Shut up, and enjoy a good story!

So, this story has been making the rounds since SDCC:

http://io9.com/5826557/how-batgirl-took-on-dc-comics-the-anatomy-of-a-pr-crisis

For the record, I was THERE at that panel, and there was a reason that people booed: because after making her initial point (which, as is noted in the article, everyone in the room, including the panelists, approved of), she would NOT shut up, and wouldn’t let other people have a turn to talk. Not only was it rehashing the same point over and over (and seeming to expect a point by point plan of action from the panelists on the spot), it started to feel–both to me and to the people around me–as if it was becoming quite annoying. (What? Dan DiDio doesn’t have time to sit in the panel and discuss gender issues in comics with you personally? HERESY!)

Now, does this gal have a point? Yeah, I think she does. I applauded her initial question (and a few subsequent statements) along with everyone else in the room. But should this be the public relations shitstorm that it turned into for DC? Hell no.

Here’s an idea: how about we encourage DC to just TELL SOME GOOD GODAMN STORIES and stop worrying so much about the gender of the hero (or even worse) the gender of the person writing a given book? A good story is a good story and should be told. Are women underrepresented in comics, both as heroes and creators? Sure. But I care about good stories a lot more than I care about demographic percentiles.

And, I sure as HELL don’t want someone sticking their nose into what had until then been an excellent and entertaining panel to make (and RE-make, and then emphasize just in case we missed it) a political point. Also, in the above interview? Her framing DiDio’s citation of Mera as a female heroine who is “right there with Aquaman” as somehow HOLDING MERA INFERIOR TO AQUAMAN is just insane, not to mention insulting to Mera.

The worst part of all this is that, since for reasons that I can’t fathom, some people have decided to lionize this gal and use her as the figurehead of a “more women naow!” movement, DC has been forced to respond with a press release acknowledging the manufactured ‘outcry’ from the ‘public’ about the suddenly vital gender percentage of creators and heroes in their company.

Here’s the god’s honest truth, coming from a woman, a comic reader, and a DC fan: I don’t WANT DC to hire more female creators, I don’t want them to create new female superheros–UNLESS THEY ARE GOOD. You know what I want, as a female comic reader, DC? I want a good story, written by a great writer, drawn by a great artist, with heroes I love and identify with. Does that mean you may have to branch out your creator demographic? Yeah. But for god’s sake don’t hire an inferior creator just because she’s a woman. That would make me cry.

By the way…DC has no good female heroes or creators? Really?

EFF

THAT

SHIT

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12 responses to “Shut up, and enjoy a good story!

  1. *Standing O*
    I think your rave was a helluva lot more articulated than the woman in the Batgirl costume.

    You’re right. It’s irritating as hell for race and gender to become issues in something that doesn’t even matter. The only reason we are aware of writers / creators / heroes is through their work in Comics.

    So if those stories that they’re telling aren’t good, then I probably would never have heard of a Gail Simone, much less applaud the fact that she’s a woman working in comics. So let’s stick to the reason why we even know these people, and forget everything else.

  2. I do find it a pity you had(?) to use Wonder Woman twice, though. As much as I think Marvel’s storytelling sucks as much as DC’s (I have high standards), they at least tend to more diversity. I totally agree on your point, though.

    • Oh, I can see how that can be misleading…just for the record, I didn’t intend that last picture to be Wonder Woman again; that’s DC superstar writer Gail Simone, easily one of the best writers (and best known female writers) in the business. She wrote Wonder Woman for some time, which is why I’m sure she’s posing with a book there.

      I completely agree about Marvel, though. I love enough different heroes, and am new enough to comics, that I don’t have a dog in the Marvel vs. DC fight–like I said, I just want good stories. It just so happens that DC is the one catching flak right now. Were the situation reversed, I would have written the exact same article.

      • Don’t worry about it, somehow I missed the “or creators” bit, dispite you having it like 3 times in the OP.

        I’d say getting female writers is probably more important than female characters, if only because that would probably discourage Women in Refriderators and the like – but getting just *better* writers would solve that along with many other problems I have with comics.

        PS: The whole Marvel vs. DC thing is stupid. Everyone knows Dark Horse is the best! 😛

        • I think its important to have diversity in general. The hard part with diversifying characters is that many of these were created back when things were, well, a little less…enlightened? Trying to correct that now is like trying to jam on the brakes as you’re going off a cliff, and leads to things like the outcry over Ultimate Spiderman’s new identity. Marvel is in a no-win there.

          Also, you are incorrect. Top Cow > all. 😀

  3. It should be fine it just sounds like a “liberal” who has no idea what the hell she is talking about, and i really dout that DC is going to sacrfice its capital and integrety on somthing like this.

    And speaking of charecters i would just like to say that due to a hacking in 2003 VALVe had to re-write alot of Half-Life 2 and alot of npcs had to be pulled out old and new.

  4. Political Correctness, I understant the point it trys to make, but it just makes me sick when people point and screem racist/sexist becouse there aren’t “enuf” minorities in something.

    • I heared of thhis really retared on where some tryed to change baa baa black sheep to baa baa rainbow sheep becuase of that.

  5. Now, don’t get me wrong–I’m not trying to say political correctness is a bad thing. This is a genuine issue that needs to be addressed. The way this is playing out, though, feels all wrong to me.

    Also…”rainbow sheep”? Really? That’s almost–ALMOST–worse than trying to butcher “Huckleberry Finn” so we can all pretend that no one ever used the n-word…sigh.

    • oh I’m not saying it’s a bad thing in and of itself, but some poeple just take it to far, some times to the point of it being reverce desrimanation.

  6. If they where to make more female superheroes because of this, wouldn’t those heroines be created just to be female. And in the end, isn’t that more insulting than just assigning whatever gender the author feels fits the character?

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