Hellboy’s first Halloween by Vic Malhotra
One of the weirdest things about being a black comics fan, other than basically being invisible a lot of the time, is that you’re more likely to find a comic starring an alien or animal than you are a black man, and good luck finding a comic starring a black woman! Black characters are seen as harder to write, too. Sometimes writers, big name A-list writers, will explain that they just don’t feel comfortable writing black characters, because what if they mess up or the characters are inauthentic or they are accidentally racist?
The funniest part, and by that I mean funny “awww” and not funny “ha ha,” is that Marvel’s movies would not be what they are now without a black man: Wesley Snipes as Blade. They were a stepping stone, proof that you could make successful movies starring comic characters. And in the years since, we’ve gotten movies starring Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Punisher, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Elektra, Hulk, a second Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, Captain America, a second Hulk, another Punisher, the X-Men, Man-Thing, another set of X-Men, and the Avengers. Soon, we’ll have Ant-Man, sequels to a couple more movies, and a movie featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy. The biggest bone thrown to black fans was an animated adaptation of Reginald Hudlin & John Romita Jr’s run on Black Panther, which was announced in 2008, eventually aired on BET in late 2011 after being aired on Australian TV in early 2010, and was eventually shoveled onto Netflix.
Sometimes, being black and being a fan of comics means that you have to like them in spite of yourself.
David Brothers, “Just How Hard is a Black Panther Movie?”
(Mike del Mundo)
You’re probably super excited about the new wave of Marvel NOW books coming out next year. Ecstatic even: there are SO MANY MARVEL LADIES HEADLINING THEIR OWN BOOKS! And if you’re anything like me, you’d want to show them your support. You’d also probably want to know who is it you’d be supporting. Out of the headlining ladies, Elektra is arguably the least familiar figure to especially new readers. She has got her own her solo series before, but frankly, they weren’t really good, and the bulk of her character development or in-depth characterisation happened in other books and some minis. It can be challenging to hunt down these books (or to make sense of them; Elektra had an especially bad 90’s), so this post is here to help!
The upcoming Elektra book will not be the first time Zeb Wells is writing Elektra. He is, in my opinion, one of the few writers who has done really well by her, and I can’t be more excited as her fan to see what he’s got in store for her (“Dexter of Assassins”!!!).
(Yes, she did have her own movie—if you haven’t watched it, no don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything. If you did, I’m so sorry, but please don’t let it prejudice you against Elektra!)
WARNING: most of Elektra’s books have very graphic violence. If this is not a subject matter you’re comfortable with, then please don’t read them!
Recommended books are prefaced with an asterisk (*). REMEMBER: IF YOU LIKE IT, BUY IT! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, PLEASE SUPPORT THE UPCOMING ELEKTRA BOOK!
Phil Noto’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer Portraits
soon to be in Li’l Gotham!
I kind of resent the suggestion that there would be something inherent about superheroes that wouldn’t be of interest to women. That makes me nuts. I’m a 5-foot tall women with a quick temper who always looks like a child, so power fantasies are not strange to me. I also have this theater background, and I’ve always loved superhero comics the same way I love Commedia dell’Arte. The same way I love opera. This is Greek mythology. These are huge overwrought characters that somehow speak to the lizard brain. There’s genuine catharsis available in this stuff. I don’t think working in superheroes is slumming it. I’m proud of this form. I like this. There’s nothing inherently masculine about power fantasies. There’s nothing inherently masculine about superhero comics. There’s nothing inherently masculine about mythology. About science fiction. There is no reason that a woman who is interested in this field as a reader or creator should feel that she is peculiar in any way. It makes me furious when I see that — particularly when it’s the “nerd culture” that does it! Really?! Is that what we’re going to be about?! From a business standpoint, it’s just stupid. Women control the purse strings in families very often. Young women have their own income and love to shop and read. Why would you leave money on the table?
— Kelly Sue Deconnick (via albinwonderland)
A few months ago on 3 Chicks Review Comics we interview the fabulous Majorie Liu about here work in comics and the challenge of female led books prompted by the cancellation of X-23. She told us about a pitch she had done to Marvel with Mike Perkins for an all-female team. You can hear her talk about it here.
Yesterday BC posted some of the artwork that Perkins developed for the concept and it looks amazing. Here’s a glimpse:
Awesome characters. Terrific writer. And look at the art.
Marvel didn’t pick it up because they didn’t think it would sell.
Why is that?
… because I would make this. And frame it. And hang in my kids’ room.
I would put it in my room. I mean look at the letter “o”.
And “W” .. And “P”.
Pattern available on Etsy.
There’s a cross stitch pattern that I started years ago and I realize now that this is meant to be the
firstonly cross stitch project I’ll make.
Except I’d probably only finish Zatanna and Batman.
For some, the question seems born from genuine confusion and curiosity. Yet for others – for many others, I think, it’s not simply that they’re asking How Did You Do This Thing? What they’re really asking, I think, is this:
Why aren’t more men doing it?
Why is it that so many male writers, when trying to write strong female characters, fail?
Why do they default to a shorthand, lazy equation, where strong equals bitch?