Hello, I was thinking about this lately and thought maybe I should ask you, I am all about more female writers and artists in the industry, that's why I am reading Red Sonja, Rocket Girl and Saga and Alex + Ada and others. I love their art styles But what if the female writer isn't just good at all? I mean yes I do believe in equal and fair chances but if she doesn't improve, should she be dismissed? just like any bad writer?
Yes. If you’re not enjoying a writer or don’t think the work is good the you should treat her like any other writer. I’ll admit I’ll give a female writer maybe one more issue of the benefit of the doubt but at some point I just stop buying.
Well that’s Hollywood right? They have these beliefs, and even when there’s proof that they just might be wrong, there’s an excuse. First, you know who goes to movies more, men or women? The answer is WOMEN! What about the belief that only men will see a movie multiples times, but not women? They said that over and over again, until Titanic became one of the biggest grossing films ever. And then you get the line that women can’t open movies. Oh wait, Hunger Games. Snap. Or Twilight. Snap. Comedies starring women can’t open big. Whoops, Sex and the City and Bridesmaids. Black people can’t open moves. Um, sorry Tyler Perry, we can’t hear you. We can’t hear you. It goes on and on.
But Hollywood still stuffs money into films because … DUDES. And yet we saw this year The Lone Ranger (which, let’s face it, was a huge WTF of a movie to begin with) get its ass handed to it by The Heat. And Gravity breaking records at the box office. And this past weekend the double shot of Frozen and Catching Fire.
Of course when you say this stuff you get the pushback from the dudebros who mansplain you and tell you that it just doesn’t work that way.
There’s a tendency in the film world to conclude that if a female-led movie failed, it’s because it was female-led. When Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” fell short of expectations in 2009, it resurrected the cliché that boys won’t see “girl” movies. This summer an emailwent around from a Legendary Pictures representative that described “the presence of a female action hero” as a “tough sell.” The email cited “Sucker Punch,” a 2011 fantasy action movie, which starred a woman and underperformed in ticket sales. (It also received poor reviews.)
Yet before “Sucker Punch” there was “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Alien,” and the “Kill Bill” movies. And before “The Princess and the Frog” there was “Pocahontas” and “The Little Mermaid.” “Frozen” and “Catching Fire” add to the long list of films showing that there’s no market-based excuse for the dearth of female leads.
Make sure you read the whole thing.
Will this change anything? I hope so but there are still issues. Just this week we just learned that Wonder Woman has to get on the big screen in Superman movie rather than her own film.
But I think you can only keep saying women don’t open at the box office or women don’t like action movies or female leads so many times when even the NY Times is calling you on your bullshit.
I’ll know I’ll be copying and pasting those paragraphs in a lot of places around the internet for a long time.
The March solicits for DC should start hitting tomorrow and I am hearing that the month will bring another female led one-shot. In February, DC Comics will have both a Lois Lane and Joker’s Daughter one shot written by the new go to female writer at DC, Marguerite Bennett.
For March I am hearing there may be a Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller one-shot. Waller, aka The Wall, debuted in comics almost 25 years, ago is one of the most widely seen women of color in DC’s superhero IP. In addition to appearing in comics, Waller has appeared in animation, the Smallville TV show, the Green Lantern movie and has recently been added to the cast of Arrow.
Do you think Gal will bulk up for the role? One of the things I always admired about Wonder Woman was that she has definition and bulk in her muscles. Being someone who will never be stick thin, it gave me motivation when working out to aim for strength and definition, rather than shrinking down to something I will never be.
I don’t know. They had Cavill bulk up for Superman but I don’t know what their approach will be for Wonder Woman.
Since you didn't even answer my previous ask I'm just going to say. That casting directors use that excuse to white wash everything. Proper representation in media is important. But thanks for ignoring all of that and just reiterating your opinion. You should change the name of this blog to white-dcwomenkickingass
I can see your point that if ethnicity doesn’t matter it could be used to white wash roles. But my take was the person was saying he didn’t understand why fans had a problem with raceblind casting = hence the reference to limiting actors.
