Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Just a quick anecdote I've been meaning to share:
I currently work for a media company for women run by mostly women. Our content is targeted towards women: celebrities, fashion, health, style, relationships, parenting, etc.
One day when I was attending an editorial meeting, somebody mentioned to everyone that I am involved with the comic book industry. This bit of information sparked a great deal of interest from the mostly female staff. They thought it was cool, thought comic books were cool, even enthusiastically mentioned Elektra. We got into a brief discussion regarding comics about female characters, and comics for women. The long and short of it is, they were interested in action and female characters who could kick butt. The majority of the women were interns in their early 20s. With the exception of one woman who collected comics like "Y The Last Man," most were not what one would consider "fangirls" or comic book collectors. They just responded very positively to the idea of proactive female superheroes.
This experience really confirmed to me that it is crucial in a superhero comic book for women that there be action, as much action as in an action movie or mainstream superhero comic. I do not think we should shy away from these elements in a comic targeted for women because we worry that they are "ugly" or brutal in some way. If anything, I think having ass-kicking superheroines might be cathartic.
At the same time, I believe strongly that care should be taken in these comics to address characterization and relationships. That is, in my opinion, the crucial balance that must be struck in a superhero comic that can appeal to women. And that, when we step back and look at everything as a whole, might be the crucial balance that must be struck for any comic with a mass-appeal, regardless of gender.
So anyway, that's just the results of a highly unscientific spur-of-the-moment focus group thingie regarding women and comics.
I don't think there is any reason superheroines like Elektra, Batgirl, Supergirl, Ms. Marvel, etc should not be iconic heroes that all women, regardless of "fan" status, recognize and enjoy. And you know, maybe movies & TV are going to play a large part in all this to get these women more familiar with the characters (as I'm sure, despite its poor box-office showing, the Elektra movie certainly did). But whatever the case, I really think this can be done.
And certainly, where the females would purchase/read these stories is another big factor. You would get more female readers with trades/webcomics than you would with monthly comics, in my opinion. And as unsuccessful as the Catwoman & Elektra movies were, they probably went a long way in introducing mainstream superheroines to females. These are all things to think about and consider, I guess.
I'm not writing this as an idealistic, pie-in-the-sky vision of a world; the way I think things "should" be. I'm writing this from the viewpoint of what actually might work sales-wise, what makes sense, solid ideas from which to create product. I realize that sounds rather materialistic, but in terms of making these changes in the industry, the business side has to be taken into account. It can't be we do this comic solely because "wouldn't it be nice to have another female superhero." Because we can do that, certainly, but it won't last ten issues. As much as we do these things for the "right" reasons, we have to also do them because they hold water business-wise.
How do we sell comic book product to the twenty-something women in that boardroom? How do we take their enthusiasm at the mere mention of "comics" and expand on it? If they respond positively to a character like Elektra, where do we take that? What is the next step?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I liked this comment from Dyuken on my recent comic con post so much, I decided to just run it here:
"I agree that the current trend is a juggernaut created by us comic fans constant need for stimulation. However, it is something far more insidious, in that these large media conglomerates are PIMPING US.
They have realized, being creatively bankrupt as they are, that comics and geek culture is a very creative force. So they MINE the culture and try to find nuggets that can me massmarketed ie have CROSSOVER APPEAL.
Since our culture is so insecure, we are more than happy to invite any mainstream outlet that pretends to recognize the culture's value access to our culture.
So its kinda like the victims of a vampire. We are being drained of our life blood and exploited for it, AND WE ARE LOVING IT.
But, using the vampire analogy further, we will be discarded when the media conglomerates move on to something else to exploit."
Monday, July 27, 2009
If you ever wanted to see all the nads-kicking in comics thoughtfully scanned and placed in one area for easy reference, this is the place for you. It's the Scans Daily of crushed testicles.
Includes getting shot in the nads, blasted in the nads, stabbed in the nads, and the Joker kicking Aquaman in the nads.
