I think I’ll pass on This vs. That, too »« Botanical Wednesday: Soon, please

Completely unrealistic and more than a little misogynistic

Hey! Hey! I’ll have you know I read the webcomics every morning for a bit of humor and escapism, not to have my faith in humanity shattered further and my cynicism enhanced. So I was reading Something Positive

Oh, wait. That’s what S*P does. Never mind.

Anyway, I saw this comic and thought, “WTF?”

nightwingnaked

And it’s true. DC Comics is having a contest to give a lucky fan the opportunity to draw one page of their comic book, and the challenge is to audition by drawing a woman character naked and about to kill herself.

This comment says it all:

“I’m a sequential art student, and I find it a bit appalling that the requirement for panel 4 is essentially drawing a female character committing suicide naked,” said one commenter, Seairra Willett, in response to DC’s announcement. “The sexualisation of suicide is something I will not be putting effort into for a talent search,” she added. Many agreed. “This has to be the most repulsive thing DC Comics has done in a while,” said Rae Grimm. Others pointed out that the week of September 10th is National Suicide Prevention Week, but the main thrust of the response was that a strong female character was being reduced to a sexualized nothing, and put in a situation that is, at best, unpleasant.

As any true fan of the comics knows, this is an impossible scenario. How will she stuff herself into a refrigerator after she’s dead?

Comments

  1. Great American Satan says

    Can someone who is familiar with this comic tell me why that guy is having a conversation with a razor blade?

  2. says

    S*P is often a very dark strip. The razor blade is an evil cartoon character that basically tells the author to either sell out or kill himself.

  3. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    From what I’ve heard, DC has been like that for at least a decade. Ask Valerie Gallaher about the sheer creepy joy the editing staff had when the rape scene from Identity Crisis came in…

  4. Great American Satan says

    Kinda second comment number one there, though I never bought a DC or marvel comic outside of a Value Village or Half Price Books, so I’m not giving ‘em money anyway. But it makes me feel sheisty for reading that crap at all.

    At my last job, peeps left “New 52″ comic laying around in one of the break rooms, so I got to see some OK, some good, some pathetic new DC stuff. Animal Man was pretty cool, that “Court of Owls” Batman junk was sorta half interesting, and the idea of Red Lanterns alone makes me snicker*, but superhero comics are still lousy with problematic stuff.

    Someone suggested I might like “The Boys” for something deconstructing / whatever, but it was hella fucking disgusting. I don’t give a shit if you made the villains be the ones doing disgusting stuff, if you – as the write &/or artist – gloried in representing it.

    *They’re sooooo mad! Grrr!!!

  5. piegasm says

    I love* that, per Rae Grimm, this is only the most repulsive thing DC comics has done in a while. Not ever. Just recently.

    *for values of “love” equivalent to “hate.”

  6. Thumper; Immorally Inferior Sergeant Major in the Grand Gynarchy Mangina Corps (GGMC) says

    Contest collaborator Jimmy Palmiotti allegedly claimed that the comic was intended to be “Chuck Jones loony toons humor style”

    … What? How are you supposed to make a suicide scene humerous? What the fuck is wrong with this guy?

  7. unbound says

    Definitely provides proof that there are some serious whack-jobs out there…and apparently employed.

    Sadly, there have already been submissions for this sick request.

  8. doublereed says

    Oh my god that penguin picture is hilarious. I need to go back to reading Something Positive.

  9. Shplane, Spess Alium says

    @Thumper #9

    As someone who has often been suicidal, I find that there are a number of ways to make suicide humorous. Occasionally they’ve even made me less suicidal. Monty Python had some good examples.

    Unfortunately, “naked in a bathtub, about to drop in some electronics” usually isn’t one.

  10. pHred says

    Urgh !!! – for real

    at http://www.dccomics.com/node/305151

    Here is Think Progress on this http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2013/09/09/2591621/naked-harley-quinn-suicide-contest-batwomans-banned-wedding-comics/

    I didn’t know about the Batwoman not being allowed to marry thing either. I hate this ! My kids, especially my daughter, love superheros. I have to go out of my way to steer them away from the comic books at the book store because of how twisted they have gotten. ARGH!

  11. says

    It’s even more pathetic than you might think. That contest wasn’t announced until Top Cow announced a very similar one a few days earlier. Also, in sequart, asking for 4 pinups is dumb. Anyone can draw pinups. Telling a story is the hard part. I still can’t believe people cared more about “batfleck” than this.

