NO not really. THERE IS NO REAL FIGHT. Just some posting on an internet message board. A few people sent us the links to the whole kerfluffle, but to be honest, Graeme already did it and just what we would have done. But we’re going to go through it again. Basically, on the CBR forums, writer Gail Simone responded to Marvel editor Andy Schmidt’s comment that there weren’t many women trying to break in at Marvel, with this:
I think it’s more likely that aspiring female writers know that Marvel isn’t their best shot.
I like Marvel. I have a lot of friends at Marvel. But there is definitely a Howard Stern/partytime/fratboy/strip club element.
Again, I like Marvel. But when I was there, it was INEVITABLE that every female who left or was let go would be referred to as a ‘crazy bitch’ at some point. I don’t blame any one person for it, but it is something that could bite them in the ass if they’re not careful.
And on the flipside, big kudos to editors like Mike Marts who could NOT have been more gracious and welcoming. And Joe Quesada has been nothing but nice to me as well. It’s not the individuals, it’s just sort of an institutionalized faux ‘badboys’ environment, to my mind.
As a final cavaet, let me add that it’s been some years since I was there and it all may have changed since then.
At the Bendis board, BMB says this:
i call bullshit on this on so many levels gail. i would tell you privately, but you said it publicly. there are so many female editors at marvel, i can’t even imagine what you’re referring to.
marvel hired you gail. how is that sexist?
for future reference, if i pitch something and it doesn’t get approved, it doesn’t make that company anti semetic or anti bald- its bullshit and you had no example of any of this and i think you really owe the editors, good people with families, an apology.
AND Gail says THIS:
I said it because it was TRUE, Brian. Which, sorry, is the ultimate defense against a post like this. It happened. Since the people it happened to were friends of mine, it’s bothered me a bit, particularly in light of some recent comments from Marvel staff regarding female creators and the lack thereof.
On the other hand, I talked with Joe about it at length today, and he was very cool and straightforward about it. I think the world of Joe and always have. And he explained a few things that cleared a few things up. I said it, I stand by it, but after speaking with Joe, I had planned on clarifying a few points but haven’t been able to get ahold of Rich.
If you think I said it because I didn’t get a script approved, you are very mistaken. Aside from Night Nurse (which was cancelled before print), I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I have no grudge against Marvel, not even a speck, and I’ve seen plenty of ugly comments about DC here and elsewhere that don’t match my experience at all. I support Marvel creators constantly and have defended Marvel and Joe many, many times. The notion that I didn’t get something published at Marvel suddenly makes me take revenge after years of saying nothing but positive things is just silly.
It happened five years ago, and my knowledge of what’s going on at Marvel is practically zip at this point, which I acknowledged in my post. You know full well that stuff gets thrown up at Rich’s column with no context whatsover, and that’s just the way it is. If you want to talk about it in private, I’d be happy to tell you exactly who this was said about. Send me an email or call and I’ll tell you.
Eventually the thread is closed on the Bendis board, as Simone and Joe Q and surely BMB hash it all out behind the scenes and love reigns supreme once more.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about why there aren’t more women writing mainstream comics. Our first thought on that would be because there aren’t more women writing SF tv shows, since that’s where most comics writers seem to be coming from these days. (Christina Weir of the DeFilippis/Weir team got her start that way.) There do seem to be a few more women over at DC of late than at Marvel — Jodi Picoult and Denise Minna, novelists turned comics writers spring to mind — although novelist Tamora Pierce got a gig over at Marvel via the same literary route.
We won’t draw any conclusions on who, what why and where. It’s been years and years since we worked in comics, but—and we’re very, very sorry if anyone’s feelings are hurt by this—we, too, always heard women being called “crazy” when they left or were let go. We’re sure we were called “crazy” by more than one person, just based on the track record. Of course a lot of guys are called crazy too, but it seems that pretty much 100% of the women in comics are crazy, which raises the important question: WHY ARE YOU HIRING SO MANY CRAZY WOMEN??? Maybe women DO have to be crazy to work in comics.
And at the risk of bruising the delicate sensibilities of anyone in mainstream comics, I got news for you, bub, it isn’t exactly the most woman friendly field on earth. We’re sure there are many well intentioned and dedicated people trying to change that even as we speak, but that record stands. It’s just a tough field in general — we know of one line aimed at women that’s underway that doesn’t even have any women writing it.
Then again, most of the young women we meet who are getting into comics are just NOT INTERESTED in writing superhero comics. They’re more interested in manga or indie stuff. Of course, more of them are cartoonists than just writers. A more interesting question, perhaps, would be why are there so few Alex De Campis and Elizabeth Gencos out there — women writers who want to express themselves through comics?