Really, I found this blog unintentionally while searching for something completely unrelated.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
"Sadly, where this leaves all of us in the comics world is totally screwed. With a reported waiting list of 300 media/consumer products companies lined up for booth space here at San Diego Comic-Con International, the convention feels absolutely no restraint as regards raising booth rent. What does exist is a totally uneven playing field, where mom-n-pop comics retailers, publishers, and creators are now being asked to pay the same cost per square-foot as the international corporate giants. That being the case, it should come as no surprise that we comics exhibitors are rapidly being priced out of our own house. I heard from several comics retailers who have been here at the convention for decades that they are either cutting back for 2010, or completely pulling out of the show. With fewer comics retailers exhibiting in San Diego each year, the incentive for individual comics fans to put up with the cost and hassle of coming here also greatly diminishes. If present trends continue, I predict with more than a small measure of sadness that comics will be a very minor part of this convention within five years. It will be the most incredibly wonderful media convention in the world, but the days of the San Diego Comic-Con are over."-- Chuck Rozanski, Mile High Comics e-Newsletter
I've just finished reading a long email chain started off by the Mile High Comics e-Newletter regarding the San Diego Comic-Con. These are the points I grasped and interpolated from that email chain regarding this year's SDCC, and the possible direction of large comic book conventions in general:
1. Many of the fans were poor this year.
2. Many of the fans blew their wad on travel arrangements & tickets, and didn't have a lot of money to buy stuff; so they especially mobbed things like panels and free screenings to get their full money's worth.
3. Comic book retailers are increasingly finding themselves priced out of the shows, and even considered "irrelevant" in the face of big media companies touting their latest movie or TV show.
4. SDCC wants to be the pop-culture version of the Cannes Film Festival.
5. Fans at the convention want to see mass-market stars like Robert Pattinson & Megan Fox, not some niche comic book.
6. It seems like mass-market pop-culture has swooped down, picked up the fruits of comic book culture, processed them, plopped them down into a movie or video game, and left comic book culture as the same basement-dwelling guilty pleasure it started out as. You know those movies where they rescue a few people using a helicopter, but they leave all these other people behind? Or like during the credits of "What's Happening!!," when the gang is on the back of that truck but Rerun just can't make it? Rerun is the traditional comic book world, and Raj on the truck is Michael Bay. And Dwayne is like any comic book creator who successfully "crosses over" into mainstream media. And Dee would be Nikki Finke. Does that make sense?
If this scenario is indeed correct, then I don't really see girls who like "Twilight" as the reason the convention is being "stolen" away. Really, the bigger issue is this: media conglomerates have taken comic book culture and "Andy Warholized" it, presenting us with mass-market, mass-produced, highly vetted versions of that culture's icons. But not only that, the conglomerates have appropriated the comic book/"fan" community's mechanism of promotion & dissemination of information: the convention. So that's the Icons and the Mechanism being appropriated.
What part does the "mom and pop" comic book retailer play in this overall scheme? It's possible that at this point they might be looked upon as a vestige, a small, strange niche segment of table-holders squeezed between the major publisher booths and Showtime. And where do the independent comic book creators and artists fit into all of this? Does it make sense to even have a table? Or are such tables as well a vestige, something that is going the way of webbed toes and a highly-pronounced tailbone? Has it come down to the networking, the Twittering, the schmoozing, trying to make as many scheduled appearances as possible, trying to be seen as many places as possible?
That said, I admit that I love pop artists like Andy Warhol & Roy Lichtenstein. But I don't fool myself thinking that Andy Warhol is Chester Gould or Roy Lichtenstein is Russ Heath, you know what I mean?
