Tagged: CBR

Martha Thomases: Criticizing Criticism

Thomases Art 140418This isn’t what I wanted to write about. I would much prefer to tell you about some hidden gem in the world of comics. Instead, once again, we’re going to slog through the mud.

A while ago, a writer, Janelle Asselin, wrote a critique of a Teen Titans cover for Comic Book Resources. The cover is an incoherent piece of art, and she described her problems with it. Her comments included art criticism (mostly centering on the lack of anatomical reality of the depiction of Wonder Girl, a teenager), sociopolitical criticism and observations on marketing. She suggested that sexualizing characters who are supposed to be minors was more than a little bit creepy. She pointed out is that Teen Titans is a book that has a great deal of potential to reach outside of the typical comics market because it was a popular cartoon series, one with a lot of female fans, and, from a marketing perspective, there was a lot of money to be made by doing a comic that might draw in some of that audience.

So, of course, all hell broke loose.

I didn’t read all 40 windows of comments. Life is too short. After I read a few screens, I got the drift. For one thing, many people don’t understand the difference between marketing and editorial. More to the point, guys don’t like it when you notice they’re being creepy. Especially when they’ve been bragging about the creepiness up until this point.

Example? Here’s a comment from someone code-named Rakzo: “It seems like we can’t enjoy sexy superheroes anymore.” Did you see what he did there? He said that because Asselin criticized the (unnatural and/or surgically enhanced) depiction of a teenage girl, somehow this became an authoritarian edict that was actively prohibiting him from doing something.

Now, there are a lot of things that people do sexually that aren’t my thing. If they announce this in a public forum, I will, if asked, admit to the occasional icks. Obviously, this varies with the fetish. Shoes? Not my thing, but have fun. Scat? Not my thing, please don’t tell me about it and clean up after yourself. Your list may be different from mine. That’s what makes being humans interesting.

Being sexually aroused by under-age girls? Please stop talking before I wonder if you’re a registered sex offender.

A few other commentators called Ravko on this, and replied, “Maybe, but that’s not my point, it seems like the comic community has become a place where being a prude is considered ‘cool’.” Because there is no one more oppressed than the poor pedophile.

While this was happening on CBR, there was a parallel nightmare on Twitter. In her Tumblr. Asselin describes how she was ridiculed and hassled. Her professionalism was called into question. So was her safety. She not only was dismissed as a “disgruntled former employee,” but she was also threatened with rape.

Yeah, that’s right. The proper response, when someone has a different opinion about a work of comic book cover art is to threaten that person with physical violence.

My pal Heidi MacDonald wrote a wonderful piece on her blog, in which she wonders why more men don’t speak out against this kind of hate speech. She’s not asking for censorship, just peer pressure. When a man demeans a woman in our profession simply because she is a woman, other men should call him out. That’s not radical. That’s good manners.

On a related note, I’m going to Awesome Con this weekend, an event I’ve never attended before. (Stop by and say hello!) In keeping with my obsession, I’ve noted that, of the 52 guests announced in the comics and literary field, only eight are women. This is a better percentage than lots of other shows, but still woefully non-representative of the number of women actually working in our industry.

And when I went to see what kind of programming they had, including the number of panels that included women as experts, I was struck by this one: “Part Time Writer, Full Time World. The panelists are all women (Lindsay Smith, Jean Marie Ward, and Janine K. Spendlove). The subject: “How do you balance a full time job, parenting, writing, and *perish the thought* actually having some hobbies or perhaps even a social life? Everyone handles it differently; come to find out tips and advice as to how.”

Gee, I wonder why there are no men on that panel. Obviously, they’ve got the full-time job/parenting/writing/hobby balance worked out. It would be really swell if they’d enlighten us ignorant women about how they do it.

Weekend Window Closing Wrap-Up: February 9th, 2014

Closing them on my browser so you can open them on yours, a list of various things that I haven’t had time to write full posts about. Here we go again…

What else is out there? Consider this an open thread.

National Cartoonists Society Adds Webcomics Award

ncs-logo-300x265-9483854Nation Cartoonists Society president Tom Richmond announced this week that the venerable organization was adding a web-comics division for this year.

According to Richmond’s blog post, he and Awards membership chairman Sean Parkes had been working on this for some time. They received feedback from several industry experts including Dave Kellett (Sheldon, Drive), Andrew Farago (curator of the Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco), Michael Jantze (The Norm, Professor of Sequential Art and Animation, Savannah College of Art and Design).

