nenena: (Devi - I'm Blue)
nenena ([personal profile] nenena) wrote2011-09-21 09:13 pm

I just want to quote this entire article.

Judging a Book by its Cover: How Women See Comic Books

Consider, for a moment, if a comic starring Nightwing were brought out and described by the writer as a "sexy, dirty book." Imagine if she talked about how sexy Nightwing would be, proudly emphasizing this as the single most important aspect of the character.

Hey, I would buy it. A lot of other women probably would too. However, try to imagine the reaction from male comic book fans. A lot of them would be angry. A lot of them would be offended. The writer and artist on the book would certainly be accused of pandering to the female audience. A lot of male fans would refuse to buy the book.

At San Diego Comic Con 2011, Judd Winick described the new Catwoman as a "sexy, dirty book." He stated -- proudly and with great enthusiasm -- that he'd used the word "sexy" over fifty times the last time he'd been interviewed about the upcoming comic.

A lot of female fans won't be picking up Catwoman. And when they say so, they are told that the comic isn't "for them" and that they are "too sensitive." They are told, "if you don't like it, don't buy it" -- sometimes in the same breath as, "if you want to see more female leads, you have to buy all the books with female leads."

[...] Female characters do not have to be hyper-sexualized to sell. Buffy: The Vampire Slayer was one of the most popular television shows of all time and it starred a young woman who was, for all intents and purposes, a female superhero. The difference between her and the women between the covers of your average superhero comic was that she didn't fall into a Penthouse-esque pose every time she stopped moving, or wear clothing that could only have stayed on with the use of a lot of glue or an anti-gravity device.

Buffy was sexy. Buffy had sex. But neither of these defined her.

Much more at the link.

(Anonymous) 2011-09-22 02:08 am (UTC)(link)
That tentacle cover...that...what?! I couldn't stop laughing at Batman's ass.
ext_266893: (powergirl)

[identity profile] 2011-09-22 02:35 am (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] 2011-09-22 02:00 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm at the point where I think the US comic book industry isn't worth saving.

[identity profile] 2011-09-22 04:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Yayz, good article. I don't know why this is a difficult concept.

[identity profile] 2011-09-22 06:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Copying the piece you quoted and linking to the article on Tumblr. Really, really good. Thank you!

[identity profile] 2011-09-22 06:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks for sharing this. That's the kind of article that puts into words what I've been thinking for years....
Also, I like the humor at the end. Nice covers XD

[identity profile] 2011-09-22 08:15 pm (UTC)(link)
To be honest, it's actually more appealing to me to have a strong female lead who wears adequate clothing for the situation. It's always bugged me to see scantily clad women doing jobs that their clothing was completely not suited for.

I'm not big into super hero comics, but if I think back on some of my favorite female video game protagonists, we have Jill Valentine and Claire Redfield from Resident Evil, both strong female leads that weren't abused by writers for sexuality. To an extent, the recreated Lara Croft of the last couple video games has fit that description as well.

While possibly a bad example (cause the original source material is an h-game), Saber is one of my favorite anime characters, a girl who essentially wears a full length blue dress with a breast plate and armor skirt.

[identity profile] allyson boeckman (from 2011-09-23 04:46 pm (UTC)(link)
I have always had a problem with the way women are portrayed in not only western comics, but anime and manga as well. I used to be such a fan when I was younger but I keep seeing images like these as advertisements and it seriously makes me want to punch someone in the balls.

(Anonymous) 2011-09-24 02:49 am (UTC)(link)
I can't remember the last time I could actually enjoy Catwoman for so so many damn reasons. It might have been since that whole Identity Crisis crap, where the good old Justice League ended up brainwashing Selina into loving Bruce.

Gaaaaaah. Stupid stupid stupid.

Oh, and it was as compensation for having brainwashed Batman into not remembering a crime. People thought that this was some kind of legitimate justification. Arggggh.

My opinion on it all? DC (and Marvel) don't really care too much about how many people pan their printed titles, they get like 90% of their profit from games, movies, and tv series these days (and comic sales is not the other 10%)

What they do want at the end of the day is ideas for their adaptations, and artwork they can market. Hiring artists and writers to do the version of throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks.

While I can't argue that it doesn't work, I do argue that it's a really horrible long term strategy that is gambling for demographics and price-immune followers staying in their favor indefinitely, no matter how many potential fans it might isolate along the way.

And as someone who followed comics for (too) long, this is just, I got no words. It's almost maudlin, with someone playing a tiny violin on the side.

*holds head*