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Really off my feed today, except for the very refreshing and enjoyable swim with the kids. Could be post-red alert tired, could be I-wish-I-wanted-to-go-to-Sandy Eggo flu.
But I don't. I wish I did. I wish comics culture had evolved from knuckle-dragging (and the con not so overrun by the shiny shiny media taking a long weekend fucking off in SD.) But it hasn't. So I pass for another year. When you brave souls I'd actually like to meet (but not in Sandy Eggo) return from the Comics Abbatoir, there'll be at least six shiny and fresh-to-you pages of RG:RLO to look forward to, with which to medicate your post-con malaise.

It's entirely possible I'm depressed because of this:

ETA Oh shit, hahaha:

From the I-wouldn't-have-gone-that-far lolcomics.

Thanks, DC, for a Showcase of Barbara Gordon Batgirl, the only Batgirl myth I will ever care about.
Batgirl matters to me. In a crap neighborhood full of latchkey kids preying on each other, I had someone (even a myth) to show me to fight back. I never thought about a college education or trying to get good grades until I read that Barbara Gordon graduated summa cum laude. That gave me something high to shoot for.

And this, DC, is how you see your accomplished heroine. Hisssss.

I'll totally not be making a new piece of art for this cover, oh yes. I am totally NOT encouraging any woman, girl, man, or boy to slap it over their own Batgirl Showcase and hide this dreadful, dumb and depressing cover.
I'm totally not saying that it's totally okay by me for anyone to print them out and share them with friends, or take them to San Diego and share them with other BG BG fans who hate this cover. I'd be absolutely appalled!
I am, in no way, suggesting anyone be a feminist engineer.
Nope. Not saying that.
I totally will not put this not-stupid cover up in a couple days, totally not in high-res so it looks nice when you don't print it out and don't glue stick it to your book. No siree bob.


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 18th, 2007 04:08 am (UTC)
I'm just curious, but isn't a better solution not to buy the book at all? After all, DC doesn't know what you do to the cover--all they care about is getting your money. Speak with your wallet, right?

I posted over on Chris Butcher's blog that the real drag is that the cover would be cute and funny if instead of Batman and Robin in the background, there was just a big pile of unconscious thugs, like Batgirl took care of them and now she's fixing her makeup.

Sort of like this teaser image I made up to promote my upcoming "women and monsters" book, THE CLAWS COME OUT (coming this November from IDW):
http://lunchbreak-pat.livejournal.com/66631.html (the image has a weird relevance in the wake of the "Heroes for Hire" tentacle rape cover, as well. Go fig!)
Jul. 18th, 2007 04:19 am (UTC)
Oh fuck no I'm not passing on the book because of that stupid cover! The solution, as I see it, is some culture jamming, encouraging people to deface their copies with a cover that's not so offensively stupid.

Cute cover, BTW. And that was almost a stealth plug.
Jul. 18th, 2007 10:00 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure DC will know what's done with the cover.
If, for instance people who buy the book and paste a new cover on and then send DC or post a picture online--DC would know.

Try a little harder to disguise your "I'm not like them other guys!" self-plugs in the future.
Jul. 18th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
Ralph is so offended by the cover that Batgirl Showcase is now a special order only item and he just sent letters to DC explaining why.

It would be a very funny and cool cover if Batman and Robin weren't on it.
Jul. 18th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
Yeah, it would be funny. I don't think it would be the right cover, though, not with the current climate of either eroticizing heroines or treating them as "Oh, I broke a nail!" ding dongs.

I'm totally not saying Ralph could tell his customers to give their copies a new cover. No way.
Jul. 18th, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, just removing Bats and Decoy the Boy Target wouldn't be enough. You'd have to have the Conanesque pile of defeated enemies, and Batgirl standing on top, perhaps in that 'stair climbing' pose with one boot planted on the head of the Joker or something, AND THEN adjusting her makeup.
Jul. 18th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)
Delurking to say: thanks for commenting on this! I was fascinated by your remixes of the H4H covers, and I can't wait to see what happens with this one. I think the recovering idea is awesome, and I also now have much love for the phrase "feminist engineer."
Jul. 18th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
Welcome, my delurking goth friend!

Thanks for the kind words. I needed them today.

"Feminist engineer." Let's work that.
Jul. 18th, 2007 08:44 am (UTC)
Place du 6-Décembre-1989
I'm not sure it's a good idea. It brings up a lot of strong emotions. It seems like yesterday to me but 18 years ago Marc Lepine went out and bought a rifle (something relatively hard to do in Canada) and took himself up to the Ecole Polytechnique engineering faculty where, before shooting himself, he managed to kill 14 young ladies, which he considered to be feminists, because they were studying to be engineers. They were all unknowns for him.