Friday, July 24, 2009
Yesterday was the first time I saw the movie "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas." I know – it's such a popular movie, it's weird I hadn't seen it yet, right? I did see the other one based on Hunter S. Thompson, "Where the Buffalo Roam," some time ago. Thought that pound-for-pound, Bill Murray did a better job than Johnny Depp in portraying Thompson. It wasn't that Depp's performance was bad; it was just that he was playing it very broad, like slapstick. But all of "Fear and Loathing" was kind of like that: an experience, a mood, more than a narrative. Anyway, my preference for Bill Murray notwithstanding, I liked "Fear and Loathing" a lot.
I started having those "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" feelings about San Diego Comic-Con last year, and they were solidifed for me at NYCC this year. I don't think that it was an accurate view of those conventions themselves, as rather where I was at personally in my life at that moment. At that those moments, going into a crowded convention center with all of its colored lights, whistles, salespeople, displays, tables, banners, and endless processions of fans with their T-shirts & their cardboard art tubes slung over their back was too much for me. At SDCC last year I lasted a day before I intensely wanted to go home. At NYCC this year, it was an hour. At MoCCA Art Fest last month, it was 15 minutes.
I had seen it all so many times before; the same tables, the same vendors; the same bars and the same people. The same topics. The same hopes (would they buy the pitch? would Hollywood come a knocking with that option?). But why was I there? What was I selling? And if a big part of selling is selling yourself – who the fuck was I? Seriously. I didn't even know who I was, what my identity was. What did I stand for? A lot of times, people would introduce me as a feminist in the comic book industry. Or I was the girlfriend of that guy. Or I was that author of that ball-busting blog. But if you had to ask me who I was, how I would boil all it down into some inclusive description fit for a Twitter bio, I couldn't tell you.
You know, I write advertising materials for a living. I fit each thing I write to address a certain demographic, mood, and/or lifestyle. And that's the way my life looked like. It was a Microsoft Word template. In all my many examinations of topics on this blog, I never really got to the heart of who I was, or why I was in comics. It was easier to be distracted by a multitude of different tasks and projects. It was easier to fight with the putz of the week. It was easier to go to these conventions, do the same things, eat well, get drunk, go home or to the hotel late, and pass out.
In "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas," Thompson's goal was to find America, the very heart of it. But watching the movie, I found myself wanting to find Thompson more. And I could not help but feel that the surrealist vision of hell that bedeviled him for the 118 minutes of the film was as much a reflection of his own brain, his own struggles, as it was a portrait of a nation gone sour.
At the same time, it gave me a great idea – sans the drugs, but perhaps including some alcohol and a few cases of "Energy" Vitamin Water – of how I might want to approach the next convention season. Maybe, if I go to enough places, visit enough venues, see enough things, ride enough merry-go-rounds, I can discover America, or Comics, or myself. Or, barring that, at least have a good time and keep the hurling to a minimum.
"And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of old and evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."
(Anyway, that's part of why I'm not at San Diego this year. Also, I have no money. )
Monday, July 20, 2009
Canadian comic book store owner accused of peeping on female customer in bathroom with secret video camera set-up in the next room.
What's best is the headline Yahoo! News decided to go with: "Spidey Sense Tingling"
link via Journalista
Friday, July 17, 2009
Here's a quick question that just came up in conversation:
Would you rather have comic book "events" that stretch out over months or weeks? Longer duration vs. shorter duration?
For example, a six-month event or an event done in a month?
Among the factors to consider are the attention-span of the readers & the total cost to purchase the entire event.
I lean towards weekly events with shorter timeframes. In an age of on-demand digital entertainment, weekly/daily updated webcomics, and "waiting for the trade," the content of a comic has to be pretty damn good to make me wait 30 days.
The Federal Business Opportunities website posted a listing for contractors to perform "Humor in the Workplace" presentations for The Department of Treasury's Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD). The job would entail conducting 3-hour meetings about the "power of humor in the workplace, the close relationship between humor and stress, and why humor is one of the most important ways that we communicate in business and office life." Another job requirement would be the ability to "draw cartoons on the spot," which would seem to be a natural for many artists in the comic book industry.