Of course proper representation is important. When have I said it wasn’t? Of course I want race blind casting. I think I just mentioned Kerry Washington as Wonder Woman earlier this evening. I’m not sure what you think my opinion is.
While I personally always air on the side of optimism when casting decisions are made(mostly after the success of Heath Ledger's Joker) I understand the hesitation, and wanting a stronger actress for Wonder Woman, seeing as it is an incredibly iconic role, and so much hinges on this performance in regards to the character herself and future movies.
Did you really respond to an ask that said, " Im a mostly white male myself and I can never really understand why the ethnicity of a character a movie is a huge deal," With "I wish there were more people like you?" Are you kidding me? If there really were more people like that the movies would be more of a giant white male circle jerk. Do you know how many people I see in the movies that look like me and are not maids or mechanics? Maybe one every five years. So you need to rethink that opinion.
Why did you leave off the last half of his comments? His complete comment is below. You left off the bolded parts.
am a mostly white male myself and I can never really understand why the ethnicity of a character a movie is a huge deal, I mean the physiques of superheroes are improbable already, but limiting ethnicity means there’s only a handful of choices.
Now maybe I’m an idiot and read this wrong but it would seem to me he is pointing out that he doesn’t understand why people make an issue the ethnicity of an actor because if we consider ethnicity we limit the actors who can play those roles
Which, of course, I agree with and have written about many, many times.
Personally, I think Gadot is a reasonable choice for the role given her background in training and ability, but that's not what i'm here to talk about. I'm just thinking that you seem to be a little bit one-sided when it comes to blaming DC for no Wonder Woman movie. What about Marvel? They made Elektra a few years back, and that's it. They gotta take part of the blame for female superhero movies. At least DC has made a very nice animated movie (and one coming soon) for/with Wonder Woman.
Personally I’d hope for more than a “reasonable” choice but that’s me. I’m not sure why you think I’m being one sided?Marvel has featured Black Widow in three movies. The X-Men have a casts of female characters almost equal to the men. Yes, they have not had a female led film but neither do they have a character as well known as Wonder Woman, who has never had a big screen movie. How many female superheroes from DC have been in movies in the past 75 years?
am a mostly white male myself and I can never really understand why the ethnicity of a character a movie is a huge deal, I mean the physiques of superheroes are improbable already, but limiting ethnicity means there's only a handful of choices.
Do you think actresses of the caliber you're looking for stayed away from Wonder Woman because of the high risk-low reward? New York mag showed that, except for RDJ, Bale & Jackman, superhero actors had low audience awareness. Their superhero success hasn't followed them to their other films (see: "Rush"). And worst case, you could be the next Brandon Routh: limited career options & people hate you for ruining a truly iconic character. Maybe risk it w/a better director and writer …?
The last two DC Superhero movies had Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams in roles that they auditioned for. Both are top actresses who have won critical acclaim throughout their careers. Hathaway has an Oscar. Adams has been nominated four times. Now you could say that neither role was a “true superhero” For that you’d have to go to Marvel where you have Scarlett Johanson, a Oscar nominated and Tony award winning actress.
So the idea the actresses of the caliber I’m looking for staying away for Wonder Woman, while a possibility, seems to be that strong given the facts I’ve just presented.
What would you think about Lena Heady as Wonder Woman? From what I've seen in Game of Thrones, I think she definitely has the commanding presence to pull WW off, as well as an underlying vulnerability/compassion. Gina Torres would also be a top pick for me!
Both great actresses proven by their wide body of work who would clearly have the acting chops to play the role.
It's altonncf and I'm really hoping to get more of your thoughts. I agree with you that if this movie fails it will be a long time before we see another iteration of Wonder Woman. However I can only imagine so many scenarios 1. This movie fails because of everything that Snyder is. It doesn't matter how Gadot performs. 2. Gadot does just fine, the movie succeeds and they move on with her. 3. Gadot just craps the bed but the movie still succeeds. They move forward but recast. Do you disagree?