Richmond went on to explain that the category, Best Online Comic Strip, will be narrowly focused and based on the following criteria:

  1. Comic-strip format only (no single panels, long-form narrative. etc.)
  2. Must be web only publication (any syndication in print would make it eligible for the Best Syndicated Comic Strip Division)
  3. Must be at least a weekly
  4. Must have shown consistent publication based on determined time-schedule (i.e. it being a daily, twice-a-week, weekly, etc.) over the course of the 2011 calendar year
  5. Creator must earn the greater part of their living directly from the strip/property

Submitted work itself must be:

  1. No more than 12 samples, submitted as physical prints along with submission form and bio or as PDF with 2-4 strips per page and including bio/submission form
  2. Work must have been published (posted) during period from Dec. 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2011 (archive.org links must be provided for each strip for verification).


Monty Python turns 40: ComicMix Quick Picks for 10/6/09

Monty Python turns 40: ComicMix Quick Picks for 10/6/09

Still slow going around these parts, but have these tidbits to keep you warm during the cold season:

  • Not strictly comics-related, but the work of Monty Python is close enough to our hearts here at ComicMix that we’d feel remiss in not wishing them a happy 40th anniversary– the first episode of Flying Circus aired October 5, 1969.
    To celebrate, IFC announced it will air all episodes from the original Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch comedy series starting October 18th as part of the network’s “Python-a-thon” week through the end of 2010. IFC has acquired all four seasons of the Monty Python series (45 episodes). IFC’s “Python-a-thon” runs October 18-23 consisting of the original six-part docu-series Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut) each night at 9 pm followed by a Python feature film at 10 pm and capped off by an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus at 11:30 pm. Additionally, IFC will air all thirteen episodes from season one unedited and uncut through the end of 2009 on Mondays at 7:30 pm and Fridays at 11 pm. Seasons two, three and four will begin airing on IFC next year.
  • The Eisner-winning Marvel series Invincible Iron Man is getting new trade dress for the upcoming Stark Disassembled arc. The new design has been getting a lot of buzz for the same reason the series has: it’s half past awesome.
  • Cla$$war, a 2002-2004 comic from publisher Com.x about a supersoldier that goes rogue to expose the corrupt regime that created him, has been optioned for a movie by the same people who made The Surrogates.
  • We don’t normally like to put this kind of thing here, but this article on superhero Facebook status updates is sure to make any comics fan who’s sick of turning down invitations to Mafia Wars laugh out loud.
  • Joe Quesada informally announced that there’s a sequel to the X-Men: Misfits manga coming from Del Ray this time next year in his weekly Cup O’ Joe column at CBR.

What’s getting you through the lean news season? Tell us in the comments.

#SDCC: DC Universe — now with the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents!

#SDCC: DC Universe — now with the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents!

While they had nothing quite as surprising to announce as the Marvelman announcement yesterday, the DC Universe panel at SDCC had some interesting tidbits come out of it. The highlights, as per CBR’s liveblog:

  • DC has finally acquired the rights to T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. This has been a long time project for Dan DiDio.
  • Geoff Johns will be writing a Flash ongoing after Flash: Rebirth and Blackest Night: Flash conclude.
  • Sterling Gates, of Supergirl fame, will be writing a Kid Flash ongoing series to accompany Johns’ main title.
  • James Robinson starts his Justice League of America run with issue 38, a Blackest Night tie-in. His line-up will include Mon-El in a new, Superman-inspired costume, Dick Grayson/Batman, and Donna Troy.
  • An upcoming issue of Booster Gold will guest-star G4 TV personality Blair Butler.
  • Deathstroke will become the leader of the Titans later this year(?!).

A Wonder Woman letter-writing campaign, unfettered love for Metapmorpho, and more at CBR.

#SDCC: Marvel: X-Men

#SDCC: Marvel: X-Men

San Diego Comic-Con 2009The streets have erupted in violence and the safe haven that mutants thought they’d found is in turmoil. The Dark Avengers have put Daken in Wolverine’s place, and there’s an all-out war tearing through space and time with a certain red-haired green-eyed girl at the center of it. In other words, it’s another Wednesday in the life of the X-Men.

 X-Men group editor Axel Alonso was joined by panelists include Matt Fraction (Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia), Craig Kyle and Chris Yost (X-Force), Marjorie Liu (Dark Wolverine), Daniel Way (Deadpool), Jason Aaron (Wolverine: Weapon X), and several special guests to share the news about what the future holds for Marvel’s band of merry mutants. Marvel’s got their own liveblog going, and here are the highlights:

  • Daniel Acuna joins X-Men: Legacy as the ongoing artist.
  • Magneto is back in the upcoming Nation X storyline, presumably in Uncanny X-Men.
  • Necrosha is an upcoming crossover between X-Force, New Mutants, and X-Men: Legacy featuring the evil priestess Selene, led into by a one-shot. Starts in October. 16 million mutants promised to return, but it’s not an M-Day fix or reversal. “Suck it, Blackest Night,” quoth UXM scribe Matt Fraction. CBR has more about the crossover here.
  • On a note very near and dear to my heart — the cover to New Mutants #6 features Magik hugging someone who looks very much like the long-dead Doug Ramsey. Of course, he looks like a zombie, but we take what is given.
  • Daken’s sexuality is brought up, only to be met with a resounding “shrug” from the panelists. “When you see him involved with women and men, it isn’t about sexuality, it is about power and manipulation,” said Marjorie Liu.
  • X-Statix mascot Doop will be returning, though no word on how, when, or in what title.

