I usually enjoy Solicit Mondays quite a lot. It's all about making your own fun before context has a chance of ruining everything. Today, however... there was not much even worthy of mocking.

But that doesn't mean there's nothing to say.

How about a new game? I'll pick an emotion, and then we'll see if anything can turn my face into the appropriate emoicon smilie.

:) Happy

DC is continuing to get people other than Churchill or Turner to draw the Supergirl covers, and this pleases me. I'd be willing to buy that book. Now, all they have to do is to get someone else to draw the *interiors* as well.

:| Annoyed

It turns out that Miss Martian really *did* steal Supergirl's skirt. Complete with the no-underwear.

;7 Mildly Amused

There's no Superman/Batman issue solicited for Valentine's Day, or, indeed, the month of February. That doesn't seem right.
javascript hit counter
>:O Angry

If you make it all the way to the bottom of the page, you'll notice that there's a bust of Big Barda coming out next year. Which really should have been good news, as Barda is very much a Thing Which Is Awesome.

If you're going to brainstorm about Barda, the first thing that comes to mind is, yes, *Big*. Immense, in the way that only creations of Jack Kirby can be. She's huge physically and in personality. I've heard 'Amazonian,' and while this isn't really correct, she's a counterpoint to Wonder Woman in a lot of ways. Both are powerful warriors trained by alien cultures, but while Diana grew up in a world that valued peace, Barda was trained to bring only destruction. Diana came to our world to further the values of her people; Barda left behind her people to fight for what *she* thinks is right.

Her story is woven as part of an epic, but Barda's journey - from a servant of Darkseid to a superhero - is her own. And it's just as encompassing and *Big* as everything else about her.

And here's the statue DC chose to represent all that.

There are so, so many things that are wrong about this that I hardly know where to start. How about the obvious, then.

Why the FUCK is she nearly naked?

This is a cover image of Barda, taken from the same solicits, that doesn't quite give us the Platonic ideal of the character but comes close enough. Barda should be in full body armour - chain mail, with bright, primary accents to remind us she's Kirby's baby - and most likely hefting a weapon none of us would be able to lift.

Yes, the bikini is canon. No, that doesn't matter at all. When there are a few statues out there of Barda in the best known, classic, current costume, *then* we can talk about the almost-naked variants. I mean, how many lovingly crafted statues are there of Clark Kent in his swimming briefs?

What the FUCK is with the anatomy?

The upper arms aren't too bad, although the forearm looks more injured than muscled, but for the rest of her Adam Hughes seems to have been feeding the designs through a kids' mix 'n match book. Barda should be grateful she didn't end up with the bottom half of a fifty year old fireman and a policeman's head.

Except not, because then at least she wouldn't be about to topple over. Where are her hips? Her abs? Her legs? She looks ridiculous.

Her left wrist is at a completely wrong angle given the positioning of the rest of the arm. It looks unnatural and painful. (Although, after some twisting, I've determined you can to pose an arm like that, if you don't mind discomfort after the first few seconds. Which makes the next WRONG even more so.)

Where the FUCKING FUCK is the attitude? The sense of strength? The ferocity?

And even if the statue had been a nude sculpted by a five year old in playdoh, *this* is the one I'm unwilling to dismiss, unwilling to forgive.

Her stance is off balance, and her shoulders aren't squared. The (weirdly) muscled arms buy her some power, but, combined with the way she's holding herself, mostly they just emphasize that she's not about to use it. (Look boys! It's okay to buy me! You're in control!)

Then. Her head is angled downward. Her gaze is down and unfocussed, staring into no-space. Her expression is blank, only vaguely aware. There's no playful flirtiness to be found here, no sense that whatever is going on, she's at least having fun. No agency at all.

This is *submission*, people.

This is "Take the cloak. Take me. I am here to be used as you please." That's not even her cape draped over her arm: it belongs to her husband. So she's, what? Mr. Miracle's sexy coat-rack?

