On Sexism and Comic Con Panels, Part 2

Wow. So, this kind of blew up in a way I never thought, expected, or intended. I had about…four tumblr followers when this started. I expected to vent to my friends my anger and frustration with this man and this panel, and have them give me a few sympathy clucks and some commiseration. I never expected to attract the attention of people like Gail Simone, Jill Pantozzi, Kristafer Anka, and Ami Angelwings, or to get their support. I also never expected that my post would actually come on the radar of Andrew Mark, or that if it did, it would matter enough to him that some nobody on the internet was royally pissed at him that he would acknowledge it. But they did, it did, and I want to adress his apology-first to acknowledge that he did offer one, and I appreciate at least the effort, even if I still take umbrage with his persona at the panel. I actually replied to it on Facebook…it got so long I had to break it into chunks because it broke the 8000 character limit on comments! Cross-posting here, because I feel it would be unfair not to acknowledge his apology, and not to share my own thoughts and feelings on it. 

Warning, folks-this is long. This is very long. This is what the fun folk at fandom_wank like to call rampaging herds of teal dear. But I feel I said what needed to be said, and if Mr. Mark would like to engage in further dialogue with me, I would be happy to do so. I will be breaking this into parts here, same as I did on FB, so as not to completely bork people’s dashes. Apologies, I am a fairly recent regular Tumblr user so I am still getting used to the format. 

“Hi, Andrew. Deep breath, but…I am Geeky Goth Girl. Yes, I was Harley at the panel. I wrote the post. You may remember me because I was the one you said "no comments from the peanut gallery, we have shit to say” to when I mentioned the number of heavy male stars as opposed to female in Hollywood at the beginning of the panel. And I would like to address your apology, as well as my own response to what was said at the panel. 

“Here goes nothing… I’m open to discuss our views in a civil manner but here me out first.


This is Andrew. Before I start I want to say that I have the utmost respect for the other panelists and the host of the Sexism in Comics panel that I was a part of at DCC.
I would like to apologize to anyone that my words may have offended. The words on the blog were taken out of context, some of them I didn’t even say, and I feel the portrait recently painted of me on Tumblr is a misinterpretation of my intent and I’d like to use this opportunity to explain why. 

***Hi, Andrew. I wrote the Tumblr post as clearly, honestly, and accurately as I could based on my memory of what you said at the panel. I did not exaggerate or embellish, but wrote based on my memories. If there is a specific point you would like to clarify, or feel I badly misinterpreted, please, correct me. I am only human, and as fallible as the rest of the world. 

If you want to hate me for the things you think I’ve said that’s fine, I’ll be your punching bag. But don’t bring Legacy Action Comics into the mix. All of our female characters are strong, intelligent competent ass-kicking heroes who don’t need a man wiping their ass every ten minutes to get shit done. And as a member of the editorial staff I wouldn’t have it any other way, we don’t have damsels in distress or “women in refrigerators”, we have gorillas and rocket ships and robots and kick ass women.

***I’m glad to hear you say that. Really, I am. But based on the way you acted at that panel, I honestly never would have guessed it. Your behavior at the panel was so off-putting that once I found out who you were, I didn’t want to touch a Legacy Action Comic with a five-foot pole. 

I’ll admit, at the panel I was boorish, I was an asshole and I got angry because I perceived the comments from the audience as an attack on comic artists. I was supposed to give the view point of the artist who draws the comic and that view point is, comic books depict the most bad ass women EVER! I grew up on Rogue saving Gambit’s ass over and over. The well written female heroes keep toe to toe with the male characters. They save the world, they beat up bad guys, and are heroic role models for both girls and boys. Comic book artists are there to draw the most interesting and cohesive visual story possible, as fast as possible. Our job is not to police the morals of the industry, that is a job much bigger than any illustrator. In fact I (as well as many other independent artists I know) haven’t read or bought a book from the "Big 2” companies in years. I disagree with how they do business, not necessarily just their treatment of female characters, but it was definitely a factor. I’m voting for equality with my wallet.

***Thank you for the admission of the assholery. That was the part that bothered me the most-the fact that you interrupted and spoke over people who disagreed with you, and refused to acknowledge their points. I agree with you that comics depict bad-ass women. I LOVE Rogue, and Wonder Woman, and Black Canary, and a ton of other great female characters. What I don’t love is when artists feel the need to draw panels that depict just their boobs, or when writers feel the need to put flimsy justifications for over-sexed outfits that could as easily be practical and non-revealing-something I have not seen them do for male characters with nearly as much frequency. No one is saying artists have to police the morals of the industry-what we are saying is that they could *help.* “

When I was a little boy, I was called a nerd all the time, because I didn’t like sports. I loved to read. I liked math and science. I thought school was really cool and it hurt a lot because it’s never okay when a person makes fun of you for something you didn’t choose, you know? We don’t choose to be nerds. We can’t help that we like these things and we shouldn’t apologize for liking these things. There’s nothing wrong with that!
—  Wil Wheaton