, you know the legendary bat symbol carries tremendous weight with it so you make that as prominent and strong as possible. You need a silhouette more menacing than your natural teen build will allow, so you find ways to exaggerate that (hence the wider shoulder armor and cape). You’re doing this on your own, unlike Terry McGinnis who has Wayne money and support, so you would carry yourself as such (put your best mean-face on, adjust posture accordingly). Things like that.


I mean, how sensible is that? And then you get this result, which tickles me to no end.

I suppose it says something uncomplimentary about me that so far the element that excites me most about superhero comics is the costumes. (But only certain costumes, mind.)
snickfic: (Ellen)
In response to some correspondence I received on Tumblr relating to my tags on this gifset, I wrote a post about Jody Mills as a mother figure, which I'm crossposting here. (Hint: I am opposed.)

this got a little long )
snickfic: Tamara profile (Tamara)
If your fic is long enough to feature not only Jared and Jensen but also extended sympathetic appearances by Chad and Misha and an amusing cameo from a male OC, it's long enough to include lines spoken by a female character other than a) the evil villainess or b) Jared's mom.

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