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Thursday, September 28, 2006

One fanboy's reaction

It's been an education. It really has.

Thanks to Ragnell, and Kalinara, and Willow, and lately, shilohmm (no link, I don't know if she has a blog) I've learned so much about what comic book fangirls want, nay, True Believer, demand, from the superhero comics they read. They want normal looking women, women who act like women they themselves can recognize from their own experiences, women who understand the necessities of the lives they choose to lead and dress appropriately, in apparel made from fabrics that actually exist in the real world.

They want women who talk like real women, who look like real women, who dress like real women, who are not constantly drawn to look as if they're posing for MAXIM. They want powerful, competent, independent women who are not simply there as whack off material for perpetually-adolescent-at-every-age male comics fanboys.

In short, they don't want THIS:



They want THIS:



Speaking only for myself, as a 44-soon-to-be-45 year old fanboy --

AUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!

Can't I have just a little peril?

Okay. Look. Yeah, that panel of Dinah's ass is... well, it's an eye opener, for sure. A few weeks ago I'd have gone right on by it without even noticing just how frickin' ridiculous it is that Black Canary -- BLACK CANARY, THIRD BEST MARTIAL ARTIST IN THE GODDAM DC UNIVERSE -- is wearing a costume that bares her entire ass to the whole wide world. I mean, doesn't she get cold? This chick leaps around on rooftops and gives people like Bane flying high kicks to the head while balanced on top of speeding dirigibles and shit! And she does it with her ass hanging out? Unless she's spinning around a pole and Bane is about to stuff a twenty into her cleavage, this outfit is pretty goddam stupid, yeah.

And I certainly wouldn't have pondered just how it would have struck me if, say, Batman, or Captain America, were wearing a similar costume... say, a black or blue thong over leggings that came up only to mid thigh, baring their no doubt very taut, rippling, manly buttocks to the gazes of their readership. (Although the thought is enough to make me want to hurl.)

So, yeah... the fangirls have a point, which I have already acknowledged.

But if the new Batgirl is what happens to superhuman women in superhero comics when the Revolution comes, well... please God, let me be the first fanboy up against the wall to be shot.

Please GOD.

I mean, suddenly you realize, maybe idealized bodies and sexualized poses ain't really all that bad.

The new Batgirl, in case you didn't know, debuted in Birds of Prey #98. I suspect she is writer Gail Simone's idea of a wry joke; a sort of "Okay, if this is what the women in my audience want, let's see how much they like it when I give it to them". I don't know that for sure, it's just, well, she seems like SUCH a parody that I have to assume Ms. Simone put the humor there on purpose.

This new Batgirl talks a great deal like a parody of a teenage superhero comics fan (the kind you'd expect to be an avid reader of WIZARD), and can apparently outfight all the main characters effortlessly. She can apport herself from place to place, and, in addition, she also seems to know the real names of all the superheroines in the book, and to be able to teleport into Oracle's super secret Oracle-lair with frightening nonchalance. My guess? She really is a comics fan, someone from our world who reads Birds of Prey and who has somehow found a way to manifest herself physically in what is, to her, the imaginary world of her favorite fictional heroines. She's clearly getting a huge kick out of hanging out with them, while, at the same time, she just as obviously doesn't take any of it (not even being gutshot) remotely seriously.

I don't know. Maybe some fangirl somewhere has really annoyed Gail Simone, and this is the classic writer's revenge. Or maybe Simone is making a sly, meta-commentary on how seriously her female fans seem to take her work, simply because she is one of the very few (if not only) female writers currently working in superhero comics.

Whatever the case, while I can certainly intellectually agree that female comics fans have a right to be outraged over the constant sexual portrayal of nearly every female character in superhero comics... having seen what happens when you stop doing that, well... okay. I'm a guy. I'm a horn dog. I like tits, and I like ass. Make the costumes a little more sensible if you need to. Make the women a little more realistic in their appearances. But... please... let's not see the new Batgirl become the norm.

19 Comments:

At 7:04 PM , Blogger MJ Norton said...

Ha! I enjoyed the post.

My plan for BoP has been to pick up trades -- I know I have an order for at least one in -- but they haven't been aggressively moving these arcs into trades. So, of course, I haven't seen anything like the latest issue.


