Thursday, May 31, 2007

Seeing The Glass Half Empty

Today's Journalista! entry starts by juxtaposing my optimistic thoughts regarding editor Matt Idelson's new run on Supergirl with the Paul Gulacy run in Idelson's "Catwoman." The inference seems to be, "Matt's going to fuck this up and let the artist give Supergirl banana tits just like Selina."

I think this is really unfair and looking at the glass half empty, or, for that matter, completely empty. Idelson's run on "Catwoman" encompassed more than Gulacy. It also included this:
In addition to Paul Gulacy, Idelson's run boasted the artistic talents of Darwyn Cooke, Cameron Stewart, Pete Woods, and Javier Pulido.

This, to me, brings up a larger issue.

I think that our quest for excellence in mainstream comics should include acknowledging when the Big Two get it right. Providing positive feedback where it is due.

For example, I've heard a fair amount of bitching about DC's "Minx" line. And really, "Minx" did disappoint me because it sort of became a Vertigo-lite for teens instead of actually taking the mainstream superhero comic and skewing it for teens and female readers like I originally thought they would do. But there is good stuff in the "Minx" line. There is female-positive stuff. Why not talk about that as well? Why not send a signal to companies like DC that such initiatives are welcomed?

Because you know how it's perceived on the publisher's end?

The publisher tries to do Something Right. Maybe it's a little awkward, maybe it's perceived as too little. But they try.

And then they get kicked in the teeth for the effort. And they think, "well it's much easier to just feed the fans the Wizard Magazine fodder and leave it at that."

I have absolutely no reason to defend DC at all except from this point of view. For me to bitch about DC non-stop and not acknowledge when they Do Something Right would undermine what journalistic integrity this blog has. You know, "journalistic integrity." Between "Tim Drake in underwear" posts.

Of course, by August when the new "Supergirl" comes out I could be eating crow on all this. Maybe Kara will be exploited yet again. But I don't think Idelson would do this. Because to do so would be betraying countless adolescent girls out there who are looking for a role model in a sea full of Paris Hiltons, Lindsey Lohans, Nicole Richies, et al. And maybe it sounds kind of funny to refer to Supergirl as any sort of role model. I mean, "girls don't read superhero comics." But she can potentially be a role model. The same way Wonder Woman can, the same way Batgirl can...if DC plays their cards right. If they go for the long-term investment instead of the quick buck. half full.

And I liked the Gulacy run. It was fun. And it's #@%&^% Paul "Master Of Kung Fu" Gulacy, for Christ's sake. What are you going to say? "Well, you're legendary artist and all, but you draw banana-boobs. Sorry." Huh.


  1. if i wanted an "indie" book, id read a fucking indie book. this is supergirl!

    supergirl doesnt need to be a friend of lulu.

    i really hope they don't fuck it up!

    i am sorry but someone's gotta defend it. it's one of my favorite titles, and now that johns has left teen titans to the shitter, i gotta hope this doesn't go down too!

  2. but you are right, the big 2 do a lot of good.

    look at mike carey's x-men, and gail simone taking over wonder woman!

  3. "supergirl doesnt need to be a friend of lulu"

    how about a Sequential Tart?

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  5. i guess that MAYYY work, I would prefer she was an Occasional Superheroine, though.

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  7. I picked up the first Minx book, Plain Janes, and thought it was easily one of the best things I've read in ages. The closest thing to a complaint I might have had was that it just sort of ends, but then that's usually how situations resolve themselves in real life as well. I mostly just wanted more time with these characters, and more P.L.A.I.N. adventures.

    I can see a certain streak of Vertigo-lite running through it, but at the same time I think there's enough stuff coming out that just "Girls having awesome adventures" to balance it out. It seems like a superhero GN could find a nice home here if they wanted.

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  9. About Catwoman and Gulacy taking over from Cam Stewart, the problem with that was it seemed at the time to be a deliberate move to get Selina back to the Balent-style T&A approach, and that's pretty much how Gulacy drew her. All the stuff you posted, going on joyrides, the whole Cooke-style approach, well, that went out the window until Will Pfiefer and Pete Woods came on board. I bought the first couple of Gulacy issues (and I generally like the man's art; his Master of Kung Fus were classic and he did a really good Jonah Hex a while ago) but all the fun leaked right out of the book when he took over.

    So it seems to me that Idelson realized a mistake had been made, and set it right. Nothing wrong with that.

  10. I'm going to suggest that girls don't read superhero books because they aren't written for them. The cheesecake is one example as to why they're unsuitable, but the over-reliance on idealised or two-dimensional female characters in the majority of superhero books must surely put potential readers off?