(you get a cookie if you get the reference.)
1. This is more of a public service announcement, really: Peter Milligan is joining the already-packed-with-goodness Standard Attrition blog. Like G. Willow Wilson, Brian Wood, Jason Aaron, Cliff Chiang, Jock, and David Lapham weren’t enough. (There’s also a link to a LOCAL short film over there, so this is a two-for-one. Go already.)
2. Smart comics writers writing about other smart comics: Kieron Gillen takes apart Scott Pilgrim 5, peers at its insides, pokes at it a bit, and then still leaves me wanting to read it more than I ever have in the past. This is what good criticism does, people. It improves the reading experience.
3. Speaking of smart people writing about comics, Leigh and Laura are still killing it at the Cereblog. (Cerebus being yet another thing I haven’t tackled yet, and taunts me from the same sort of place that Finnegans Wake does: “Do you have the ovaries to do it, kid? Do ya? I dare you…”)
4. Girl-Wonder.org needs your help! Some of the best comics criticism I’ve read has come from the bloggers at Girl-Wonder, and they aim high. I don’t have a lot of time to help volunteer with them, but if you do, drop on in and let them know. At least I can help out by spreading the word, right?
5. In news that shocks no one, Becky Cloonan is still awesome. In news that made my fangirl heart go “Squee!” Becky Cloonan is writing a Buffy comic. (Yeah, I’m late to the game on this one, but shush. Becky Cloonan is awesome.)
6. As much as I loved Wednesday’s Child’s recap of the Graphic Novels and Academic Acceptance panel, I did not love the writeup on the Women in Comics panel. First a person who is admittedly not a comics fan slags the panel off, and then Paul, who did not go to the panel, agrees? I was at the panel, and while yes, I had my own problems with it (some of the questions, yes, were a bit obvious) I certainly didn’t share the writer here’s utter contempt for it.
I’ve stated before that I don’t think “strong” women characters are the answer, nor that feminine has to be obliterated, but the gender-essentializing here grated on my last nerve. Citing one’s female friend saying “she knows there are clear differences between her and a man” doesn’t make the argument any less annoying. I don’t want women in comics “masculinized,” but neither do I want anyone making arguments that to make them central characters or action heroes is necessarily making them masculine. Picking on Abby Denson‘s portrayal of Aunt May as the entire focus of the panel is not only wrong, but conflating two arguments. If you want to read Denson’s Aunt May comics and critique them, fine. Don’t claim that everyone on the panel wanted to turn every female character in comics into Spider-Man, because that was pretty clearly not the case.
I am picking here because I enjoyed Paul DeBenedetto’s other writings so much that I clearly think he could do better than this. (I also think women in comics panels would be better with a larger cross-section of the industry represented, and that was reflected in the comparative difference between this panel and the Men are from Krypton, Women are from Paradise Island one.)