Unfortunately, an amendment to the original job listing was soon posted, stating simply "Bureau of Public Debt has determined that it no longer has a need for this requirement."
But remember: government jobs and the like are always a safe bet! Just ask Harvey Pekar.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The National Organization of Women has made a statement calling this editorial cartoon by staff cartoonist Bill Bramhall sexist. It depicts New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand with really big mouth and a bunch of people (who I guess we assume are all men?) waiting in line to fill it with a number of items.
NOW-NYS President Marcia Pappas commented,
“It looks like the Daily News has a new target for their misogynistic garbage. So what is the message, “Sit down and shut up girls”?”
Cartoonist Bramhall said in his defense,
“The cartoon is about a politician with diarrhea of the mouth, not about her gender...”
And Tom Spurgeon added in his coverage of the story,
"No matter what the person's intentions are, that could be definitely be seen by a rational person as a cartoon motivated by paternalism and festooned with phallic symbols. At the very least such a result should be accepted as an unintended consequence hopefully not to be repeated, at which point barring a history of this kind of thing we can all move on."
So what do you think? Was the cartoon sexist? Or is sometimes a cork threatening to fill a big round hole just a cork threatening to fill a big round hole?
This is just a reaction to the news that the rights-holders of the mega-hit "Twilight" chose the manga format to be its first comic book adaptation.
First, I'm not surprised AT ALL.
But really, is the mainstream comic book "floppy" format just not an option for the majority of comic book reading young women (and some young men) anymore? To the point that if you have some hot non-superhero property for teens you don't even consider putting it out as a floppy?
I'm just saying, because I know there have been many attempts to bring in the teen girl market in "floppy comics" form. Is it the format itself that turns them off? Does the idea of going in the local comic shop to purchase them turn them off?
And then what about the case of something like "Buffy The Vampire Slayer?" If Dark Horse had adapted "Twilight" in a similar format, would that have worked? Or are a good portion of those BTVS readers already familiar with the mainstream comics format, etc, while many of these "Twilight" readers may not be?
As a tangent, I have to reiterate my belief that "floppies" are the best format for little kids, especially if the price-point is moderate. I know some feel that digests are the best format, but I think little kids want nice big pictures and a format they can completely lay out flat on their table, floor, etc. (or roll up in a tube or tear up or cut up or whatever).
That all said, the current "Twilight" adaptation doesn't preclude a company like Dark Horse or Marvel or DC adapting it in the future. Or coming up with somethin' similar. Like, perhaps, "Schmilight."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
1. It's a "kid's book," but doesn't talk down to them.
2. It's a "kid's book," but, like those classic Looney Tunes cartoons, I can still enjoy it.
3. The current Muppets rights-holders (Disney?) should hire Roger Langridge as the guy who singlehandedly makes this property fresh and relevant again. I like this stuff more than those recent Muppets TV specials & movies – closer to the original spirit.
4. I treat this comic completely as entertainment – not a commodity, not a collectible. I just get in there, fold the cover back with a nice big crease, and freakin' READ it. Then it ends up on my coffee-table, on top of a stack of magazines and newspapers, on my window-sill, in the bathroom. You will never see it in my house with a bag and board; in fact, you would never find bags and boards in my comic stacks, period.
5. Comic most in the spirit of the kid's comics I read in my youth, when you used to pick these titles off the spinner racks like grapes.
Monday, July 13, 2009
"Girls Cause Comic-Con Consternation"
"Female Fans Prepare To Trample Men At Comic-Con"
"Will Twilight Ruin This Year's Comic-Con?"
Truly, my heart weeps for those fanboys inconvenienced by 1,000s of Robert Pattinson fans. It is so unfair. And they're "not even really supposed to be there," right?
I first noticed this phenomenon at last year's conventions when they started to invite manga & anime guests. You never saw such epic lines waiting to get autographs from voice actors and Japanese pop stars. You can't even compare the sheer volume of these fans to those waiting for Jim Lee, et al. It's like comparing the crowds that came out for the Beatles & Michael Jackson to those who come out for a Tony Danza book signing. Seriously.
