Independent Comics. Let’s get Talking!
Why don’t women like comics? The answer, as we all know, is that women do like comics. Women like all sorts of comics including superhero comics. What women don’t like is being repeatedly and loudly told to fuck off. What women don’t like is being constantly represented as deformed stick figures with a pair of watermelons stuck to their chests or as plot devices or as cannon fodder. What women don’t like is the ‘no girls allowed’ sign on the club door.
There’s been a lot of buzz lately surrounding the issue of whether mainstream comics treatment of women is ever going to get better, and while both sides of the argument have merit, I just can’t see mainstream comics improving at this point. And that’s not to say they never will, but the problem is at the moment they don’t seem to want to. They’re much happier doing the same thing and slowly losing customers than they are risking their 15-35 male audience by courting another market.
I’ve been contemplating today whether to buy Cass’s book tomorrow in solidarity, and I’ve decided against it. Not because I think it’s a bad cause at all, but because I’ve long since stopped expecting DC to care. And after all these years, actually, I’m tired of caring (though all love to those who aren’t, we certainly need people who care about changing the big companies, and I have a lot of admiration for the people involved in that fight).
I had this realisation during the latest kick in the stomach involving Stephanie Brown. I don’t want to go over to Marvel and hope that they’ll be better, because Marvel and DC are similar companies at their core. What I want is an alternative.
We have a huge amount of power for promotion on tumblr, but 90% of the conversation within the comic book community is still about mainstream comics. And the problem with that is that people who want something different don’t know what’s out there. There must be some books that would appeal to disappointed Steph and Cas fans, or something that people who are picking up ‘Captain Marvel’ could enjoy alongside it, but if no-one’s talking about them then how will those potential fans find out what’s out there?
I’m don’t think that the mainstream is a bad thing. There are a lot of fantastic mainstream creators who I like and admire and want to be successful. I’m not suggesting that we all stop reading DC and Marvel. I’m certainly not going to and I don’t want DC and Marvel to lose customers. I want more people to be reading comics. And I think the biggest barrier to that is not that the big two refuse to change, it’s that there are only two big voices in the market.
So what I am suggesting is that we start to focus more on the independent as well. If you have an indie comic –or any non-big two comic—that you’ve enjoyed, or that you’re interested in, blog about it. It doesn’t have to be a big review (though that would be awesome), it can just be a particularly good panel, or a page you liked, or if you’re really stuck you can just reblog. You can even do fanart if that’s your thing. Let’s get some recommendations going.
Tag your posts with #indiecomicsfest so that we can see you. And if you find a comic because of this and you enjoy it, then blog about that too!
Here is another good idea! Whether or not you love or hate superheroes or just can’t take the Big Two anymore, indie comics have a wealth of great stories and they should be celebrated and as widely discussed as possible!
Sidenote: Just to clarify, the Cass Cain Campaign date is August 31st.
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