In 1971, Big Barda was introduced as a powerful warrior, the leader of the Female Furies, someone proud and strong and brave enough to stand against Darkseid.

In 2006, she's finally come to the point where you, too, will be able to buy your own Barda: Well-Trained Submissive (with random muscles, for extra fetish value!), commemorated for all time in statue form.


Fuck you, too, DC.*


*Unless DC really is making sculptures to commemorate what their characters get up to behind bedroom doors. In which case I can hardly wait for Likes-Giving-Oral Green Arrow and Ride-em-Cowgirl Helena.
odditycollector: Giant crayon with a airplane tail fin flying over a landscape, dropping smaller crayons or bombs. Icon is calming green. (Crayon Bomb)
( Nov. 9th, 2006 12:57 am)
Oh, Wizard Magazine. It's always comforting to know you're working so hard to raise the level of discourse.
I'm not in the right frame of mind to finish up the five things meme right now. I am much too angry, and I have to wait until tomorrow to deal with the root cause.

So I went on the internet in an attempt to distract myself, where I learned that Harlan Ellison groped Connie Willis onstage at the Hugo Awards, (and also assaulted another author whose book I do not know, but seems to be rated quite high on amazon.com).

And. I could not properly parse this new happening. I had to break it down into concepts small enough for my brain to digest.

Harlan Ellison.

Sexually assaulted.

Connie fucking *Willis*.


That is, in front of an audience.

At the Fucking Hugo Awards.

(And he was entirely inappropriate off-stage, in case that makes it okay.)


I scanned over Google News to see what sort reaction the press had to this and. Nothing. Not one article that I saw felt it worth mentioning.

I'm wondering, is it just because these are the *Hugo Awards*, and this kind of shit should be tolerated at the highest recognition ceremony the speculative fiction genre has? Would "Emmy Winner Groped Onstage By Fellow Nominee" have been considered news? Or only if the Fellow Nominee didn't think it was funny.

More people should be ANGRY. And [livejournal.com profile] pnh explained why much better than I could.

Just as with George W. Bush's now-famous uninvited shoulder-rub of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the basic message of Ellison's tit-grab is this: "Remember, you may think you have standing, status, and normal, everyday adult dignity, but we can take it back at any time. If you are female, you'll never be safe. You can be the political leader of the most powerful country in Europe. You can be the most honored female writer in modern science fiction. We can still demean you, if we feel like it, and at random intervals, just to keep you in line, we will."

And also I'm thinking this:

Neil Gaiman refused his nomination for this year's Hugo awards. I bet it wasn't because he was afraid someone would grab his ass.
Forbes magazine gives us Reasons Not to Marry a Career Woman, prompting many people on my flist to wonder about the other article, Reasons Not To Marry a Career Man.

Just read it again, this time keeping in mind that Forbes magazine is supposed to represent the mindset of those same Career Men. I think you'll find the original article does the job exceedingly well.
A while ago, When Fangirls Attack linked to an article summarizing Adventure #368. It's an old Legion comic about the perils of girls having too much power, and after being reminded of the story my inner feminist immediately... kind of squirmed nervously and then suffered a happy bout of nostalgia.

This was one of my favourite comics as a little bitty Karen (along with another story which was pretty much exactly the same. If nothing else, Silver Age stories taught me the value of finding a theme one enjoys and *sticking to it*). I read it a disproportionate number of times, always giggling madly.

Of course, back then I was pretty good at reading stories that were awesome, instead of, say, the ones actually in front of me. Here is what little bitty Karen took away from Adventure Comics #368:

The girls take over the world and turn all the boys into slaves! This is the Best Idea Ever!

And then, inspired, I grew up to be a dominatrix  politician  fangirl, so I'm not sure what moral to draw here.

So, I'm scanning through my internet reading, trying to catch up on what you've all been up to. Then, as I'm half-way through a post about the latest Joe Quesada... thing, I suddenly realize something very personally depressing for me.

