A few more just tying up the loose ends.
If you haven’t read the epic comments thread on our previous Minx post, you are missing out on comments from all the players, a lesson in marketing, the history of Wonder Woman, AND confirmation that the name “Minx” was chosen in focus group testing. So, yes, today’s girls LIKE THAT NAME. Get over it.
John Jakala rounds up the reaction to Tintin Pantoja’s Wonder Woman pages.
Former Vertigo assistant editor Mariah Huehner, who worked on the Minx line in its early days, comments at her LJ:
As to the female creators thing…this is hard. There is a lack and it’s a glaring one. But does it automatically follow that only women could create the kinds of story’s they’re looking for? Clearly not. Do I think there is something working against women in this as well…maybe. Not consciously, certainly, but I think in general there are a few issues with books aimed at “girls” or “women” in comics. Mainly it’s an assumption thing, about what those kinds of books will be about. The clamor about how limited the aim of superhero books is seems to be mostly relegated to feminist comic fans who are still struggling to be taken seriously in this matter. It’s cultural, partly…no one thinks books aimed at men are “limited”, it’s almost like they think they’re gender neutral. But books aimed at women? They get labels like “chick-lit” and “girly”, which are not compliments. And they are always complained about as “limiting” because people still assume that the main things girls read about is boys and romance and clothes. And it would be wrong to say those things don’t matter to girls. But they aren’t all that matters. And I do believe that Minx is trying, honestly, to produce material that is, at root, good story for anyone. They’re just being more conscience about some of the things that makes it more female friendly…like realistic female protagonists who THINK as opposed to shop, who aren’t perfect but you can relate to them, and most importantly, that you want to be LIKE them…not sleep with them as their primary visual and textual function.
So, yes, they need more female creators in the line. And not to fill a quota, but because women creators are out their telling important stories RIGHT NOW. Already. About things that girls want to read about. If Minx hasn’t found those stories and creators yet, well, then I’m hopeful that they will. If they don’t -then- we can start to worry.
Finally, a tangential note. It’s interesting that most (but not all) of the people who are saying it’s okay that the line is mostly men because art should be gender neutral are MEN. Interesting but hardly surprising. On our LJ feed we came across this post which talks about a study which attempted to find out why girls so often give up on the ambitions they had when they were young (you really need to read the whole post but here’s the most relevant bit.)
To better understand this phenomenon, Correll devised a study in which male and female undergraduates were told they were “pre-testing” a new set of graduate admissions exams. Half the subjects were told that males had more ability on this test; half were told there was no relationship between gender and ability. (The test was devised in such a way that it was impossible to arrive at the correct answers.) All subjects were given the same score. Correll found that men exposed to the belief that males were superior rated their abilities as higher and expressed greater goals for future related activities; women in this group rated their ability as lower and expressed lower goals. Thus, exposure to a generalization about one’s group changes the way one interprets one’s own ability—and in turn shapes one’s goals for the future. These effects, says Correll, “cumulate over women’s lives and result in dramatically different outcomes for men and women.”
In other words: we need role models. One final comment: Won’t it be cool when someday there is a Minx book which LIVES OUT the fantasy of a young woman cartoonist to be published by DC Comics?