The writer is Mark Millar. And I am just out of my mind with this. I’ve seen some comic book females made to say crazy stuff, but this is just too twisted. What was he thinking Was he thinking? Or does he believe this is what really goes on inside a woman’s–inside a mother’s–head?
These are the days when you wish the characters could just rear out of the pages and sock the writers.
Those particular remarks, summed up on a well-read gossip column last week, led to one hundred and nintey-eight comments on the original livejournal post, thirteen pages here, five pages here, and three pages here. Many of the posters felt that she was being unprofessional and unfair, which is why she issued the apology.
Ms. Pierce is a novelist, new to the comics industry, so she obviously has a lot to learn about the behavior befitting an industry professional. Let’s look at back at some of this summer’s prominent disagreements to see why her comments would be considered unacceptable:
Compare them, if you will, to the general criticism of how editors choose writers by industry vet Chuck Dixon:
[W]hat baffles me is that these “hot” talents are given assignments based on hype rather than performance. Creators whose books are selling steady if not spectacularly are removed so that sexy new talent can take over. More often than not the sales fall below that of the former less-sexy team and never again rise to their former numbers no matter how many rounds of musical creative chairs are played. But those replacement guys maintain their gloss and keep getting books until Gareb Shamus no longer wants to party with them. And if all of this star-chasing (to clean up the term) resulted in higher sales I’d just admit I’m clueless and go away. But each month’s figures prove me right. It’s a slow downward spiral but its ever downward.
In the end, it shows a lack of any kind of leadership and chases off good talent. I was told recently that to get more work at a major company I would have to “party with” and “buddy up” to certain people. That ain’t me, babe.
And experienced novelist and comics writer Peter David’s response to Team DC Leader Dan Didio’s criticism of Young Justice:
And, frankly, I think that a company that raped and murdered Sue Dibny, murdered Blue Beetle, tortured and crippled Batgirl, and had both Superman and Wonder Woman at various times cold-bloodedly murder opponents, doesn’t get to say that *I* ruined one of their characters.
Prolific Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis on accepting criticism on behalf of your boss:
i call bullshit on this on so many levels gail. i would tell you privately, but you said it publicly. there are so many female editors at marvel, i can’t even imagine what you’re referring to.
marvel hired you gail. how is that sexist?
Or reigning King of weird fiction Grant Morrison’s thoughts on Frank Miller’s latest Batman project:
And while we’re on that subject…Batman vs. Al Qaeda! It might as well be Bin Laden vs. King Kong! Or how about the sinister Al Qaeda mastermind up against a hungry Hannibal Lecter! For all the good it’s likely to do. Cheering on a fictional character as he beats up fictionalized terrorists seems like a decadent indulgence when real terrorists are killing real people in the real world. I’d be so much more impressed if Frank Miller gave up all this graphic novel nonsense, joined the Army and, with a howl of undying hate, rushed headlong onto the front lines with the young soldiers who are actually risking life and limb ‘vs’ Al Qaeda.
Peter David, again, responding to personal attacks and grievances:
Well, at least now John is coming up with brand new lies. It’s a complete fabrication. Total bullshit.
And of course, Mr. John Byrne responds:
Just to sum up for late-comers: I am a liar, Denny O’Neil is a liar, but Peter David, whose story is different every time he tells it, is a bastion of truth.
Now this just the past few months, but I’m sure if you go earlier than July you can find many fascinating exchanges between professionals. These should tell you quite a bit about how the industry works, but I’ve yet to see any remarks that ellicited the fan venom that Pierce’s little post did. In general, such a little known and new writer in comics as Ms. Pierce would barely warrant a comment, let alone such a vicious assault. However, she made quite a faux pas, and I’ve isolated it.
Industry newcomers, if you are unhappy about another writer’s decisions or behavior, never criticise them in a rarely visited and fairly safe livejournal entry. This will lead to legions of fans attacking your personal internet space. You must state your opinion, as loudly and clearly as text allows, in well-travelled, well-linked, well-known news site or message board community. This way your opponent has a better chance of seeing and responding, and all of fandom can watch.