§ Top Shelf just announced two books for July, Tim Ginger by Julian Hanshaw:
And The Motorcycle Samurai (Volume One) by Chris Sheridan which has a FCBD comic!
§ Panels is a site about comics run by the Book Riot folks and it has some pretty good stuff. Here’s a piece calledOn Imperfect Representation vs No Representation that asks various people of various genders and races whether it’s better to have a possibly problematic representation than nothing at all. Marcy Cook, identified as a transgender bisexual woman, white European/Canadian, starts out with:
Western media’s default setting is white, male and heterosexual. I never realised just how represented that demographic was until it no longer applied to me.
So just think about that one for a while.
The bottom line is that most folks think some representation is better than no representation.
§ You’ve probably seen this story profiling the very roots of Gamer Gate, namely a hateful break-up post written by Eron Gjoni against his ex, Zoe Quinn. So you didn’t have to, I read a few of the comments, and what struck me in about five seconds is how the people who defend Gjoni’s psychotic actions say it’s all because Quinn is also a psycho who was spotted shooting down the Hindenburg, blowing up the American embassy in Benghazi, pouring sugar into someone’s PS4 and in general acted as a demonic presence behind countless evil things. It takes one to know one I guess? GuffleGub is an expression of a class of anti-social behavior that the internet seems to highlight, a lack of empathy and judgement coupled with nitpicking, being judgmental and a reactionary fear of “the other.” This kind of thing was endemic to usenet, IRC groups and all those other early Web social media, and its acceptance as a means of communication is part of why this drags on and gets worse and worse. In other words, these people have always been around, and they were, unfortunately, among the first people to be given a voice by the internet.
§ With Avengers fever at a boil, all of the key players are getting a trot out. The Telegraph profiles Marvel’s elusive Isaac Perlmutter, rounding up previous profiles and anecdotes, with a garnish of recent Sony leak documents.
Clearly he has little time for journalists. Sparse catering at an Avengers event led ravenous hacks to pillage the hospitality suite of The Five-Year Engagement, which was screening nearby. (Perlmutter is nonetheless an exceedingly generous philanthtopist, having given tens of millions to cancer reasearch in recent years.) Perlmutter is known for the tough contracts he negotiates with actors who enter the Marvel universe. An anonymous source who worked with the studio told the Hollywood Reporter that actors were handed “ridiculous deals”. “They want you to do mashups, mixing and matching the universes,” he said. “If you’re character A in franchise one, they not only want the right to put you in sequels but to say, ‘Now you’ll appear in a glorified cameo in franchise two.’ “
§ The chatter on DC’s Super Hero Girls line has been rather subdued, which is kind of surprising since it seems like the culmination of years of campaigning. Of course, the minute it fucks up I imagine we’ll hear about nothing else. Anyway, Janelle Asselin, a veteran of both DC and Disney, has a really smart, informed post that is about the last word on what we know now, including how it works with the deliberately segregated world of toys we now have.
The most important part of the whole children’s licensing process, ultimately, is where things are advertised and shelved. Because of a lot of occasionally ridiculous market research, many companies that make stuff for kids are convinced that anything marketed to children must be gendered. Rare is the product that gets designated as simply being for “kids” — everything must be for either boys or girls. Items that aren’t gendered run the risk of causing issues with retailers. After all, if toy aisles are primarily broken into two genders and a product isn’t for one or the other, how will retailers decide where to sort it? Even Lego ran into this issue.
It’s for this reason in particular that I think this new branding initiative by DC is incredibly smart. Because of all these assumptions about gender and what’s for boys and what’s for girls, we live in a world where you will actually hear parents say in toy aisles all across the US, “No, you can’t get that super hero toy. Those are for boys.” This is a real thing that happens, and if you hang out long enough in the action figure aisle at Target, you’ll hear it. (Not that I’m hanging out for long periods of time in the action figure aisle at Target. Shut up.) If DC had decided to come out with a new brand of action figures that happen to be entirely made up of their super heroines, but did not announce it as being for girls, it’s very, very likely that they would’ve been shelved in the “boy aisle.”
Definitely a go read the whole thing thing.
§ Also at Comics Alliance for Avengers week, 100 Spectacular Comic Book Movie Behind the Scenes Pictures. You’ll have to individually click through each photo so it will take a while, but some nice moments and memories in there.
§ Finally, in a week of infographics, here’s on on what kind of cars the Avengers would be, commissioned by Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram 24, so it’s a little Dodge-heavy, but you get the idea:
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.