Following the publication of a list of the “Comics Power 100” a few weeks ago the lack of women led to a post of 10 women who could/should have been on the list. Among them:
Gail Simone, creator DC Comics - Beyond being a strong creator, Simone has a passionate fan base that will follow her from book to book. As the creator of Women in Refrigerators she’s considered a thought leader on gender in comics. Do you really think that DC would have gotten rid of Oracle as easily if Simone hadn’t been attached to Batgirl? Most recently Simone showed her clout by raising over $117K on Kickstarter for a creator owned comic, Leaving Megalapolis.
That’s just my opinion, of course. And we all know how much a woman’s opinion on comics is valued. At least three feminazi’s, two crazies and one or two “hysterical fangirls”!
But that statement about getting rid of Oracle for Batgirl is not opinion and is absolutely true. DC has made many controversial decisions over the years but that one? Breaking their promise to readers? Getting rid of their most prominent physically challenged character? That was a hugely controversial one. But putting Simone on the book mitigated a lot of the issues. And DC absolutely knew that.
So in the bizarro world that is DC Comics:
DC canned Gail Simone from said Batgirl book (by email to boot) (but probably with a :( in it too.)
Writers get bounced off books all the time in comics. But usually there’s a reason - and that reason is usually because of sales or because the writer doesn’t agree with where the editors and management want to take the book.
(And for the speculation that being outspoken on social media and having vocal detractors is a gig killer at DC … if that were true how do you explain one of the newest lead writers on the Trinity?)
Given the sales on Batgirl it would seem that wasn’t the issue. So is it the other?
Probably? From what I’ve read and been told, DC’s editors and publishers have their fingers deep into every book. The litany editorial mandates about the most minute things that have been passed down to writers over the past two years is boggling - everything from what weapons a character can use, to last minute name changes (and unnamed changes) and, of course, the outright refusal to allow creators to use certain characters. George Perez has publicly discussed his experience. So did others like Liefeld and Rozum. There are others who haven’t gone public but their stories are just as disheartening.
It’s almost as if some of these books are successes in spite of DC. That’s a scary idea.
The saddest part of this incident with Simone is that DC treated one of their biggest cheerleaders like this. She’s a vocal supporter of the DC line and promoted the hell out of new 52. She’s constantly promoting comics and the shop owners who drive the business.
But she is also quick to criticize DC around their treatment of women, people of color and LGBQT. You know, the folks that DC and comics has historically ignored or had issues with.
Let’s hope Simone’s treatment, especially a week after Karen Berger announced she is leaving, is not a signal that dudebro train is getting ready to leave the DC station once again (especially after the glacier melting a bit around targeting female readers sited last week).
However, if you’re not on that train, I’m hard pressed to think why you wouldn’t feel a bit concerned about DC Comics.
Today there’s one less female creator on a book at DC despite DC saying they “heard” the concerns from readers after the train wreck around gender at SDCC. And it’s the one who had the biggest seat at the DC writer’s table and the biggest voice about the treatment of female and other under represented characters.
Definitely very concerning.