  12. thinkfree83 says

    I was hoping the draw Harley Quinn suicidal thing was a joke, but unfortunately it’s not. Although she’s one of my favorite characters in the DC Universe, I now think it would have been best if she had stayed in Batman: The Animated Series, rather than migrating to the comic book universe, where she’s been put through all of the usual indignities that comic book women have to endure. Maybe my dream will one day come true, where I can be a DC writer so I can retconn all the stuff I don’t like (that seems to be what motivates Grant Morrison).

  13. says

    One DC response (I think it was Jim Lee, could be wrong though) was pretty fucking mansplainy and condescending.

    “You’re not allowed to be annoyed because you don’t know the context” then spent a lot of time talking down to people and explaining what sequencial art was and how dialogue and order of scenes affects things and I’m like “Are you a fucking moron you condescending fuckball”

    then he ends his entire thing with a picture of Superman in blackface.

    Oh, and he used Twitter.

    http://www.theouthousers.com/index.php/news/123917-jim-lee-speaks-on-harleygate-teaches-fans-about-context.html

    The final DC thing on this was a… Sort of appology?

    https://www.facebook.com/jimmypalmotti/posts/10151858525777767

    That the tryout Harley Quinn page went out without an overall description of tone and dialogue is all my fault. I should have put it clearly in the description that it was supposed to be a dream sequence with Amanda and I talking to Harley and giving her a hard time. I should have also mentioned we were thinking a Mad magazine /Looney Tunes approach was what we were looking for. We thought it was obvious with the whale and chicken suit, and so on, but learned it was not. I am sorry for those who took offense, our intentions were always to make this a fun and silly book that broke the 4th wall, and head into issue 1 with a ongoing story/adventure that is a lot like the past Powergirl series we did. I hope all the people thinking the worst of us can now understand that insulting or making fun of any kind was never our intention. I also hope that they can all stop blaming DC Comics for this since It was my screw up. The idea for the page to find new talent is an amazing one and we hope that can be the positive that comes forward from today on…that we get some new talent working in our field because of this unique opportunity.

  14. borax says

    I like the concept of one of the biggest comics companies offering fans a chance to submit art for publication. However, DC fucked up a brilliant idea in every way that is possible to fuck up a brilliant idea. PS. The brilliant idea was fan submitted art not the naked suicide. I Wanted to clarify my thoughts.

  15. Bicarbonate, life in a time capsule somewhere in some wasteland says

    Guess I’m lucky not to have the slightest idea of who any of these fictional characters are and to have never even heard of DC until right now.

  16. pHred says

    @17 Tashiliciously Shriked

    That was what they offered ? Oh ffs – so clearly it is all our fault for not reading their minds about this supposed context that was so crystal clear ?!?!

    Right – I also love all the explaining about how this is all totally fine because it fits Harley’s character and clearly the people complaining are just looking for an excuse to complain and never read comic books. ARGH !

  17. borax says

    @17 TashiliciouslyShriked. Reading your post made it even worse. DC is basically saying that they want a happy/funny suicide attempt. I’m guessing the editors have never had a friend or family member commit suicide. Fuck them.

  18. tbtabby says

    @Great American Satan

    Someone suggested I might like “The Boys” for something deconstructing / whatever, but it was hella fucking disgusting. I don’t give a shit if you made the villains be the ones doing disgusting stuff, if you – as the write &/or artist – gloried in representing it.

    The Boys isn’t a deconstruction. It’s Garth Ennis’ adolescent revenge fantasy against superhero comics. He hates them so much that when the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund asked him to write a giveaway comic asking people to donate to the fund, he used is as an excuse to show The Boys sadistically torturing DC and Marvel heroes and telling to to donate to the fund so we could see even more of that crap. All right, Ennis, you hate superhero comics! We GET it! But writing superhero comics in which superheroes are the worst people in the world so you can have them getting raped and murdered by heroes who aren’t much better isn’t convincing us to hate them too! Here’s a crazy thought: if you want to counter the superhero monopoly comic, instead of writing comics about killing superheroes, why not write comics that DON’T INVOLVE SUPERHEROES IN ANY WAY? I’ve seen your work in Preacher and Hitman. I KNOW you can write well. Quit writing like a middle-schooler.