If the movie fails, it won’t be pinned on Snyder.
If she is a success HOOORAY, then I was wrong!
On the third one, I honestly think it will be. “We gave Wonder Woman a shot, can we stop now and make a Aquaman movie?”
How are Jaimie Alexander or Kerry Washington a surer bet? Jaimie is nowhere near a name actress, her as Sif is just a few minutes of screentime, not enough to say she can carry a whole movie. Kerry is a great actress but I don't see her as believable in an action movie, and changing Wonder Womans entire appearance would cause MASSIVE backlash, plus there's no evidence I know of she'd be a believable action heroine. Neither are 'surer bets' than Gadot.
I beg to differ. Jaime Alexander has had a lot of visibility over the past few years and has received nothing but kudos for her role as Sif. That’s one of the reason when it was rumored she might be getting the role it was news everywhere.
I would say she is a far surer bet.
Kerry is a great actress. I’m not sure why you don’t see her a believable in an action movie. She has some superhero movie cred too. Good actresses can be good in a wide range of movies. Not sure where you’re coming from there.
Yes it is true Kerry is not white and many people believe that Wonder Woman should be played by a white actress.
However, in this case given the caliber of the actress and the following she has it wound’t be that big an issue to reduce the box office.
I definitely get where you're coming from. A Wonder Woman project gets one shot to be good, so the stakes are a hell of a lot higher. You can't take the risks you can with male-lead movies because there's no way DC will give any female title a shot if it doesn't go stunningly in the box office, let alone another Wonder Woman with better casting. Every little bit counts.
I disagree. If the movie pans for whatever reason (writing etc.), It has a better chance of being remade if the first actress was an unknown. Because if they use an A list actress and it pans they will always point to it and say, "look even Scarjo/whoever couldn't make this work so we give up". So there's a silver lining, although of course I would prefer if it was a home run right out of the gate and blew everyone away.
Supergirl had an unknown actress. I don’t think Jennifer Garner was A list when Elektra came out.
I think you're spot-on with your trepidation toward Gal Gadot. It's not that you think outright that she's going to do a bad job, or even that she's a bad actress. Halle Berry is a great actress but got shafted with a horrible movie. I was wondering if you had any qualms about Zack Snyder's skills as a writer and director with regard to putting Wonder Woman on the big screen (finally!)
I have plenty of qualms about Zack Snyder. To his credit I loved Lois Lane in Man of Steel.
Honestly, you're holding the movie--and more importantly, Gal Gadot, an actual woman--up to a standard nothing can possibly live up to. If it has to be absolutely perfect or all, then forget it because no movie is perfect. We know this is deeply flawed because she's still second banana to the boys, but it could still have worthwhile effects anyway. Acting as if the failure is inevitable before we know anything does not help WW, women in comics, women led movies or anything.
I don’t agree with you. Where did I say it had to be “perfect” I said I wanted a surer bet. Why is asking that an actress have some strong credits or have perhaps some more experience and some buzz or critical cred wrong or being, as some told me, “elitist” ? There are few actresses I can think of … I would have been quite happy with Jaime Alexander. You know who would have blown my socks off? Kerry Washington.
I never said failure was inevitable. My stance is that failure needs to be avoided. That’s what asking for a surer bet means.
I gotta say, as somebody who really enjoys this blog, I'm disappointed in your tweets about Gal Gadot playing Wonder Woman. If you want to talk IMDB, Lynda Carter only has 2 credited roles on her IMDB page predating Wonder Woman. Why not give Gal a chance to prove herself?
I’ve had a lot of people call me out on my comment regarding Gal Gadot’s resume. I can see their point. Certainly and actress who hasn’t worked very much in film in their career could be a good actress. I’ve seen her work and certainly I don’t think she’s bad. But I also don’t think I’ve seen the range and experience that I’d like to see.
I think everyone can agree that the casting of Wonder Woman is hugely important. While there have been multiple Batman movies and multiple Superman movies, in 75 years there has never been a live action Wonder Woman movie. A few years ago when Brandon Routh didn’t work out, they just went and cast another actor. And we got another Superman movie. When Eric Bana didn’t work as Hulk, they went and got another actor. And when Norton didn’t work out they got another actor.
