turtlefu: (Default)
[personal profile] turtlefu posting in [community profile] scans_daily

I am back! This day had probably one of the worst moments at the con, but it did have some good news. Also, we had one panel where DC DIDN'T brag about diversity! Too bad it was the Green Lantern Panel. But first, legality!
 

WE HAVE A BLACK GUY NOW!!!!!

 

DC’s ‘The New 52’ Panel (Friday Morning)

Lee says that having a beautiful wife made it too easy for Superman, and they wanted to restore the idea that Superman can’t get everything that he wants.

“Aaaaaand, right away, equating wives as prizes for their husbands. Also, NOBODY LIKES angst-y Clark!”

DiDio says that they de-aged characters because they had already “matured” and wanted the characters to be able to grow and self-discover, etc. He thinks that Oracle was in her mid- to late-30’s.

“DC doesn’t understand at all. I for one, LOVE Oracle BECAUSE she has grown and matured and developed. Apparently, people older than 35 aren’t interesting. I guess that means most of the DC staff isn’t interesting? Oh, that’s right, so it must be true.”

DiDio reiterates that Stephanie is going to come back. Also, Berganza (Ex. Editor) says that Oracle was a “big decision” but to have confidence in Gail. Also, there isn’t going to be a magic handwave.

“Yes, that would be nice. Too bad I don’t believe them one bit. With the compressed timeline, new younger Barbara, and the implication that her recovery won’t be instant, it looks like the Oracle character is going to be significantly truncated and changed

Jim Lee implies that Wonder Woman won’t be single.

“This can go both ways. It can show a Woman in a happy stable relationship where she is equal with her partner. OR, they can go the Classic/Heinberg route and hitch her up with a complete jerk!”

 

DC’s Superman Panel (Friday Afternoon)

JMS is running with the “Man of Steel, Woman of Tissue” idea in his next Earth-1 OGN. The woman will be okay with Clark being naked

“I wish somebody would retire that misogynistic idea. On the other hand, I wish they would portray women as more well-rounded than the Madonna-Whore complex towards sex, and I think showing a woman as wanting sex but not being consumed by it is the right direction.”

Johnson describes Supergirl as kind and funny and smart, but untrusting and in a backwards civilization.

“Okay, that sounds pretty good to me

 

DC’s Justice League Panel (Friday Later Afternoon)

Johns says that by having J’onn on the JLA, there is redundancy because Clark is already an alien.

“This shows exactly DC’s attitudes towards diversity. It’s all about quotas and tokenism.”

Wallace says that Terrific’s supporting cast will be very racially diverse. He says he wants his writing to reflect the real world.

“Well, good on you, but I still don’t like your writing. Also, I think it’s important to add that Wallace is one of (the only?) black creator for the new 52

Lee implies that the Atom is Ryan Choi when asked about diversity in the JLA.

“See, I love Ryan, but I feel like they only chose him over Ray because Ryan fulfills their Asian diversity quota”

Johns says Power Girl is still around, Wallace implies we’ll see Karen Starr in Mr. Terrific. Philip Tan says he can’t say whether Hawkgirl is still around. Berganza says “never say never” to Secret Six returning.

“Mostly good news, but now for the really bad part!”

A female fan in a Batgirl costume says she is upset about how the female character are not featured centrally in the Justice League books. The panelists say they are taking diversity “seriously”. Then they got into a little argument with the fan disagreeing. Lee mocks her by asking if she wants female characters to be “dead center or off-center” on the covers. According to the report, the audience was definitely against her.

“DC says they are taking diversity seriously, and then proceeds to use their male privilege to mock a fan who is rightfully upset about their hypocrisy. Furthermore, the audience, who is likely mostly male, is against her voicing her concerns. However, I applaud her for her bravery and courage. We need more people like her in the business. It reminds me of what Gail was before she sold-out. And she's completely right, because there used to be a time when we had a "Trinity" with Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman as the Big Three. It seems to me that GL has now taken that position and Wonder Woman is going to be less important in the team books. It's also funny how the League supposedly has several heroines as members but only Wonder Woman shows up on the cover. And even in JLI, the guys are clearly larger/closer to the foreground and more central than Ice, Vixen, or Fire.”

DC’s Green Lantern panel had no talking about heroines or diversity

Date: 2011-07-26 03:40 pm (UTC)
filthysize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filthysize
If I can be honest... I would like for comic books to be more diverse, but more often than not, I believe that it is a losing battle. Take this with a grain of salt, though, since it's coming from someone who, while neither straight nor white, enjoys the so-called male privilege.

