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07 September 2013 @ 09:08 am
Has DC done something stupid today?  

Yes. Almost always, yes.

This week, DC has seen the creators of the incredibly-well-recieved Batwoman title walk off the job due to editorial flip-flopping and the ultimate, unexpected-to-the-creators, decision that Batwoman would not ever be seen marrying her long-time partner Maggie. They appreciate that it’s someone else’s sandbox and editorial has the final call, but the decisions they’re seeing are coming at the last minute, after years of plotting and planning–plotting and planning which editorial had to be involved in, so it’s not like the creators sprang “Hey, let’s marry them off!” on the editors.

Ted, who has enjoyed the hell out of the new DCU, and indeed, considers it what got him back into reading and collecting comics, is ending all his DC subscriptions. This is not an uncommon reaction, from what I’m reading. (The creators have asked that readers stick with them through issue 26, which is the end of their run, as they’re going to try to salvage what they can and go out with a bang.)

So that was pretty bad.

And then they followed it up with open artist submissions for the Harley Quinn title, in which they ask for four panels of Harley trying to kill herself (she can’t). The last panel is supposed to be of Harley naked in a tub about to drop a zillion electrical appliances into the water with her.

Because that’s cool. Naked girls trying to kill themselves for our entertainment. I’ve seen a lot of great suggestions about how people should respond, including doing a Hawkeye Initiative thing and submitting–because it is an open submission form–the same frames except with Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Joker, etc–instead of Harley. I think that’s a terrific response. (I also like the person who said “I feel like there should be a PANEL 5 specification where you have to draw Harley walking into a refrigerator and closing the door behind her,” which I think would be a terrific addition to anybody submitting for this project.

You know the other thing I’d like to see happen? I’d like to see all the *incredible* Harley Quinn cosplayers out there respond to the DC thing by doing a 4-image photo shoot of themselves in some variant on the requested frames (although not so much with the NAKED IN THE BATHTUB, because *wordless*).

Why? Because I’d like to see DC faced with *real women* in those pictures. I’d like to see if they think it’s so great when it’s a real woman in those pictures trying to kill herself over and over and over again.

(You know the other problem with the Harley thing? It’s that all four images they’re asking for are static. They’re not sequential art; they’re four small splashes, not telling any kind of story through action. Yeah, they’ll be able to see if you can draw Harley 4 times in a row, but I’ve *done* artist searches. *Huge* numbers of people can draw great splashs or pinups and cannot do actual sequential art for beans. It’s a terrible, terrible audition page.)

To wrap it up, over on Facebook, a friend posted a link with the commentary that I would like this analogy, and I do: Marvel vs DC: the Dudebro Analogy. Well worth reading, particularly in light of all the above.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on September 7th, 2013 01:28 pm (UTC)
*headdesk* That is all.
Greetings Fellow Comstoks!fengi on September 7th, 2013 03:12 pm (UTC)
For bonus points of stupid by DC: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are writing the Harley series. This is an excerpt from a script in which she complains about the sexism and violence of recent stories.

By omitting this key context many submissions will likely not fit the story or undermine the satirical intent. Since it's Jim Lee and Dan Didio judging the work and not the creators, that might be on purpose. It's like they deliberately used an excerpt (from a script which doesn't seem made for public consumption) which would create the biggest wrong impression.

So not only is DC being a dudebro, but the sort of manipulative dudebro who make sure anyone who puts up with him will be implicated by association.
kitmizkit on September 7th, 2013 03:58 pm (UTC)
...*stares in horror*

That makes it much, much worse, then, yes. Because in context that's a totally different spin, and out of context it's...that's...wow. That's just a totally dickheaded move.
A large duckburger_eater on September 7th, 2013 03:40 pm (UTC)
I really like a lot of DC's characters, but any idea I might have had about working for them is pretty much out the window.
?elsceetaria on September 7th, 2013 04:00 pm (UTC)
I know a really good Harley cosplayer, but I don't think she would be game with this idea. The responses their stupidity have been really good.
martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on September 7th, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
time to stop buying all DC titles .. sigh..
Kate Kirbykirbyk on September 7th, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC)
Yup. I have a comic recommendation weekly column, so I have a horse in this race, as it were. I'm not instantly dropping all my DC comics, but I'm definitely setting a much higher bar for me to keep getting them than I do any other company.