After all the bullshit I've heard over the last year about females getting harassed at comic conventions, it's hard for me to have any pity for people who whine over these "interlopers" invading their convention. And you'd better believe the con organizers are going to have to have better security and protective measures for these younger female fans – because if their shows have a rep as an unsafe venue for these girls & women, they are going to lose tons of $$$.
As for the upturned nose at fans of stuff like "Twilight" (and I'm looking now at some women as well as men), that's just a bunch of crap. I'm not a "Twilight" enthusiast, but that's a real legitimate fandom and get over it.
And as far as the anxiety over the crowds for the "New Moon" panels/screenings go, SDCC was in this position before for stuff like "Hellboy" & "The Spirit"; I was there. And I really feel the female fans are getting singled out.
Here's a typical sentiment, from Cinematical's post "The One Where Twilight (Almost, But Doesn't) Ruin Comic-Con)":
"Well, last year Twilight caused an absolute Beatles-mania sh*t show with tween girls and their Twi-hard moms camped outside the convention center's Hall H for hours upon hours in order to get one of the 6000-or-so seats inside."
Where was this whining when people were going freakin nuts over "Watchmen?" Or when I couldn't even get through the fanboy phalanx to meet up with friends because of the Hellboy roadblock?
Fandom and conventions are big enough for EVERYBODY. And instead of complaining about "Twilight" fans, maybe somebody should figure out how to get these legions of fangirls to buy more comics.
About Scarlett Takes Manhattan:
Scarlett O'Herring is a dancer, fire-breather, courtesan, and the star of Molly Crabapple's first graphic novel from Fugu Press. Written by long-time collaborator John Leavitt, "Scarlett" follows the rise of Miss O'Herring from tragedy (her mother crushed by copulating circus elephants) through her grand entrance on the stage (accidental and sans costume) to her triumph as the fire-breathing queen of burlesque. It's a sexy, decadent romp through the slums and palaces of New York's Gilded Age.
Scarlett Takes Manhattan brings to life a character from Molly and John's long-running web comic "Backstage" from the collective Act-i-vate. As Molly says, "It has Tammany Hall and bad politics and early-lesbian culture in it. And it's very dirty."
The Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art is at 594 Broadway, Suite 401 (btwn. Houston and Prince) in NYC.
And again: that's FREE ORIGINAL SIN CIDER!!!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
From "This Just In: Hip-Hop Robots In Transformers Only Robots"
Reader: "And just for your info, the two “black” characters in the new movie are not black, they learned how to talk through the World Wide Web, which is why different Transformers talk differently..."
Ebert: "You mean the two robots from an alien world are in fact not actual black people?"
Okay, I think we can all safely say that he's baiting the fanboys at this point...
Seriously, this is becoming like Captain Ahab and the big whale.
EDIT: originally, I referred to this as his 4th post on Transformers 2. But then I realized that I lost count.
OK, I've had my distance from the whole Michael Jackson thing. I was really shocked and sad that he died; I mean, the road he was going down, it seemed rather inevitable. But it was still a shock.
Watching his memorial on TV, however, brought to mind something that has always puzzled/troubled me. And that's the Balance Sheet Paradox.
Do the things you do in life that are extremely awesome "balance out" the things you do in life that are extremely not awesome? Or further: not merely "balance out," but eclipse, bury the badness?
For example, I've read a lot of online debates recently regarding whether Jackson's huge contributions to music & extensive philanthropic acts more than "make up" for the facts of his obvious massive narcissism, drug abuse, and, at the very minimum, behavior towards some children that was (if not overtly sexual) sort of really weird. I've even read opinions where Michael Jackson was such a larger-than-life star with such larger-than-life needs and stresses, that if he needed to "blow off some steam" in a number of different ways he should be forgiven for it; that it's the price of us having such an important, world-changing individual in our midst.