It's terribly obvious from the shot that the (damn) Batgirl is being drawn to look like a real, live gal, not only in terms of facial features and proportions but also in terms of the somewhat dumpy clothing she's using for her costume. The mask/headpiece and gloves are the only superhero garb she has on. The rest is a novelty t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. Also, she lacks muscle tone and is posed in a way that looks like someone trying to take a fighting stance who's never really tried to fight before. Moreover, she's not posed dramatically. She stands out like a sore thumb in all those respects -- as you've noted.

My point there is that if one were to take her as she appears physically under all that, let her work out a little to tighten up the muscles -- not enlarge them, just tone and shape them a little, gave her a costume that offers as much practical protection but which isn't as pedestrian as what she has on now... and had her drawn from more dramatic perspectives/in more dramatic poses, she might work out. Her face and general body type aren't really a problem. Consider how ridiculous anyone to date has looked in a Batman costume (out here in the real world) when the lights are up and we get anything close to a full body shot. There's a reason it's mostly all shadows, extreme angles, blurring action and close-ups.

What we're seeing here is a modern approximation of the original (Ma Hunkle) Red Tornado or the far later Forbush Man -- except that the (damn) Batgirl had the sense to not make a helmet out of a cooking pot. This truly is the heroine who could be you!

Given all the items you've noted I'd be inclined to agree with you that she's coming from out and above, so to speak, the plane the usual cast of characters is inhabiting. Whether she's a fan projecting in from our world or the kid sister of the Beyonder I can't say.

Really, what I probably find most abominable about it, is that she's chosen to do a PG quotation of Frank Miller. And not even Miller from back when he was doing relatively new and exciting work, but the Miller that's been producing the infrequent stool samples that are issues of All-Star Batman and Robin. She has no taste.

Is there a hotline number we can call to determine if she lives or dies? Please, Gail, it's the next logical step!

 
At 7:28 PM , Blogger Gail Simone said...

Nothing of the kind, not even slightly.

Black Canary's costume she wears to honor her mother, who came from a more glamorous time. I'll defend that to the death.

The Batgirl shown here is a very different character.

In neither case do I frankly worry very much about gestalt tut-tutting!

;-)

Gail

 
At 9:55 PM , Blogger MJ Norton said...

Well, I was only basing my comments on the single image and the descriptions offered by a single reader, and I should remember that that's a dangerous thing to proceed from.

I'm sure he'll be thrilled you stopped by, in any event.

 
At 9:55 PM , Blogger Highlander said...

Mike,

Yeah, I noticed the PG rated Miller quote as well. It actually amused me. I'm thinking this new Batgirl is meant to be a parody of an extreme comic book fan. I could be wrong; in fact, Gail Simone may have just told me I'm wrong, but her first sentence is so elliptical I can't tell what she's referring to. Certainly, she's telling me definitively that one of my guesses (at least) is wrong, but I don't know which one. But I'm pretty blown away she dropped a comment here anyway.

I'll pick up the BoP stuff in collections as I get a chance. I've enjoyed Ms. Simone's work on VU and SS, and I've always been fond of Black Canary, so I'm looking forward to filling in those four years worth of back issues.

Ms. Simone,

As alluded to above, I have no idea which of my points you are telling me is wrong. But I won't argue.

Where I will argue is with your assertion that the costume Black Canary wears is okay because she wears it to honor her mother. Her mother may have been from a glamorous age, but I've read BC reprints in 1970s Super Spectaculars, and she certainly didn't have bare asscheeks. Nor will I accept that someone like BC would ever dress that way, given the exigencies of her job. Sorry. I like looking at her that way, but it's ridiculous she'd dress that way. Her mother absolutely did not, and I suspect she would be appalled to hear that her daughter is 'honoring' her by fighting villains while dressed in a thong.

I wouldn't worry about gestalt tut-tutting, either, if I had more than a vague idea what you meant by it. If I ever got to write comics, I'm sure I'd exasperate the crap out of a great many people (watch all the Bendis fans explode should I ever get to write AVENGERS, for example). You seem to have found an audience that likes your work, so, y'know, screw the carpers. Even me, I guess... but honestly, Black Canary should cover her ass. And I'm not speaking in the vernacular.

 
At 1:47 AM , Anonymous Willow said...

I have no idea how what is apparently a Mary Sue charicature relates to what I want in my super heroines, as a female reader.

When you figure that out, tell me.

 
At 6:37 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

Hrm. Well, I'm not sure what a 'Mary Sue caricature' is, any more than I can figure out specifically which part of my post garnered the 'nothing of the kind, not even slightly' comment from Ms. Simone.