What I want to be when I grow up
                   by Karen, age 11
(annotations by Karen, age 21)

1. ASTRONAUT (indeed yes, still valid)
3. REALLY REALLY RICH (yes, please)
4. TALL (… short people live longer… and make better astronauts… and can handle the higher G-forces fighter pilots face…. so there, world)
5. TIME TRAVELLER (strangely, my plans with this one have barely changed in the past ten years. See #3 and #6 as applicable)
6. MAD SCIENTIST (working on it!)
7. GOOD AT MATH (I'll settle for "able to fake it")
8. RULER OF THE WORLD, COMPLETE WITH MINIONS FOR CRUSHING BENEATH MY FEET MWAHAHAHA (oh, younger self. I'm embarrassed to have known you sometimes. And how I wish I could say you got over this phase)
9. MOVIE PRODUCER (did I even know what that was?)
10. COMIC BOOK WRITER (you know, on second thought? This doesn't sound like fun at all)

This moment of sober adulthood brought to you by *comic books*, apparently.

Maybe they need to come with a stamp: "Caution! Use only as directed. Not to be taken internally. See a doctor if the condition persists. Wearing of cape does not enable user to fly."
There is now a proper counterpart to Miller's Wonder Woman cover, as provided by the talented [livejournal.com profile] vejiita4eva.

So, uh. What if Miller had set All Star Batman #5 in a male strip club?
I've been mostly away from the internet for the last couple days, in a great object lesson about timing.

My superhero covers post reached number 2 on BlogPulse, which is really cool, considering the subject matter. Obviously, people actually care about what goes on in comics! It's a refreshing concept, and, I shall not lie, I am fighting the urge to do the snoopy dance.*

When Fangirls Attack collects links to discussions on gender and comics, so they have a pretty extensive list of reactions to my photoshop skills, as well as posts relating to the Girl-Wonder.org and even things entirely unrelated to anything we're doing over in this corner of LJ. I've only glanced through a few of them, but the discussion on Feministe is so far my favourite. (I'm Oppressing Geeks! Oh noes! With bonus intelligent conversation.)

Or, if you are bored with Hal's ass at this point, go tell [livejournal.com profile] monkeycrackmary what you want from comic books, with regard to female characters. Because I think the Girl-Wonder.org project will prove to be important, in the same way the Women in Refrigerators site turned out to be important.

Now... at some point soon I'm going to have to gird myself, take a deep breath, and get to the comments in my own LJ. (Possibly I've found a new [livejournal.com profile] comica_obscura procrastination project.)


*As a substitute expression of glee, my Alan Scott plushie is swooping around my desk on a space shuttle, looking slightly disappointed at the lack of evil to fight.
It's understood as a general premise among most comics fans that there's sexism in comics. It's understood as a general premise among most *female* fans - and, apparently, a somewhat, *worryingly*, smaller proportion of comics fans in general - that this is a *problem*.

When talking about it, we often point at the art for examples, because the art is *right there*, but it's deeper than that. It's the way the characters are written. The way (and the reasons) they are killed off. The way (and the *if*) they're remembered.

(I'm sure most everyone reading this is familiar with the Women in Refrigerators site. It hasn't been updated for a while, but this isn't because there are no new names to add. Likewise, I'm sure we've all seen the pages from Frank Miller's script for All Star Batman.)

Infinite Crisis may have changed some things around the DCU - we will see - but it is already very apparent that it did not change THAT.

And there are people smarter than me who are pissed off and doing something about it.

[livejournal.com profile] monkeycrackmary is starting up Girl-Wonder.Org.

As I said here, I want to make this site primarily concerned with Stephanie Brown and how sick lots of fans are of being spoon-fed bullshit like the idea that her death "had a major impact on our heroes and their lives, and will continue to do so in the year to come. I see no need to change that" when the only place she's been mentioned at all is in the (cancelled) Batgirl and a Batgirl story in the (cancelled) Solo.

