Batgirl (2000) #1
What’s wrong [with the comics industry]? … In the late ’70s, all the comic fans decided to get into the business. The problem is, it was a bunch of superhero fans. And an industry that had, up until that point, catered to almost every genre imaginable slowly and slowly was narrowed down and boiled down to a point where it was superhero comics, and that’s all there were. And then they all were writing these comics for each other — not for a mass market, not for young people. And then, as they aged, the content aged to suit their needs. And the idea is, when you’re an adult, you’re supposed to turn to other forms of entertainment, maybe, or appreciate comics for what they were. But that hasn’t been the case. So now we have superheroes that rape, we have heroin addicts, we have all this kind of bullshit that’s been heaped onto these characters that were meant to entertain kids and give them a little sense of right and wrong and adventure. I think it’s so sad. And you see what the strategy has done. … In 1972, Jimmy Olsen comics sold 200,000 copies a month, and it was canceled because that wasn’t enough to keep it going. These days, the best-selling book can barely scrape past 70,000 — never mind the worst-selling books. So let’s take a look at that strategy that’s been applied to this business. How’d it work out? Not too good. And the less people that read ‘em, the more expensive they have to be, and the more cryptic they have to be to cater to that tiny little market they’ve got. That’s what’s wrong.
I think there’s a lot more to it than just that, but damn it if Darwyn Cooke doesn’t make a good point.
Still, I’m not a big fan of ragging on adults for liking superheroes, too.
the vidya gaem industry has this issue as well. you get these ‘ascended-fanboy’ type broskis being hired by the company they fanboy and things get more and more insular, and it’s like an ouroboros of doin it rong.
and because of geek social fallacies, any criticism is seen as this attempt at a devastating attack, and so they close ranks even more if you suggest they do a different thing…
there’s nothing wrong with adults liking superheroes or video games; there is a problem when a particular subset niche market of adults actively and nastily crowds everyone unlike them out of a medium, alienates their audience, and co-opts kids’ stuff to make it grymmdarque…
In case you need cold hard evidence of how comics have not only narrowed their focus but forgotten they were ever anything else, Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso said in a 2014 interview while arguing for more female and POC representation that “Back in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, comics were strictly entertainment for boys.” Not a word about romance comics, about Marvel’s own Millie the Model, about Archie Comics that have always been for girls and boys alike. Nope.
Guild Jewelry has a new shop with some really cool DC Comics licensed jewelry. And they’re offering free shipping! See all the pieces here.
(I own the Batman ring. It makes me feel like I’m married to Bruce.)
Spectre #25 (vol 4)
Man, the Spectre is really one of those characters I want to know more about. Also, lol Ollie. Also, for a hot second, Rucka and Brubaker made Gotham detective Crispus Allen the new host for the Spectre, and I’m really really into characters that merge different sub-genres of superheroes.
Author: Neveralarch, Artist: AstridV
Summary: Right, so I’m taking the dog out for a walk. The most normal thing I could possibly do.
I don’t own the rights to these characters. This comic is drawn entirely for entertainment; no profit is made. Many thanks to neveralarch for kindly giving permission to use her fic.
(The comic is also posted to AO3 in a larger image size: http://archiveofourown.org/works/881698)
“Make no mistake: you do this, you’re going to war. Define the goal. Define the objective. Define the terms of victory. Because if victory means bringing your mother and sister back, you’ve already lost. If victory means taking revenge for what happened to them, you’ve already lost. But if your objective is to save just one life… to protect one innocent… to keep one person from having their life shattered in violence… and to come home alive when you’re done… then you can prevail.”
I’m going to keep this short and sweet.
"Heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives. They are committed to being that person and committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests.”
“That’s very important and something we reinforced,” he continued. … It’s wonderful that they try to establish personal lives, but it’s equally important that they set them aside. That is our mandate, that is our edict and that is our stand.”—-Dan Didio, Baltimore Comic Con in response the anti-marriage edict at DC Comics
Bullshit. Cowardice. Limited. Immature. Depressing. Fundamentally insulting and wrong.
It’s an insulting view on what makes a person a true hero.