  19. Elena says

    “This has to be the most repulsive thing DC Comics has done in a while.”

    It came out one or two days after the artists for the Batwoman series abandoned DC because the management wouldn’t let them have Batwoman marry her fiancée. Then they said that they weren’t homophobes, it’s just that nobody in DC can be married. Not even Aquaman and Mera, who they plan to retcon.

    It’s been a busy week for DC.

  20. borax says

    @29 Elena. The probably would have let Batwoman marry if her wife ended up dead within 6 issues. For the story arc, of course.

  21. mobius says

    Who the Eff at DC thought up this stunt? I know that comics are known for their misogyny but this has got to take first prize. The whole idea is utterly repulsive and whoever runs DC should consider canning the person responsible for this idea.

  22. Pteryxx says

    Tons of linked background, and pretty much QFT, right here.

    http://www.shakesville.com/2013/09/i-write-letters-dc-comics-edition.html

    To: DC Comics

    From: Aphra Behn, Assistant Associate Professor of Historical Ladybusiness and Nerdstuff

    Re: Upcoming job opening as Publisher

    I write to you today in order to apply for the job of Publisher at DC Comics. I realize that Jim Lee and Dan Didio currently serve as co-publishers, but after the fan backlash against their pro-homophobe and anti-marriage equality stances, not to mention their continued inability to retain talent, I was thinking you might be hiring somebody new…

  23. astro says

    i’d suggest that someone send in an entry with harley quinn in the brokeback pose in all four panels, but i doubt DC would get it.

  24. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    The whole idea is utterly repulsive and whoever runs DC should consider canning the person responsible for this idea.

    Dan Didio pretty much runs DC (the parent org, Warner Bros. doesn’t care what they do) and he probably would have come up with this himself if Palmiotti hadn’t beat him to it.

  25. vaiyt says

    The probably would have let Batwoman marry if her wife ended up dead within 6 issues. For the story arc, of course.

    Can’t happen, only men are allowed to use fridges for character growth.

  26. says

    When I first saw this thing I ignored it because I saw the word contest in the first paragraph. That was bad enough from a professional point of view which probably showing more clues of why DC is having trouble keeping it (Contests are generally a way for companies and organizations to con artists into doing free work for them) I found out about the REST of the garbage later as the data trickled in through my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

    I’m really not interested in the latest explanation from management about what we’ve misunderstood this time. I’ve seen way too many “rape and murder as drama” stories in mainstream comics, and way too many excuses. Sometimes I’ve flat out heard them admit it was a marketing.

    I’m sure there’s many reasons why they think they need to do this, probably stemming from what they see as needing to cater to an aging fanbase while ignoring the need to nurture younger readers. But even so I get really tired of a marketing strategy based on the assumption that I’m an antisocial misogynist twerp.

  27. says

    Yea, DC does something awful every couple of days. Jim Lee’s stupid Twitter essay just made it worse, unsurprisingly.

    That’s one of the reasons I started writing a monthly feature over at Queereka about comics that actually have good, inclusive, progressive messages. There are several of them from fantastic writers and authors who think diverse casts, interesting female characters, and logical costumes are pretty damn incredible.

  28. stevem says

    Is this a contest to get an idea of how Harley could survive such a suicide attempt? That even when the toaster, etc. hit the water, the electrical “jolt” blats her out of the tub to live, or, blah blah blah? Is DC out of ideas these days?
    And Batwoman; DC claims heroes can’t be “happy”, that marriage is about being happy and sharing; and heroes are unhappy and egotistical narcissists. DC claims they don’t care about Batwoman wanting to marry a woman, but just that she can’t marry anyone (even a man). Totally ignoring the potential story arcs of Batwoman’s spouse being a target/victim of the “evil bad guy”, that would make her VERY unhappy.

    me sad for DC

  29. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ vaiyt, #35

    No, she’d be allowed to have her wife stuffed into a refrigerator…just not for her own character’s growth. If the Joker killed her wife and stuffed her into a refrigerator in order to foreshadow killing Batwoman and stuffing Batwoman into a refrigerator in order for the Joker’s character to develop (set up a running appliance store joke, perhaps?) that would be sufficient reason for her wife to be killed and stuffed into a fridge.

    It’s not whose wife. It’s whose character development. Otherwise you’d develop a false sense of security about Batwoman’s wife’s safety. Gotta preserve dramatic tension, dont’cha know.

