The Debut of "Public Announcements"
Inspired by the great Sally P's chronicling of her love and hate relationship with comics, I've decided to pour out some random rants and raves of my own into a new (and hopefully recurring) feature I'm calling "Public Announcements". Here's a sample:
*ATTENTION, MODERN COMIC WRITERS!*- Incorporating a past rape into your female character's origin is not innovative, not cutting edge, and definitely not groundbreaking. It wasn't even groundbreaking when Jim Starlin wrote one for Willow in Dreadstar#2, which was TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS AGO. It's ANNOYING AS HELL. I'm sick and tired of getting into the adventures of a strong new female character, like Inertia in Squadron Supreme or Kate Bishop in Young Avengers, only to have her origin story where * gasp* she was inspired by her rape to become a heroine. Even long-established characters aren't immune. Really, Kevin Smith? "My dad was a legendary cat burglar and I loved him and wanted to be like him" wasn't enough motivation for the Black Cat? You really needed to add a rape, too? Keep in mind that this rant is coming from somebody for whom the possibility of getting raped is remote. What about those (predominantly female) readers who live with a greater possibility, and therefore a greater fear, of it happening to them, let alone those who have actually experienced this trauma? Is it too much to ask that their comics provide at least a momentary escape from that? Does the word "trigger" mean anything to you?
*ATTENTION, TEABAGGERS!* - Ask yourselves the following question: Which is a greater threat to our democracy: A) a legally elected president and congressional majority passing a bill that attempts to provide affordable health care to more Americans, or B) groups of people who threaten those same leaders with violence, vandalism, assassination, and even the killing of their children just because they passed a law those groups didn't like? I think the answer is obvious.
*ATTENTION, COMIC MINISERIES CREATORS!* - Try to finish what you start - and on a relatively timely basis. It's one thing to wait a few extra weeks for Ethan Van Sciver to fine-tune the artwork or for George Perez' wrist to heal, but it's another thing when work on minis are abandoned for several months or even years in mid-stream. I just saw a solicit for The Twelve#9. The Twelve#8 came out in November 2008. Let's put this in perspective: I've been married for nearly 8 months. I wasn't even engaged when I bought The Twelve#8. And now, over 1 year later, I'm supposed to refresh my memory on what the hell went on into the first 8 issues so I'm caught up for the ninth? Remember this rule: If you remind people that they can do without your product for a long enough time, they'll catch on that they can do without it indefinitely.
There you go. Let me know what you think.