Mayerson comic book agonistes

Avoid this if you don’t care about comic books and the female gaze or whatever it is.

So Kevin (no, not that one) raises this question about Stephanie Brown:

“Stephanie Brown played the role of Robin for three publishing months, in comics that were cover dated July, August, and September 2004. As far as I can tell, this compresses down to a shorter time in the comics – probably a month to six weeks. The Girl Wonder folks make a very compelling argument about why there should be a memorial to the girl who wore the costume for such a brief amount of time, but I have a question.

“Why is this so important? Wouldn’t the desired legacy of this short-lived Robin be better served by either supporting superhero comics with strong female roles or creating comics with female characters that can serve as an example?

“A glass case being drawn into a single location won’t change anything substantial in the medium, will it? It’s not a solution; only a reminder that there was a problem.”
A Question for Those Who Care, Beaucoup Kevin, March 29, 2007

And waaaaay far down in the comments, I sez:

“Kevin, re: why Stephanie Brown

Stephanie Brown in a rallying point for women who read comics and don’t like the way women are portrayed in them. There are many rallying points for women who read comics and don’t like the way women are represented in them, way too many. If you took every woman on the Women in Refrigerators list and made her a rallying point for every women outraged by that character’s death, you’d have an army on your hands very soon. I’m not saying that couldn’t happen, but hopefully things will improve before that becomes necessary.

“Girl Wonder’s focus is broader, if you’d pardon the expression, than you let on:

“‘ is a collection of sites dedicated to females in mainstream comics. Our goals are to foster an attentive, empowered audience community and to encourage respect and high-quality character depiction within the industry.’

“So it’s not just Stephanie Brown.”
Comments on “A question for those…” post

So, then I reads Me and Stephanie Brown, by a writer I respect over at and I am puzzled enough to leave this comment:

“Is it really all just about Stephanie Brown? Or is there a larger issue here? Like, the negative representation of women in comics and other media lead to the mistreatment of real women in the real world. Because if it’s just about Stephanie Brown, sister, you’ve lost me.”

My comment is in moderation; I hope she answers me.

Yeah, I probably could be making better use of my time, but this is starting to bug me badly.

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2 Responses to Mayerson comic book agonistes

  1. skippy says:

    don’t know about stephanie brown, but i did change the spelling of your name, ginger, on my blog.

    at least you are up front enough to call them comics and not “graphic novels.”

    i’m a big birds of prey fan, tho. wished the series stayed on the air.

  2. Oh, merci, M. Skippy, on the name spelling thing. It’s a hellish name; I automatically spell it whenever I give it out the first time. Nobody can pronounce it either; it’s ‘may’ like ‘hay’ or ‘day’ or ‘say, sailor’ -erson, that’s me.

    Nah, “Fun Home” is a graphic novel; Batman is a comic book.

    Wasn’t there a killer movie of the week with David Jansen called “Birds of Prey”? Helicopters flying through buildings and over cliffs. Makes me sorry I missed “Airwolf,” too.

    Actually, the Stephanie Brown thing is bothering me for the reasons in the post and superhero comic books really are rough on us womenfolk. But the Tech Central demographic they’re aimed at pretty much demands a misogynistic product and, as we know, money talks and bullshit walks.

    The solution? Well, waiting for Marvel and DC to implode under the weight of their own foolishness is probably out. Perhaps the way forward is to keep calling them on their creepy junk and get more women writing comics. Bad of me, but off the top of my head I can only think of two female writers at the big two, and this, I believe, is a significant part of the problem. Yes, I know there are misogynistic women out there, one of them has been making a fool of herself to paying audiences lately (HT Ginmar), but, hell, it’d be a start to get more women writing superhero comics. A tough start, but I didn’t plow this field.

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