Today was pretty weird.
At about 2pm this afternoon, I was in the middle of explaining Kafka’s Metamorphosis to a tenth grader of my acquaintance, when suddenly my phone started BLOWING THE FUCK UP. I took a second to look at my phone and saw that I was getting Twitter alert after Twitter alert in response to a tweet by Noelle Stevenson.
I check out her tweet and it’s a screencap of a blog comment calling her a feminazi (sidenote: hey, dudes, if you use the word “feminazi,” literally all you are doing is telling me two things: 1) you don’t know anything about feminists and b) you don’t know anything about Nazis), but also embedded in that comment is an oblique reference to me being really mad about how ladies used and abused my comic book knowledge?
Look, trying to understand this comment with zero context while at the same time answering questions about how Gregor Samsa’s physical condition reflect what was happening to him spiritually was not super easy. (Another sidenote: look, I’m not trying to grammarshame someone or whatever the fuck, but this comment would have been WAY easier to understand if this dude had had less ideas about how women should act and more ideas about where periods should go.)
Anyway, I finally got home about half an hour ago, and I’ve finally read the blog post on which the comment was made, and at last I understand that my name wasn’t pulled out of obscurity at random as an “internet person”; rather, I was mentioned in the post specifically because of my "Batman for the Uninitiated" post.
And so now I know the comment meant this: I would be mad that a woman used my advice on how to get into comics and then complained that it’s hard to get into comics.
If there is any ambiguity on the matter, allow me to clarify:
I do not in any way agree with that shitlord’s opinion.
The VERY REASON I wrote a “Batman for the Uninitiated” post (and a Superman one &c.) is because there are numerous barriers to entry in comics, not only within the continuity itself, but literally in the physical act of walking into a comic store and buying a book, especially if you are a woman. I feel like that is clear in the subtext—if not the text—of the post itself; there’s a reason I try to warn about books that feature sexual violence and talk about the ready availability of digital comics.
I WANT women reading comics. I WANT women making comics. I WANT women starring in comics. If you don’t, you’re a piece of shit, and I’m not sorry for saying that.
(Sidenote: so what if she got into Batman via the Christopher Nolan movies? There are, what—optimistically—500k regular comics readers? The Christopher Nolan movies made LITERAL BILLIONS of dollars. Statistically, they are going to be someone’s introduction to Batman. That’s mathematics, fake nerd.)
If I may borrow from Chris Sims, whose name also got invoked in this discussion: “keep my name out of your mouth, son.”
Don’t make me the arbiter of who’s a fake geek.
Changed my mind. DO make me the arbiter of who’s a real geek and who’s fake.
All right, all you adult women who are just getting into comics and like to cosplay, line up on the left. All you dudes who think these ladies should have to pass some kind of superhero LSAT to wear a cute Batman outfit, line up on the right. Now, everyone who’s a real geek, step forward.
Not so fast, guys on the right.
If you have, as this guy claims, “dedicated a lot of time and money and actual effort to study and dedicate [your]selves to comic books,” and the lesson you took away from a lifetime of Superman, Batman and Spider-Man comics is that it is a cool idea to make someone feel like shit, you don’t know ANYTHING about comic books.
Physically pre-ordering comics in your comic book store, using the Diamond ordering code, is the most effective way to support a comic book, a comic book writing team, or a character (or all three!) of your choosing.
Comic book stores can suck for women. Ordering online, and consuming online is way easier. But the publishers have not adjusted their metrics (or their profit margins) to reflect that. You know how it’s taken television a long ass time to use online viewing numbers in their reasoning behind keeping or cancelling a show? The comic industry is a THOUSAND TIMES SLOWER (in part because profit margins are way, way lower), at quantifying that stuff.
As such, it super obviously creates a situation where comics that appeal to non-traditional comic readership get cancelled because it’s hard as balls to convince ladies to add more sexism to their daily lives for fun. And that makes total sense!
But pre-ordering works, and it’s the quickest, most powerful and most effective way to support what you love and what you want to see most of.
So it can suck, but you should do it. Because it will genuinely change things for the better. Also, there are GREAT BOOKS out there.
(and if you want to lessen your chances of walking into a shitty comic store, check Yelp. Support the non-shitty stores, because when a shop is good, it’s great. It’s your own private little clubhouse every week where you get to talk about the things you love with other people who take seriously those same things you love.)
and it’s never occurred to you that maybe more than straight white men want that escape?!!?
Oh, I know I have it better than a lot of would-be comics buyers, and that’s what worries me. I’ve had it with the self-appointed gatekeepers in comics.
I hate going into the gaming stores alone. Ugh.
I will continously write this reply until I feel it sticks. Do you want to know why many male nerds are so defensive and harsh about this?
Okey, I can with confidence tell you that the majority of us started this out as a form of escapism. I mean, look at all the tumblr posts about “I love fiction, it’s my way to handle reality” etc etc. It was the same for us. suddenly.. about, idk, 4-5 years ago, feminists started to tell us that we are in the wrong for BUYING things. Instead of going to the writers, we’re the bad guys. Comics I grew up with are being torn to pieces by people who don’t read them anyway. They’re causalized because instead of catering to us, they’re catering to people who don’t really care. I know that the majority of you will go “oh, grow up!”, but you know what? Fuck you, comics were one of the things I had growing up, I emotionally connected to the Hulk, it made me feel that maybe it wasn’t so bad to be a freak.
secondly, I don’t know why women expect to get help with everything and just give up when they don’t get help. When I started out, do you really think anyone would even care about a fat, acne-cursed kid? I did ask, once, they just looked at me and told me to just read the damn comics. So I did. I got into the middle of a story, If I liked it, I tried to hunt down the first one, or the one after. Rinse and repeat. not hard. But now! NOW! You have google, I’m not even kidding, it will take you 30 secs to find ALL information you want. I don’t know why everyone think that being a nerd is “share and share alike!”, it’s socially outcast people who have been wrecked emotionally and socially by other people. You really think that they’re gonna help you without a reason?