The reason why DC is dominated by white male heroes is because their heroes were long established in a very white male dominated era, and the ones who are the most popular now are the most enduring ones. So of course when we're talking about central/iconic/deserving heroes, it's going to be mostly white males with little room left over for newer, more diverse characters. The reason why they keep going back to the same handful of white male characters is because they're the ones fans latch onto the most, no matter what the vocal fans say differently.

I talked to Bruce Timm at this year's Con, and he pretty much said that even the DC direct-to-video stuff will always be Batman and Superman oriented, because the other stuff just don't sell. Hell, they're even discontinuing the animated shorts because they haven't helped sales at all, and the DC Showcase DVD tanked horribly. Timm seems to have given up hope.

What was that thing where one writer leaked a DC bullpen meeting and saying that the staff at DC are far less misogynistic, racist or LGBT-friendly than their books suggest, purely because they don't have confidence that the market match their personal progressiveness? I really do think that's the bigger problem than the fact that the creators being idiots. They look at the numbers and see that their misogynistic, white male dominated books sell like porn on hotcakes, and they lose their balls.

The fact that the female fan got booed by the crowd was telling.

Date: 2011-07-26 03:47 pm (UTC)
venatosapiens: griffin vulture (Default)
From: [personal profile] venatosapiens
That is a nasty feedback loop, isn't it.

Date: 2011-07-27 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] arilou_skiff
Typical prisoner's dilemma.

Date: 2011-07-26 03:55 pm (UTC)
filthysize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filthysize
I meant LGBT-averse, not LGBT-friendly, heh.

Date: 2011-07-26 05:33 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I did sort of wonder! :)

Date: 2011-07-26 04:21 pm (UTC)
greenmask: (Default)
From: [personal profile] greenmask
I can't help but be hopeful. There are indie creators who make a living NOT putting out such prejudice-biased work, aren't there?

Maybe DC just needs to let go of the profit margins that they used to achieve. Maybe you just can't make that much money putting out comics nowadays.. but you can make SOME money, and also not be crap?

Date: 2011-07-26 04:39 pm (UTC)
bittercupojoe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bittercupojoe
That would be nice, but it's not how corporate America works, and WB is going to go with what maxes out their profits. They're willing to lose a little bit of cash in order to do "community outreach" or other charitable things that reflect well on the company, but with as little money as the comics pull in, what you see is likely what you're going to get for a while. Ultimately, you have to assume that the people at DC and Marvel would like to keep their jobs.

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Date: 2011-07-26 04:57 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
me too. coming from a gay male latino point of view.

with most writers i have read about, Gail almost always writes in LGBT friendly content (i am pretty sure she has written at least one gay character as supporting if not primary cast into each one of her books, including wonder woman) Cornell is definately gay friendly. Lobdell in a recent interview has a love for Wonder girl.

reallh for me, it comes down to how the writer executes everything. The higher ups can dictate terms and conditions, but the writer can find ways to work around that.

i'm cautious, as i have been from the begining, but still hopeful.

Date: 2011-07-26 07:38 pm (UTC)
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)
From: [personal profile] fifthie
but you can make SOME money, and also not be crap?

There's really no reason to take arguments from sales on their own dishonest terms. The fact is that DC can't make any money by being crap, as the last seven-odd years of failure and their present willingness to upend their business model pretty aptly demonstrate. They're choosing to be racist misogynists because they're racist misognynists; all the dutiful intonations of MORE MISOGYNY = MORE SAYULZ amount to a religious dogma that persists no matter how many times reality proves it's a load of garbage.

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Date: 2011-07-26 10:25 pm (UTC)
marco: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marco
That kind of makes me think of some things in the gaming industry. It was mentioned that one company says they don't want to localize their JRPGs because they don't sell here.

However, they're counting on selling numbers that a lot of games here don't make anyway. So it's more an issue of unrealistic sales goals (or them that just making unrealistic numbers to justify themselves).

I think the situation sounds like DC a lot. Like, with bookstores closing (sadly) and a lot of people going digital to read even (another thing I personally don't care), they probably need to readjust how they see their sales.