  30. Gregory Greenwood says

    The comments on the linked story in the OP start out OK but quickly descend into pretty much what you would expect after the entitled dudebros turn up to defend ‘funny’ depictions of naked female characters committing suicide and condemn what they consider the true villians of the piece – ‘white knights’, but of course…

    The winner of clueless dood of the day out of those I have seen thus far has to be Levy Keen, who seems to be channelling the most unpleasant side of Dawkins;

    No kidding. I am so worn down by this that the next person that complains about this I will just say, “First world problems!”

    Seriously this is getting more attention than REAL women who get harassed online video games. This is getting more attention than some regressive policies being done in Texas. This is certainly getting more attention than REAL women who are killed off every day in third world countries just because they are women.

    These white knights need a wake up call and figure out the important things in life. I don’t care for the well being of made up characters. I care about REAL people and these white knights are stealing the attention.

    And once again we see the well worn path trodden afresh – the fact that there are worse and more violent expressions of sexism elsewhere in the world supposedly means that we must ignore the sexism this joker (no, not the comic book ‘Mr J’ Joker; the person-who-makes-me-despair-for-the-future-of-our-species kind) enjoys. The idea that sexism is the product of a terrifyingly widespread mindset that treats women as a lesser class of human that exists for the gratification and use of men, and that it is this attitude, as expressed in situations like this one, that leads to, and provides cover for, the more extreme forms of misogynistic violence, would certainly be lost on the likes of Levy Keen. As would the notion that it is quite possible to fight the most brutal and extreme expressions of misogyny worldwide without giving a free pass to the less violent forms of it that thrive in our own backyards. Presenting it as an absolute either/or dichotomy is disingenuous to say the least

    I also doubt Levy would apply hir logic consistently – if so, then xe should certainly argue that we shouldn’t waste our time investigating murders in the ‘first world’ because of the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria.

    It’s just an unimportant ‘first world problem’, afterall…

  31. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Levy Keen defends comic books from the charge of being offensive how?

    That’s right, by saying he’s sick of people heroically throwing themselves in front of others to protect them from danger, even when the people are doing something evil that is not directly [physically] harming anyone at that exact moment.

    Boy, I can see how a devoted fan of superhero comics would really hate goody-goodies appointing themselves protectors of what is good & right.

    Clearly Mr Keen feels sympathy only with Darkseid, the Joker, & Lex Luthor, though he does feel a little something for Cheetah, if you know what I mean.

  32. says

    Thank you, Pteryxx. I’m wretched at self-promotion and didn’t want to bug people with links to my stuff. I will say that Queereka has a number of amazing writers and everybody should be reading it regularly, though.

  33. Ingdigo Jump says

    Is this a contest to get an idea of how Harley could survive such a suicide attempt?

    An actual attempt at homor would be the attempt failed by ground faults in the appliances.

    I considered entering the contest for a lark, though was rolling eyes at format but then remembered it would be Harley’s new design which is fucking awful so fuck that.

  34. leftwingfox says

    Boy, I can see how a devoted fan of superhero comics would really hate goody-goodies appointing themselves protectors of what is good & right.

    I think you just summed up every comic from the 90′s.

  35. says

    The thing about no characters being allowed to have happy relationships is interesting in a horrible kind of way.

    Like, DC writers are prohibited from writing characters with a variety of approaches to life and living. They ALL must be tortured loners. I have nothing against tortured loners, but to insist that your entire stable of characters be nothing but tortured loners betrays not only hostility to imaginative storytelling, but a basic cowardice about appealing to a diverse fan base.

  36. says

    @SallyStrange The imporant thing to realize is that both Dan DiDio and Jim Lee are products, primarily, of the Dark Age of comics. DiDio didn’t get into comics until 1981, just five years before Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns convinced the comics industry that darkngritty was what comics fans wanted, so everything must be EXTREME darkngritty to appeal to fans. Jim Lee is one of the founding members of Image Comics, the most perfect representation of the time period when comics companies thought that if characters weren’t tortured, they weren’t EXTREME enough, and therefore not interesting. Everything had to be a Frank Millar wet dream and drawn in Liefeldian proportions. Unfortunately, both DiDio and Lee never really moved past a lot of the drawbacks of that dark, dark period in comics history, including the idea that comics writing and marketing can be boiled down to “People like X”…TREME!