I'm really sad about Batwoman, because she is the premiere lesbian in superhero comics, and the creators have been handling her so well. But, you know, I'm just back from Baltimore Comic Con, and I'm reminded that there's a thriving world of indy comics out there.
cleome45 on September 7th, 2013 10:49 pm (UTC)
Just stopping by from noscans_daily to say thanks.

I'm glad you mention that there's a difference between drawing a handsome series of static images and composing a series of sequential images that move along as they should. Sometimes that very valid point gets overlooked, because all the other messed-up priorities involved in the criteria set for "talent" are so much more obvious/egregious.

Edited at 2013-09-07 10:50 pm (UTC)
kitmizkit on September 8th, 2013 09:14 am (UTC)
Well, like I said, I've done artist searches before. People who can do the most amazing pinups, who can by any definition of the word *draw*, cannot *necessarily* do sequential art, which is a whole extremely difficult skill set of its own! So yeah. I thought that was important to mention. :)
Nomad: Scarecrownomadicwriter on September 7th, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC)
Amazingly enough, it still gets even better: the creators aren't being allowed to finish their Batwoman run as far as issue #26 after all, but are being yoinked and replaced after #24. Which ends on a major cliffhanger.

And isn't, "Always always always submit sequential art, do not just bring a portfolio full of covers and pin-ups because we can't tell anything from that," the main piece of advice given over and over again to artists who want to work in comics?

(Also here via noscans_daily.)
Michael M Jonesoneminutemonkey on September 8th, 2013 02:27 am (UTC)
ARGH. The bullshit BURNS.
So good the solicitations for 25-on haven't been posted, so I hopefully have a chance to see if it's worth keeping the title on my pull list past 24. I'd have been annoyed if I'd already ordered and paid for a bait and switch.
Michael M Jonesoneminutemonkey on September 8th, 2013 02:24 am (UTC)
This is an immense disgrace on all levels. I don't understand why DC seems to be actively alienating and driving away its readers and its talent. I mean SERIOUSLY. You have a well-received title with quality talent, tackling new and interesting storylines--and more importantly a storyline that's literally newsworthy day after day--and you...backpedal? Piss everyone off?

52 titles, DC. You had one job: to keep your audience. And the support for Batwoman, the LGBTQ support for one of their own, has been nothing but awesome as far I can tell. The gay marriage storyline is relevant and ties into stuff that's real and important. And if it wasn't a chart-topper, so what, it's one of 52 titles. And they fucked it up.

And this is just the latest incident in dozens stretching back over the past few years, where good writers and artists and series keep getting screwed over and driven away. When I drop comic titles for any reason, I start with DC titles. That's just not good.

Mister Andersenmisterandersen on September 8th, 2013 07:22 am (UTC)
To be fair, it's not the fact that it's a lesbian marriage that seems to be problem so much that it's a marriage at all.

You seriously have to wonder what Didio's significant other, if they exist, think of his "marriage is bad, m'kay?" stance
kit: ironman_wtfmizkit on September 8th, 2013 09:20 am (UTC)
And, to be fair again, it's not just Didio: Marvel undid Peter Parker & Mary Jane Watson's marriage, despite _an entire generation of readers_ never knowing Spider-Man as anything but a married man. There's a perception right now that marriage is boring/inaccessible to new readers, which, well, look, it's not like 90% of mainstream superhero titles right now are aimed at 9 year olds anyway, so WTF.
Kevenn: Batwoman Symbol by Wonder_Boikevenn on September 9th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC)
I am vigorously "Amening" at all of this. My first impression was to drop Batwoman. But then I learned that Mark Andreyko would be the new writer, and I really LOVE Mark Andreyko. I'm willing to give him a chance...
irishkateirishkate on September 9th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
Wow - just.....I'd heard about the marriage thing but the rest? Seriously??