This is the first beast.
The Exquisite Beast is a project that Yuko Ota and myself, Evan Dahm, are starting. Beginning with this creature drawn by me, we will take turns drawing future creatures, each one representing a visible step in a theoretical evolutionary process. We’ll play with the aesthetic of living things and the process of natural selection, and may or may not end up with a biologically plausible series of beasts.
In the future, Yuko’s monsters will go up on every Friday, and mine will go up on every Tuesday. Thanks for looking!
➔ Slouching toward a bananapocalypse?
It turns out that the Race IV fungus does cause a true bananapocalypse. It just hasn’t spread everywhere — yet. Once it shows up on a farm, the land around it can’t be used to grow the same variety for another 30 years. And, given that there’s only one variety of banana — the Cavendish — that ships well enough and tastes good enough to be sold everywhere in the world, this is bad news for banana growers. The arrival of Race IV on your property is a sign that you’ve officially left the international banana trade.
Highly relevant to my eating habits. Also, bananapocalpyse.
blaggity bloggity bloo
or: hello world, again
I spend a fair bit of time writing long emails to a very small number of individuals, and much of the content of those emails is not personal but more of just sharing ideas about, well, the world in general. And while I do like email, it seems like maybe being more open with those ideas would be a little more productive. At least less redundant if I want to share the same idea with more than one person. This also frees up the recipients of those emails from the burden of feeling like they have to reply to things that I just wanted to express to someone.
It occurs to me that this is kind of the principle on which Facebook et al. operate. But nuts to them.
Anyhow, public journals have never been my thing, but maybe I’ve just been missing the point a little. Or maybe I’ve changed. Or maybe this is something I’ll tire of and give up on in a day or two. Only one way to find out, huh?
➔ Except The Dream: Sexism, Courage, and Heroism: truth to power isn't bullying
We are on the far side of the San Diego ComiCon. This is a con where DC’s creators have had their most direct exposure to their current fanbase’s reactions to the New 52. In particular, they’ve heard loud and clear that the ongoing lack of gender parity both in the comics and behind the scenes creating them is, simply put, no longer acceptable.
Inevitably, this has led to backlash. The surest sign that a message is beginning to be heard is the annoyed and dismissive response by those not affected. I’ve heard the woman cosplaying as Batgirl being described as a bully. There was applause for Dan DiDio’s response (“well, who should we have hired”) to the question. The inevitable (overwhelmingly male) fatigue with the issue has begun to emerge.
Well, speaking as a male myself… get used to that fatigue, because the complaints are only going to get louder and more common.
There are two reasons for this. The first is simple: the complaints have merit. Women comprise just over fifty percent of the population. Inevitably, any popular media that refuses to acknowledge that is going to be accused of sexism, because it is in fact sexist.
Seriously. Having a brand new Justice League and having less than 50% women on it? Is a sexist decision. There is no way to justify it as anything else. Having a Teen Titans so out of whack demographically? Same deal. And no, the existence of the Birds of Prey doesn’t make up for it, any more than the existence of the Negro Baseball Leagues made up for the lack of black players in Major League Baseball pre-Jackie Robinson. Seperate is not and never will be equal.
But second, and significantly more importantly? The complaints will continue because the female readership is where all the growth is.
Seriously. The Manga explosion of the 90’s and early 2000’s created generations of female fans of sequential art. Adventure cartoons have huge female fanbases. (There is a reason the new Avatar is a girl.) And those women like superheroes. Young Justice has a big female fanbase. No shock — how many women were raised on The Powerpuff Girls and Kim Possible? And the whole My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic phenomenon comes from a cartoon being written for girls by creators who actually understand their audience produces not a “good girls’ cartoon” but a good cartoon, period. No wonder guys like it too.
Sooner or later, someone senior to the entire DC Entertainment hierarchy at Time Warner is going to notice all these consumers with all their money and all their complaints, and change will be imposed from above with all the force and subtlety of a meteor. Why? Because executives like money and there’s piles of it to be made, and shareholders don’t like loud, legitimate claims of sexism. The current creative team at DC can take great, legitimate strides towards fixing it before that happens, but they actually have to take them.
And that’s a big reason for the backlash now. Folks who like comics the way they are resent the implication they need to change. They certainly resent the accusation of sexism because they don’t see themselves as sexist and don’t like being told something they love is sexist. It feels like a personal attack. “If you like current superhero comics and current superhero comics are sexist, you must be a sexist yourself!” And they deny it vociferously.
And those denials? End up being sexist whether intentional or not. The woman who wore the costume of her hero stood up at every panel and spoke truth to power. That takes guts. The idea that woman was a bully is ridiculous. Women demanding that comics recogize who they are and treat their depictions and their talents accordingly aren’t bullying anyone. They’re refusing to be bullied. Trashing someone for speaking out against rampent sexism isn’t cutting through to the truth — it’s supporting that sexism and decrying people for not accepting it.
There’s nothing heroic about that, and DC has to get out of the business of championing it. Those who defend it or attack the fight against it have forgotten what being a hero is all about.
this is a good post and you should feel good
;__; aaw what a good read. I really want to get into comics more. Comics have to get into me first, though.
Are women really OVER 50% of the world? Wh..why doesn’t media reflect this AT ALL? I seriously thought we were under 50% judging by how much women are acknowledged in movies/tv/etc. It makes me lonely to think about it
Also reblogging for posterity. I don’t care about the “professional” comics world at all anymore, but the general sentiment is much more important than that.
I don’t tend to reblog too much (I’m old and don’t get you kids and yer damg nab tumblrs and google plusers) but I like Ira Glass and this is some GOOD ADVICE.
Keep on fighting the good fight!
I’ve blogged this before but I think it’s something that bears remembering in the face of crushingly good art. At times you’ll think your stuff is rubbish. Possibly, it is rubbish. But it’ll never not be rubbish if all you do is sit around and complain about it.
So keep at it guys, love y’all.
Ira Glass speaks the truth.
been feeling so shitty about art lately (lol what else is new) but this little golden chunk of advice is so invaluable and correct. Love it. Take it to heart
Reblogging for posterity.