Holiday Blogosphere responses to Joe Q

Peterlaundry Htsml-1
While the holiday weekend has left people more interested in barbecues and outdoor exposure, a few developments. First J. Bone has posted the above image.

But see also this (!).
51Zhzzzdtzl. Ss500 -1
A few responses from the blogosphere.

Laura Hudson:

Oh, Joe Q. How could anyone read anything perverse into this picture of bleeding, half-naked women strung up in chains, with drops of moisture glistening on their breasts as probing tentacles creep towards them? You heard it from the man himself: this is a totally innocent picture of kick ass women fighting the Brood, and you’re a dirty, dirty pervert for thinking anything else. Also, I particularly like how he tries to cash in on some sort of feminist cred by citing the woman who brought us Drain, a story about a sexy Asian vampire named Chinatsu who likes to lez it up with other sexy female vampires, and decapitate dudes while making jokes about “head” and licking her loooong sword. But you know, I’m probably reading too much into that too.


That said, there seems to be the prevalent idea in these defenses that the product isn’t offensive because the producers did not intend it to be so. That the product is being “misconstrued” as sexist.

It doesn’t work that way.

Adam Hughes does not get to determine what of his work offends people. Joe Quesada does not get to determine what covers set us off. No one gets to make that decision except the person who is offended. To that person, the work is offensive.

Peter Sanderson

Hughes asks, “is it really a sexist or misogynistic act if it wasn’t intended that way on the part of the people doing it? . . .are you seeing something that’s either not there, or that the artist never intended to be there?” First, this demonstrates a lack of understanding of human psychology. Certainly, a person can be subconsciously sexist or misogynistic. Certainly people can consciously hold prejudiced opinions without being aware they are prejudiced: they consider their opinions to be correct. D. W. Griffith was reportedly surprised that his film Birth of a Nation (1915) was attacked as racist, though today that is the unanimous opinion of cinema scholars. There’s that song in the musical Avenue Q, “Everybody’s a Little Bit Racist.”

Moreover, even if Hughes did not consciously or unconsciously have sexist intentions, that does not mean that people who interpret the statue as sexist are wrong. Certainly artwork can be interpreted in ways of which the artist was not consciously aware. A Freudian interpretation of Oedipus Rex is not invalid simply because Sophocles died centuries before Freud devised the term “Oedipus complex.” If an interpretation fits the artwork, it is justified whether or not the creator agrees with it. This is a basic principle of criticism, long accepted in academia, and comics writers and artists had best wake up and take notice. (Not surprisingly, Neil Gaiman recognizes this principle, as can be seen from his introduction to The Sandman Papers, Fantagraphics’ 2006 anthology of academic essays about his work.)

J. Caleb Mozzocco:

Beyond the fact that Quesada doesn’t see a problem with the cover (A state of affairs I had imagined and found perhaps just as bad if not worse than an intentional use of the imagery to stoke it’s most negative and perversely sexual connotations), I was surprised to hear him say publicly that he’s not a “deep follower” of manga.

Um, should you really be the Editor-in-Chief of one of the biggest American comic book publishers and not be “deep into” the most rapid-growing and widely-read type of sequential art storytelling? Admittedly, it does explain why Marvel’s dozen or so attempts to attract the manga audience have all fallen flat (with a few vestiges of such initiatives seemingly succeeding despite Marvel’s efforts, like Runaways surviving the doomed “Tsunami” line or Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane lasting as long as it has and racking up rave reviews), but, Jesus, if I was Quesada I’d have copies of Fruits Basket and Naruto under microscopes in a big Marvel lab somewhere, with Marvel staff scientists studying the things around the clock and I’d be calling once a day to ask if they’ve managed to identify and reverse engineer whatever it is that makes kids love those things so much.

Also Lea Hernandez has remixed the cover to make it a little less hentai and Misty Knight ethinically accurate.

Neil Gaiman to direct DEATH movie with LaBeouf?

film ick has scoop:

Later this year – if all goes well – Neil Gaiman will be directing his first feature film. It’s an adaptation of his Death: The High Cost of Living mini-series, and – of course – he’s scripted it.

This was the film he was discussing with Guillermo del Toro at the meeting a couple of weeks back, as I suspected. I’ve now had this 100% confirmed.

