Funnybook Babylon

October 21, 2011

Girl Talk in Context: The Ultimates Problem

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , — Chris Eckert @ 11:31 pm

Looking across the sometimes bleak landscape of Women in Superhero Comics, it’s easy to get dispirited. Whether’s it’s inequity in representation — be it in the stories or on the credits page — there’s still plenty of ground to make up before things are acceptable. And even when female characters are pushed to the fore, it often results in tawdry trash like Catwoman, Voodoo, or Starfire in Red Hood ft. Outlawz. But not everything is terrible — it’s not like we’re back in 1996 in the Year of the Bad Girl or anything that dismal — and I admit, as White Male Privilege-y as it is, I sometimes wonder exactly what people are looking for. People choose arbitrary data points and then go off on how this proves that comics are a vast misogynistic wasteland. What percentage of colorists on team books released in October of 2011 by Marvel are female? How many women appeared on the covers of the top ten DC New 52 #1s? How many Black Lanterns were mothers? Do any of these sets of data mean anything?


July 2, 2009

Lots of Thoughts About Superheroes Kissing

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , — Chris Eckert @ 12:23 pm

Last week’s X-Factor featured a “cliffhanger” kiss between Shatterstar and Rictor, something making the rounds on the Internet as “mainstream comics book world’s first gay kiss“. While any good publicity is, well, good, this is not Team Comics’s First Gay Kiss. It’s not even the X-Men’s first gay kiss: I’m pretty sure that honor belongs to 2002’s X-Force #118:

August 22, 2008

Tough Love: Perry Moore and Cursing the Darkness

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , — Chris Eckert @ 5:32 pm

I think I speak for everyone on the site when I say this: historically, corporate comic book characters who aren’t straight white American males have gotten a pretty bum rap. I think things are improving, and there are reasons to be hopeful. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t call out dubious material when they see it; but manufacturing outrage does nothing to further anyone’s cause. I know that seems like a vague boilerplate, but I wanted to get it out of the way lest anyone think I am condemning the sentiment put forth by Perry Moore in his recent Newsarama interviews. I completely agree with his sentiments, my issue is the way he chooses to further his argument.


August 5, 2008

Relax, Internet: Runaways’ Karolina Still a Lesbian

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , — Pedro Tejeda @ 12:00 pm

Recently there was some controversy over new Runaways writer Terry Moore’s choice of words when discussing his view of the team. Moore repeatedly used the pronoun “he” to describe gender-bending Skrull Xavin, and new artist Humberto Ramos mentioned in his blog comments that he was “told” to redraw Xavin as a male. This led to speculation as to what this might mean for the nature of Xavin’s relationship to fellow Runaway Karolina Dean and what this said about Moore’s handling of Karolina and Xavin’s respective sexual preferences.

AfterEllen feared that the switch in Xavin’s gender was a move to “heterosexualize” Karolina, while some fans remained hopeful that even if Xavin is rendered fully male, the plot development would eventually rekindle a teased relationship between a still-lesbian Karolina and teammate Nico Minoru. In response to the controversy, Humberto Ramos posted clarification on his comments. Ramos attributes the controversy to “language difficulties”. (more…)

March 20, 2008

FBBP #49 – Secretly Wishing We Could be Paul Pope Characters

This week show barely gets into comics until about 15 minutes in, but when we do we go over the Wizard World LA announcements, the lack of quality books, Vixen’s tone in JLA, the importance of what comic creators do outside of the industry and the fact Radical Comics still fucking sucks.

Sorry this one is up late, but it took me ages to think of a name. Podcast Notes after the jump.


March 4, 2008

FBBP #47 – A Date with Doctor Doom

Caution: The Funnybook Babylon Podcast contains mature language and content.

[00:00] :
Chris Eckert’s open letter to the New York Comic Con. He advocates the new FBB con dress code. – For further details view this educational clipmirror.

[03:50] :

This is the greatest idea that this podcast has formed.

Image provided by 4th letter‘s Hoatzin.

We expose the next big Marvel book spinning out of Secret Invasion. You better get your duct tape, Internet, cause we broke you like we were Iverson.


June 7, 2007

FBBP #14.5 – Girls! Girls! Girls! (part two)

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , — Funnybook Babylon @ 6:00 am

As promised, our review of Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls. Check it out!

