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You Must Be This Tall To Ride: Believing Harassment Victims Makes Geek Spaces More Welcoming, Not Less

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We have to believe victims of harassment, even in conditions that we’ve been taught should excuse us from giving a damn: what the victim was wearing, what they’d done with the harasser previously, whether we even like the victim personally, and, perhaps most importantly, who the harasser is.

We want an excuse not to believe, because it would release us from the unpleasant matter of figuring out what to do next. This is an especially thorny problem online, where we act as if we only have two options: join the angry mob with pitchforks, hounding the guilty party out of our spaces and off the web (or out of the industry) entirely, or… do nothing.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Culture, Longform

CBLDF Offers A New Tool Connecting Educators and Comics Professionals

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The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund just announced their new tool, the Comics Connector, a resource for educators and librarians to help them find comic professionals willing to speak with students and others. This is a great service that helps increase the access that librarians and educators have to people in the comics industry, and it may help get introduce comics to more people.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Culture, News

Tamaki and DeForge Guide You Around the Butter Tarts of Toronto, Just in Time for TCAF

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The butter tart is one of Canada's great cultural contribtutions to the world. The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) also fits squarely in that category. So it's apt that these two juggernauts of the North have come together this weekend --- the very weekend of TCAF --- in the form of a handy map of Toronto's finest butter tarts created by two of TCAF's critically acclaimed guests; Super Mutant Magic Academy author Jillian Tamaki, and Ant Colony author Michael DeForge. If you're hitting up the festival this weekend, you may want to set aside a little time for a butter tart pilgrimage.

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Smart, Nice and Sassy: ‘Good Girl’ Role Models Make Boring Heroes

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Girls need role models. This is an old canard, though it’s tempting to see its genesis in 1990s girl power — it’s just that it hasn’t always meant warmed-over Gloria Steinem quotes and the Spice Girls. June Cleaver was a Good Role Model for Girls. The Virgin Mary is a Good Role Model for Girls. Their ranks have swelled with Buffys, Lara Crofts, and Wonder Women, but they stand, toned of arm and glossed of lip, beneath the same banner.

In response to a dearth of women, mainstream comics now turns to the Good Role Model for Girls as a panacea. Spider-Gwen! Spider Woman! Batgirl! Hawkeye! Black Widow! All the women in X-Men! She-Hulk! Even Suzie in Sex Criminals! And oh, how the little girl marooned in 90s comic dungeons within me sang! It’s a new age, I thought; a turning point. The first issues fly by, and I purchase every single one.

And I am bored.

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Who Owns Power Girl? On Ownership, Gerry Conway, and DC Entertainment’s Royalty System

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Writer Gerry Conway, who created several characters during his time at both Marvel and DC (including Firestorm, Killer Croc, Vixen and The Punisher) took to his blog recently to discuss and throw a spotlight on the way DC pay credit to their creative talent for the characters they created while working for the company.

By introducing what they call ‘creator equity participation’, DC was one of the first publishers to offer royalty payments to creators for when characters were used outside of the comics medium --- such as in television, cinema, toys, or video games. Chuck Dixon, for example, is paid whenever Bane appears in a film or video game, as he is cited as the character’s co-creator.

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Marvel’s Faiza Hussain: ‘Better’ as Normal

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Whatever Marvel is doing with Secret Wars, one established fact stands out to me: they’re bringing back British, hijabi superhero, and personal favorite, Faiza Hussain, to the printed page. My heart swells.

Faiza Hussain debuted in 2008, in Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk’s Captain Britain & MI:13. I adored this book, and I immediately adored her; Faiza’s debut was both the introduction of a vibrant, individual human character and a tight superhero origin story. She's a necessary part of the Marvel Universe, not just because she represents modern Britain, but because there was already a seat laid for her at the Round Table.

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Tidal Energy of Rainbow Vomit: Cartoonist Ines Estrada [Hire This Woman]

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Hire This Woman is a recurring feature on ComicsAlliance that shines a spotlight on female comics creators, whether they're relative newcomers or experienced pros who are ready to break out. In an overwhelmingly male business, we want to draw your attention to these creators --- and to raise their profile with editors and industry gatekeepers.

Inés Estrada is a cartoonist, illustrator, fashion designer, and publisher. She also organized Mexico City's first ever festival dedicated to self-published comics and zines. Last year she published her first graphic novel, Lapsos, and is currently working on multiple projects.

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‘All-New X-Men’ Reveals Longtime X-Man As Gay (For Now)

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The Advocate has published leaked pages from All-New X-Men #40, on sale tomorrow, which reveal that one of the characters is secretly gay. It's a big moment, and one that could potentially increase gay visibility in the Marvel Universe in a significant way, but there are complications to the story that make it hard to read as an unambiguous victory for LGBTQ representation. Read on if you don't mind having the issue spoiled.

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With ‘The Stripling Warrior’, Brian Andersen Brings the First Gay Mormon Superhero to Comics [Back Pages]

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Just funded on Kickstarter, The Stripling Warrior is a new superhero character created by Brian Andersen and James Neish. A gay Mormon hero, the character is a personal project for Andersen, who is himself gay and a Mormon --- and also, perhaps, a hero. The series follows Sam Shepherd, who is approached on his wedding night by the Angel Abish --- one of the few named female characters in the Book of Mormon --- and asked to become the Hand of God on Earth.

The Mormon Church has a reputation for not being accepting of homosexuality, making this a comic that directly addresses some quite powerful taboos within the religion. Coming from Brian's own personal experiences, this seemed like a project well worth exploring further, so we spoke to him about how it came together, and why he wanted to tell this story.

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Empowering Versus Objectifying: How Power Matters For Real and Fictional Women

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Cartoonist Ronnie Richie has a great piece up at Everyday Feminism that explains what makes a portrayal of a woman empowering versus objectifying. It seems like there should be an easy answer to this question, and Richie offers one, but they also make clear that creators and consumers still really need to think seriously about individual portrayals and depictions in order to understand the distinction. There's no one-size-fits-all answer to what makes something empowering rather than objectifying, because there's an eternally shifting dynamic in each situation: who has the power.

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