Whatever the case, certainly the new Batgirl isn't a character I'd want to presume is representing my gender (or race, or subculture, or however it is I tend to define myself by whatever identifying subgroup or icon). But that's why I've struggled so long and so hard with all the minority complaints I've seen and heard for decades about comics. Most of the leading characters in superhero comics are, indeed, white and male, and some of them I like and some of them I don't, and I certainly don't view any of them as representing me in any particular.

I'm beginning to understand that minority perception is different, because, indeed, I have a much greater choice and array of potential characters that I can empathize and sympathize with. If Jim Corrigan strikes me as a dick, well, there are five other white guys in the same comic, and if I find I can't fantasy project that well into Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Dr. Midnite, Wildcat, or Flash, either, then there are another four or five white guys in the next comic down. Minorities rightly point out that they don't have that privilege.

I guess what I don't understand is that, although I'm male, I have no trouble identifying with certain aspects of, say, Oracle, or (long ago and far away) Black Orchid, or even the Silver Age Supergirl. And the fact that I'm white doesn't keep me from liking Mr. Terrific more than any other male member of the JSA (he's smarter than any of the rest of them; and, say, where does he fall in this 'Best Martial Artists In the DC Universe' ranking, anyway? didn't he once beat Batman in a fist fight?)

I am, though, again, starting to understand intellectually that minorities, for whatever reason, do identify much much more strongly with their particular subgroup -- whichever it may be, sometimes there are more than one -- than us evil oppressive penisized honkeys do. And I'm also starting to understand that those feelings are valid, because in a continuum in which there are far fewer representative members of a particular minority, every single one of those representatives becomes much, much more important.

And, you know, when they're all saying 'homey' and 'crib' and 'iiiiight', or they're all wearing thongs while fighting the Penguin (I mean, ewwwwww), well, it's a thing.

I get all that.

But, if you don't want idealized chicks in fetish gear constantly striking poses mostly meant to apparently, keep the cum from running down their legs, the new Batgirl is your babe. Greet her as you would the Millenium, for now, both have arrived.

 
At 12:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

But, if you don't want idealized chicks in fetish gear constantly striking poses mostly meant to apparently, keep the cum from running down their legs, the new Batgirl is your babe. Greet her as you would the Millenium, for now, both have arrived.

Wait, so there's no room for something in between? We must have either totally 100% realistic, unidealised women, or totally 100% offensive, unrealistic porn babes?

I call BS!

 
At 1:04 PM , Blogger Highlander said...

Wait, so there's no room for something in between? We must have either totally 100% realistic, unidealised women, or totally 100% offensive, unrealistic porn babes?

I call BS!


Yeah. That's pretty much what the entire post says.

Glad you agree.

 
At 1:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you read Robin? Because there's a new vigilante there named Dodge who wears a jersey, loose pants, and a handkerchief around his face for a mask. And yet there is no outcry.

Do you read The Flash? Because there is a new vigilante who wears long flowing robes and is aging so he looks 50. And yet there is no panic that this will be the norm.

Dude, I'm sorry. You seem to be saying that this entry is tongue-in-cheek, but that's not what's coming through. What is coming through is the general panic reaction of "Gaah! Nevermind my last post! Bring on the strippers!"

For all of these characters the point is that they're new, they don't have the equipment yet, and so their costumes look trashy.

 
At 1:59 PM , Blogger Highlander said...

You're not understanding my point. I suppose I'm being too subtle.

When I say things like "couldn't I have just a little peril?", what I am doing, besides being a Monty Python geek (don't you watch MONTY PYTHON? There are characters on MONTY PYTHON that wear full medieval suits of armor, and no one complains! And if you don't complain about that, you aren't allowed to complain about ANYthing! So SHUT UP!) is saying "Hey, okay, I understand the point, but, gee, can't I have just a little idealization, and maybe just a little sexualization?"

I'm also being humorous. I guess you don't get that, either.

However, in rereading my entry, and this comment thread, I think I'm making myself clear. Other commenters seem to have understood my point, too. So, reluctantly, I must say, if you're not seeing what I'm saying, the problem is not mine.

I'm not wild about anonymous commenters, anyway, but while you've been obtuse, you haven't been abusive, so as long as you stay that way, I'll keep letting you through... but... honestly... whatever filter you're reading my entry through, try discarding it. It ain't all that complex. Total sexual objectification of all women in comics -- yes, bad. Total normalization of all women in comics -- also bad. Let's find a happy medium.

And, for the love of God, could someone please cover up Black Canary's ass.

