There’s something to be said for the current nature of comics. A while back I went and wrote a two part diatribe about the current inherent flaws of comics. When I did so it was with the intent of underlying a much more invisible problem then the more commonly addressed flaws in the comic industry.
And now I wonder if that effort was misplaced.
There was a recent event wherein several comic creators, some of who I like and others I thoroughly disdain spoke on the subject of how women are treated in comics as well as rape. You can read an article chronicling the debate here: http://herocomplex.latimes.com/comics/mark-millars-rape-comments-superheroes-tca-panel-the-comics-world-responds/
Holy shit guys. The comic book industry is fucked.
I’ve always felt that a female character, much like a male character is simply another swath of paint or tool used to evoke a specific reaction from the reader. I have always felt that superhero comics are the grandchildren of ancient myths meant to teach and educate about heroism and morality.
Apparently a good portion of the industry seems to disagree.
Let me back up a bit. A few people took umbrage to how Mark Millar used rape in comics to vilify characters. Now there are, theoretically ways to treat this issue if you are a creator. I’m not going to exemplify them or even attempt to hint at what they might be. Why? Because we are at a place now, socially, where there is a massive upheaval in feminism and many women are talking out about how sexual abuse against women is often used as a device to make a protagonist have stronger desire to defeat an antagonist.
Millar’s response was a mostly pathetic diatribe about how none of the violent acts depicted in a medium really matter. Which only confirms things I’ve always felt about his work as a whole. The man’s writing is typically a cheap, fan-fiction level of scripting that typically targets super hero comics and their fans for liking the style. If a writer is not considering the broader implications of their work to an audience then why the hell are they writing?
There was more nonsense from Todd MacFarlane. This was a creator I used to believe wasn’t afraid of shaking up the status quo. Then he turns around and admits that using “minorities” and women would simply be pandering and…
God damn it this makes me angry!
This whole situation. Why are the industry leaders in a medium that has no theoretical limits confining themselves like this? Who thinks that not approaching a story from a new cultural or sexual perspective wouldn’t be interesting? Or at least different! Isn’t the reason why people don’t bother with comics is because of the precise stereotype of the same stories being told over and over (unless you’re a Spider-Man title in which case god help you). I’m starting to see more and more quality titles float to the surface but this mindset is still far too prevalent. And it isn’t like this is a multi-million dollar industry guys. It can be, but comics don’t operate on near the level of film and television. They can afford to be more unique and take risks.
I wish I could say more about this and condemn the whole issue but… we all know it’s wrong. All we can do is buy what we like and ignore what we don’t. That’s all we can do. All of the complaints online don’t mean one whit to a guy like Millar who only sees controversy as sales figures. I mean that, this guy is the king of bad press. Look back at some of his stuff sometime. You’ll be amazed. The only way to send a message in this day and age is to not buy his stuff.
Why anyone would after Wanted is a mystery anyway with the way that piece of shit ended. Me, I’m going to keep reading Atomic Robo and try out Batman: Court of Owls.
And so too does this work exist.