Thursday, May 31, 2007

Now THIS is a proper tentacle cover!

Eat it, Heroes For Hire!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heroes For Hire#13 Cover: An Epiphany

Tonight I had an epiphany.

And it had to do with this cover:

I'll admit I'm pretty ignorant about Japanese comics subgenres. Prior to this week, I couldn't distinguish between a hentai and a Hyundai.

I know even less about how to style African-American women's hair.

I also didn't realize there was such a thing as a "tentacle porn" or "tentacle rape" market. When I think of tentacles in comics, the only images I can conjure up are Doc Ock, Starro, M'Nagalah from the 70's CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN series, and that Green Lantern story where Itty evolved into this giant tentacled thing that tried to suck the calcium out of Green Arrow's bones....

Uh, in retrospect, maybe I should have seen this trend coming.

So I don't know everything. But I DO know that Marvel blew it big time with this cover.

So, anyway, I had an epiphany....

No, it wasn't that the cover was sexist. Even without the umpteen "When Fangirls Attack" links, I think I would have sussed that out on my own way before now. I'm male, not stupid.

Nor was it that the cover was age-inappropriate, despite Marvel sticking a 9+ label on it. My nephew is 9, and I wouldn't show him this cover if the fate of the world depended on it.

My epiphany was... Marvel screwed up big time with this cover. MONUMENTALLY. Here's how:

What do we know about Heroes for Hire in its current incarnation?

Let's see: It's a female-run and predominantly female-staffed organization full of skilled adventurers that deals with special missions and kicking a lot of ass, featuring characters who were popularized in the 70's.

Now, think of a current DC comic that fits that description.

How many of you came up with:

(Epiphany time)


THE gateway book for female mainstream superhero readers at DC? One of DC's most popular books?

So, Marvel had a potential "Birds of Prey" on its hands.

And THIS is how they MARKETED IT ?????

(End of epiphany)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Make the comics? Yeah, but what if I can't draw?

I admit I've been split on the reactions to the Mary Jane comicquette statue put out by Sideshow.

Not by the statue itself. It was pretty indefensible. ( Rule #1 - If you want to produce a statue that will serve to promote your movie, do NOT produce a statue with an image of the character BENT OVER. Even if it IS based on a cute Adam Hughes drawing. Why couldn't they have gone with Romita Sr's original "you just hit the jackpot" pose?)

No, I mean I was split by the responses on both sides to said statue. First, the statue's critics had valid points about the statue's sexism and inappropriateness, and about comic sexism as a whole. So kudos to them for raising this ruckus. And I also understand this was a "final straw" situation. But some statue opponents undermined their effectiveness by introducing enough excess baggage to fill O'Hare Airport. "She washes the clothes while...shudder...BAREFOOT!!" Newsflash: So do I. One male protester even said seeing the statue made him want to incinerate his entire comic collection and disassociate himself completely from the comics hobby. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater!

On the other hand, some of the statue's proponents offered some laughable defenses. "Mary Jane has always been a sexpot." I don't care if she's scored with the entire membership of the Avengers; she deserves better than that statue (see Rule#1 above). "That kind of pose was popular in the 50's." Yeah, so was McCarthyism, what's your point?

But my personal favorite was Dirk Deppey and others telling people who don't like the status quo to make their own comics.

One problem with that: I can't draw at the comic book level. Even at the Rob Liefeld level, despite any wisecracks I may make to the contrary. More importantly, nor can my niece at this point.

She can't write like Moore or draw like Perez (at least not yet). But she has the only essential skill necessary for any comic book fan: She can READ. That makes her as viable a potential comic consumer as her brother --- or me for that matter. Is it too much to ask that she get treated that way?

And it wouldn't take as much as you'd think: Only a few minor tweaks. We can still have stuff like Lady Death or Witchblade, only we should have more of everything else. I call it the "Big Tent Theory".