 
At 6:06 PM , Blogger Mickle said...

Highlander:

Your opening remarks didn't just say "isn't there a middle ground here?" they stated that "They" want the new Batgirl - the one you hold up as an extreme.

"They" is not given a clearly stated definition, but that's your fault, not your readers. Don't blame them if they read "They" to mean, Ragnell, Kalinara, Willow, or "comic book fangirls (who complain about how women are portrayed in comics)" - since those are the only "theys" you've mentioned that make sense in the sentence, it's a very logical conclusion.

You set up the dichotomy. If that's not what you meant by "They" then clarify. If you feel like being polite, you may even try apoligising for sloppy writing. Nothing fancy needed - an "oops" will do. We all make mistakes.

However, please do not act as if people making normal conclusions about the pronouns you use are the ones making silly assumptions.

Cause I so have to disagree with this:

"However, in rereading my entry, and this comment thread, I think I'm making myself clear."

Unless, of course, you really did mean to make sweeping generalizations about "comic book fangirls" that paint them as extremists. A generalization that Willow, at least, obviously disagrees with.

 
At 7:37 PM , Blogger Highlander said...

Highlander:

Mickle,

Your opening remarks didn't just say "isn't there a middle ground here?" they stated that "They" want the new Batgirl - the one you hold up as an extreme.

I know what my opening remarks did and did not say. I wrote them.

"They" is not given a clearly stated definition, but that's your fault, not your readers.

I take full responsibility for any faults I may have as a writer, and, for that matter, as a human being. When I said 'they', I meant, 'fangirl feminists who rage, rage at the dying of the light whenever they see a female character in a superhero comic book wearing anything that looks like either lingerie or swimwear while engaging in fisticuffs with Solomon Grundy'. Or, for that matter, 'feminist fangirls who throw screaming tantrums on their own blogs when they go to the movies and see half a dozen trailers for movies that don't have female protagonists in them, or, that do, but where the female protagonists aren't protagonisty enough to suit them'.

And, yes, the most prominent example of that is Ragnell, and, well, the others I named get on at least the first list, too, as they are, by their statements on their blogs and in other people's comment threads, absolutely under no circumstances willing to tolerate any female characters who are in any way idealized or sexualized.

They want characters they can recognize, characters like their sisters or mothers or aunts or cousins or that inspirational 3rd grade teacher who encouraged them by telling them they could be just as good as any of those nasty, creepy little boys, characters who behave the way real women in the real world behave. They say so. Often. At great volume.

So, yes, that is who 'they' is.

Don't blame them if they read "They" to mean, Ragnell, Kalinara, Willow, or "comic book fangirls (who complain about how women are portrayed in comics)" - since those are the only "theys" you've mentioned that make sense in the sentence, it's a very logical conclusion.

I don't blame anyone for reading it that way. It is the conclusion I intended to convey. So far, we are on the same page, literally. Thank you for understanding my fairly clear and lucid prose. I appreciate it.

You set up the dichotomy. If that's not what you meant by "They" then clarify. If you feel like being polite, you may even try apoligising for sloppy writing. Nothing fancy needed - an "oops" will do. We all make mistakes.

My writing was not sloppy in this instance. There is no dichotomy. You understood exactly what I was saying -- that Ragnell, and Kalinara, and shilohmm, and Willow, and fangirls like them, have been demanding a lack of [first example, BC showing her bare ass in a fight] and a great deal more of [second example, astonishingly hyperrealistic fangirl type in an astonishingly hyperrealistic costume standing and posing and declaiming in astonishingly hyperrealistic fashion]. This is exactly what I meant, it is exactly what I wrote, it is exactly what you understood. Please, now, pay me, or at least, nominate me for some kind of award.

However, please do not act as if people making normal conclusions about the pronouns you use are the ones making silly assumptions.

People weren't meant to make assumptions. When people assume things, they make an ass out of U and Mark Evanier. (Little joke.) My writing was pretty explicit.

Cause I so have to disagree with this:

You don't have to disagree with it. You choose to disagree with it.

"However, in rereading my entry, and this comment thread, I think I'm making myself clear."

Unless, of course, you really did mean to make sweeping generalizations about "comic book fangirls" that paint them as extremists. A generalization that Willow, at least, obviously disagrees with.


