Wonder Woman’s “tricky” and other writing/reading links. (#SFWApro)

A blogger suggests that the current rationale for no Wonder Woman movie—she’s “iconic” so they have to do it right—is a way to give lip service to her legend while insisting “No way!” and all without saying “she has girl cooties!” More specifically “by defining Wonder Woman as “iconic,” they’ve removed from her any requirement, by the studios or by us, to look on her as a person rather than as a figurehead of an imagined feminist wonderland where any girl, boy, or other can put on a star-spangled bathing suit and kick some ass. This has been happening in the comics quite a bit for the last couple of decades too, as Wonder Woman has graduated from any sense of relatability or even on-the-ground superherosim, and moved towards an austere godhead – an avatar of love and empathy, but not someone you’d ever want to get to know personally. You’d never invite Wonder Woman out for beers – and why the hell not? It’s Wonder Woman, for crying out loud. In any realistic conceptualization of what her superpowers would mean, she could drink you under the table, solve your life story, and carry you home.” And I agree the current reboot does indeed remove her from human life.
•I may have linked to this before (or a related post about it), but this covers a discussion by several comics creators to the effect that a)comics follow society so if there aren’t enough female super-heroes, society’s to blame; b)specifically creating a female/black/Jewish/whatever super-hero is pointless because it has to be Character First, not race/sex/creed; c)comic books are a naturally male preserve, so that’s not the place to go.
Taking C first, comic book heroes aren’t real; it’s not like women can’t lift a tank over their head as easily as a male (so to speak). And as I’ve noted before, glancing around any comics event shows there are plenty of super-hero fans.
As for A, Foz Meadows argues well here that being confined by “this is the way society is” is exactly that confining. And, of course, Wonder Woman herself did exactly the opposite, imagining a world where a woman could be a hero and Amazons are a force for good.
Speaking of which, that refutes B: Charles Moulton very deliberately wrote Diana as a woman super-hero. I think it worked. And more generally, deciding to create a specifically black/Muslim/Jewish/Hispanic hero doesn’t somehow prevent you from thinking about character.Len Wein (who made that argument) certainly didn’t create the original new X-Men (Russian, German, Canadian, Asian [Sunfire. He didn’t stick around] Irish) without thinking about race.
And of course, if you never think about race or gender, as countless people have observed, there’s a good chance you’ll end up using another Middle American White Guy because we’re so used to them (Kate Elliott similarly argues that if you don’t put detail into your world-building, it defaults to the status quo).
•Comics pro Brian Wood has been accused of sexual harassment. G. Willow Wilson weighs in. (“The casting couch doesn’t work. It was never intended to work. It was a hoax all along. But the great tragedy is that so many women were led to believe that they had to use sex and/or sexuality to make any professional headway.”)
Moving on to non-comics stuff—
With PG Wodehouse moving into out-of-copyright land, here’s a new Jeeves and Wooster book—or more accurately, a delicious takedown of the story.
•Kristine Katheryn Rusch on how the growing number of books available—and available months after they’d normally have gone back and been pulped—affects readers and publishers.
•Getting a fine-arts degree? You may survive on your salary.
Here’s a guy whose imagination would do credit to the old pulps—unfortunately he’s using his powers for evil.
•For better or for worse, it looks like Googlebooks wins its right to keep digitizing. Robin Sloan is probably in heaven.

1 Comment

Filed under Comics, Reading, Writing

One response to “Wonder Woman’s “tricky” and other writing/reading links. (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: The female audience (and other sexism-related links) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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