  37. says

    Hmm, well, that’s about exactly the same time – a bit later perhaps. Mid 80s to early 90s. Frank Miller’s Dark Knight was a major part of my introduction to comics. Yet I still have an appreciation for the occasional non-tortured non-loner superhero character.

    …Maybe it’s because I actually grew up?

    Anyway, thanks for the explanation, Kaoru.

  38. Alyosha says

    I’m not a DC aficionado or a lover of vulgar public participation but the outrage I see here is slightly unusual to me, and not because I’m a misogynist and not because I’m so misanthropic that I believe everyone should kill themselves. The competition itself is stupid, to say nothing of the possibly contrived circumstances in which the character finds themselves and is somehow able to be extricated via deus ex machina or otherwise. I would merely lament bad writing here. But to say that there’s nothing about a naked suicide that doesn’t have even an iota of absurdity that attracts legitimate artistry I have only to point you to the philosophic dedication of Kirilov and the drug psychosis of Duke’s Samoan attorney. Granted neither is female but I am arguing here that it might actually be possible for someone to depict a desperate and horrible act with some artistic finesse.
    If, as it seems (reading above posts) that this is mere DC tawdriness then perhaps my criticism is misplaced.

  39. Moggie says

    Gregory Greenwood:

    This is certainly getting more attention than REAL women who are killed off every day in third world countries just because they are women.

    Jesus, did he just pull a “dear Muslima in a refrigerator”?

    SallyStrange:

    Like, DC writers are prohibited from writing characters with a variety of approaches to life and living. They ALL must be tortured loners. I have nothing against tortured loners, but to insist that your entire stable of characters be nothing but tortured loners betrays not only hostility to imaginative storytelling, but a basic cowardice about appealing to a diverse fan base.

    It’s lazy. Their writers know how to do dark; they can phone it in. Broadening the template would mean the writers would have to be more creative. Plus, it’s a cheap way of generating sympathy, and I suspect it’s harder to make a happy character compelling.

  40. says

    Seriously this is getting more attention than REAL women who get harassed online video games. This is getting more attention than some regressive policies being done in Texas. This is certainly getting more attention than REAL women who are killed off every day in third world countries just because they are women.

    Not only is this a dear muslima, but 2/3rds of it are just flatly, obviously untrue to any observer who looks for more than 2 seconds. And that’s not tos ay the remaining 1/3rd is true.

    These white knights need a wake up call and figure out the important things in life. I don’t care for the well being of made up characters. I care about REAL people and these white knights are stealing the attention.

    …So are you saying there are no female nerds, or that we wisely avoid reading DC Comics?

  41. says

    Guess I’m lucky not to have the slightest idea of who any of these fictional characters are and to have never even heard of DC until right now.

    I don’t believe for a second that someone who’s fluent in English has never heard of Batman before.

    Harley’s new design

    I think that was the moment I realized DC had gone off the cliff of pure d00dbro-ness.

    In fact, I think the animated series for both Marvel and DC creations do a much better job at character development. And those are for children (mostly), ffs.

  42. says

    @SallyStrange

    Dark Age comics are where I cut my teeth as well. They’re not all terrible, and Dark Knight Returns is brilliant. The problem was that comic companies looked at it and said, “This is brilliant! Obviously this one trait about it is what everybody loves, so now all comics must have that trait!” It’s sort of like ordering a meal, being pleased with it, then saying that obviously what made it so delicious was the bread and therefore serving bread with every meal will make them all just as delicious. But yes, even I admit to having a comic box full of WildC.A.T.s comics (Lee’s Image premiere book).

    Suffice it to say, yes, you grew up and people like DiDio and Lee have spent their careers being encouraged not to. They think that darkngritty is still what attracts people to comics and don’t seem to understand how balancing highs and lows is part of what makes characters interesting.

    @JadeHawk

    Depends on the book. Batman: the Animated Series did a fantastic job with character development, probably better than most Bat-books, for Batman, but Gail Simone’s current run on Batgirl has been amazing, Teen Titans has done some incredible stuff for the characters. On the Marvel side, Young Avengers is remarkable, as is the Kieron Gillan-pened Iron Man, which somehow takes well-worn character Tony Stark and makes him interesting again. Even Indestructable Hulk has been making both Banner and the Hulk grow as people, starting with the premise which makes a lot of sense (Banner wants to be known as a scientist when he’s gone, not a huge green monster, so he agrees to work for SHIELD and let them point the Hulk in the direction of their problems if they give him the resources to create scientific advances to help the world). There are a lot of great comics out there that I think people miss out on because of stupid things like this (and every other) DC fiasco, and that’s kind of a shame.