What more do I know? That the film will most likely shoot in late autumn, early winter, and in the UK, though the comic takes place (mainly) in the US.

LaBeouf’s involvement geos back at least two years

Young actor Shia LaBeouf, who starred in Warner Bros. Constantine, told SCI FI Wire that he’s been working with graphic novel writer Neil Gaiman to bring his Death stories to life on the big screen.

Comics show runner spotlighted

George Gene Gustines examines the concepts from TV which are now being used in comics , like “Show runners’ and “seasons.”

¶In “Countdown,” a new weekly series from DC Comics that began this month, Paul Dini, who worked on ABC’s “Lost,” is serving as head writer.

¶The new “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series from Dark Horse is being promoted as the never-produced Season 8 of the “Buffy” television show and is written by Joss Whedon, Buffy’s creator, who is credited as the comic’s “executive producer.”

¶Marvel Entertainment is also adopting the “season” mentality — a fresh number of issues and then a break — on high-profile series like “Ultimates” and “Young Avengers.”

¶Platinum Comics has adapted television’s “show runner” concept, used to describe the top writer-producer on a series, into a “comic runner” for their Web-only titles.

We did like this from Platinum:

Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, the chairman of Platinum Studios, which offers Web-only and traditional printed comics, conceived the position of “comic runner” to help produce his company’s online titles.

“The comic runner is basically an entrepreneur who is running a small business,” he said. Mr. Rosenberg called it a “tough job” that required the ability to get comics from idea to final product regularly.

The comic runner must also be the spokesman for the property, helping to make decisions about publicity, merchandising and television or film development.

In olden days, this was often called being an “self-publisher” or an “editor”” but we’ll take the fancy modern title, too.

Things to click on

§ Early manga champion Frederik Schodt profile

§ LA Times looks at Minx line

§ Video of Frank Miller talking about the Spirit at Cannes.

§ Milo George tracks the political donations of your favorite cartoon types.

The Spurge Guide to San Diego

The Comics Reporter has posted the Annual Guide to San Diego Comic-Con, which is as definitive as it gets. His list of lodgings ranked by desirability has 22 categories, and in our 20+ years of con going, we’ve known someone to utilize all 22! Even jail. The guide contains many shockers, like this:

2. In eight years of staying there, four days per visit, the only comics-related person I have ever seen in the Westin Horton Plaza’s exercise room is Kevin Eastman. In general, use of hotel facilities like pools, hot tubs and exercise rooms seems to be really light during the convention weekend. Taking a couple of extra hours in the morning to pamper yourself or get in a workout can be fun and a great stress reliever.

Kevin? Didn’t see THAT one coming! Also THIS

3. The security people at the Hyatt will follow you into a bar in order to yell at you for not obeying their orders, but you pretty much have to take a swing at one to get thrown out. Don’t test this.

is not true, as we have been thrown out of the Hyatt bar, although that was a long time ago. Things may have changed.

Also, your press types may want to note that the con is closing down press registration on June 18th, which is really, really, really early, but they are trying to keep down the people who show up on the day of and get in for free as members of the press. Professional registration closed on May 1.

Early O’Malley

Jeff Lester tracks down an early work by Bryan Lee O’Malley: Spider-Man: Doctors, an early reader for kids. O’Malley ‘fesses up:

Yeah, it was one of the first things I did in comics, way back in 2001. Go ahead and run images if you want.

Christopher Butcher actually helped me colour it, which is why it’s so pink. That was right before we moved in together.

Still on holiday

514952171 5Cd6E1Dd07
Just visiting old friends.

[Photo by Elim Mak.]

Help Fantagraphics with Pogo

Gary Groth is paging all Pogo fans to help with FBI’s upcoming Pogo reprints:

We are requesting the help of Pogo collectors who may have original art or high quality reproductions of Walt Kelly’s Pogo strip.

We are currently assembling Walt Kelly’s POGO: The Complete Daily & Sunday Strips. We are looking for the best possible black-and-white reproduction of both Sundays and dailies — especially the Sundays. If you have original art or proofs that you would be willing to let us scan, we would be grateful if you’d contact us. You may e-mail me directly at:

[email protected]

(Please put POGO in the header). Thank you.

Gary Groth
Fantagraphics Books