Editor’s Note: This post is missing a podcast, if you happen to have it, please <a href=””>contact us</a>. Thanks.

June 3, 2007

FBBP #14 – Girls! Girls! Girls! (part one)

This week’s podcast is getting split in half, with news and discussion now and the review later this week: we didn’t want to flood you with a seven hour podcast, but felt that the discussion was interesting and worth putting out there.

Topics include the continuing Heroes For Hire “tentacle porn” cover brouhaha, the Nymphet controversy, the end of Strangers in Paradise, the new Supergirl creative team.. you may notice a theme.

And if we didn’t discuss Gender Issues in Comics enough for you on this podcast, come Wednesday you’ll get our review of Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls!

Here’s an example of Renato Guedes’s Supergirl concept art, as mentioned on the podcast:


There’s more Guedes art accompanying this interview with new Supergirl writer Tony Bedard, too.



Editor’s Note: This post is missing a podcast, if you happen to have it, please <a href=””>contact us</a>. Thanks.

May 28, 2007

FBBP #13 – The Rage over Heroes for Hire #13

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 11:56 pm

On our thirteen podcast, Joe, Chris and Jamaal discuss the rage over Heroes for Hire #13’s cover. Spooky!

JOE NOTE, mk1: After the recording of this podcast we found out that the Joe Quesada denied everything. The denial is understandable, but for fuck’s sake Joe: I love you man, but that cover is tentacle porn.

JOE NOTE, mk2: I was having some technical issues, and due to Pedro’s wedding I was unable to finish editing the podcast until tonight. Long story short, I shake my fist at Apple.

So without further ado, episode 13. Enjoy.

May 17, 2007

The Furor over the Mary-Jane statue

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 8:21 pm

Mary-Jane bends over some laundry, the statue.

Checking out the apparently widespread “fan-girl” rage and confusion depicted in blogs rounded up nicely here, I can understand where this statuette can get such a strong reaction out of people.

I believe almost anyone who looks at this statue is likely to feel a bit disgusted. But here’s a weird thing, I think that if you had a statue of mary jane in full lingerie, or any other rather sexually explicit pose, it wouldn’t have engendered that response.

Even her posing in the same pose (laundry basket and all), in an issue of spider-man (where I think the pose comes from) wouldn’t have gotten that response. The problem is that in a statue or statuette one is used to seeing the artist’s idealized or iconic pose of the character… And this statue shows that MJ’s idealized pose is the do laundry while in a position that implies she’s waiting to get railed.

I don’t think the problem that the shot is cheesecake or pin-up style or even submissive. How many chesse-cake style statues are produced that no one blinks an eye at? The problem is that the medium of the statuette inherently doesn’t have context. And this pose without context is ridiculous. Especially that every OTHER statuette you see, whether some ideal character, totally cheese-cake sexualized character, or even slightly bondage type pose isn’t laid out in such a way. Yes she’s the super-hero’s girlfriend/wife but she’s always been played as the firecracker artistic type. A character that these female viewers identify with in such a traditionally submissive pose, does have a bit of a “women belong in the kitchen and they should enjoy it” tone.

Her face and pose directly imply the “Hey, LOOK AT ME DOING SOMETHING DIRTY” but without the reverse shot that’s in the comic of Peter, which would make it ‘ok’. She’s also performing for everyone, in a pretty demeaning way, as in the statuette the can’t be the the gaze of Peter to contextualize the action, you are only left to imagine the grubby paws of your local comic book neck-beard caressing it, wishing mary-jane was his girlfriend so he could stare at her ass while she does his laundry, smiling… Not as a panel of the same thing which would be MJ just looking sexy while doing laundry or Her actively seducing parker, or any of the myriad of contexts which would make this acceptable, understandable, or even comprehensible behavior. Because it’s not the implied sexuality that’s making the fan-girls rage and the more mature fans embarrassed and disturbed, they’re used that. It’s the statue implies that the comic book fans don’t just like big tits, and sexy drawings, but they like submissive women who should count themselves lucky to be doing their super-hero husband’s laundry.

I don’t think the makers of this statue actively thought this through, I think that they just weren’t thinking. And don’t really get that statuettes don’t have the same luxury of context that comics do. And I think that’s indicative of a real problem in this industry and why this particular statue has gotten this kind of response. Some people just aren’t thinking.

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