Kalinara and Ragnell return
- From http://www.comicsbeat.com/2010/12/13/kalinara-and-ragnell-return/ :
Fandom's deadliest duo are back: Ragnell (Lisa Fortuner) and Kalinara (Melissa Krause) are two writers who founded the link blog When Fangirls Attack and set off a whole generation of conversation and outrage. A few years ago they passed WFA to others due to real life stuff Ragnell is in the Armed Forces, and Kalinara was in school but it's kind of foundered just recently. since they left two posts explaining why there are no posts since October. [NOTE< since this was written the site has had a MASSIVE update.] So R&K are back with a NEW link blog Dispatches From The Fridge, which, while not taking over WFA, is
We gave away the old blog, but we got bored so we're taking up again part-time. We've no intention of replacing When Fangirls Attack. We consider ourselves a weekend supplement, perfect for slow Sunday afternoons.
The blog is back JUST IN TIME to capture reaction to former DC President and Publisher Paul Levitzsaying in a TCJ interview::
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.
Levitz was actually asked quite a bit abut gender and comics throughout the interview. None of his answers were much more satisfying to the women who read and like superhero comics, sadly unaware of how freakish they are. Other statements get picked apart at DC Women Kicking Ass
Levitz goes on to talk about the attempts to get girls into superhero comics:
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.
You. You over there. Yeah, you the one who didn't buy Wonder Woman, Lois Lane and Supergirl in 1971-72. Thanks for screwing it up for all of us. What? During the ascent of the women's liberation movement, you didn't want to buy comics where Wonder Woman had no powers? Or was tied to a bomb on the cover? Just take a look at the covers of those comics from those years and see what I mean.
Having hung around the comics industry for as long as I have, I can testify that such attitudes and far worse are often expressed aloud one can only imagine what is being thought. Bottom line, you can get girls to wear Supergirl CLOTHES, but you can't do a Supergirl book for girls. Why? I'm sure there will be lots of links to answers to that question in future weekend editions of Dispatches from the Fridge.
That said, when looking at matters of this sort, it usually comes down to cooties. Boys don't want girl cooties on their boy nerd things and exert all kinds of pressure to stop the cooties. The now infamous story of a seven year old girl who was bullied for liking Star Wars illustrates many points. Of course seven year old kids are mean, just learning about things, and tend to parrot what they hear. She could have gotten bullied about a lot os things.
They most telling part of the story to me anyway is the part where Katie wants to swap her Star Wars water bottle for a PINK water bottle so she won't get picked on. Yes, socialization begins VERY early! Way earlier than seven.
I'm reminded of a brunch a few months ago with a friend (who's a comics artist) and her young daughter not sure of her exact age but probably four or five. They were talking about Halloween, and which Star Wars characters they could go as. The child wanted to be Han Solo. That left mom to be Boba Fett.
Ya hear that? The kid wanted to be the cool, brave adventurous one. NOT the one that has to be a slave even though she is equally cool, brave and adventurous. I hope as soon as she gets to school this girl doesn't get this teased out of her and instead decide to dress as Kim Kardashian. That would be sad.
Anyway, following the links on the new blog will lead you to all sorts of outrage and research and studies and so on.
UPDATE: WHoa, When Fangirls Attack is back with 17 posts.
12 COMMENTS SO FAR
12/13/2010 AT 5:34 PM
"None of his answers were much more satisfying to the women who read and like superhero comics, sadly unaware of how freakish they are."
Over-reacting much? I see nothing there about women who like superheroes being freaks, I see a lot about there being more boy readers than girls much as there are more male sports fans than female.
Attacking Levitz for saying the truth and putting words in his mouth is pretty petty.
12/13/2010 AT 6:38 PM
Wow, the sixteen months of solid blogging myself and my partner did before taking a hiatus (one we just got back from with 17 STRAIGHT POSTS OF CONTENT thanks to the wonderfulness of my partner) is "foundering"?
Thanks a lot, glad to know you appreciate the work we did.
My partner and I fully support Ragnell and Kalinara with their return to linkblogging and really look forward to it- and honor them as founders and amazing women-, but that doesn't mean we (most she- I don't care about you dismissing me, but my partner has worked tirelessly and come up with some amazing ideas for the blog i.e. categories) haven't busted our butts maintaining the site. We fell of the wagon for a whole there, but excuse us for having lives.
12/13/2010 AT 6:55 PM
Yeah, it's merely more of the hostess being disingenuous, and not giving credit to the folks who valiantly tried to keep WFA going after Ragnell and Kalinara bailed out on the site.
As for the Levitz dig, he's had it coming for awhile now. And with DC being more misogynistic and racist than ever in their books while true fans are clamoring for a Lois Lane series via Twitter the unintended irony is rather obvious.