But there are a lot of other reasons for female fans in comics to be pissed, and so I'm here offering a hundred megs of space at the new domain to anyone and everyone who wants to champion a similar cause, make a fansite, host fanworks, or even just have a personal page as a female comics fan. The only things you can't apply for space for are trafficking scanned comics (torrents are your less-illegal friend, yo) or online petitions. Online petitions do squat. If you want someone to notice your support of a cause, buy a stamp and an envelope.

There's a lot of explanation and interesting discussion (and a lot of argry discussion, but it is rightfully angry and still *interesting*) to be found here, here, here, and here. Or just go through her recent blog entries. There's also talk of starting an Ad-Libbed letter writing campaign which is amusing, pointed, and appropriate.

There are many quotes I just want to crop out and point at and go WORD. YES. But I shall leave you to go there on your own, except for one.

It's about... well, to be honest, a lot of it for me (and I know this would be a very, very dicey reason to include on any list, and I don't intend to use it on the site) is that I have an under-ten sister who likes to play at being Robin. She's only just started reading comics, and I'm in this terrible position where I'm actually hoping she'll never read these same books I gobble up.



[livejournal.com profile] petronelle is more eloquent than I could be on why it matters as a *fan*.

[livejournal.com profile] littledarkvoice is starting a wiki-type webcylopedia on the history of female superheroes.

It should be a fun project. The origins (not to be confused with the Secret Origins!!!) of Wonder Woman and Power Girl, for instance, have bits that make me giggle. The origins of Oracle, much as I love the character, has bits that never fail to make me cranky.
This is something I care strongly about. And part of it is that, yes, I want superhero comics to be a totally valid art form that can be passed on to future readers without shame or essays about negotiated reading. (At least, from a *feminist* perspective. Comic fans either get skilled at the general practise or their brains explode.) There are issues enough with sexism in society without *my hobby*, to which I give *my money*, being part of the problem.

And, honestly, a lot of it is that I am shallow. I want to be able to read comics about my favourite characters without being cranky and thinking "Ew!" and "Pants, plz! Put on some goddamn *pants!"

I really should know better, but I clicked on a link to the DC message boards, topic of the new Frank Miller cover.

In summary... this is why I’m going to stay way the hell over here okay thanks. However, one exchange did catch my attention and would not let me shake it as it might have a sane person.

[livejournal.com profile] maelithil:
Depicting [women] as an ass, a pair of tits, some gorgeous thighs is doing them a disservice. Distilling them into nothing but their sexual attributes is objectifying. And that's exactly what this cover does.

Random Fanboy:
And notice that Superman's chest is OFTEN a whole panel unto itself. Not Superman fighting the bad guy. Not Superman standing full figure. Superman's chest. Just his chest. His huge, massive, S-draped, extraterrestrially muscular chest. Is Superman being objectified? Is he being used? Should I cry for Superman?

And. Just. What? This is the counterexample?

But! Maybe it’s not that his logic is just that scary. Maybe it's hard to understand what she’s talking about because it really, honestly is that there’s no comparable example featuring a male denizen of the DCU. I mean, even the occasional Nightwing crotch shot *tries* to have context.

Obviously, something had to be done. For The Good Of Fandom.

Luckily, much like Miller, I have no shame.

Totally Appropriate Covers (with bonus, never before seen script excerpts)! )
For those watching the Bill Napoli google-bomb...

Let's play a game! (It should only bring back slight flashbacks to standardized exams.)

Match the following quotation to its most likely context:

...a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

[Poll #687408]

If you guessed Bill Napoli, you deserve a prize. But not a very large one, as the Bill Napoli link has been spreading through LJ like a, well, bomb.

The current (and correct) usage of the term Bill Napoli originated here (for those interested in etymology or more details).


odditycollector: Supergirl hovering in black silhouette except for the red crest. Cape fluttering. Background is a roiling, raining sky. (Default)


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags