So maybe you need to look a bit harder, Rick.
Hm. ColdBloodedJellyDoughnut, I can't tell if your responses to my posts are angry or not. Normally I would assume they weren't
, but if they maybe are
, please let me know. I don't mean to anger anyone, and if I have, it's best that I stop responding to your posts, because I don't want to anger you even further. I hope I'm just being paranoid and you aren't angry about anything.
Several things that are wrong about that one. Wonder Woman. Aimed at women. Featuring a main woman. Not successful? Are you kidding me!? Despite the alarming amount of bondage symbology that proliferates her early stories, she's not a victim.
As I mentioned before, there are rare exceptions to the generalization that female-focused comics always fail. Wonder Woman is the most obvious exception, because she's been published by DC almost continuously since her creation -- a feat that only two or three other superheroes can claim. Whether she's aimed at women is debatable.
I remember reading an interview with artist Kyle Baker in which he mentioned that he would very much like to let his young daughter read female-starring comics like Wonder Woman
, but he won't, because the gratuitous T&A is something he doesn't want her to see, at least until she's older and more mature. I can sympathize very strongly with that perspective, and it reinforces my assumption that most Wonder Woman comics nowadays are bought by horny dudes like me, because we love T&A. I don't think I'd want a young child of either gender to see that stuff either. I'm not a parent, though, and I respect you if you feel differently.
Also: Wonder Woman has been a publishing failure throughout most of her history, meaning that her comic books have often sold so poorly that they didn't make enough profit to justify doing the book. She has, however, always been a huge merchandising success for DC and Warners, and that's the only reason they've continued to publish the comic all these years; it helps them to maintain the trademark or copyright or some other legal claim to the character's name and image.
In other words, I don't consider her a good example of a successful comic book; based on sales, she's a big dud, and has been for most of her existence. Even the great George Perez, whose run on the character is considered essential by many (ex. Gail Simone), had to endure a big pay cut in order to take over the WW comic; and not long after doing so, he had to seek additional work on other projects in order to bolster his income. Not even he could raise her crappy sales numbers much. (Ever wonder why WW gets rebooted every thirty seconds or so? It's because no one can find a way to get people to buy her comic, so they keep trying different approaches.)
Birds of Prey has last for quite a long while now and it's still doing well, despite the fact that female readership of DC completely plummeting. There's only a couple of comics that seem to still be catering to those readers and I really, sincerely hope they keep going.
I'm a fan of the book and hope it continues; it may be the only long-term-successful female-fronted comic that started in the last couple decades. But again, it's an exception, not the rule. Also, I may be wrong, but I assume most of its readers are men like me who dig the T&A artwork. Apart from Gail Simone, most of the people working on the book have been male, haven't they? I may be overlooking an artist or two. Anyway, I would argue that Birds of Prey isn't necessarily or consistently aimed at women or written with a female audience in mind, even if many women enjoy reading it anyway.
You know what, I'm bowing out of this thread, as best I can. Once people make assumptions about what I mean, it's best I do.
I enjoyed your posts and found them quite insightful. I also noticed that the conversation got a little heated afterwards, perhaps. It looked like you made some well-intentioned and even friendly remarks that were met with an unnecessary degree of hostility, although I suppose some moderator would have stepped in if anyone really went too far here. Anyway, I wish you and everyone here would continue to participate in this thread, because it needs all the participation it can get to keep from dying out, like most threads do. But you must do what you think is best for you, of course.
Thank you for posting this. When he initially said the whole 'rescuable victim' thing I knew it was wrong, but you can't just say 'nu-uh' on the internet with no textual evidence, and I don't read enough mainstream comics to make the argument properly. My comic shelf is wee but my passion is nerdtastic. :looks fondly at a Hellboy poster...: However it also seemed possible that for the MOST part (and with the strange exclusion of Wonder Woman?) he was alluding to a 'decades ago' state of comics, since he said historically. I dunno. I'm not a psychic. xD
My statement about women usually being little more than victims in superhero comics is hard to refute in the sense that I meant it, which is that that's the role they've mostly played in a historical sense since Action Comics #1, and I think there are reasons for that having to do with the limited role of women in little boys' lives, and the fact that superheroes were (and are still) designed to target the sensibilities of male children. (Unless you know many adults of either gender who take seriously stories about flying people in tights. Adults who enjoy such stories do so from a child's perspective, I believe, because we were all children once, and it's a lot of fun to revisit that sensibility now and then.)
I've obviously given these topics a little thought and have some highly debatable but also well-founded opinions on these matters. FWIW, although I am a straight guy with the same raging hormones all men have, I don't consider myself a sexist pig or chauvinist. If there are sexist or ignorant assumptions in some opinion that I've expressed, by all means, share with me your insights, and give me the opportunity to learn better, because I am very often in the wrong. But let's all be nice about it, right?, and let's be mindful that these are sensitive topics for many people, and with good reason.