I think anyone who knows the way it is with women in Hollywood and big budget movies it just doesn’t work that way.
Lynda Carter didn’t have much experience. And she was fantastic. But that was another place and time. A TV program in the 70s is not a big screen movie. The stakes were not as high.
Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I’m just too gun shy but I honestly believe that Wonder Woman has one shot on the big screen. This casting will help determine that. That’s a lot of pressure.
Do you think it is fair to want an actress that you know will kill the part?An actress you know has shown the range, the work, the ability?
When Hathaway was cast as Catwoman, there was a lot of people who didn’t like her. But you knew her work and you could tell she could act.
Same with Adams.
Same with Scarlett Johanson.
Oh you might not like them. You might not even think they’re very good actors.
But there is certainly a lot of work to evaluate them by.
As far as I’m concerned my hope was for the BEST actress possible to play Wonder Woman.
One indicator of a good actress to me would be a CV showing range and regular work.
Certainly others could feel that wasn’t a concern.
Gal Gadot may turn out to be a great Wonder Woman.
She may have range and talents that we haven’t seen.
She may have not gotten work despite being a great actress because of other reasons.
That’s a lot of assumptions. Some may be satisfied with that. Some may feel she looks the part and that’s enough. Some may think that what they’ve seen of her acting is enough.
It’s take 75 years to put Wonder Woman on the big screen.
If this doesn’t work, you’re not likely to see another try for awhile.
You can disagree but I was hoping for a slam dunk sure bet.
This is a very light week which I suppose is good because MORE GIFT MONEY and sad because there just isn’t a lot I’m excited about.
Let’s start with my pick of the week:
Did you pick up the first issue? Well if you didn’t go get it and get this too. A cold war spy thriller with an older woman as the spy. The art is wonderful.
Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder must have clones to keep turning out all these comics. Comics that are good.
Correct me if I’m wrong but this seems to be the only comic from DC this week with a female superhero on the cover.
What’s up with THAT?
Oh Fearless Defenders, your art was too booby and assy times and you did have that uncomfortable fake out killing of the character on the cover but you were fun and funny and I bought every issue. Misty and Val I will miss you.
It’s holiday time at the Avengers Mansion and it’s being written by Kathryn Immonen so I gonna take this as an early Christmas gift.
What this is ending soon? SORRY I CAN’T HEAR YOU.
Wow, after Fearless and this ends, the amount of traffic on Tumblr has got to take a hit. Does Marissa Mayer know about this?
The mini with Red Sonja with a whole of female writers continues. I like this retro cover which gives you two chain mail bikini’s for the price of one!
Seventy-five years ago when Superman debuted in Action Comics #1 there was only one other character who also appeared and has been a consistent part of the Super-Mythos …
… Lois Lane.
That means this year is also her 75th anniversary. That Lois Lane is one of the most famous fictional female characters is a simple fact. That she is key to the Superman mythos is also a fact - she was created by the team that created Superman and she’s been in almost every single media adaption of the Superman story.
Two new books have just been released about Lois Lane in time for her anniversary. DC Comics has recently released a compendium of Lois Lane comics called Lois Lane: A Celebration of 75 Years. And the academic publisher Scarecrow press has released an anthology Examining Lois Lane: The Scoop on Superman’s Sweetheart. I was provided with review copies of each and my thoughts follow.
Hollywood Is Slow to Bank on Wonder Woman But You Can Bank With Her Right Now!
Hey did you hear that two movies that feature female leads, Catching Fire and Frozen, killed the box office over Thanksgiving? And that other movie starring a woman, Gravity, is still raking it in? Oh and sequel to the Best Man is also doing great as well.
Guess that Hollywood meme about women and people of color not being fill the seats isn’t exactly true. Can’t wait to hear the newest reason why only one of the Trinity hasn’t had a live action movie.