I know, it’s really “in” to be a nerd these days, but you’re not a nerd until you know your shit. Don’t believe me?
Being a nerd isn’t something that you flaunt, you’re not gonna get help getting into it, you’re not gonna get praise for trying to. read, then read some more, then read even more. Then doublecheck that info. Not because you’re gonna be “safe” when trying to have people acknowledge your “nerd-cred”, but because you LOVE IT! It’s not a social thing, it has never been. It’s not about sitting around a table and going “OMG! I’m such a nerd! I read a couple of books!”.
Sounds harsh? yeah, it is. But, if you love it, it won’t matter. Cuz you will still have the time of your life. And really.. no one promised to help you. want help? help yourself.
*preparing to get unfollowed by everyone*
btw, I’m not saying that no one can like the same things as me/nerds/others. I’m saying “you’re not special for doing that” and “LOVE IT MORE! If you can’t find basic facts without being spoonfed, do you really LOVE it?”
Okay, you pedantic asshole, listen here.
You read a comic by a woman who reads, cares about, and EARNS A PAYCHECK from comics, that has been reblogged LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF TIMES by other women/minorities who read, care about, and earn paychecks from comics, and you have to gall to say that comics are “catering to people who don’t really care”?
Because you were picked last at kickball and now YOU want to be the bully. Because someone told you you weren’t worthy of something, now you want to be the one to tell other people that they’re not worthy of something.
First you say “this is escapism for us men” and then you say “no one HELPED me get into it” as if having a medium LITERALLY CONSTRUCTED AROUND PEOPLE WHO ARE EXACTLY LIKE YOU isn’t the biggest spoonfeeding you could possibly get.
And now there’s a whole lot of people who don’t fit YOUR very narrow definition of what a “true nerd” can be who are FIGHTING UPHILL to be a part of this thing they love that doesn’t love them back and you have the nerve to say they don’t CARE about it enough and they’re expecting special treatment. As if it’s special treatment to BE SAFE FROM HARASSMENT, SEXUALIZATION, AND CONDESCENSION IN A PUBLIC SPACE.
No one’s taking comics away from straight white men. But I certainly wouldn’t mind taking it out of the hands of men like you, that’s for sure. You’re dinosaurs. And you’re not a REAL nerd.
Hana Doki Kira Update #3 - Final Stretch & Push Goals
Hello everyone!! Thank you all for your continued support! We can’t tell you how amazing it is seeing friends, family, fellow artists, and new faces who support not only the art of our 26 artists, but of our goal to foster the shojo genre! We’re all very humbled and grateful to each and every one of you.
We have about 10 days to go before Hana Doki Kira’s kickstarter comes to an end. As of this update we’re only $400 away from our first stretch goal ($12,000) for a beautiful foil cover~! We’ve made a mock-up gif to give you some idea about what that special cover would look like - you can see it in the images above!
We really need your help! Let’s push to get as many of our extra goals fulfilled as possible! If you can make a tweet, email some pals or reblog our tumblr/facebook we’d really appreciate it! For every additional $3000 we raise, a new push goal will be unlocked. It means more rewards for you and more compensation to our artists. After the foil cover is a bookplate for everyone who has a physical copy of the book followed by all books becoming hardcover. Let’s see how far we can fly!
We’re hoping to be able to send out the PDF of the book around Christmas Time! So tell your pals to consider Hana Doki Kira as an excellent Holiday gift!
As always, Thank You!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Still super pumped about this anthology!!
- It would be making Homestuck lose something and I know for a lot of you that’s all you really need, even if you’re fans
it’s really close
- Tom Siddell is a giant sweetheart and just recently made the comic his full time job and could use the push
- The comic is cute and has beautiful art and an involved and complex story look at some of the stuff in my gunnerkrigg court tag from when I read it all yesterday
- IT ONLY TAKES A DAY TO READ SO YOU ALL SHOULD SO YOU KNOW WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE (the art improves rapidly)
So I’m taking an English class this semester called “Illuminated Manuscripts and Graphic Narrative.” A comics class! If you know me personally, there’s a good chance you know that I am ALL. ABOUT. COMICS. And that most of my future ambitions revolve around making and printing and publishing comics! It stands to reason then that I am pretty excited about this class. I’m pretty excited at even the existence of this class, because it reflects this whole long process of comics/graphic narrative coming to be acknowledged as literary art forms.
Had two days of class so far, the first one just a general intro to the course + everyone’s least favorite name ice breaker activities. Second day we covered the first chapter of Understanding Comics (already read this before but Scott McCloud is brilliant and you could always stand to re-read his books), a Hillary Chute essay discussing some history of American comics and the debate over their legitimacy in the realm of academia, and 2 short war comics by Harvey Kurtzman.
As with almost every class I take, this one’s got a long final research paper. I’m going to try and see if I could possibly maybe potentially hopefully take a stab at a research paper involving webcomics/a webcomic. The prof is my personal advisor and pretty chill and he already said he was gonna be pretty broad with the perimeters for research theses but if I do end up doing something on webcomics I have a bunch of issues to consider and deal with. I spend a very large portion of my time in some way thinking about comics - especially webcomics - though, so I figure I should channel this into something productive for this class as much as possible! I got a lot of thoughts/opinions/feelings on webcomics. Probably nothing unique or original on the matter, really, but I’ll probably rant about said thoughts at length on here later anyway. The incredible potential of webcomics completely enthralls me. Next post might be about things I’m learning in my Book Arts/Letterpress class! Exciting stuff.