Often lost in this balance sheet are individual victims. They are, in the face of the balance sheet, "not really that important." A necessary price to pay for greatness. For example, I've often heard the line of reasoning that compared to all the good President Clinton did, one affair with a White House intern was not a big deal. (In fact, what was that hussy doing, trying to seduce our president, anyhow?) I've heard this argument from not a few women. Monica Lewinsky, in this line of reasoning, was simply "collateral damage."
Another example I remember from my early twenties, as I attended an academic function that was in tribute to a particular teacher. The popular teacher had brought tremendous acclaim and funding to the school, and had performed many charitable acts. He was lionized as a saint, a rockstar, at this party. But I knew that he also was a serial seducer and manipulator of a number of his young female students, leaving them in various states of confusion, distress, shame, etc. This included destroying a marriage, and, in turn, destroying the woman in question's ability to visit her own children.
When I brought this up to my boss, the public relations director of the school, he said he could give me no easy answer about it. He never told me to be quiet about it, because he agreed it was a problem. On the other hand, he pointed out that the school would be severely hit with scandal and misfortune if such a high-profile person was revealed to be abusing his position. I agreed. I loved my school.
I have never seemed to get away from the Balance Sheet paradox. It seems to be something that has always dogged my life, demanding from me some sort of committed stance. Can we have and approve both: the sacred and the profane in the same person, good and bad wrapped up in equal measures? Can we love the good and ignore or condemn the bad? Or are there certain absolutes or lines that, once crossed, stains every other act?
And what about the "collateral damage?"
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Also, no Ferraris were washed in the making of either comic or movie.
---->reference related Bleeding Cool article here.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
When the sizzling star of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" went to director Michael Bay's house to audition for the part, "He made her wash his Ferrari while he filmed her..."
I'm not surprised, but can you imagine if he tried that crap with another actress? Then again, maybe I'm just being naive. Yeesh.
"Picture you're giving Optimus a sponge bath..."
From the Archie Comics press release:
Perpetual teen and all-American comic book icon Archie Andrews may have sent shockwaves around the world when it was recently announced he will propose to fussy heiress Veronica Lodge in the 600th issue of the 68 year old comic book (and not girl-next door Betty Cooper), but don’t tell Universal Republic singing sensation Colbie Caillat. The platinum-plus, award winning singer/songwriter has ‘fallen’ for the red-headed Archie in a big way, and will be ushering in her new single “Fallin’ For you” and upcoming new album, BREAKTHROUGH, due out August 25th, by literally ‘fallin’ for Archie in a historic singing match-up splashed inside the pages of Veronica’s very own comic – VERONICA # 196. The combustible issue features Archie and Colbie on the cover playfully readying for their musical debut together while a very wary Veronica looks on!
So is the linchpin of the "Archie mystique" jealous females?
Close-up of Veronica on the cover of the issue in question:
FEAR THIS WOMAN!