12/13/2010 AT 6:56 PM
Nevermore999 if you'll note the update, we had crossed wires there when I originally wrote this post you had yet to update. I'll make the correction more prominent. Really glad to see you are back I could spend my entirely holiday just following your links.
12/13/2010 AT 7:00 PM
That's great. Even if we hadn't updated, that doesn't give you the right to dismiss the huge body of work my partner did beforehand.
I notice you still kept your "foundered" line in. Until you acknowledge my partner's efforts, I still have problem with this article.
12/13/2010 AT 7:30 PM
Thanks for the link and nice words, Heidi.
I mildly protest the notion that we "bailed", KET. We gave the blog away after long periods of hiatus because we knew we weren't able to keep it going due to personal matters. We'll always be grateful to Caitlin and Maddy for all their hard work.
J. K. Simon
12/14/2010 AT 6:52 AM
I'm glad Ragnell and Kalinara are getting the proverbial band back together. While the new crew at WFA has done a decent job of keeping things afloat (hiatus aside), I must admit to a preference for the original lineup.
All that said, while I think I share many of the fangirlosphere's concerns about superhero comics the response to the Levitz interview seems to be a serious case of overreaction and/or stipulating facts that are simply not in evidence.
Levitz said: "I'm not sure that young women are as interested in reading about superheroes."
He didn't say NO young women were interested.
And he didn't negatively label the ones that were/are interested in superheroes in any way.
He simply asserted that by and large, more boys/men tend to gravitate to the superhero genre than girls/women. Which is more than likely true.
Saying that doesn't erase women who enjoy superhero comics, nor is it an argument against addressing issues w/r/t misogyny, objectification, etc. in the genre even if female readers *are* a minority, superhero comics ought not to actively repel or alienate them.
Levitz was a somewhat conservative leader (likely overly so in several instances) during his tenure at DC, no argument there. But a lot of the fangirls ripping into him over this interview seem to be reacting more to what they believe he believes than what he actually *said* and in this case, amateur mind-reading seems to have led to a lot of poor, overblown criticism.
DC Women Kicking Ass
12/14/2010 AT 9:31 AM
@J.K. Simon I think the current team at WFA has done more than keep things afloat. Team A did a great job. Team B has done a great job as well and expanded the scope of WFA to include more about abelist and LGBQT issues. An important point to consider in the case of either team is no one is paid for doing anything to do with WFA or its new supplement. It's a labor of love where lives, jobs, and school need to come first to all participants. I'm glad to see the demand is voracious for the content, but I'm sorry to see a discussion about what is a valuable resource in comic commentary turn into a partisan issue.
Moving on to Levitz. You clearly have a different interpretation of Levitz's remarks. I get that. I can assure you that there are many, many people who read the same interview who disagree with your interpretation. I am one of them. Yet instead of simply stating your view you have chosen to attack my reaction and that of others by calling it "fangirl rage" and "Poor, overblown criticism." It is not. His statement that girls/women are not interested in reading superheroes is an assertion based on flawed, if any data. Anytime you make a broad, baseless claim using inductive data against a category of people you can assume those people will react strongly. Add in that many of those reacting, myself included, are customers of DC Comics and the reaction will be even stronger. I recommend the next time you choose to jump to the defense of someone's bobbled comments you mount it without resorting to name calling.
J. K. Simon
12/14/2010 AT 3:21 PM
@DC Women Kicking Ass
Reread my post and see if you can find the phrase `fangirl rage' ANYWHERE in it.
Also, "I'm not sure that young women are as interested in reading about superheroes." is hardly the same as "girls/women are not as interested in reading superheroes" you can tell because because, well, the words themselves are different.
I also find it revealing that you called my read of Levitz's comments an `interpretation' while presenting your own as fact an interesting choice since your read is much more subjective and relies considerably more on speculation and inference than mine.
But thanks for illustrating my point about criticizing comments based on things that were never said.
I'm not trying to say that Levitz is a paragon of feminism. But he's not saying *you* don't read comics or aren't important he's not even saying that *many* women don't read superhero comics or that their purchases are meaningless. He's just saying the number of male readers is larger. Are you really prepared to argue that *more* women read superhero comics than men, or that the numbers are statistically even because, even in the absence of anything other than anecdata (from either side), that seems unlikely to the point of being ridiculous.
12/14/2010 AT 4:50 PM
Actually, Ragnell and I both included LGBTQ-related posts in our WFA coverage.
We did not however cover race or ablism, which were new areas that Maddy and Caitlin brought to the table.
12/14/2010 AT 4:54 PM
BTW just to make it clear, I think you are ALL AWESOME and all this UNPAID work is fantastic. Blogging is hard work, and anyone who steps up to the plate to do it deserves laurel wreaths.
I'll take these links when I can get them.
12/14/2010 AT 8:46 PM
You're not paying them? I sent them a big-ass check.