Unfortunate Confluence of Words

Sat, February 2nd, 2008 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Keith Giffen, Columnist

Women's role(s) in comics.

I'm talking talent-wise here, not character. Character's a whole other topic and one that I just don't have the energy to go into just now.

Seems every now and them some idiot deftly inserts foot in mouth by posing the question, "Can women write / draw comicbooks without turning them all girly?" and off we go debating gender instead of talent.

As an example, Gail Simone recently took on the "Wonder Woman" book and most of the hype seemed to center on a woman finally writing "Wonder Woman." Long overdue? Well, yeah, but that's not the point. A talented writer with a proven track record took over "Wonder Woman." Now that's something worth noting. That she happens to be a woman has nothing at all to do with it past the obvious fact that she is a woman.

Talent is talent, boys and girls. It's neither testosterone nor estrogen driven.

Maybe if we stopped trumpeting competent women creators as infrequent aberrations, we could put an end to these occasional, ignorance fueled dust ups. Too harsh? Too bad.

Oddly enough, were we to stop posting credit boxes, this wouldn't be an issue because no one would be able to point out a particular story as being written / drawn by a woman.

Comic books have always trafficked in male adolescent power fantasies and, to a certain extent, still do. Maybe there are folks out there who feel a bit... awkward having their power fantasies generated by a woman? I'd like to think not, but...

On a personal note, some of my best collaborations have been with women; editors, talent, whatever. Joan Hilty, Laurie Sutton, Karen Berger, Colleen Doran, Linda Medley; hell, whenever I sit in on the "Countdown" conference calls, it's Liz Gehrlain who, more often than not, comes up with the jaw dropping idea and if it wasn't for Jann Jones, Ambush Bug would still be among the missing.

So enough already. Enough with the "women's roles in comic books" debates. The answer is already self evident.

Moving on...

A few snippets of this and that, none of which warrant a full column, that are rattling around in my head.

I've recently come to believe that, were you guys to stop buying original artwork, the visual storytelling in comic books would improve dramatically.

Does anyone else think that the word "crisis" has overstayed its welcome?

Once I've scrawled my name across a comic book cover, does that mean it's not mint anymore? For that matter, does anyone care?

Am I the only one who's feeling that Obama's and Clinton's exchanges are sounding more and more like exchanges between Galactus and the Silver Surfer?

If the WGA keeps making side deals with this studio and that, doesn't it defeat the entire purpose of the strike? Whatever happened to "united we stand?" Oh, and skipping a beat for the SAG Awards? Not too venal.

Whatever happened to small, medium and large? Venti? Grande? Super sized? Whoppin' thigh slabber? Pretentious lives.

How many of you out there are buying a comic book you hate because you've already got every issue (completest mentality) and want to keep the set intact? Buying and complaining doesn't work. It's all in the sales figures, kiddies.

Is it really a "Secret War" if everyone knows about it?

Oh, Wonder Woman's a Durlan. Pass it on. Skrulls as retconned continuity fix. Gotta love it!

Whatever happened to the Impact characters? God, I'd love a crack at that particular crew.

And that's enough of that. Catch y'all next time.

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