On top of that, with the animated stuff, there is zero advertising that I know of. If people hadn't of mentioned the Wondy movie (and I didn't find it at Walgreens at one point), I would have never found out about it. Or the GL, Red Hood or other movies. It's just a very silly bubble they're living in to me.

Date: 2011-07-26 04:27 pm (UTC)
bittercupojoe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bittercupojoe
As someone who is straight, white, and male, I think this probably is accurate. So much of comics fandom is continuity porn that a lot of people will reflexively choose the characters with the "richest" history, and that's mostly going to be straight white males. The last "big hit" new character was Wolverine, and that's from the mid-70s, and he was a straight white male.

I will say that the trend over the last 30 years where they went from hiring wanna-be professional writers (some of whom went on to professionally write novels, etc.) to hiring wanna-be superhero comic book writers has really not helped things. As much flak as some writers *cough*Fraction*cough* catch for playing fast and loose with continuity, it's probably healthier in the long run. They probably both have their places, and in recent years the trend has reversed somewhat, but that's meant alienating the fanbase they've cultivated for those thirty years. And let's be clear, the fanbase they've cultivated is not the s_d fanbase.

I'll be honest, it makes me a little sad. Stephanie Brown doesn't really interest me at all (altho what I've seen of her in the current Batgirl run looked pretty fun), but I did think the Cass Cain Batgirl had some neat ideas, and a lot of Marvel's non-straight/white/male characters make it into my top 10 list, particularly on the team books like Avengers Academy. However, I know people out there loved both of the aforementioned Batgirls and wanted to see more of their adventures. I will say that I'm really happy to see Mr. Terrific get his own book, and it might be the first time I buy singles in 5 years in order to support it.

Ultimately, I think it's probably accurate that what DC/Marvel wants to do and what the market will support are two separate things. I think they would like to support more diversity, but the marketing research probably shows them it won't sell enough to support the decision financially. And before someone says "Books X Y and Z did worse than my favorite book and my book still got cancelled," they would do well to remember that it's not as easy as "this book sold this many copies and that book sold that many." Nextwave, as an example, sold quite a few copies and was critically and commercially successful (for a superhero comic book not starring Superman/Batman/Wolverine/Spiderman), but it didn't go past the first year because they couldn't put it out at a profit AND have Warren Ellis writing AND have Stuart Immonen on art AND Ellis only wanted to work with Immonen on it. When the decision comes down to something like "I can pay for two skilled writers and two skilled pencillers and all the other associated staff for two books that will sell enough to be profitable OR I can have one fo those two teams and put them on something really profitable like the next crossover or a new Batman book" then diversity is quickly going to fall by the wayside as a concern. It's not right, but it's how business works.

Date: 2011-07-26 08:02 pm (UTC)
akodo_rokku: (Default)
From: [personal profile] akodo_rokku
I would actually say the last "big hit" character is Deadpool. Who is still pretty much a straight white male, but he's a LITTLE queer at least. Of course he's also insane which probably doesn't help.

So uh... progress?

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Date: 2011-07-26 04:29 pm (UTC)
cleome45: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cleome45
So, cater obsessively to a loud, bigoted, hidebound, ever-shrinking base, and ignore millions of potential new readers and their wallets out beyond the confines of traditional comics fandom, because taking some losses now to win gains in the long run is just toooooooo harrrrrrrrd.

Well, if they're that hell-bent on commercial suicide, I won't stand in their way. [shrug]

Date: 2011-07-26 05:41 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Not too hard, but too unprofitable perhaps?

Given the parlous state of the industry, I'm not sure how many losses they could realistically take without imploding. Comics will never get the news-stand space they once did back. they're not profitable enough for the vendor, bookshops want durable TPBs not pamphlet comics, but that's what the whole industry is geared towards.

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Date: 2011-07-27 12:07 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] arilou_skiff
I think the problem is that even if they changed the writing, most people would still think of comics as such. They've been tainted by their own practice and it's not easy for them to get out.

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Date: 2011-07-26 04:56 pm (UTC)
flidgetjerome: Hark, a Vagrant #328 (Default)
From: [personal profile] flidgetjerome
Except that Static Shock was popular enough to run for four seasons and is still in reruns.

Characters like Batman and Superman will persist not because they were established in the 30s but because they're good charcters. If they keep creating good characters who happen to be non-white, non-male and/or non-hetrosexual, those characters will also stick. Jaime Reyes' popularity in the cartoons is a case in point.