The fangirls I have notated have exhaustively painted themselves, on their blogs, as extremists. I like and even admire at least some things about each of the fangirls named (while disliking in the extreme other things about some of the fangirls named, at the very least) but, for the love of God, if I wanted to bother (and I don't, because I am already starting to understand you and I will find it impossible to come to any sort of accord on this subject or perhaps any other except, you know, that I'm an asshole, which I have no problem agreeing with), I could go to each of their blogs (or to shilohmm's voluminous comments in my threads) and pick out any number of examples of their own stated views that clearly identify them extremists, at least, on this subject.

However, I am also something of an extremist on this subject; I think superhero comic books do indeed treat their female characters shabbily, and while I have only recently come to realize that they do this even more than I have always thought, nonetheless, I have always thought that they did it. This makes me an extremist; a non extremist would simply read the damn things and never notice that every single woman in them is either a raving psychotic vagina-man(when Claremont, or his imitators, write them) or is a cheerfully subordinate to all males little idiot.

Now, I don't mind people disagreeing with me. But when you come into my comment threads, accuse me of not being clear, and then, to demonstrate my lack of clarity, reiterate exactly my essential point, I suspect, once again, that there is a problem here and it is not anything directly under my control.

As to Willow, I admire anyone of intelligence and articulation and determination, but I suspect she would be the first to admit that she raves like a lunatic when she gets upset, and she gets upset early and often. If she wants to dismiss my observation that the new Batgirl is exactly what she and her sister travelers have asked for, by dissing the character as a 'Mary Sue caricature', whatever the fukk THAT is, and then daring me to... tell her something, I do not know what... well, she gets what she gets.

I take great pains to explain my points at great length here, and all my readers are more than middlin' bright. If you ain't gettin' it, you're either stupid or you're deliberately being obtuse. Uncharitable though it is, I have little to no patience with either.

 
At 11:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now you've seen three readers who don't think you've expressed the point you say you're making. Still think you're being clear?

 
At 11:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me again. I'm sorry. Really. That was rude, and the kind of post I would hate. I really am sorry.
What I meant to say in my first comment was that I get the idea from your comments that you were doing this panel as a call for a happy medium between the exploitation and the mundane depiction of women. That's not what I got when I read the body of your post. I'm not deliberately trying to misinterpret you. That's what I saw. Also, for what it's worth, I think you're mis-stating Kalinara, Willow and Ragnell's views. They're mostly ranting about how you almost NEVER see average bodies or non-sexual poses, not that they always want to see everyday body types.

Anyway, sorry again. I lost my temper and posted like an idiot. Hopefully this states what I think a little more clearly.

 
At 12:22 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

So now you've seen three readers who don't think you've expressed the point you say you're making. Still think you're being clear?

No. I've seen an unknown number of readers who are claiming I haven't made my point while reiterating my exact point to me. The intended purpose of said exercise in apparent idiocy is debatable; the actual result, however, is two fold --

(a) said readers are making themselves look even more dimwitted than the average Christian conservative, which is an astonishing feat in and of itself, and

(b) it's emphasizing to me the wisdom of moderating comments, which will, from this point forward, let me keep retarded anonymous jackasses whose moronic drivel contributes nothing from wasting more space and time in my comment threads.

But thanks for playing our game.

 
At 4:48 AM , Blogger Mickle said...

So - wait - at what point did you acknowledge that you messed up and assumed incorrectly about what "extremist" Willow wants in comic books?

Or do you think she's just pretending just to make you the bad guy or something?

 
At 9:19 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

So - wait - at what point did you acknowledge that you messed up and assumed incorrectly about what "extremist" Willow wants in comic books?

What I've written, and what Willow has written, is all very clear. I'm tired of trying to find smaller and smaller words for reiterating concepts that ain't that hard to grasp in the first place, except, maybe, to morons. Are you a moron?

Or do you think she's just pretending just to make you the bad guy or something?

I think you think you're pretending to be a dimwit simply to get a rise out of me. That assumption on your part is incorrect; from what I can tell, there's no actual pretense there.

Now, you can either actually contribute something to the conversation besides petulant truculence, or you can content yourself that your comments no longer get published here. You went way past tedious into positively stultifying about three exits back.

It's not merely that I have no patience for obdurate stupidity, although I honest to jesus don't. It's also that I quail at the thought of my comment threads coming to resemble a WIZARD lettercol.

 
At 9:36 AM , Blogger Highlander said...

