§ Nice Automaton: If you click through this link you’ll be taken to the Weibo page of a fan who made a very cool Legand of Zelda contraption.
§ Over the weekend, TCJ.com was dragged to hell and back over a review of Carolyn Nowak’s Girl Town by a fellow named Jake Murel, who correctly divined that a comic called Girl Town might deal with a character who was a girl, and proceeded to refer to its contents as “gynocentric” not once, but three times. Interestingly, works by men are not routinely called “phallocentric” although. quite honestly, they often are, because men love telling you they think with their dicks.
This curious review also chided Nowak for not being Jim Steranko:
These comic short stories are well crafted, but that is all they are. Criticizing an artist for being good is, admittedly, a peculiar critique. The problem is that Nowak’s art and design are not adventurous in how they utilize or play with the comics form. Nowak possesses an evident artistic aptitude. One would like to see this talent put towards exploring the limits of the comics medium (not to mention developing a characteristic style). For example, how can panels, gutters, or page layouts be manipulated to further Nowak’s point of view? Given this intentional lens, how might she develop an écriture féminine unique to comics? Can the panel’s innate separateness be utilized to reflect the solitude expressed by Nowak’s characters? Despite its use of multiple genres and styles, Girl Town follows a largely standard comics layout.
As if that paragraph weren’t bad enough as it is, it has actually been edited! FOR YOU SEE, after the ruckus erupted, the editors of TCJ.Com went in and edited the piece as it shuld have been before it ran, and noted:
*This review has been edited since its original publication to remove wording that contained unintended sexist connotations. The editors apologize for this oversight and will go into more detail on Monday, Feb 4th at the blog.
Luckily for posterity, Carta Monir had screen capped the original text.
I've written for tcj before and I respect a lot of what they do, but this review should never ever have happened
Why would you give the book Girl Town to a male reviewer who writes like this?? Fucking "gynocentric?????" pic.twitter.com/9caDI95QuS
— Carta Monir (@CartaMonir) February 2, 2019
That’s right: the original sentence read: For example, how can panels, gutters, or page layouts be manipulated to further Nowak’s gynocentric point of view?
I’m sure all the lady cartoonists out there are going to take time off from selling thousands of copies of their books, running awards, meeting their fans and making art and start worrying about how they can make their gutters more gynocentric, perhaps larger and more void like. Because if there’s one thing comics need more of to grow their audience, it’s gynocentric panel gutters.
Girl Town was quite well received when it came out last year, and Nowak seemed to be having a fine time promoting it when I talked to her on the festival circuit. And on Twitter, she took this all in stride.
So many ppl have asked me if im ok after that shit review !! I’m fine!! I have never and will never care about what men think of my work because it’s not for them anyway. I assume Jake was just confused by this.
— Carolyn Nowak (@CarolynCNowak) February 3, 2019
By the time you read this, the apology will be up on the Comics Journal blog, as editors Tucker Stone and Tim Hodler try to explain what happened. Perhaps we’ll link to that in tomorrow’s kibbles.
In the meantime, it’s worth noting that in the last DECADE the print version of The Comics Journal has covered exactly one (1) female cartoonist, and if you follow that link you’ll see my SIX YEAR OLD dissection of the extremely phallocentric take on comics history that the print Journal was still holding on to the last time it came out. But the first new print Journal in six years is coming out very soon, so we’ll have to get out the post-it notes once again to see if any women made the cut.
§ Speaking of the print Journal, here’s a somewhat phallocentric interview with the great Tomi Ungerer:
And their star fucking. If they can have a famous artist or a famous something there, they love that. Oh, I took my revenge on a lot of them. One thing I did a lot of times, when I was in Long Island, I broke into these people’s houses when they were not there and spent the night there. One night I went with my wife and I remember this big mansion. I’d been invited there, and there was a hose in the front of the garden, in front of the main door. It was 2 o’clock in the morning and I rang the bell and the light went on and finally, the guy came down. Of course, he didn’t recognize me in the dark and he opened the door and I had his own hose with the water jet directly in his face. [Groth laughs.] And then we scrammed. By the time the police came, everything was gone, the water was gone.
§ X-Men Writer Chris Claremont Wants Idris Elba to Play Bishop – we all do. We all want Idris Elba to do everything all the time.
§ The Big Game was yesterday! The Super Bowl! And it was appallingly awful. It just couldn’t have been worse. Thank god the Avengers Endgame thing was on first so I could spend the next four hours watching it on repeat, only broken up by watching that scary Us trailer and Harrison Ford yelling at his dog. The other highlight was some halftime footage of SpongeBob Squarepants, whose song “Sweet Victory” was a classic of the Bubble Bowl. Spongebob erupted into an animated meteor which was headed straight into the stadium. Sadly, it did not destroy the whole set-up, but just delivered Travis Scott wearing some kind of larping pouch. The rest of the event continued, unabated, and nothing could prevent the whole world from seeing Adam Levine’s nipples.
It actually was phallocentric.
§ A lot has been written already about that 30 second Avengers: Endgame preview, but no one is explaining the most urgent thing: what the fuck has happened to Clint’s hair? Is he using product? if so what and where do I get some?
§ Zack Zwiezen wrote I Played All 17 Angry Birds Games And I Have Some Thoughts. Zweisen played all 17 games and hoped to come up with a unified field theory for the game, and I think this is the closest, re Pigs.
This game seems to imply that the birds are complete morons. They just throw themselves at the pigs and their piggy buildings. Meanwhile, the intelligent pigs are building and creating complex machines and solving difficult puzzles. This actually fits right into the lore of the earlier games, where the pigs have elaborate bases the birds have to destroy. Who would have thought this franchise would have smart world building?
He also dissed Angry Birds Blast which is my favorite, because I like any blast type game. I’ve moved on to Merge Dragons though.
§ Thanks to my newly robust RSS feed, to see that Anime News Network has put together some print runs for manga and light novels in Japan, and leading the pack is Yoshiki Nakamura’s Skip Beat! with 13 million copies in print.
§ CBR has piped up with 10 Non DC Or Marvel Comics You Should Be Reading Right Now, and one of them is Saga, so good call, because a lot of people read that. It’s a shame that Fiona Staples hasn’t been able to express herself as a woman with her panel gutters though. If the gutters were better more peple would read the book for sure.
§ Blerd Girl reposted her classic suggestions for tabling, and they are just as pertinent as when they were first written.
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.