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09 August 2013 @ 08:54 pm
Herein lies a rant.  

Look, I don’t know why it is that I get bent out of shape more easily over injustices in comicbookland than in sffland, but I pretty much do. I’ve certainly identified myself as a SFF reader longer (although by only half a decade or so, probably), but somehow comics tend to hit me right in the outrage.

Here is today’s link hitting me in the outrage. The short version is that it’s Mark Millar (whom I have met and who is *insanely* charming in person), Todd McFarlane, Len Wein (the dude who created Wolverine) and Gerry Conway (the dude who killed Gwen Stacy) say “comics are a boys’ club and if women are objectified, hey, we only follow society, we don’t break new ground, it’s always been this way.”

In a fit of anger I snarled “Wow. Dear Mainstream Comics Industry*: F*ck you. Now all I want to do is launch a female-led superhero comics line,” on Twitter, which inevitably got a washload of supportive tweets in response.

Look. I have *thought* about this. I have thought and thought and *thought* about it, and honestly, I genuinely believe I’ve got the skill set to do it. But it would be to the exclusion of all else, and despite the cheery “this is a Kickstarter waiting to happen!” thoughts, the reality is that I’ve been a comics fan most of my life and in that time I’ve seen plenty of superhero lines come and go.

The problem with starting a superhero *line* is that you bloom too big without having developed a sufficient fan base, and then you shrivel up and disappear (hello, CrossGen! shit, even *ElfQuest*, which *had* a fan base, bloomed too big and collapsed under its own weight). Starting with a *line* is mental. You start with a comic, *maybe* two, but probably one because this is a risky and expensive business (go read about my Dabel Debacle for just a *taste* of the expenses) and yes you might get a Kickstarter to soften the financial blow but mostly you’re still going to want to go with one title, digital only in this brave new world, and kill yourself getting a fan base in place so you can *afford* after 12 or 18 months to edge your way into a second title, maybe spun off in the same world, maybe a different world, who knows, and if you’re freaking fabulously lucky, five or ten years down the line you might have five or even seven strong-selling titles in your line–

I have thought about this. And yes, of course I’d love to do it, but despite appearances, I do recognize certain limits of practicality, if not enthusiasm.

Perhaps now is the time to launch the #TakeAChance Kickstarter, as a statement against the man. Or against those men, anyway…

*To be fair, the mainstream comics industry is doing some cool female-centric stuff right now, including the Red Sonia stuff, the all-female X-Men team, CAROL FREAKING DANVERS, OMG!, etc. These guys are not the whole of the industry, but they did land right in my RAAR zone.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
 
martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on August 9th, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
its when they started to re-image the old lines, and the male characters got bigger muscles and cooler costumes, and the *girls* got bigger boobs and less material.

anthony_lionanthony_lion on August 9th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
Eh...

*Female Centric* in that industry just means that the female characters are drawn in more suggestive poses. And more often...

Not that I mind a bit of cartoony fan-action now and then, but...
Some of the covers really belong on the top shelf in the stores.
(Common practice here n Norway. Nudie mags are placed so high that children won't notice them, or at least can't reach them, if they've realised that the other sex isn't entirely icky... )
pgwfolcpgwfolc on August 9th, 2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
You start a Take A Chance Kickstarter and I will fund it myself if I have to. (But yes, starting with one title is probably a better idea than trying to launch an entire line.)

But yes, it's sad and infuriating and so shortsighted they're looking backwards. You'd really think we'd be past this ignorance and stupidity in the 21st century.
M. C. A. Hogarth: presenthaikujaguar on August 9th, 2013 11:00 pm (UTC)
*is curious*

Why think in terms of physical comics, rather than web comics? I see a lot of bleedover: web comics whose creators work in formats that translate to paper without much effort. At very least it would save the print costs.
kitmizkit on August 10th, 2013 05:55 am (UTC)
but mostly you’re still going to want to go with one title, digital only in this brave new world
M. C. A. Hogarth: presenthaikujaguar on August 10th, 2013 11:30 am (UTC)
Okay! I thought by digital you meant those digital download comics that they sell through special apps. :)
kitmizkit on August 10th, 2013 02:31 pm (UTC)
Ah, well, I do, essentially, because I still think in traditional publication forms than not, and because a web comic per se is not something I think of as launching spinoffs/being a "line". Not that they don't/aren't (I have no idea) but I don't think of them in those terms.
M. C. A. Hogarth: presenthaikujaguar on August 10th, 2013 04:39 pm (UTC)
It is fair enough! The comics I read when I was younger were indies that didn't have lines, they were all one-offs, so I'm not used to the terminology. A lot of those people who used to do those B&Ws took to web comics like fish to water. :)

I got turned off reading Marvel and DC particularly because of those anti-women sort of biases. I kept looking for "me" in those comics and finding nothing. So I went hunting and found the furries; back the premier furry comic was a sci-fi war epic called Albedo whose hero was a woman named Erma Felna, and Erma wore reasonable clothes. And shot people with guns! I approved.

The furries were good to me. I was a pre-teen, and there were enough role models to keep me from being weirded out. :)
shadowkindrd on August 9th, 2013 11:37 pm (UTC)
*gets her money ready for the TakeAChance Kickstart*
irishkateirishkate on August 10th, 2013 01:24 am (UTC)
Saw the report of that. Wanted to yell a lot. Still want to.
Mary Anne: pixelpers1stence on August 10th, 2013 04:00 am (UTC)
That was me, also, even before I saw this LJ post.
Brienzebrienze on August 10th, 2013 05:55 pm (UTC)
I don't know much about the comic book industry (except that ComiXology is awesome for serving up a comic one frame at a time so I can actually follow what is happening). I do know fandom though, and if you have this thing you love, and this other thing you love, you then want to see them TOGETHER, and that's how weird crossovers and teams of superheroes happen, in the normal course of things.

If the Avengers movie had come first, though, with everyone being as awesome as they were, wouldn't we have been lined up waiting to see all the spin off individual movies? I'd even have been excited for a Hulk movie. (And I definitely want a Clint and Tasha: Budapest movie.) If you started with a team comic then the fanbase you collected would probably be chomping at the bit for more titles - you could even give fans a voice in which character should get their own comic first. Or, a team title, and then stand alone comics that are side stories or B (or C) plots in the continuity, focused on different single characters.

Just throwing ideas at the wall because I don't know enough to know what can't be done, and sometimes that kind of thinking helps.