Hi, I’m Charlotte Finn. I’m a lifelong comics fan and, last year, I admitted to myself that I am transgender.
Coming out as transgender means reassessing a lot about your life, your place in the world, and what that world's been telling you about yourself before you even realized who you really were. In this occasional series, I’m going to be applying that reassessment to comics that feature people like me, or close to being like me, and look them over with a fresh set of eyes, starting with Rat Queens Special #1: Braga, by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tess Fowler.
It's been a tough eight months or so for Image Comics' Rat Queens, art-wise. Artist John Upchurch was removed from the book last November after he was arrested on domestic abuse charges, and his replacement, Stjepan Sejic, has been fighting illness and was only able to draw two issues in the interim.
A Wednesday announcement from Image indicates that clearer skies are ahead, however, as artist Tess Fowler and colorist Tamra Bonvillain have taken the art reins of the series about a band of plundering adventurers full-time, starting with issue #11 in August. Sejic will remain as cover artist through issue #15. Series co-creator Kurtis J. Wiebe remains in place as writer.
A couple of weeks ago cartoonist Tess Fowler tweeted that she had been sexually harassed at a comic convention by a well-known comics writer some years earlier. At that time, she did not name the other party. ComicsAlliance's Matt D. Wilson was among those to write about Fowler's widely reported commentary as part of a vital discussion about the culture of misogyny and sexual harassment that pervades the comic book industry, and what might be done to punish offenders and make the industry safer and more inclusive for women.
Earlier this week, after receiving emails from three other women describing similar troubling experiences with the same male comics writer, Fowler chose to identify him by name. The writer is Brian Wood.
Wood has now released a statement admitting to having “made a pass” at Fowler in the past. He denies accusations of harassment and abuse.
A lot of times comic-book news is fairly predictable. A creative team might leave a book, but odds are they'll land somewhere else or start a creator-owned project. Titles get canceled or start up. A character might celebrate an anniversary or something offensive might slip into a book. These are all items we've become accustomed to seeing.
Occasionally, though, a story that impacts the livelihoods of a lot of people comes around, or something that could change your whole perception of a comics creator. Those can be hard to deal with, and this week had a couple of those stories.
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