  43. says

    I’m not a DC aficionado or a lover of vulgar public participation but the outrage I see here is slightly unusual to me, and not because I’m a misogynist and not because I’m so misanthropic that I believe everyone should kill themselves. The competition itself is stupid, to say nothing of the possibly contrived circumstances in which the character finds themselves and is somehow able to be extricated via deus ex machina or otherwise. I would merely lament bad writing here. But to say that there’s nothing about a naked suicide that doesn’t have even an iota of absurdity that attracts legitimate artistry I have only to point you to the philosophic dedication of Kirilov and the drug psychosis of Duke’s Samoan attorney. Granted neither is female but I am arguing here that it might actually be possible for someone to depict a desperate and horrible act with some artistic finesse.
    If, as it seems (reading above posts) that this is mere DC tawdriness then perhaps my criticism is misplaced.

    At the end of the day, this is not an isolated incident but the crowning cherry (until the next one) of a long, steaming pattern of behaviour.

    The term “Woman in a refridgerator” was coined *because* of DC, and they haven’t really progressed further.
    The repeated “Rape a female character so a male character has a story” thing.
    The turning of the Amazons into castrating straw-feminists so they’d make a bad guy for a storyline.
    The usual pandering oversexualised female *everything*.

    If it was just one thing, yeah, maybe people’d be willing to give a pass. But it’s not. And the response to it all has been as insulting and condescending as what we’ve seen from the Skeptic community about sexist harrassement.

  44. Ichthyic says

    at the bottom of the entry page is a request…

    CAPTCHA
    Are you human?

    correct answer for this page, if you chose to enter:

    no.

  45. Ichthyic says

    If, as it seems (reading above posts) that this is mere DC tawdriness then perhaps my criticism is misplaced.

    perhaps?

    ugh.

  46. Ichthyic says

    Is this a contest to get an idea of how Harley could survive such a suicide attempt?

    It specifically states the artist is meant to express Harley’s acceptance of her “inevitable death”

    so, I’m thinking not.

    I would guess they plan to actually START the series with a panel depicting her death, and then “rewind” to some point years previous to tell the story of how she got to that point.

    would be typical.

  47. says

    Aloysha:

    If, as it seems (reading above posts) that this is mere DC tawdriness then perhaps my criticism is misplaced.

    I think you’re missing the wider point altogether. It’s fine to say you aren’t misogynist, however, being blithely unaware of the misogynist roots of all this, well, that means you do have attitudes which lock right into the current rhetoric of toxic sexism. Happens to all of us.

    Are you at all familiar with old pulp fiction magazines? The cover art in particular. Women were often depicted on the covers, most often in dire peril, wearing little, or whatever they were wearing being skin tight. The women were often depicted as bound, stuffed into trunks or whatever convenient thing, injured, about to die, etc. Yes, sometimes women were depicted as the villain, not too often though. The covers tended to blatant misogyny. This has been going on for a *very* long time. There’s absolutely no excuse for this to continue.

    http://caine.zenfolio.com/img/s10/v112/p2070907543.jpg

  48. Ichthyic says

    The repeated “Rape a female character so a male character has a story” thing.

    a LOT of the comments on the various articles I read, were from comic fans who thought there would be no other reason for a superhero to do anything except for some personal tragedy.

    It’s sad really, that people have now concluded that the only motivation for doing something must be in retaliation for a perceived personal injustice.

    they can think of no other motivating factor.

    *sigh*

  49. Denverly says

    Bummer, bummer, bummer, fucking bummer. I am a tried and true DC fangirl. I have a freaking 10-inch tall tattoo of Batman on my leg, and I make excuse after excuse for DC because I just freaking love Batman and Aquaman and Watchmen, and on and on. The Adam West Batman show is my second earliest memory after my father laughing. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on comics and merchandise, going back almost 4 decades. Why can’t they understand that I want to give them my money? I want their tshirts and comics and statues and posters and comic book kitsch, and they are driving me away, and I just don’t fucking understand why. Comics, movies, video games, skepticism (as something I felt a part of, anyway), all of my hobbies are falling apart. My coping mechanisms cannot fucking compute… Fuck. Sorry for the starfart.

