Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Distinguished Competition or Disgusting Collaborators?

Yeah, I know AniMaytion is still going on and I know other people have talked about this, but I made a promise to you all. We're going address the elephant in the room. You know, that one who has molested co-workers. In comics, there's no denying that it is very much a boys' club. Most of the creators are men and most of the books have classically been written to entertain men or boys. This has made things very one-sided, as the abundance of men means that women often get depicted...well, in ways that are less than tasteful.

My job has me watching porn and this makes me feel uncomfortable.

See, the thing to recall is, comics are not just read by men and boys anymore...if they ever were. It's actually pretty stupid to assume that girls and women didn't read comics even back in the early days, because all people have different tastes and those cross over gender lines. In a world where people are more honest about gender identity and sexuality, it's moronic to keep treating comics like they're not being read by a large variety of folks. But then, we still have a large group of asshats who think they must guard the sanctity of the artform, like suddenly having Red Sonja wear something that isn't a metal bikini or Vampirella not having to worry about her tits popping out is offensive to men. I am a man, I grew up on both Red Sonja and Vampirella, I have sexual urges, and guess what? I like their new looks. Their old looks were always silly but were acceptable in their time...you know, like it used to be acceptable to exclude people for looking a certain colour. It's 2016, get the fuck over it.

These ladies look kickass, so shove it up yours.
But no, the problem is bigger than some whiny shitlords on the internet blaming everything on SJWs for ruining their comics and games. The problem is sadly an industry staple at this point and now we're all talking about it because one of the biggest perpetrators got publicly called out for it. It was story that was so big, I got over 38 messages asking me if I was going to talk about it. At first, I didn't really want to. I've talked about sexism in comics before on more than one occasion and how shitty a large segment of fans can be towards others. But then...I've also been dying to shit talk Eddie Berganza for a really long time. Yes, that means I was already under the impression he was the perpetrator of the harassment that has long been going on at DC Comics. And I also knew damn well why nothing had been done about it: he's not the only offender and he knows it.

"These HR reports are just what I need. I was running low on toilet paper."
The truth is that this greasy fucking cockweasel skates by because he most likely has blackmail material on other executives for being sleazy pieces of shit like himself. It's why, rather than actually doing something about his well known horrible behaviour, they instead attempt to keep women from working anywhere near him. Ask anyone who has worked at DC Comics and they will tell you that the Superman office is off-limits to women. Why? Because Berganza is the editor there. But the thing that is important is that this is no longer something easily ignored because someone finally let the genie out of the bottle. It really was just a waiting game as to who would get angry enough to do it and Nick Hanover won that game by being the first person to end the silence. We're all guilty too for not speaking up sooner. Sure, it can be argued that we have no real power to change anything, but we have the power to begin a conversation. Nick did just that. He got everyone talking.

Tweeting counts as talking, I assure you.
DC Comics itself has, as of this writing, still not commented or done fuck all about any of this. There's been no damage control, no denials, no press release, nothing but a whole lot of silence. I mean, they released some comic teasers, sure, but they haven't spoken up about one of the most talked about topics in comics since Batman v Superman got some bad reviews. Everyone else is talking but not the company, at least not to the public. But, as I said, the problem doesn't stop at DC. There's cases of harassment on female creators at almost every single publisher in comics. Eddie Berganza is a horrible man for doing what he's done and hiding behind his title to get away with it, but it doesn't begin and end with him.

He's just the easy target because he's done this shit publicly.
We need to take a step back and really assess the problem here. Comics are a business but they are also something that mean a lot to people. Comics got me into reading at a young age and my first comics were well into the deep end of the "mature" area. Savage Sword of Conan, Vampirella, Heavy Metal, Crypt of Shadows, Eerie, Creepy, these were the books the pulled me in. I look back at them and I know that there were problems in those old books but people shrugged them off. It's time to stop shrugging. People are getting hurt because of this bollocks. It's not tolerable and it's hurting us all the longer it gets shuffled off into the "ignore me" pile. We don't get to pretend the industry doesn't have things that need serious fixing. And getting rid of Eddie Berganza? Blacklisting that slimy chode so he doesn't get to work on our books? Yeah, that's a good first step. But we better keep on stepping because standing still isn't getting us all anywhere. Later days, bleeders.

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