Me again. I'm sorry. Really. That was rude, and the kind of post I would hate. I really am sorry.
What I meant to say in my first comment was that I get the idea from your comments that you were doing this panel as a call for a happy medium between the exploitation and the mundane depiction of women. That's not what I got when I read the body of your post. I'm not deliberately trying to misinterpret you. That's what I saw. Also, for what it's worth, I think you're mis-stating Kalinara, Willow and Ragnell's views. They're mostly ranting about how you almost NEVER see average bodies or non-sexual poses, not that they always want to see everyday body types.

Anyway, sorry again. I lost my temper and posted like an idiot. Hopefully this states what I think a little more clearly.


I appreciate the apology. I don't know why it suddenly showed up several comments up the pipe, but, well, anyway, it just showed up a minute ago, so I'm answering it down here.

Again, the line "couldn't I have just a little peril" was meant to indicate 'okay, I want us to find a happy medium here, because if every woman in comics starts looking like the new Batgirl, I wouldn't be dog gone, I be long gone'. And I really think the rest of my post makes that pretty clear. But I have no objection to people disagreeing with me, or pointing out my errors, or what they perceive as my errors, or my failings... as long as they do it in a reasonably civil way.

I did not want to have to get into this, because it makes it look as if I am being confrontational, and I don't want to be. However, here's what Willow said:

"...we do expect to see heroines who remind us of our mothers, sisters, teachers and other important female figures..."

That ain't such a much, but still, the new Batgirl fits that. Certainly, she reminds me of real world people I have met, some of whom, I presume, have to be sisters, could be mothers, may end up as teachers. And the overall thrust of Willow's entry, which started all this for me over here, although I cannot find a better or more discrete topic statement, is that, yes, she's looking for women in comics to be portrayed more like real life women.

And then, someone named furikku says this in the comment threads:

"My answer is, yes, I want some of the women to look ugly. I want to see female versions of Swamp Thing, or the Thing. I also want to see plain women, unideal women. I want to see a variety. Variety includes hot babes, yes, but right now there's really nothing else in most mainstream comics."

That comment goes completely unrefuted by Willow. That doesn't have to mean much, but it's the strongest comment in the thread, and if she disagreed with it, she could have said so there, on her own blog, rather than waiting to come into mine and do it here.

And furikku's sentiments are ones I have found echoed throughout the feminist fangirl community -- we don't want these idealized, sexualized, blow-up doll pin-up girls. This is not us. This is not what we look like. It is not what our mothers, our sisters, our teachers, our friends look like. It is especially not how we dress, and it is certainly not how real women with those abilities doing those things would ever dress. We want this changed.

That's what I've read, that's what I've heard, and that, as my post states, is what Gail Simone and James Raiz have given them, and all of us, in the new Batgirl.

Apparently, they don't like it... I gather, from Willow, that this character is some sort of 'Mary Sue caricature', although I confess I do not know what that means... but from what I have seen and read, the new Batgirl pretty much exactly fits what the fangirl community has been clamoring for for years. They ordered her off the menu, and now they want to send her back.

Well, me too... I say, huzzah, huzzah, get her for the love of Christ the hell out of here... but I'm pointing out, okay, see... maybe a little bit of idealization, and a little bit of sexy, ain't such a bad thing after all.

Thank you very much. I'm here all week. Try the veal.

 
At 1:03 AM , Blogger AaA said...

Hi.

For the benefit of newer people like Gail (or Ms. Simone, whatever she prefers), Willow, and the Anonynomites, I'm a guy. I've also read comic books in the past. I've read some of those comics in the rather recent past. I'm ostensibly heterosexual, although currently not practicing. (Hectic schedule makes finding a girlfriend a daunting challenge. Whattyagonnado?) I even kinda like porn, as long as there's no guys in it at all. GGW FTW!

So, given that, when I say something like: "Ya know, I think H and the girls (or womyn, or empowered female humans, or whatever floats their boats) have a pretty good point, maybe they could tone down the soft-core porn thing that comic book females have going these days and portray them as, oh, I dunno, actual human females?", that oughta at least suggest that they have something there.

Oh, and H?
I got a review on my zombie story that mentioned that 'Mary Sue' thing, and alluded that in my case it would be a 'Gary Stu'. I'm inferring from that that this 'Mary Sue' thing is where an author writes the protagonist as an avatar of themselves in the first-person. Apparently the new Batgirl (whom I have neither seen nor read, I'm working totally on inferences from this blog post) is suspected by female readers, or at least Willow, of being nothing more than Ms. Simone inserting herself into the comic.

And I have to admit, my protagonsit in The 'Z' Word really is pretty much me.

 

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