c/o DC Comics
New York, NY 10019
Forwarding Service Requested
Dear Mr. Harras,
I recently read an interview with the former publisher of DC Comics that said he felt that women were not interested in superheroes. This sounded strange to me, as I have been reading Justice League, Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman comics since I was 14, and your competitor's X-men comics since I was 12. During his tenure there were a number of complaints by female fans that seemed to be either ignored or answered in a way that seemed strange (Supergirl is brought back but aimed for male readers, Batman supporting character Stephanie Brown is returned after female fans complain only to replace another popular female character as Batgirl) and a number of opportunities to position franchises as female-friendly were missed (Wonder Woman has no kid-friendly book for younger female readers, Green Lantern's female characters are overwhelmingly sexualized and left dead longer than male counterparts) and both problems may be traced back to that idea that marketing to women won't produce worthwhile results.
I am writing to you to say that I hope this philosophy has been discontinued at DC. There are many female readers spending their money right now, and many more who would if they didn't feel unwelcome at the table. Television and book properties that involve superpowered characters have had massive female audiences (For example: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, the various X-men cartoons and movies, Xena: Warrior Princess, Dr. Who, Supernatural, Fringe, Smallville, Stargate, Harry Potter, or Heroes...)
I've heard it argued that women will not appreciate tightly woven multi-decade continuity or complex fantastical plots, but a mere hour viewing General Hospital should dispel that argument. The genre-loving book and television female audience are only kept from comic books by the industry's reluctance to seek them out.
Please consider that both halves of the population are potential customers and do not act to further alienate the women who do read the books as the previous management has.
I dashed this off tonight after reading DC Women Kicking Ass and Ladies Making Comics quote Paul Levitz:
I’m not sure that young women are as interested in reading about superheroes. The fundamental dynamic of the superhero story has historically been more appealing to boys than to girls.Levitz isn't the Publisher anymore, but I still felt a need to send a message to DC so I wrote to the EIC. I'm going to send it out with my winter cards tomorrow. I strongly believe that physical letters are the way to go, because too often e-mails are considered to be spam and just more noise from the Internet. Girl-wonder.org ran an extremely successful campaign based on physical letters, postcards, and directly asking the panels at conventions about Spoiler. My own physical letters to DC have always been answered, even if it was with a form. They are concrete items with substance, and can't be ignored like a cyberspace communication. I advise anyone interested in saying something about this to go with a letter with a real stamp rather than an email.
Strangely, though, the hardest thing to do was find the physical address. DC's website only offers e-mail contact. I know that there's been an reorg over there, and that people are being relocated and old addresses may not be good. The 1700 Broadway address is in the fine print at the bottom of the DC Nation column in my most recent DC book, so I'm going with that. I'm actually a little suspicious about how hard this was to find.