§ A Manga Moveable Feast spotlighting Jiro Taniguchi has just wrapped up. Taniguchi is a master storyteller, and his work has a lot more “western” feel than many other manga. Anyone looking to dip a toe in the world of manga would probably find him a good place to start.
§ As part of the MMF, Ed Sizemore interviews Stephen Robson of Fanfare/Ponent Mon, one of the nicest guys in comics and one of the best publishers as well. Check it out!
§ Another write-up of that Chris Claremont talk revisits the idea of a Kathryn Bigelow-directed X-Men movie that never happened. Sigh.
§ Here’s something so shocking you may not be able to believe it happened. DC published something related to a female character that people found controversial! This time out it was Wonder Woman, who is revealed to come from a race of semen-stealing, man-murdering misandrists. GeekMom did not like it.
Do I think the creators of this book are deliberately trying to downgrade Wonder Woman and her origin and what it means to many women? No, I don’t think so at all. Many times, Brian Azzarello has stated that he wanted to write a horror story using Wonder Woman and that’s exactly what he’s doing. I don’t think he saw how problematic it was, especially in our current political environment when a woman who speaks up for access to birth control to control cancer is called a “slut.” Here are the Amazons, who are supposed to represent the best of their gender, now changed into man-hating mass murderers. To say nothing of the fact that Wonder Woman is also viewed as a gay icon and now the biggest group of fictional lesbians are basically evil. I think it was blindness to the history of what Wonder Woman means to many women, especially to geek girls, and general cluelessness on the part of editorial who approved it. Added to that some of the other problems with the DC reboot that I’ve talked about over on GeekDad and last year on GeekMom, and it’s frustrating as heck.
Tucker Stone and Abhay Khosla touch on it as only they can in this hilarious review column. In addition, Abhay suggests his own alternate origin. That’s the source of the Lynda Carter on a skateboard gif accompanying this, if you want a clue.
I haven’t read the issue in question yet, and it seems unfair to comment on it until I do. However, reading about it, it did strike me as the sort of thing that General Jack. D Ripper might come up with.
YOU know, the character from Dr. Strangelove who was so concerned with his precious bodily fluids. ANYWAY…
§ Dustin Harbin is profiled in the Charlotte Observer. The piece contains the usual alarming description of the poverty of the cartoonist, but we’ll quote a different part, just to break things up:
He drew himself getting broken front teeth replaced at the dentist, reading R. Crumb while eating oatmeal and tucking himself into bed under new flannel sheets. He depicted himself hanging out among patrons at Amelie’s Bakery with the caption, “Tea makes old ladies talk super loud.” He sketched cartoons about chewing with his new teeth, fighting depression, buying milk at Target, drawing, tweeting, cleaning his toilet and scanning his diary comics onto his computer so he could upload them to his website.
§ Headline of the day: Local cartoonist travels to France for comics festival . It was Josh Cotter (Driven by Lemons) and he went to Angouleme. And had a great time.
§Frank Santoro notes some newish artists that you might like. Do I link to Frank Santoro every week? I guess so. And why not?
§ I enjoyed the convention memories contained in this post a lot. I guess that’s why I write about “comics culture.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.