Power Girl, Emma Frost, Psylocke, Wonder Woman's bikini, every softcore porno cover, these are all messages saying, "This is not for you GO AWAY." They're active barriers keep women out of the club house.(Via)
Meanwhile the print industry tries to attract lady readers with all the grace of a seal solving a Rubik's Cube.
And when these half-hearted, ill-conceived projects invariably fail -- because they manage to say, "This is not for you GO AWAY," to both men ("too girly") and women ("what the gently caress is this bullshit?") -- publishers get to shrug and say, "BIFF! POW! Comics just aren't for girls I guess!" and they have an excuse to keep producing "mature" content instead of actually being mature about their content.
With Atomic Robo, we've made, quite literally, the barest minimal effort, i.e. "Hey, if there's no reason to draw this lady sexy, then how about we don't," and it's paying off like wild. Judging by our email, convention appearances, and Twitter, women make up about 20% of our readers. In this industry 5% would be pretty high, especially for a comic all about punching.
That's what's so sad about it. You don't have to try to get women readers. All you have to do is let your lady characters have some goddamn dignity. Cheesecake-y poses and panels designed to focus on them don't draw themselves. Someone makes the conscious decision to produce that specific image. Hours are spent on it. Lines are erased and re-drawn to get it "just right." You have to go out of your way to overly sexualize a character.
Or you could just, y'know, not.
Some publishers, editors, and artists will tell you they have to draw sexy ladies. Sex sells! It's what the fans want! No, it's what a sub-section of man-children the industry has spent decades culling from the mainstream has been trained to expect.
Here's the crazy thing: they can be trained to expect different things.
But no, "Boo hoo some creepy shut-ins might not buy Spider-Man" is the go-to defense of the industry. Yeah, that'd be a real shame.
Sorry if I posted a bunch of words that don't really add new ideas, I'm just continually astounded by the American mainstream print comic industry's Herculean resistance to increasing their sales.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
This can't be said enough.
Brian Clevinger (emphasis mine):