  50. Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe says

    I’m just going to wave this around.

    http://jollyjack.deviantart.com/art/Quinnicide-399525619

    Look at it. Look at the cartoony nature of what’s going on. Look at the increasingly ridiculous nature of the attempts. This is what they had in mind–silly, overwrought cartoon Harley repeatedly failing to off herself in hilariously overwrought ways, probably in the wake of Grant Morrison’s take on her Puddin’ deciding he doesn’t need her anymore. The fact that she’s naked in one scene is… well, she’s in a bathtub. What exactly did you expect?

    Seriously, how could you interpret that as anything but silly? What were you imagining when you read that description–some hypersexualized, todestrieb-laden sex-death ritual? This is Paul Dini material, everybody, not Grant Morrison. Or did you not actually read the description of the scene and just hear OMG NAKED SUICIDE HARRUMPH HARRUMPH PEARLCLUTCH?

    I know, it’s hardly a big leap the way DC treats women sometimes, but please, please consider the possibility that this is not a fridge scenario we’re talking about. This is not Doctor Light or Amazons Attack or Powerless Disco Wonder Woman. This is Foghorn Leghorn. This is a clown being a clown.

    Come the hell on.

  51. says

    Jonathan:

    Seriously, how could you interpret that as anything but silly?

    Oh, being strangled in a hundred little ways in every day by the thousands of years old roots of misogyny, you know, it’s a drag.

    Come the hell on.

    Sure, Jonathan. Tell us more about how every day sexist and misogynistic attitudes and approaches are no big deal. Really. It’s not as if you see that stuff, so how can exist?
     
    A person would think you’d tire of being idiot. Apparently not.

  52. Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe says

    Have to say I kind of expected that from you. The well’s been poisoned enough that the rest of you will join in any minute now–I simply must be some kind of lurching, ignorant dudebro to actually look twice at something.

    I had the same reaction as you did when I read about this–until I actually did my god damn research and found out what all this was actually about.

  53. Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe says

    You know what? No. I’m done. I can’t handle this. I can’t handle you. I know how this whole stupid dance will play out, I’ve seen it happen right here a dozen different times. You’ll just work yourself into more and more of a towering righteous fury, you’ll make me out to be some blinkered frat boy apologist, and no matter what I do or say if I argue with you too long I’ll get banned. So I’m just going to leave, and let somebody else try to corral you.

  54. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    63
    Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe

    The fact that she’s naked in one scene is… well, she’s in a bathtub. What exactly did you expect?

    How about the fact they made it about her being naked? They specified and clearly wanted her naked body to be the focus. On display. Otherwise, why not just say in a bathtub since people don’t regularly get in one with clothes on?

    Hmmmm?

  55. says

    Jonathan, this is not funny. Suicide is not a joke, and the “contest” is sexist and exploitative, not to mention an insult to any real artist who might be interested in drawing comics.

    I guess I’ve officially joined the Hivemind, huh?

  56. Ichthyic says

    I guess I’ve officially joined the Hivemind, huh?

    I think the preferred term is “Horde”

    er, welcome.

    :)

  57. carlie says

    The fact that she’s naked in one scene is… well, she’s in a bathtub. What exactly did you expect?

    You don’t think she got in there on her own, do you? They decided that people had to draw her in a bathtub, and therefore naked. They could have had her in a pool, if the electricity/water thing was what they were after, or on a lawn with a sprinkler system, or in a creek, or standing in a storm drain, or any number of other possibilities. She’s only in a bathtub because they dictated that she be in one – you do understand that, right?

  58. Ichthyic says

    I know how this whole stupid dance will play out, I’ve seen it happen right here a dozen different times.

    and yet, you never seem to learn what’s behind it, or why people object.

    you just assume your take is correct, and run away.

    What we have here, is failure to communicate…

  59. Ichthyic says

    So I’m just going to leave, and let somebody else try to corral you.

    git along, little doggie.

  60. says

    Carlie:

    or standing in a storm drain,

    Or even standing outside during a storm. Fully clothed. The possibilities are endless! However, it always comes down to Bitches, must be naked. And suicidal, just for fun.