As mentioned on this blog before, I'm a big supporter of the Inkwells. Here are the winners for this year (visit this link for more info):
FAVORITE INKER (favourite inker over another's comic book pencil art from '08 material)
Wade Von Grawbadger (Ultimate Spider-Man) winner
Mark Morales (Thor, Secret Invasion) runner-up
MOST ADAPTABLE (showing exceptional ink style versatility over other comic book pencil artists in '08)
Tim Townsend (Amazing Spiderman) winner
Danny Miki (Incredible Hercules, Ultimate annuals) runner-up
PROPS AWARD (inker over others comic book pencil art deserving of more attention from '08)
Matt Ryan (Ms. Marvel, Wonder Woman) winner
Stefano Gaudiano (The Immortal Iron Fist, Daredevil) co-runner-up
Steve Leialoha (Fables) co-runner-up
THE SPAMI (favourite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent: '08 comic book cover-dated ink work over another pencil artist (Non-Marvel or DC work))
Tim Townsend (Witchblade) winner
Tom Van Zandt (Unhappy Gran’ma) runner-up
ALL IN ONE AWARD (Favourite artist known for almost-exclusively inking his/her own comic book pencil work and rarely the work of others in '08)
Mike Mignola (Hellboy: In the Chapel of Moloch) winner
Simone Bianchi (Astonishing X-Men) runner-up
THE JOE SINNOTT AWARD (a hall of fame designation for an inking career of outstanding accomplishment (lifetime achievement, 15-years minimum- not limited to '08 comic book material)- two winners chosen annually)
Terry Austin (winner)
Dick Giordano (winner)
Tim Townsend (runner-up
In addition the Inkwell Committee will also be presenting a Silver Inkwell Award to Bette Simons, in appreciation and recognition for her brother Dave Simons. Dave passed away recently and is greatly missed by many, both as a colleague and as a friend. The committee honors past members with such an award for their contributions and time served. In the past a Silver Inkwell was also bestowed to founding member Bill Nichols upon his departure.
Monday, July 06, 2009
The Ebert just won't let it go, will he?
In his latest column, "I'm A Proud Brainiac!" (complete with graphic of the DC Comics "Brainiac"), film critic Roger Ebert defends his stance on Transformers 2, among other things:
"Those who think "Transformers" is a great or even a good film are, may I tactfully suggest, not sufficiently evolved."
"So let's focus on those who seriously believe "Transformers" is one of the year's best films. Are these people wrong? Yes."
"Some of the posters at certain popular web forums are nine blooms short of a bouquet."
"But am I out of touch? It's not a critic's job to reflect box office taste. The job is to describe my reaction to a film, to account for it, and evoke it for others. The job of the reader is not to find his opinion applauded or seconded, but to evaluate another opinion against his own."
Because a female character's sexuality shouldn't be organic to the story, it should be a gimmick to titillate viewers.
From Contact Music:
HAYDEN PANETTIERE is preparing for girl-on-girl love scenes in the next series of HEROES - her character will reportedly enjoy a smooch with her college roommate.
The 19-year-old actress plays cheerleader Claire Bennet in the hit U.S. show and TV bosses are considering working a lesbian storyline into the upcoming fourth season.
A source tells British newspaper the Daily Star, "It's just girlie fun at first. But it might progress into something more serious. It depends on how viewers respond."
That's right – Claire's lesbianism/bisexuality is such an intregal part of the storyline, we'll let the viewers decide. If they vote "HOT!", there will be more.
And sexual experimentation with a college roommate – that's BOLD! Plus: cheerleader!
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for having more LGBT characters in sci-fi entertainment, across the board. And I think, overall, it's better to have more related characters and storylines than less, even if I think some are either promoted poorly or used purposely as a gimmick.
But I think the reason storylines like Willow becoming gay/bisexual worked for me is that they didn't issue a press release when it happened. It was just part of the story, and I don't feel it was used as a gimmick. If anything, BTVS was at the height of its popularity when Willow and Tara got together, and could have lost (and probably did lose) some viewers in the process.
That's just my 2 cents. I could be wrong. It just would be nice to have a high-profile gay character in a comic or TV show and not promote it as "TEH GAY CHARACTER OMG!!!!!!"
One Newsarama poster reacts to the announcement of the JLA/99 Crossover:
"Oh. God. No. Muslim pandering, anyone? Thank you, Time Warner, for showing us whose side you're on. I guess we can add you to the list of traitorous companies who have forgotten 9/11..."
Another poster, calling himself "The Mighty Dixon" (!) wrote,
"This is just further evidence of my criticism of DC political agenda that has driven this company away from solid stories of of the adventures of readers favorite characters that they we have always, no matter what generation, come the the shelves of our respective stores to purchase comics for. You would not have seen any comics reflecting German heroes during or proceeding World War II."
Of course, we cannot judge the majority of Newsarama users for the opinions or actions of a few.