I would say it’s becoming harder to say you can’t bank on Wonder Woman.
But while Hollywood continues waffle, you can definitely bank on her in your own life.
Behold, two Wonder Woman banks for holiday giving!
First up the one I like to call “judgemental Wonder Woman” helping you second guess those little purchases.
"Another Venti Latte? Shouldn’t you be saving for that car?" "Take out again? Don’t you want that trip to NYCC?"
Why arent you presenting any evidence for your side of the argument? That last ask you posted only asked questions and you brushed them off. I would consider your assertion more valid if you would just try to explain your side a little more.
Hey you know what? If you google “The Killing Joke” and the name of my blog you get about 8000 results. Given that I don’t really think I have to say much more do I?
I haven't read "The Killing Joke" but it is my understanding that it is an intelligent story which, successfully or unsuccessfully, tries to make some sort of intellectual point. Presumably, given that rape happen in real life, it can happen in art in some way, shape, or form. What is it about it's use in "The Killing Joke" that makes it wrong or less acceptable and how does one depict/include rape in a story in a way that is acceptable?
Wait. You really haven’t read it? You really actually 100% admitted you haven’t read the content in question but you took the time to weigh in on it? Really?
Women are victims of Rape and torture in real life, so having it happen in fiction is not Sexist. TKJ was not condoning, it was the Fraking Joker. I think whats Misogynist are the radically Feminists who want to dictate how women can and can't be used in fiction. The story was not meant to be canon when it was written .
Congrats. In one set of, um, let’s go with words that have periods between them - you’ve managed to shove in just about every excuse, handwave and generally distressing defense of The Killing Joke AND those who choose to criticize it. Your logic is truly … mind boggling. The Fraking Joker applauds you as do all radically Feminists everywhere.
New Original Killing Joke Artwork Revealed; Even More Torture Porny than We Thought
I don’t think its any surprised that I’m not a fan of The Killing Joke. I consider it to be at best a mediocre Batman story and one of the lowest moments in DC history in their treatment of female characters.
We all know what happens to Barbara Gordon in the book. We all have heard the tales of Alan Moore calling Len Wein for permission to shoot Barbara Gordon in the book and the response he received:
"I asked DC if they had any problem with me crippling Barbara Gordon - who was Batgirl at the time - and if I remember, I spoke to Len Wein, who was our editor on the project…[He] said, ‘Yeah, okay, cripple the bitch.’
For years there have been discussions about how Barbara Gordon was treated in the book - shot, stripped and photographed naked. I, like many others, have bluntly called it torture porn.
But of course others differ. I’ve been told that there is no rape so there is no mysogyny. That “Jim Gordon is also naked, so it there is no sexism.” That it isn’t about Barbara being a woman but about her being collateral damage.
Sure. Sure it is.
Today some original art from The Killing Joke showed up. And it shows that page. You know page with the photos that Jim Gordon is shown of his daughter.
Hi there! Can I first just say, I LOVE YOUR WORK!! You've helped me come across some magnificent comics, and I'm quite grateful! I was curious, do you have any recommendations for talented colourists? I'm trying to expand my view of comics beyond the work of the writer, penciler and editor!
Aw thanks. What a great question about colorists. My favorite colorists right now are Dave Stewart (who you might know from Rucka’s Batwoman run and Dark Horse’s Hell Boy). There is no comic book red like a Dave Stewart red. Fiona Staples does all her own colors for Saga (she also draws and inks it) so she’s definitely on the list. Jordie Bellaire is young but is already making her mark at Marvel and Dark Horse. Matt Hollingsworth gives the Hawkeye books that recognizable purple. There’s also Bettie Breitweiser who has done work for Marvel and Image on Ed Brubaker’s books. Colorists are incredibly important to comics and we should all give them more credit and love!
I'm curious what your particular problem is with Supergirl becoming a red lantern is? My personal distaste for the idea comes from the fact that it seems like it's trying to "fix" a character (who doesn't need fixing in the first place.) with tools from another character's metaphorical utility belt.
