Who would have ever expected that hardened criminals would be easier to stomach than internet trolls …
Hey, Comics! And yes, by that I mean ALL of comics. Not just those of you who think you are comics. I mean everyone who likes comics, who likes the characters, who likes the IDEA of comics, EVERYONE.
Just so you know where I am coming from, I’m a woman. I have read comics for as long as I can remember. There were times when they weren’t my first priority, like when I became obsessed with Star Wars or boys or had my kids, but they have always been a huge part of my life.
Right now, I am writing comics, reading comics, own a comic shop, write a column about comics, teach using comics, doing a dissertation on comic scholars, and I write scholarly articles about comics. I would say that comics as a medium is very important to me. That’s why when I see that anyone is getting harassed in the comics industry, it makes me mad. Regardless of what some people may think, comics are for everyone. EVERYONE. Why is it so hard to simply enjoy what you enjoy and let others enjoy what they enjoy without tearing them down?!? Anyway, more about that later.
This week, had a lot of great comics, again. It seems like that every week now and that makes me super happy, but also super tired because it’s a lot of reading. However, I’m not complaining. Once, I did, and my daughter sarcastically (I don’t know WHERE she gets that from) said: “Boo-hoo. You have to read comics for your job.” So, I don’t complain about that anymore. Well, it’s off to the picks!
First up, New Avengers #17 from Marvel by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Jesus Aburtov, Dono Sanchez Almara and Clayton Cowles. This is my favorite ongoing Avengers book. A lot of that has to do with Dum Dum Dugan, one of my all-time favorites. And this one (sorry, SPOILERS) has many Dugans which makes me very giddy! If you only pick up one Avengers title, this is the one!
Next, DC’s Teen Titans #1 by Benjamin Percy, Jonboy Meyers, Jim Charalampidis and Corey Breen. I loved the Rebirth special but this one really sealed the deal for me. “Five fingers make a fist.” What a great line! If you want to know what it means, read the issue. Benjamin Percy is firing on all cylinders right now! (I interviewed him about the Titans here.)
Last but not least, Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special from DC and a slew of amazing creators. If you have never read Wonder Woman, pick this up. If you love Wonder Woman, pick this up. The Gail Simone story is a stand out. I can’t recommend this enough.
Lightning Round: Aw Yeah Comics Action Cat and Adventure Bug trade paperback from Art Baltazar and Franco. I am a little biased here (I’m in business with them) but I love this series! DC’s Detective Comics #943 by James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez continues to be one of the best series on the shelf! And Bait: Off-Color Stories For You to Color is one of the best values out there. From Dark Horse and Chuck Palahniuk and a host of other creators, this is one NOT to miss.
OK, now back to the main topic. As you may know (click here if you don’t) Chelsea Cain quit Twitter last week due to harassment.
Now, before I worked in comics, I owned a gearbox shop that serviced Indy Car teams. While there was misogyny present, it was nothing like I have seen in comics — and auto racing is a major male-dominated industry. Also, I taught in prison, in male prisons, for eight years. While there were tough times, I never saw the kind of hatred and misogynistic tendencies that I see in comics.
I don’t understand the “ownership” and gate-keeping. At one point in history, more women than men read comics. At this point in time, I would say it is at least 50/50. I do agree that it was a “boy’s club” at one point, but that is no longer the case. The customers in my shop are a great mix of men and women of all ages, genders and ethnicities. Why, then why, are there people spouting things like this “Ry:”
I can’t see his tweets because he has blocked me (I saw these posts copied online) even though I don’t ever remember interacting with him. Maybe it’s because I tweeted that I am a woman. Who knows? However, he is wrong on so many levels.
Here’s the thing. Comics are for everyone. ALL of popular culture and books and media are for anyone who wants to enjoy it. And if you think women don’t belong in comics, then screw you. I belong in comics. I love them. I write them, I read them. I think about comics every day of my life. I can’t imagine my life without comics.
Back to the Chelsea Cain issue, specifically: I don’t know her at all. However, I did read Mockingbird and I loved it as did many other people in my shop, including one of my female employees. (Note from editor Dan, a man: It was Marvel’s funniest comic.) I was sad when it got cancelled but that’s not the problem.
The issue is that people were so cruel to Ms. Cain that she quit Twitter. That’s crazy — crazy that there are people who decided that they should be ^#%holes to her. Or maybe they just simply can’t help it. Someone should be able to express an opinion without being harassed. Some backward-thinking basement-dwellers still think that comics is Men’s Domain. Let me tell you this. It’s NOT. It’s Everyone’s Domain. I can guarantee you, “Ry,” that I do more for comics in one day of my life than you ever have.
And to you and all the other trolls out there that say terrible things to Ms. Cain, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Amy Chu, Devin Grayson, Louise Simonson, Pia Guerra, Kate Leth, Babs Tarr, Kate Beaton, Katie Cook, Marguerite Bennett, Fiona Staples, Alex DeCampi — or the hundreds of other women who work in the comics field — you are the ones who don’t belong in comics because we are too good for you. WE are comics and we aren’t going anywhere.
I know that I will always be involved in comics. And I will try to get Chelsea Cain to keep writing comics. And to get more minorities represented in comics as writers, artists, editors and characters to make comics the diverse medium that it deserves to be.
I #standwithchelseacain and every other comics writer regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity. No one deserves to be hassled like Ms. Cain was — or many other people in comics have — by misogynistic, self-appointed gate-keepers.
I expect to get some backlash for this column. I don’t care. I won’t quit Twitter. I won’t quit social media. I won’t quit comics. It’s something that is in my blood (along with a lot of Death Wish Coffee). So, you want to know about MY feminist agenda? It’s treat people how you want to be treated. Treat everyone the same. Just chill and enjoy the comics medium and let everyone else do the same.
Until next week, keep reading comics and treat each other with respect.