I hope that one day you'll come to Montreal and go to the Côte-des-Neiges/Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough to stop a while in a little parc called "
Place du 6-Décembre-1989 (December 6, 1989 Place). The parc was created on purpose or renamed to house a very discrete memorial called Nef pour quatorze reines (Nave for fourteen queens). There's a lot of motor traffic around that tiny little parc but somehow it's never managed to bother me. In the photos you might find of this memorial you might see looming aprtment buildings all around it. I always forget them and remember the trees.


Jul. 18th, 2007 09:50 am (UTC)
Re: Place du 6-Décembre-1989
I'm afraid I don't see your point. I am not sure exactly what you are saying, or trying to say.
Jul. 18th, 2007 11:32 am (UTC)
Belaboring the point, but...
The above person is taking offense to the phrase "feminist engineer" because it reminds him of a time 18 years ago where some nutter shot and killed women who were engineering students, all because the nutter thought they were feminists for doing so, and he had some problem with that.

It's like someone who really identified with 9/11 saying that they have problems with all plane crash jokes.
Jul. 18th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Belaboring the point, but...
In general, I prefer that the person I asked to clarify be the one to do it.
Jul. 18th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Belaboring the point, but...
Sorry... didn't know that.
Jul. 18th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Belaboring the point, but...
It's not just a personal thing. All across Canada women go out each December 6th to commemorate this thing. The effect of the thing was even more stunning in Quebec where a great deal of documentary media (and poems, and a lot more) was produced on the topic, mostly in French.

I'd love to see something like "The revenge of the feminist engineers". The trouble is that the young women who were gunned down (some of them died and some of them were wounded badly and survived to talk) didn't consider themselves as feminists even though Marc Lepine did, and even though their taking up a profession traditionally taken by men certainly put them forward as positive role models for future generations.

It's like opening a can of worms except it doesn't have to be because that park is beautiful. It's one of the greatest pieces of modern art I've ever seen. Yet a lot of people still consider all modern art to be a joke. It's a great joke then, and it's art and it's enjoyable in addition to being a memorial. So, in a sense it's proof that yes you can do jokes, or whimsy or unorthodox art about this thing.

The same probably holds true for some bits of poetry here and there, among the thousands of bits of poetry that were written about this thing. I haven't discovered yet how to enjoy poetry but I suppose some of it must be great or maybe just good art. Yet there are some for whom all poetry is a joke, albeit a good joke sometimes, given the effect of some doggerels.

(Deleted comment)
Jul. 18th, 2007 10:00 am (UTC)
I was wondering the same thing.
Jul. 18th, 2007 04:59 am (UTC)
Yeah...having "done" SD once...never, evah again. Cover? Un.freaking.real.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 18th, 2007 10:03 am (UTC)
Kind of like dolls where the point is or becomes, "Be a GIRL like WE think girls ARE!"

I was pissed about all the Princess Fiona merch with her as the pretty pretty princess. The merch people totally missed (and were allowed to miss) the point of Fiona in Shrek--he didn't love her because she was beautiful, and being ugly or pretty didn't change who she was.
Being "ugly" was rather the point.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 18th, 2007 08:18 am (UTC)
I bought a copy for my 13 year-old niece for her birthday, since she absolutely loved the Batgirl: Year One mini-series that DC released a few years back. The book featured a smart, self-made heroine who succeeded at her job through her own hard work and determination, and she even wears a sensible costume (for a superhero, anyway), which was another big plus.

After she read it, she called me up and let me know that she was all set for Batgirl: Year Two, and was pretty bummed out to hear that no, DC wasn't planning to ever produce such a series, and that she'd have to wait a while for a new Batgirl book (and no way was I going to let her know that the modern-day Barbara Gordon got crippled by the Joker and now gets to fight crime by helping Batman figure out how to use Google Maps).

Anyway, she's got the new Showcase book, and even though most of the stories came out twenty or thirty years before she was born, she's thrilled to have 500 pages of "new" Batgirl comics to read, which has got to be worth something. It's a shame about the cover, but I know that my niece would rather have a Batgirl book with a crappy cover than wait another two years for DC to put out another book that she'll like (and it'll probably be two years before All-Star Batgirl hits the stands, right?).
Jul. 18th, 2007 09:54 am (UTC)
Oh, please let All-Star Batgirl be good like Batgirl Year One and not shite like ASBaRtBW. Please oh please.
I LOVED BG Year 1.

I now understand that part of the problem with the cover is that the solicited cover was BG's original first cover.

Jul. 19th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
I had a very different reaction to Batgirl: Year One. And, like you, I am a huge original Batgirl fan (I already own originals or reprints of every Batgirl story from the beginning, so my purchase of the Showcase album, if I decide to get it, will be strictly for convenience's sake).

Somewhere around the middle of Batgirl: YO, Batman kidnaps Babs, renders her unconscious, undresses and unmasks her, then redresses her and leaves her in a car parked in front of her dad's house.