Because it’s non-sensical? Lazy? Taking what could be an optimistic character and playing into the a trope of ANGRY YOUNG WOMAN that’s been done to death with that very character all ready? That it speaks to the failure of the Superman books except for very select cases to build compelling new stories? Supergirl could be a complex nuanced character (remember they were comparing her to Katniss in the very early days of the reboots). She’s lost her world, her parents and arrives in strange world. She should have some anger and she has but she should be evolving. Putting a Red Lantern ring on her is the superhero version of shoving a lampshade on her. In my opinion, of course.
I just wanted to thank you for keeping me informed about women and comic books. I often don't realize what's wrong with a comic until it's pointed out. People who spread awareness like you really help me see and understand what's going on and that helps me be a better and more knowledgeable person. So thank you.
The The most wonderful time of the year: 25 Days of Holiday DC Women
It’s December 1st, and once again I’m hanging out the festive holiday decorations. And once again I’ll be featuring 25 days of holiday items featuring the women of DC Comics. Each day I’ll post a holiday theme piece —could be panels from a comic, a holiday item, or, maybe, as we get to the end some original art from some up and coming artists (drop me a note if you’d like to participate!). To kick off things we have a moment celebrating both lights and love.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for some of us. And along with stuffing our pie holes with … well pie, it is time to give thanks. And as I have done for thelastfew years I’m going to name some of the things I’m thankful for in comics this year. POSITIVITY!
More ladies making comics. This year saw Annie Wu, Marguerite Bennett and Caitlin Kittredge joining the ever expanding list of women in corproate comics. Let’s keep that up!
Marvel Loving Ladies. Marvel has continue to show that it is commited to having female leads in its books. Despite the cancellations of Journey into Mystery (sniff) and Red She-Hulk and Fearless Defenders, they are back next year with Elektra, Black Widow and Ms. Marvel as well as a new #1 of Captain Marvel.
And speaking of Ms. Marvel …
Ms. Marvel. I know a lot of focus has been on the fact that Ms. Marvel has a Muslim teenager who is the daughter of Pakistani immigrants as its lead. And that the book is written by a woman, G. Willow Wilson. But the other cool thing? This is the first instance where of a female-led legacy spin-off book in superhero comics. Think about that.
Early morning digital comics. I still drop in the LCS once a week but it is pretty great to be able to wake up and grab most of my comics before work. Except Marvel. Getting going on that Marvel.
Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick. I’m going to couple these two together because, well they are a couple, but beyond that because pound by pound I think they have contributed a lot of enjoyment to my comic reading this year. Captain Marvel, Ghost, Avengers Assemble, Pretty Deadly, Hawkeye, Satellite Sam, FF, and Sex Criminals. That’s ALOT of great reading. Keep it up!
Image Comics. Thanks for Saga, thanks for Lazarus, thanks for Mara, thanks for Glory, thanks for Sex Criminals, thanks for Fatale, thanks for just some of the best comics this year.
Superman Unchained. The real Superman and Lois Lane still exist at DC Comics and thanks Scott Snyder for giving them to us (Jim Lee too).
The return of Stephanie Brown. Thanks DC Comics for bringing back Stephanie Brown. Now bring back Cass Cain.
Women Speaking Out. Well it certainly has been a sad few weeks hasn’t it? You can take all the wonderfully positive things I’ve listed about women in comics and lay a big fat bag of harrassment stories in the middle of it and it really stinks up the room. But you can’t clean out the room unless people are willing to step forward. So to all the women who havespokenout about their experiences and commented on the experiences of others, thank you.
True Social Media. Say what you want about Twitter and the comments sections of blogs, I am so glad for you because you have introduced me to and helped me create friendships and mutual admiration societies that I could never dreamed would exist. And this year I met many of them in person. Growing up it was very difficult to find people to hang out with who also enjoyed comics. Today there is an endless stream of folks who I can chat with, joke with and, of course, complain with. It really is so much fun and I am thankful for all of you. Well most of you, the trolls and backbiters can … well GET STUFFED. It’s Thanksgving after all!