  61. says

    I simply must be some kind of lurching, ignorant dudebro to actually look twice at something.

    Dudebro, if this is your preemptive worry about how people are going to perceive you, consider changing your behavior. Just a suggestion.

  62. says

    First rule of Hivemind: There is no Hivemind.

    :D

    Caine, I shall be silent on the subject hereafter. ;) Shhhhhhhhhhh… *sneaks sneakily away*

  63. Ingdigo Jump says

    You don’t think she got in there on her own, do you? They decided that people had to draw her in a bathtub, and therefore naked. They could have had her in a pool, if the electricity/water thing was what they were after, or on a lawn with a sprinkler system, or in a creek, or standing in a storm drain, or any number of other possibilities. She’s only in a bathtub because they dictated that she be in one – you do understand that, right?

    Panel 1 is her on building top in a storm waving a metal pole.

    Just to clarify the page is
    Pale 1: see above
    Panel 2: in a suit made otu chickens trying to get crocodiles to eat her
    panel 3: standing in a open Whale mouth Gepetto style trying to get the whale to swallow
    Panel 4: bathtub

    See if they wanted cartoony feel, context is fucking important and they need to tell that. They’d get a lot of nude Harley, when Harley in a Bugs Bunny esq one peice swim suit with outrageously over blown bathing cap posed in a homage to Manny’s bath time from Black’s Books is clearly more of what they want.

    You need to communicate that to the artist. Suddenly seeing why DC is so shit recently.

  64. says

    I had the same reaction as you did when I read about this–until I actually did my god damn research and found out what all this was actually about.

    So let me get this straight – you’re angry that people took the contest guidelines at face value and didn’t poke around to make sure the contest guidelines aren’t blatantly misleading? Fuck, for all your talk about ‘research’ you apparently didn’t realize that a click through to the linked article is sufficient.

    Just so we’re clear: It doesn’t stop being misogynist in context, it just becomes less so. That’s why I didn’t shut up.

  65. Galactic Fork says

    You don’t think she got in there on her own, do you? They decided that people had to draw her in a bathtub, and therefore naked. They could have had her in a pool, if the electricity/water thing was what they were after, or on a lawn with a sprinkler system, or in a creek, or standing in a storm drain, or any number of other possibilities. She’s only in a bathtub because they dictated that she be in one – you do understand that, right?

    This comes up so much. Like in Thunderf00t’s and amazing atheists responses to the tropes vs women in video games videos. “Of cooooourse, they go rescue the woman, they loooove her… Do you think they’re sooo callous that they’d leave her to rescue themselves without even trying to heeeelp??”

    But well, they’re not real. They are only in these situations because somebody wrote them that way. I’m sure people can think of dozens of internally consistent reasons a woman might end up chained to a wall in a bikini, but after a few, you begin to realize they are just excuses to draw her that way.

    So the writer made the women captured in those games because they needed a prop to motivate his real characters.

    And hey, we have this contest that’s a great idea, let’s also use it to have people send a bunch of naked Harleys.

    When I read the panel descriptions on the DC site, I read it as similar to the old daffy duck and the animator thing, only horrible. It seemed like she didn’t actually want to be doing these things, but the artist was putting her in these situations against her will.

    “She is looking at us like she cannot believe what she is doing. Beside herself. Not happy.”

    “rolling her eyes like once again, she cannot believe where she has found herself.”

    “Her expression is one of “oh well, guess that’s it for me” and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen.”

    I find that especially creepy.
    Being told it’s supposed to be a dream sequence drops the creepyness value some, but a better written description would have been better.

    I also agree 100% with Indigo Jump about the bathing suit. One of those old fashioned striped ones you always saw in cartoons. It would have fit nicely with Harley, too.

  66. Ingdigo Jump says

    Also I have to point out that out of all the stories and blogs I’ve read on this, one ONE has used her new design. Everyone uses the original design. It’s almost as if that stupid frelling design is an eyesore

  67. Ichthyic says

    So the writer made the women captured in those games because they needed a prop to motivate his real characters.

    …an unimaginative and unoriginal prop, no less.

    why it saddened me to see all the comic fans who couldn’t even think of a motivation for a superhero to take action other than personal grievance.

  68. anchor says

    a comic strip…

    a comic strip...

    is now the focus here of the rottenous of misogyny…

    Good!!!

    It is to be WIPED OUT.

    Everywhere.