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Marvel continues to give female characters their own books. Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Black Widow, Elektra, Storm and now Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman/
Are you excited?
Check out these covers from Spider-Woman #1. First the regular cover by Greg Land. Oh, wait, you knew that Greg Land was drawing this?
I feel so bad about Jessica’s leg - where did it go? Perhaps it is with Silk’s spine?
But wait! Here’s the variant from Milo Manara
Marvel has done a terrific job providing their female led books with artists that have strong story telling skills and draw female characters that aren’t objectified.
I like Jessica Drew and would have eagerly read this book.
But those covers?
Land on art?
Talk about mixed signals. Oh well, I still have the other books.
Today on Twitter, Richard Neal of Zeus Comics in Austin, Texas posted a promotional card for the Capital City Comic Con which is scheduled for July in the city. According to Neal they were dropped them off at his shop. Zeus has a very good reputation for not being one of “those shops” and welcoming to women so Neal was a little perturbed when he actually looked at the flyer stating on Twitter, “It doesn’t foster the community I want for Zeus for certain.”
That’s one way describing. Another would be “sexist, pandering, off-putting bullshit”
Given the progressiveness of Austin combined with women growing as a demographic in comics, one would think that someone would think twice before spending money to put this stupid idea to paper. But they didn’t.
I looked up the show and found their web site also includes the owner’s names and their email. I have an email into the owner to see if this is an authorized promotion and what their thinking is around it.
I’ll update the post with any comments.
This week we saw the return of two pre-52 characters to DC Comics. Two characters who in the old 52 ended looked a LOT different.
Connor Hawke, son of Oliver Queen, took over the title of Green Arrow after Ollie died and became of the few men of color to headline their own book.
That’s Connor Hawke as he appeared in the pre-52. Here’s who showed up using his name today in Earth 2.
The character, Red Arrow, was originally created by James Robinson and was clearly a Roy Harper analogue given his name, Roy McQueen.
And speaking of Green Arrow, in the old DCU Ollie used to hang out with one of the more awesome female characters that appeared in DC (and one of the few black women), Onyx Adams.
And here is Onyx today in Green Arrow
Sigh. Really? Really?
So not cool, DC.
On the plus side we did see an awesome new Aquawoman today in Earth 2.
Bow lower Bats.
The New York Post has the exclusive about the much expected news that Batman’s next Robin would be a girl. But it’s not Harper Row. Nope. It’s a female character that has worked with Batman before and is a fan favorite.
This is canon. Not an Elseworlds. Not a dream. As of Justice League #12 Superman and Wonder Woman are together. EW has the story:
Writer Geoff Johns hints that some event — possibly tragic — will impact every member of the Justice League, and cause Superman and Wonder Woman to seek solace in each other and move from super-powered colleagues to power couple. This is no one-issue stunt: “This is the new status quo,” says Johns, adding that the relationship will have a seismic impact on all the heroes and villains in the DC universe.
"The new status quo". Now you know why they ditched the super marriage.
I have some thoughts on this. But they will come later.
They will not be pleasant.
Over on the Escher Girls blog, which does an amazingly consistent and good job of slicing and dicing comic book art featuring women, a submission was posted which blew my already cynical mind.
It was about a Batwoman piece that artist submitted for a portfolio review. The artist freely admits to not being the best artist in the world but wanted to get some feedback from portfolio reviews during SDCC.
I’ve stood and watched some portfolio reviews at conventions, and I’ve seen all levels of artists’ stuff - from penciled images that makes your jaw drop with “you’ve got to be kidding me” to work that you can see real potential in.
You can check out more of her work on her DA page, but let’s focus on the comments she received in regard to this sketch of Batwoman.
I’d say that is fine portrait of Batwoman and, bonus, that no backs were broken in the production of it. Gail Simone said, “I like that Batwoman piece very much. I don’t know what the rest of the portfolio is like, but if you can tell a story as well, I would work with you any time.”
And now on to the feedback. You can read the whole thing over at Escher Girls but essentially the general feedback from the publishers was that it “wasn’t industry standard”. One company was more specific. Brace yourself: (Bolding mine.)
“Her breasts are much too small and do not have the lift that superhero women should have. Her jawline is fat and her neck much too long. The style of her hair is clunky and does not flow in a sense that a super human would. Her hips, waist and thighs are too big and she honestly looks fat. No one is going to want to read a comic with a fat female protagonist. I honestly recommend looking at issues of Sport’s Illustrated to get the right anatomy. Those women are the peak of human perfection, and that is what we want in this industry.”
You know I could post a few recent covers that show off female characters and their lack of anatomy (and backs and normal size asses) but I don’t even think I have too. And the fat comment? Look at the waist — does that look anyone who could be reasonably considered overweight?
And remember we don’t know which comic company this is. Could be a big two, could be an indie.
That said I am not the least bit surprised. Not when I was told by an artist who works at a big two company that an another artist was not given a gig on a female led book because a senior executive didn’t think the artist “drew women ‘sexy enough’”
And there are other tales I’ve been told. But I’ll save them for another day.
The debate about how women are drawn in comics seems to never end. And each time it comes up I am heartened by the folks who get it and then brought down to earth by the amazingly cluelessness of others - both men and women. Kelly’s column on the topic over on CBR practically broke the internet but if you haven’t read it you should. But prepare yourself for some of the comments.
And look this post isn’t about having artists who aren’t ready for the big time getting a pass. This isn’t about female artists and comics. This isn’t about disagreeing that there is a hyper-realism in comics. Of course there is, I know absolutely no one is real life who flies or has the ability to stop a missile with their bare hands. This is about how there is a fundamental disconnect by some people in comics when it comes to the depiction of women. Not by all. But even one like the person who commented on the Batwoman piece is too much.
This is what the original page 10 of the comic looked like per the colorist
The original version of Starfire from Red Hood & The Outlaws #1 page 10. They originally wanted a semi-transparent bikini.
Also that final page of Catwoman? I’ve had a few people tell me the first version was far worse.
There’s vampires. Or things called Keres that look like vampires. Whatever they are Diana is shooting them. With a gun. So Wonder Woman is like Underworld? Quick someone photoshop Kate Bekinsales’s head to the new costume. More at the Source.