Friday, April 11, 2008

Fangirl Fridays

Note to Self: showing up early for work is only awesome if you know the password for the alarm system.

So it's 8:45 in the morning and I turn the key and this ear-splitting scream fills the air; and the scream's not coming from me! It was like (if I may show off my geek cred for a second) Black Canary's sonic cry. Just the sheer volume of disrupted air from the alarm alone would pound any intruder to submission.

But there needs to be flashing lights as well.

So I run across the room to get my official work handbook so I can read up on how to disarm the alarm. Remember those old Disney cartoons from the 1950s where Goofy would try to learn something and there would either be a narrator or a booklet taking him step-by-step, and he was still screwing it up? That was me.

The only thing I got right was having my business card and photo ID handy so I could prove to the cops that I indeed had I right to be there. I took my black leather hoodlum jacket off before I did this because I did not want to get accidentally shot.


Michael Davis's post in Comic Mix, "The Way We Were," was so damn funny I would have peed myself had not I already done so when the alarm went off.


S**t, I'm feeling so good about Friends of Lulu right now. Even though I know I'm driving the board crazy with crazed pre-New York Comic Con preparatory e-mails right now.

Subject: New York Comic Con

Ahhhhhh!!!! Bannersflyerstablevolunteersballotsswag.

Your President


In response to a New York Comic Con panel that apparently features a bunch of talented female industry veterans AND Jenna Jameson, Girl Wonder's Rachel Edidin has a list of potential questions to ask:

-How do you feel about being invited to participate in a panel based on your sex—rather than the projects you’ve contributed to, your experience in the comics industry, and your accomplishments as a writer and/or artist?

-Do you think that “What Fan-Boys want” might include reassurance that comics remains a boys’ club, and that women in comics are anomalies? How might the title and description of this panel reinforce that idea?

-What is a total neophyte doing on a panel with three seasoned comics creators who are industry legends in their own right?

-What role does your vagina play in your creative process?

It's a tricky situation. Friends of Lulu put together two of the other "females in comics"/"comics for women" panels at New York Comic Con (just to make it clear -- not the panel under discussion). I saw it more of celebrating women's accomplishments than pigeon-holing them. Working with New York Comic Con on the panels in general, I got a positive vibe from them, and I was happy with the results.

That does not discount Rachel's points. As my impromptu polls of women have shown from convention to convention, female comic book readers don't like books to be marketed to them as "female-friendly." They say it feels patronizing. Might female comics professionals feel the same way, after being asked over and over again to attend all-female panels?

I don't think that all-women panels should be abolished. But I think the point is more: Don't put Marjane Satrapi, Christina Z, and that chick who draws "Cathy" on the same panel just because they happen to have XX chromosomes. So I understand where Rachel is coming from, and I know that the "what fanboys want" line was not particularly endearing.

However, I hope some of the other great panels at NYCC don't get overlooked because of this snafu.

As I said before, Friends of Lulu has two panels at New York Comic Con: One on comics for girls on Sunday, and ye olde standarde "women in comics" state-of-the-industry type thing.

Here's the description for the Women In Comics panel:

"Gail Simone, Heidi MacDonald, Karen Green, Jennifer Gr├╝nwald, Shelly Bond and Becky Cloonan will discuss the State of the industry from their perspective, plus insight into their exciting current projects, moderated by Abby Denson."

That panel is on Friday at 5:00 at NYCC.


Speaking of "Cathy," did anybody catch Tina Fey doing her Cathy routine on "30 Rock" yesterday night? It would have made me pee my pants if I wasn't going to do it the following morning.


-What role does your vagina play in your creative process?

Sigh. Well, I'm a special case.


  1. Shh, I haven't watched 30 yet (TiVo!)

    Also, DAMN that is some straight gangster self-deprecation.

  2. Aaaaaaak!

    Really funny alarm story. Good luck with your laundry.

    And serious question: What sort of things do FOL volunteers do?