Point your X-browser over here, X-fans, for more X-bloggage.

Former Blog@Newsarama team lands at CBR as Robot6

Former Blog@Newsarama team lands at CBR as Robot6

We knew they wouldn’t be gone long, the only question was where they’d end up and how quickly they’d return. And now we know– Kevin Melrose, JK Parkin, Lisa Fortuner, Tom Bondurant, Michael May, Melissa Krause, Stephanie Chan, Tim O’Shea, Chris Mautner, Jennifer de Guzman and Larry Young are now all over at CBR, under the brand Robot 6.

Which of course leads to the new question: what happened to Robots 1 through 5?

Robot 1 sank into the swamp.

Robot 2 sank into the swamp.

Robot 3 burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp.

Robot 4 disappeared 24 hours after it went online.

Robot 5 was turned off after being deemed a hazard to interstellar navigation. It was exploded, sent into atmosphere, crashed into the planet, and sank into the swamp.

But the sixth robot stayed up…!

“Atomic Robo,” Webcomics and the Eisner Nod

“Atomic Robo,” Webcomics and the Eisner Nod

Over at CBR, David Press recently spoke with the creators of the Eisner-nominated Atomic Robo about the origins of the series, their checks-and-balances creative process and the surprise nomination they received at this year’s Eisner Awards. The series chronicles the adventures of a self-aware robot created by Nikolai Tesla and commissioned to combat supernatural threats to the U.S.

I found the interview especially interesting due to writer Brian Clevinger’s roots in the webcomic scene as the creator of 8-bit Theatre. Now that Robo has managed to find its way into the spotlight, however, the print series has become the top priority for Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener.

The next adventure for the character, taking place in a new volume of the series titled Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War and hitting shelves August 13, finds the robot in action during World War II.

“I mean, don’t freak out, we’re not doing Band Of Brothers And Also A Robot. We’re very much aware that people pick up Robo comics to have fun, and frankly we’d get bored with it ourselves if we didn’t deliver on that. Everything we see is from Robo’s perspective, and he’s still a young ‘bot in this story. To him, it’s one big adventure. Not in a frivolous way, but let’s face it, he knows he’s bulletproof and he takes advantage of that to thwart enemy soldiers at every opportunity.”

Head over to CBR for more on Atomic Robo, as well as some pages from the upcoming issue.

Disney and Pixar Go Boom

Boom! Studios has announced they’ll be publishing comic book adaptations of Pixar cartoon properties, with the first announced being an Incredibles project.

The news comes as an early announcement from Comic-Con International, which is just getting underway. Boom EiC Mark Waid will be writing the Incredibles series, featuring covert art from Darwyn Cooke.

"Today, American comic books are aimed primarily at an older readership. Comics produced for an upcoming generation of readers are scarce – and BOOM! Studios aims to do something about that," said Waid. "There will be comics for kids again!"

To commemorate this historic partnership, BOOM! will be releasing a special preview book featuring sneak previews of upcoming projects using the characters from TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO, and MONSTERS, INC. Featuring commentary by Waid, this preview will give comic fans and interested parents a look at the quality comics BOOM! will be producing for a younger audience by the end of the year.

According to the release, these won’t be straight adaptations, but rather all-new stories set in the world of various Pixar films.

Boom also is going to be doing a Muppets book, Waid told CBR.

It was also announced Wednesday night that Waid will be writing "The Muppet Show." Given the Muppets’ long and varied history in television and film, CBR asked Waid about the particular form this series would take. He was able to reveal that the first thing to appear would be a four-issue miniseries, but future series are "something that’s more in flux." "We’re talking about doing a couple one-shots that could be collected into a trade paperback, we’re talking about doing series that are based on ‘The Muppet Show‘ itself," Waid explained, "and then we’re also talking–with Disney’s heavy encouragement–to do things like Muppet Robin Hood, or the Three Muppeteers or whatever. They’re talking to us about following sort of the paradigm they set up in the movies about classic stories retold with the Muppets."