Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sorry, Greg. This time I may have to call bullshit.

Thanks to Pink Raygun, I, along with several other comic fans saw this.

Among these fans was Greg Rucka, who apparently took offense to the Playboy cover and interiors.

Mr. Rucka has a unique perspective, having been the author of Wonder Woman's book a few years back. While I do not have near all of his WW run, I did enjoy the issues I collected and thought he did a great job. He is no stranger to Wonder Woman controversy himself, having orchestrated the "Sacrifice" storyline in which Diana, uh, helped Maxwell Lord refine his Linda Blair impression.

Greg made a possible valid point regarding a double-standard, in that if a painted Batman were to show up in Playgirl, that DC miiight be fighting a little harder to keep it from hitting the shelves. I say "possible" because I'm still not sure what legal leg DC and/or Warner had to stand on regarding the image -- it looked juuust different enough from Diana's traditional "garb" (hipboots, a "two-piece" instead of a one, no apparent symbol, no tiara) that Playboy may have escaped the need for WB approval. If this was not the case, I agree with Rucka that Warner should have fought it tooth and nail. (Note to Greg or anyone else: please feel free to enlighten me on this. I'm no expert here.)

And no, the Shumacher Batman movies don't count.

However, Mr. Rucka goes on to make the following point:

"Do you really think it's a coincidence that Playboy chose this year, the issue for the month containing "Tsunami Tuesday," to run this particular pictorial? Do you really?I can hear the WB wanks right now. "As long as it's tasteful...."Bastards all. You've no idea the damage you've done. No idea at all."

It depends on what you mean, Greg.

If you mean take advantage of the fact that a) it's election primary season and b) there's a woman running by running that pictorial to draw some extra attention (and profit) to Playboy, then yes, you're right on the money.

But if you mean that Playboy's running that pictorial as part of some agenda to undermine the chances of Hillary Clinton in this election, or even, by extension, all women in positions of power or striving for those positions, I think you're attempting a reach that would make Plastic Man green with envy.

As for the damage done, Greg, you may be overestimating it, whether you are referring to Diana or Hillary. Both have much tougher roadblocks. Senator Clinton, in particular, has to face tough foes in Edwards and Obama, and if she goes on to the general, she will need to deal with the full onslaught of the right-wing noise machine, an uninformed electorate, and a lazy, Republican-friendly mainstream media, not to mention the challenge of utilizing Bill properly on the campaign trail.

A Playboy pictorial that doesn't even feature her will be the least of her hassles.

P.S. You were right to show your daughter that Ms. cover. It looked awesome.


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