  3. The alarm - I feel your pain.

    The same thing happened to me my second week of work in a new job last year in an office opposite the WTC site last year. Luckily the police didn't show up but I did have to let the guys on the door downstairs know, then got chewed out by someone later on.

    Very embarrassing.

  4. I agree 100%. There's *definitely* a place for women-in-comics panels, and I think they're still an important thing to support. My objection here is that the panel is being marketed as a cross between a zoo exhibit and a strip club: it's less "Women in comics talk about their uniquely gendered experiences in the industry," than "Hey, look! It's comics people WHAT GOTS BOOBIES!"

    In short, FoL-based Women in Comics panels = good. This Women in Comics panel = creepy, at least from the organizational end.

  5. Your alarm links through to the police? Count yourself lucky! Ours just goes off, not very loudly I might add.
    And at least you could get in! I had a very embaressing time the other day where I was the first person to arrive, only to discover I am in fact too short to press the button to let me in. I had to ask someone from next doors office to let me in. Stumpy legs fail again.

  6. The one thing about Jenna Jameson being included on that panel is that the panel, in theory, is about women who create comics. As I understand how the Virgin Comics template works, Jameson only came up with the general overall story and the nuts and bolts writing--the everyday "creating"--on Shadow Hunter is done by Christina Z.

    Even still, if that is wrong and Jenna is co-writing all of it, this is only (as far as I can tell) first comic book she was involved in. So she has a scintilla of the experience the other women on the panel have.

    Why am I mentioning this? Because I agree with one of Rachel's points. Jameson being on a panel about anybody creating comics sticks out like a sore thumb. In essence, she is still learning the craft. Being on a panel of women who create comics? Only more so.

    This lends creedence to the point you are trying to make. Women in comics panels can be useful if there is a purpose behind it. This one seems just an obligatory gathering of women, with a vague, catch-all "purpose", and Jenna being added to increase attendance from the "fanboys who want to talk to a porn star" contingent.

  7. by the way, the "links to this post" feature is a great function.

  8. william gatevackes said: As I understand how the Virgin Comics template works, Jameson only came up with the general overall story and the nuts and bolts writing--the everyday "creating"--on Shadow Hunter is done by Christina Z.

    That's essentially correct. I don't have the issue in front of me, but I believe the writing credits are listed as:

    Created by - Jenna Jameson
    Plot by - Jenna Jameson & Christina Z
    Script by - Christina Z

    As a fan of Christina Z, it's always annoyed me that she gets overlooked in many conversations about Shadow Hunter. I can somewhat understand the media outside of the comic book world focusing only on Jameson, but comic book people should know better.

  9. Incidentally, is anyone else a bit creeped out by the violently misogynist responses to Jenna's comic / presence in the industry? I keep on reading responses that very quickly go from legitimate criticism to incredibly vicious slut-shaming.

  10. It might have something to do with Jenna being a porn star. Making fun (to put it mildly) of porn stars is something that Feminists and normal guys can both enjoy.

    As a guy, I don't really want reassurances that comics be some kind of boys only club. It's not like guys reading comics are monolithic. I don't read Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, or a lot of the more cerebral and high concept writers very often. I read Miracleman, V for Vendetta, and I own a copy of Watchmen, but that's as far as it goes unless they snuck something in somewhere under my nose. If there ever came to be comics out there that were stealth marketed to women, I'd still use the same method of deciding if it's a book I want to read as I do now.

    The reassurance I'd want would be that people would understand that I'm not reading any given book because I just don't like it, rather than because I'm some woman-hater. That's really the thing. Women getting into comics around the blogosphere is less like, "hey! we're here!" sometimes as it is building forts bristling with cannons and murderholes flying the feminist flag and issuing ultimatums or broadcasting an agenda that doesn't include guys.

    I mean, I don't want to see women in refridgerators or Tigra getting pistol-whipped, either. But I can't get in on it when the agenda is "make comics women want to read and make those damned evil men make room for us . . . or else!!!"