Last night at work, it was pretty slow so I decided to pop open issue one of Legend of Wonder Woman since I heard it was a good story. It’s about when Diana is about 12 and she’s learning all these academic things but wants to learn to fight. It’s a really sweet story of her beginnings.
So I’m reading it and about three pages in I say “uh oh” because I hit the page where it is some huge wall of text about how Hippolyta felt empty and had no purpose because she never got to be a mother and just everything is awful. I eyeroll and tweet how I didn’t like that framing but read on.
Before i can even finish the book, a writer on it (a man) started chirping me and telling me I have it all wrong. I explain how I’m tired of the theme of women having no purpose until they reproduce because it’s everywhere. He wasn’t aware of such a trope. I mentioned how it was a huge piece in the latest Jurassic Park movie. And do I really need to produce a shopping list of this topic - which for some women is a fight in their own family?
I was put off because it was clunky and bad storytelling. Sure a woman can feel the need to have a kid, ok. But the way it read in the book was just such a cliche build you see it coming. It’s just every montage ever of “she achieved all these things but it was all sooooo saddddd because she had no offspring.” The framing of the language is irksome and pointed. It could have been done in a way where Hippolyta worries for the future and who will carry on the legacy and mentoring a new generation. (I’m trying this thing where if I am critical of a media, I have a solution for what could have made it work better). It could have been about spreading the greater good but it came down to worthless until spawning.
It was even more maddening because I hadn’t tagged the creators or the book title. I was just talking generally and was being polite and doing the “don’t tag your hate” thing. I wasn’t interested in engaging with the writers. I have in the past on books. But this was just a throwaway comment from me. So this guy has an alert set so whenever someone mentions a book he cowrites he gets a ping.
He kept insisting he was just trying to engage community and have discussion. I was mad a dude was sliding into my mentions to make something about him. He kept apologizing but not yet didn’t understand why I stopped responding. He then skimmed my timeline and saw what my friends were replying with and was favoriting the tweets where they call him out??? In things he’s not tagged??? He was being a child and trying to make the discussion about him and said “well my wife has kids and feels this way!!!! I feel this way too!!!” He dug a hole so deep and refused to believe he was yelling from the bottom of it.
One of the things I’ve liked the most about comics is for the most part, the creators are willing to engage. This can’t be said for a lot of other medias. I’ve really enjoyed discussions I’ve had with other writers and artists even when I’ve said “the work on this issue was great and I really enjoyed it” and they’ve thanked me. I’ve also had lots of hilariously weird interactions when I’ve asked the WicDiv team stuff like “what would these two characters fight about on twitter??” The access is nice. They don’t have to grant it but they do.
But man, this isn’t how you talk to people on the internet in the year of our queen and imperator Beyonce in two thousand and sixteen. Plus the dude was so mad throwing a tantrum he ignored my follow up where I said “I really liked the book and want to see where it goes despite that rough beginning.”