So that's a pretty extreme violation. Babs refuses to have much to do with Batman at that point, and Batman supplies her with training and equipment by having Robin pretend to be giving them to her against orders.

Then, at the end of the story, Robin takes her to the Batcave and shows her everything; Batman asks her to swear an oath to become his minion destroy evildoers on the graves of his parents, yadda yadda. And she says, in the caption boxes that represent her journal or some such, "now it all made sense," and the implication is that she swears the oath.

After what Batman did to her, essentially raping her without the sex, the Batgirl I know, the real Batgirl featured in this Showcase book, would have spat in his face and told him were he could stick that oath of his.

The Batgirl featured in this showcase album was her own woman, who didn't need help from Big Daddy Batman to learn how to be a hero, who wasn't anybody's sidekick, and whose secret identity was known to nobody, in the hero community or out of it.

And that's why I read my copy of Batgirl: Year One with an increasing sense of unquiet and distaste, and had to resist the urge to throw it against the wall when I finished it, and that's why it is the _only_ original Batgirl comic or trade paperback which I have not kept.
Jul. 18th, 2007 01:19 pm (UTC)
I wonder how feasible it would be to remove that cover (or a piece of it) and affix a new one, like cut it off leaving a flap to which one could attach the new art.

Wondering because photos of the doctored version are great, but it might be that much more forceful to have a campaign of "returning the merchandise"---mailing DC severed covers or pieces thereof.
Jul. 18th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
Is it not the case that the new cover is just reprising one of the earliest Batgirl covers?
Jul. 19th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
It isn't. The image in question, as parody legend Fred Hembeck points out, is of something that happens on page 14 of a 16-page story. In the story in qquestion, Batgirl pretends to have a problm (as in, she pretends se's having a "I broke my naillll!" moment) with her suit having a run, and so distracts the bad guys long enough for Batman and Robin the Boy Target to stac 'em up like cordwood.
I still remember the line! "Lawbreaker eyes stare admiringly!"
I diddn't lke the story. But at the time, I'd take the Batgirl I could get.

The earliest cover is actually good, AND the cover the book was solicited with.
Jul. 19th, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes. I found Fred's post, and that cover ('tec 371) is indeed the one I was thinking of.

While there are some significant differences, I'm still going to argue that the Showcase cover artist thinks he's reprising it. (I think I'm safe in assuming the gender identity of the artist :-) There's too much alike between them for that not to be the case.

Now, I will certainly agree that the changes that have been made are for the worse, primarily, that B&R are no longer in jeopardy and do not need Batgirl; that drives a hole straight through her value as a character.

I guess the point of it being a reprise is that it's thoughtless copying from a pre-feminist time rather than a new anti-feminist statement. (In the context of the constantly backward- and inward-looking modern superhero market, that's significant.) Maybe that's not an important difference from a feminist perspective.

To me, it suggests that the feminist hostility is unthinking and that the cover people may be susceptible to reason, but then I'm a wild-eyed optimist who believes that people can be reasoned with, in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

Jul. 19th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
It's not a reprising, it's the actual splash page to Detective 371; evidently all showcase covers use a cover or splash page from the original comics being reprinted for their covers.
Jul. 19th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that just got pointed out on the Howling Curmudgeons, as well. That affects my opinion about the semiotics of this cover in isolation.

I am now particularly curious about the original solicited cover.
Jul. 18th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
1000 words

Jul. 19th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
Re: 1000 words
Beautiful! You have inspired me!
Jul. 19th, 2007 07:36 pm (UTC)
DC's problem, as explained by Marionette, is that Showcase books are supposed to have an image from the original comics covers or splash pages for their cover. Obviously the cover image also has to work as the cover to a collection, once the text boxes and word balloons are removed. That's pretty easy for characters who had their own books, but Batgirl only ever appeared as a guest star or in back-up stories, so the number of images they could use for the cover of her album was pretty limited: she rarely appeared on the cover front-and-centre, and her back-up stories tend not to have any splash page.

Marionette didn't have the comics handy, so her post only talks about the comics covers. I have all the original comics, and I just looked through them. Of the comics appearing in the collection, the only ones where there's a cover or splash page that features her front-and centre are:

Her first-ever appearance (I'm not sure why they didn't use this, although Marionette says without the text it would look unbalanced); the splash page of Batman 214 (which doesn't make a lot of sense apart from the story); the cover to Detective 422 (again pretty specific to the story), and the splash page to Detective 371, which they used.

That said, I totally agree that the cover sucks and they should have either found a way to use her first-ever appearance (the way they did for the solicitation), or else broken their rule and used a panel image from one of the issues instead.
Jul. 19th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
I forgot to say...
I forgot to say, in my other reply, that I am totally looking forward to your totally not being disobedient and making a not-stupid alternate cover for the collection.

Feminist engineers rock.
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )


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