Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Anti-Square Quote of the Week

"I’m not sure that young women are as interested in reading about superheroes. The fundamental dynamic of the superhero story has historically been more appealing to boys than to girls. There are any number of very successful superhero comics over the years that have had a better gender balance than others, but the genre as a whole has been a more male genre."
- Paul Levitz, President of DC Comics [via The Comics Journal]

Oh really?!


Paul Levitz, really?! I constantly defend DC Comics against the "sudsy" Marvel, and now you go and say this? Have ya done a lot of research with various female comic readers nowadays, Mr. Levitz? And yet, you're going to make this huge judgment call? Really?!

There has already been a great poll about this topic, so I decided to check in with my female friends about it, too. 100% of my friends with vaginas are interested in reading about superheroes. The only female friend of mine who doesn't actually read comic books in the process of co-authoring an epic saga about superheroes.

And then, Paul Levitz, you go on to say this?

"I don’t think the love for the character necessarily means that they love the comic expression of them. Or maybe they do and with the right writer at the right moment, that can happen and have a larger audience. Certainly any version of that has been tried by the company at some point or another in time. You’ve got the whole period around 1972 when Dorothy Woolfolk comes back into the company and she’s editing both the romance comics and the girl superheroes. She’s given Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, and Supergirl on the theory that we can sell more of those to girls with a woman driving the bus. It’s not clear that it particularly worked, and the company abandoned the experiment fairly quickly."

REALLY?! You're really going to cite something from the 1970s as being relevant to today's marketplace? And you're going to slight Dorothy Woolfolk in the process? Dorothy Wolfolk, who INTRODUCED KRYPTONITE into the Superman comics?! Wow. And you're going to act confused as to why women in the 1970s didn't want to read about Wonder Woman?! As this bad-ass writer points out, perhaps the lack in sales had more to do with the fact Wonder Woman was power-less and violently tortured on covers. Really.

Paul Levitz, please think carefully before you speak next time. Better than that -- try to put some serious, thoughtful time into how to please the current female comic readers out there instead of making sweeping generalities and alienating potential future buyers.

Keep this kind of talk up, and I'll give all my business to Dark Horse. Really.