Our world is filled with people—-no matter their sexual orientation—-who make great sacrifices for other people and who put others needs before their own. Some of those people choose to remain single. But many of those men and women have made the choice to be with the person they love. Many of them are married or would CHOOSE to be married if our government would grant them true equality—-and many of them have children.
Our police officers. Our firefighters. The men and women—both gay and straight—-of our armed forces. These people are true heroes.
To imply that the only way that a person can truly commit to a heroic journey is to be denied any kind of satisfaction in their personal life is at best, deeply immature and, at worst, deeply insulting to the people who actually do save lives every single day and who do it knowing full well that when duty calls…they have to go….even if it means that it’s difficult to leave the people they love to do so.
To imply that it’s not possible to sustain good, entertaining, exciting drama while also exploring healthy, long term relationships is immature and limiting. It reeks of a Peter Pan complex and an immature emotional mindset about sex, love and commitment. It reeks of an industry that continues to coddle this idea that men should never really grow up.
I don’t read about heroes to be depressed. I read about them to be inspired. Part of that inspiration is the idea that yes….it’s possible to take a risk on love. To not live in fear. That even though you might be risking everything….that love can be worth the risk. I believe in love. I believe that love is worth the risk and I believe that the world’s greatest heroes—-particularly the heroes that are supposed to be bringing us hope—-would also be courageous enough to stand up and fight for love as opposed to living in fear.
It was immature cowardice when they gutted the Supermarriage as opposing to having the courage to actually put mature writers on the book. It was cowardice when they re-wrote the Flash marriage. It’s cowardice now with Kate and Maggie with an added bonus of being completely tone deaf and insensitive to what a marriage between two women would mean to people on the page. It’s not inspiring. It’s not mature. It’s not exciting.
So if your goal was to tell “exciting” stories…Congrats. You failed. This is not exciting. This is childish Peter Pan bullshit.
seriously Didio, what the fuck
People need something to inspire that level of dedication and it is not going to be everyone for whom the faceless masses does it. It’s going to be the people they love that inspire them to that level of ddication. And if your answer to that is going to be to continually rip any happiness away from them you are going to create either villains or people who have lost too much to be willing to act anymore.
Fuck this shit. I’m gonna cry.
This is the exact opposite of why we love superhero comics, science fiction, fantasy and all of our cherished geeky stuff. He’s missing the point of his medium. We love our heroes exactly because we enjoy reading about them balancing their families, friends, spouses with the rest of their lives they dedicated to what they do. These things are equally as important to the readers as them fighting the good fight, and what’s more, anyone who’s ever cared for a character knows full well that you need to see them have a range of emotions to give a crap. God knows I love my Batman, but if he were only about punching shit, I wouldn’t give a fuck.
Buffy without her friendships, without her everyday struggles to be just Buffy and be the Slayer? Boring. Mulder and Scully being only about the aliens? Nothing interesting about it. Aang without the Gaang, without their stories and their support? Empty.
Superman without his parents, without Lois? Batman taking interns instead of finding a family of his own? New 52.
The people we read in literature are supposed to be our role models. They are the people that can do amazing feats and save lives. They experience pain and hardship and heartbreak.
But they are our role models. And if they can’t have happy lives despite the hardships they face, who is there to show us, the readers, the people who may struggle everyday with trying to smile, with trying to make it through the everyday hardships, the people who are trying to see that there may be happiness on the other side of the shit they are going through.
If superheroes can’t have happiness, then how are we supposed to believe that the everyday heroes can have it, too? How are we supposed to believe that if we just put down the knife we may be happy in the future?
I LIKE reading about happy relationships…and watching shows with them in…and it bugs me so much that couples are only ‘interesting’ if something terrible eventually happens or if they’re cheating on each other or breaking up…
Well written happy couples ARE interesting…and you can tell tons of interesting, awesome stories with a character who is in a happy relationship with the one they love…
I LOVE that Kate and Maggie are a happy couple…I love that they want to be together, that they want to make their relationship work, that they don’t give up on their love for each other…their scenes together and seeing their relationship progress has been my favourite thing about the series
I would rather read about that than read stories where Kate is miserable and unhappy and can’t have a real relationship because she’s Batwoman…because that’s just angsty garbage…
Stories where Kate and the woman she love are together, as a couple that loves each other, that’s there for each other, that cares about each other more than anything else…that’s what I want to read about <3