Date: 2011-07-26 05:19 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
i'mhoping we will see Gear :(

Date: 2011-07-26 05:30 pm (UTC)
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
From: [personal profile] newnumber6
And for that matter, Jaime Reyes' popularity in cartoons is because they _put him in cartoons_! I mean, DC seems to be pretending their hands are tied in cases like Barbara-as-Batgirl. "Well, we have to put her back there because everyone who watches the cartoons know Batgirl is Barbara!"

They make the cartoons! Make one where Batgirl is Cassandra Cain! I mean, it's not going to be a Batgirl cartoon, it's going to be a Batman cartoon, and so it's probably going to be popular no matter what. Use the opportunity to expose people to other options! A Batman cartoon probably isn't going to fail because Batgirl's Asian, or Robin's black, or any other change you might decide to make to the rest of the cast. If there's such thing as a "safe" way to make a change without risking losing a lot of money, that's going to be it.

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Date: 2011-07-26 06:29 pm (UTC)
skalja: Ultimate Spider-Woman posing like a BAMF (Default)
From: [personal profile] skalja
I think this argument is a classic example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you assume your audience's bigotry needs to be coddled and catered to, of course your audience is going to end up consisting of bigoted people, because everyone else is going to get fed up and leave.

Avatar: The Last Airbender had an all-Asian cast and no pre-existing audience from being a franchise, yet it trouched its contemporary The Batman in critical reception, awards, and fan dedication. I can't find Nielsen Ratings for The Batman, but ATLA was pretty much the top show of its targeted demographic whenever it aired, and given how many more fans it had among older viewers (i.e. those with their own discretionary funds), I'm betting its DVD sales were better, too. Next year we're getting The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra, a sequel starring a brown-skinned woman from a culture that's a fantasy version of Inuit cultures. The trailer aired at SDCC to explosive reception, and I would be very surprised if it didn't beat out Ultimate Spider-Man and whatever other Marvel/DC animated offerings come out next year.

Date: 2011-07-26 06:49 pm (UTC)
filthysize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filthysize
I'm sure I opened it up because I mentioned Bruce Timm, but I think it's absurd to suggest that non-white non-male television shows and movies can't succeed, especially animated ones. That's obviously not the case and I'm certainly not trying to make that point. My point was specifically about the DC universe, where most of their fandom are too attached to legacy characters and icons. When most fans' idea of the definitive Justice League should at least have Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern, you don't have a lot of room left unless you expand the roster, and even then, you can bet that those five characters will always be the spotlight of the ensemble most of the time, while the rest are delegated to supporting characters who would occasionally get their moments to shine. Because they are the characters that they are. It's not (entirely) about bigotry, it's about strong attachment to characters they know and like, aaaand they happen to be white and mostly male.

I mean, we still have fans who complain that JL/JLU should have had Hal Jordan because he's the definitive GL and he should be representing JL in an animated show, and John Stewart is just there as the token black guy, which isn't even inaccurate. The producers have admitted that they included him instead of Hal (probably at Dwayne McDuffie's urging) just so they wouldn't have an all-white team.

Date: 2011-07-26 07:43 pm (UTC)
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)
From: [personal profile] fifthie
And then the parent company responded by making a movie full of white kids, because people won't watch things with all them asians in it. Which pretty much tells you what you need to know about argument by sales.

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Date: 2011-07-27 12:28 am (UTC)
magus_69: (pic#370600)
From: [personal profile] magus_69
Avatar: The Last Airbender had an all-Asian cast

That's not quite true. The Water Tribes are an Inuit inspired culture.

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Date: 2011-07-26 07:15 pm (UTC)
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)
From: [personal profile] fifthie
DC comics sell either worse or not apprecially better since they deliberately decided to become an utterly retrograde misogynistic shithole than they did ten years ago when they were relatively less viciously misogynistic, homophobic and racist (and for that matter just plain-ass misanthropic).

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Date: 2011-07-26 07:50 pm (UTC)
jaybee3: Nguyen Lil Cass (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaybee3
It was Dylan Horrocks and he was referring to the Stephanie Brown/Spoiler killing. He said the people who made that decision and who were in the Editoral/Writing rooms were more liberal/progressive personally than the books would suggest. Which doesn't mean a heck of a lot to me. Liberals/Progressives can be hypocrites too - DC even has an in-house one in Ollie Queen. I can only judge what I see on the page and on the page I see constant misogyny, gore and Silver Age fetishism.

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