I never presume that people know what’s going on in the world of comics since, let’s face it, that empire is vast. I can barely keep apprised and it’s usually only when facepalm shenanigans (cough cough DC cough) arise that I notice what’s going on. That being said, there’s been something of a shift in the tectonic plates in the comic kingdom, which may have to give up its patriarchal throne (or at the very least, cede some ground) in the wake of a female-fronted (and major-publishing-house-backed) offensive.
Women of Marvel: We Salute You
In a very smart move, Marvel has taken the opportunity of DC’s latest snafus to court the female (and queer and POC) fans that DC seems willing to ignore. Taking the platform of last week’s 2013 New York Comic Con (where Geeks OUT had a rollicking good time & OUT and proud presence), Marvel placed its female writers front and center in its “Women of Marvel” panel. The panel consisted of female artists, editors and writers who talked, unflinchingly, about comics’ gender trouble, but also offered lots of encouragement to those who want to enter comics and change the dominant storylines. These women are FIERCE, and I’m not just talking about Kelly Sue DeConnick’s fiery mane.
Exhibit A: Fiery Mane
The panel consisted of the aforementioned Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer best known for Osborn: Evil Incarcerated), Marjorie Liu, (the writer who brought us Northstar’s gay wedding in Issue #51 of Astonishing X-Men, also known for her paranormal romance novels and work on X-23), Colleen Coover (artist, X-Men First Class for Marvel, independently-published book Gingerbread Girl), Lauren Sankovitch (Editor for Journey Into Mystery, Thor and Winter Soldier), Sana Amanat (Editor for several Spider-Man titles including Ultimate Spider-Man and Venom), Sara Pichelli (artist, Runaways, X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back), Emma Rios (artist, Amazing Spider-Man).
The media response to what looks to me to be the beginning of a sea-change in dominant narratives in comics has been a little lukewarm, but still present. The Atlantic Monthly wrote a totally engaging play-by-play of the panel discussion, which I highly recommend. Kelly Sue gets all unapolgetically feminist on yo' ass. Bitch Magazine interviewed Marjorie Liu and her call for comics to stop with the “lazy storytelling” will get your first in the air in agreement and solidarity. Or maybe that’s just me.