Thursday, January 05, 2006

If You Took A Left Turn at the Cotton Candy Stand...

Well, today I was following the Lea Hernandez controversy in the interest of adding to the collection of "portrayal of women in comics" posts Kalinara and I have been amassing (I myself have little to add to the conversation except I just did a post on Kyle Rayner's hindquarters and I'm still creeped out by that bit of script she found) when I found myself at the Carnival of Feminists.

And I don't just mean that I ended up there. I actually found myself listed in the Carnival of Feminists for my "Wonder Woman Should Be Tall" post. I'm honored and just a tiny bit embarassed by some of my rowdier content.

So, if you're here by way of the Carnival, please, don't feel unwelcome by the geeky atmosphere. I understand we're a wierd little community with many strange customs and an unfortunate stereotype to outsiders. We're not much used to company ourselves. But check around, you may find yourself interested in the posts about Persephone below, Marionette's views on Violence, James and Ronee's speculations on catering to female readers, Kalinara's pet peeve, Melchior's observation on females in 60s comics, and various other thoughts about female characters. Aside from that, I think nearly all of the female bloggers are in Group One on the sidebar (Comic Treadmill has a few more), but the males are respective and in some cases more likely to discuss feminist issues.


  1. In my case far less likely!

  2. Huh, maybe I'm callous, but I think the little bit of script is funny.

    Maybe it's because manga tends to be much worse, or the fact that I'm known for my love of Kyle Rayner in shredded clothing, but I don't see why this is a shock.

    We *know* that comics are still primarily written by men. We know that T&A is common. We even know that certain artists kept increasing the size of Power Girl's chest for a joke.

    Why is it so much worse to hear that certain writers have written it into their scripts. Especially considering that the comic in question isn't considered to be canon in the main DC Universe.

    Come on, it's Frank Miller. Am I really supposed to be shocked or appalled? Am I really even supposed to be surprised.

    Instead, I'm just giggling. Shameless pandering amuses me, no matter who it's directed toward.

  3. I didn't say I was surprised, just creeped out. Frank Miller strikes me as a dirty old man at his most tame, and I haven't been reading ASBAR so I got the double-whammy of script and panty-shot and the "They let him get away with that?" feeling. *Shudder*

    Power Girl's breasts were funny, Kyle Rayner's butt is funny. I just don't see the humor here.

  4. kali -- On reflection, it probably is the Manga is much worse thing. Miller's Batman is as raunchy as non-Vertigo comics get. You don't even a Lantern butt taking up the entire panel in lacey panties.

  5. "You don't even a Lantern butt taking up the entire panel in lacey panties."

    Hey, Hal Jordan just back to active duty as a GL, cut the guy some slack. I'm sure he'll get around ti it at some point. ;)

  6. Oh don't get me wrong. I find it tasteless to the extreme.

    But since it's not really a part of the mainstream DCU, I don't care that much and find it amusing. :-)

    Now manga *is* occasionally incredibly tasteless with regards to "fan service", Also it's partially just that in big city Japan, you can find fliers of anime porn on the street. Seriously. It does desensitize one...

  7. well I found it pandering

    Then after #3 and the whole "Roaring metal between her legs" bit I'm starting to find it creepy.

    And I want to have sex with a Flaming skeleton.

  8. It is kinda sad ... I thumbed through the issue at the comic shoip last week. Apparently, Vicki Vale's personality is so vapid, and her importance to the storyline so nil, that Frank Miller felt the urgency for this approach. So walks around in her lingerie and we get a close-up of her ass because she contributes (from what I could see) NOTHING to the story.

    She goes to the circus with Bruce Wayne, who abandons her to don his Batman disguise, and off we go with the plot.

    Some people who whispered that Frank Miller is, these days, all about money. That might explain this scene, if he's getting paid by the page. Vicki's long "soliloquy", which is designed only to provide backstory is .. what? three or four pages?

    Ten years ago, Miller gave the same background within two panels in Batman: Year One. Reporters follow Bruce Wayne through Gotham International Airport, and a small inset of a television screen informs us that Bruce Wayne -- "Gotham's wealthiest, and best looking, son" -- has returned after several years abroad.

    No gratuitous butt shots, and YEAR ONE wasn't padded. Miller used four issues of BATMAN to tell YEAR ONE. Today, I suspect that the same story would require TWELVE issues -- more pages, more money for Miller, bigger and thicker trade paperback, bigger & thicker money for Miller.

    Vicki's ass isn't just pandering ... it's the sign of a guy who is losing his ability to tell powerful stories, so he resorts to gimmicks like this.