You may have read Jill Lepore's op-ed about A-Force #1, which caused some consternation in the comics community. It was an odd piece that not only reinforced a lot of the "comics are just for kids" stereotypes from mainstream media, but also put a lot of shame on the superheroines, and on the creators of A-Force.
A-Force writer G. Willow Wilson posted a thoughtful response on Tumblr, which we've reprinted here with her permission.
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.
Artist Megan Levens worked in advertising for years before moving into comics, where she's built up an impressive resume already. She's drawn books like Madame Frankenstein and Ares & Aphrodite and is currently illustrating Buffy Season 10.
Everyone deserves stories about heroes who look and act and live like them; the ability to inspire people is one of the great real world powers that superheroes all share, so it's important to have heroes from every walk of life. That's true for readers inspired by Ms. Marvel or the new Thor and Captain America, and it's just as true for the country music fans that the Average Joes music label hopes to reach with its new line of heroes inspired by its performers!
Music producer Shannon Houchins and country rapper Colt Ford are the founders of the music label Average Joes, and in addition to representing their artists, they've also turned them into heroes in a series of comics sold through the Average Joes website, created by writer Doug Wagner and artist Daniel Hillyard and published by 12 Gauge Comics. As the video trailer above reveals, the heroes' tongue-in-cheek powers include banshee yells, redneck shape-shifting, and transforming into a mud-man. Shannon Hoechins explained why he felt it was important to create country music heroes.
In 1978, a group of A-list comics creators calling themselves the Comic Book Creators Guild gathered together to attempt to unionize. Members of this group included Paul Levitz, Neal Adams, Jim Shooter, Frank Miller, Walt Simonson, Chris Claremont, and more. One of the things the group did was put together a list of recommended rates for publishers, which CosmicBookNews posted last week. The union ultimately didn't work out, and the saddest thing is that the very reasonable rates they posted still aren't hit today by many publishers, even adjusted for inflation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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