I've been a professional writer for over twenty years, but a comic book writer for only the past four or five. After I partnered with a multi-award winning comic book writer for my most recent graphic novel/webcomic series, I went online to seek out illustrators and colorists for the project. To my shock and dismay, my efforts were met with scorn and contempt by male comic book fans who felt that I had no place in their world. Most disturbingly, a well-respected veteran in the comics industry and executive at a top five independent comics publishing company, publicly insulted me on a comics forum, his posts laced with a condescending, patronizing and misogynistic tone. Knowing that this veteran was a long-time friend of my writing partner (they also collaborated on a few projects) I was deeply hurt by his words of *advice*, meant to put a newbie female comics writer in her place. He did later apologize to me, privately, and deleted the offending thread from the message board system. But still...I didn't deserve that.
'So someone specifically insulted you... Get used to it."
How completely, unnecessarily hostile a response.
"Now I haven't read the comments so I can't speak to its intent. But the one thing I have found is that a lot of talentless would be female art types have a tendency to dismiss all criticism as "sexism."'
"However without some actual falsifiable evidence of this conversation, all we have is your say so to go on. In a court of law thats called hersey evidence & is not a reliable sort of evidence, so its not allowed. I hold the same standard as evident in all conversations about an objective point."
Wow, a PERFECT example of the type of condescending attitude women face in comics, both from fans and people within the industry. In a court of law? Really? Thanks for schooling the little lady on how things work.
As far as it being a meritocracy - EVERYTHING in life is a meritocracy - theoretically. In actual practice, however, there is a thing called PREJUDICE (be it racial, sexual, religious or what have you) that often prevents people of merit from attaining jobs they're otherwise qualified for.
Now, the issue of sexism in comics is a tough one; it may very well be that women simply aren't as into comics as men are. It may be that the OP was a bad writer, or she was "crying wolf" in claiming that she was being treated in a sexist manner by that guy. But to immediately claim "a lot of talentless would be female art types have a tendency to dismiss all criticism as "sexism", is to lump the OP in with these "hacks", simply for having shared her experience. By the way, you can't immediately compare her to "talentless hacks" and then disingenuously claim otherwise, and expect anyone to believe you. If you weren't calling her a hack then you wouldn't have lumped her in with all these female hacks you seem to find throughout the industry. In fact you wouldn't have written that paragraph at all.
So, in closing, thank you Mr. Marz for writing this article, thank you ShowbizPRgirl for your perspective, and thank you Matthew Lane for completely validating it.
The guy may well have been a complete and utter jerk to her, but we only have her word for that.
What more do you need? She's just relating a personal experience. This isn't a court of law; she's not looking for justice from you or anyone on the forum. It's a discussion about women in the industry; it's on-topic and relevant. She's relating an experience she had as a woman writer who actually works in the field. If I post in a thread complaining about how some douchebag clerk at my LCS ridicules me for buying some indie comic, what are you going to say? Prove it? Post a recording or it didn't happen? Get over yourself.
And, "Get used to it?" Really? Get used to people being unprofessional? How about, "No, don't get used to it. Get indignant about it and call them out on their crap. Don't stand for it."
Last edited by darkesword; 08-12-2011 at 09:33 AM.