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Hey, Here’s a Crazy Thought…

I’m fighting a cold this morning, and we’re off to California to visit family in about five hours, so I shouldn’t be devoting the time to this, because, frankly, it’s not surprising that the mainstream media can’t be bothered to do more than a quick Google image search and then raid Jeff Renaud’s interview with me about Batwoman before posting their own – and I use the word advisedly – “stories” about the character.

Here’s a crazy thought – how about doing actual, I dunno, fact-checking before spouting off about things you know nothing about? Too much effort? Yeah, I know, I’m busy, too.

But one thing keeps coming up again and again, pointed out most recently to me over at the Salon.com blog, in particular, this quote: “Now, show me a butch lesbian superhero who fights crime in practical shoes and I’d get excited.”

Never mind the lazy and self-serving indictment of every comic book fan in the world with comments like “That sound you hear? Around the world little boys’ heads are exploding.”

I presume the author means comic book fans like this one.

Couple points.

Point 1: Renee Montoya.

Point 2: Look at the damn preview pages that were released. If those are stiletto heels then I’m Art Carney.

These people keep using the almost 3-year old one-shot design, and guess what? That’s not the costume.

This is the costume, just a close-up of the relevant portion, but trust me, JH3 and I addressed this particular point immediately.



And yes, the whole design-sheet will be posted eventually.

52 Responses to Hey, Here’s a Crazy Thought…

  1. spooky_lemur

    I love that she has the Bat-logo in the treads of her boots!

  2. kozemp

    I’ve never seen Art Carney and Greg Rucka at the same time…

    I’m just saying.

  3. tranceptor

    Those look practical to me.

    And stylish to boot.

    I always dug that aside from the blank face, The Question didn’t always have a specific costume.

  4. anw

    Here’s the comment that gets me, from the comments thread on that Salon blog post (where people are mentioning both Montoya and Kate’s boots):

    “Sexual orientation has never really played a big role in superhero comics. Making a character gay is about as meaningful to most superhero comics as making them left-handed.”

    Uh-huh.

  5. lithera

    Boots!

    I love those boots and Catwoman’s curb stompers very much.

  6. electricvinyl

    Ok, articles like the Salon link just annoy the crap out of me, but I guess we live in an age where retreading old news stories and interviews without doing any research is now the norm instead of doing a bit of actual reporting. Sigh… Why did I major in Journalism again? Seems I didn’t need to learn all the “ins and outs” of the craft, because it’s obvious from the links you have been putting up the past two days, these people didn’t bother too.

    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to your run on Detective. Like I’ve told you before I’m been an avid fan since your run on Wonder Woman. :) Oh and Revelations was awesome. Great job!

  7. sixteenbynine

    Even to this day, I suspect most of the “journalism” (scare quotes, I know) done for major news outlets about stuff like comics are done by the people who also cover the general lifestyles beat, and so have little or no idea how to research something like this properly. Probably because they don’t really suffer any adverse consequences for it ….

    … or, rather, didn’t. When more of one’s readership not only reads this stuff but takes it seriously (even if one is not inclined to think they do), then it makes sense to get someone in there who actually knows what the heck they’re talking about.

    But since Salon is probably as pinched as anyone else for people, they probably have even less inclination to do that.

  8. electricvinyl

    And the design is great! Should have said that too… ;)

  9. crisper

    Jim has never been much of a fan of impractical costumes!

  10. nweinham

    Lazy f’ing journalism. Not just for the lack of fact checking (irresponsible,) but for trudging down the worn tracks of fear and spectacle (-monger.) Even with facts in hand there’s that bent towards building an article around fear (fear politics / fear media.) Because it sells, obviously. “Hey, look how you’re being threatened!” rather than “Hey, look how we’re moving forward!” Greg, you and the team are making great strides. It’s ridiculous that sex-pref is an issue, but it is. To re-humanize same-sex, we need accessible examples. You’re out there giving us new metrics. Cheers!

  11. dewline

    Something for me to remember in future.

  12. dewline

    And it’s not as if there aren’t resources for journalists to use these days, for everything from basic skills refreshers at poynter.org(for example) to industry/artform-specific stuff to background on the minorities to which assorted characters are depicted as belonging.

  13. nweinham

    Word. And a kind-of related point, mentioned on poynter.org, is this Charlie Rose panel (30min) about the Future of Newspapers. But I digress. :)

  14. nweinham

    Awesome. Pork pie hat == Masterful disguise.

  15. rae_beta

    I’ve been seeing a lot of this shit in mainstream media coverage of comics. It’s like “Oh, we know what those fanboys are like. Research would be overkill.” Where’s Kira Cochrane when you need her?

  16. cwweir

    But did you see the ABC news clip? That seemed fairly positive.

  17. scottyquick

    Totally, totally off-topic, but holy cow I love your avatar. Can I use it? I’ll give credit to youg of course.

  18. rae_beta

    I just cropped it from the Manhunter#25 cover; as far as I’m concerned, it’s fair game. =)

  19. the_fallen_

    I’m actually a fan of the over all costume and it looks pretty damn practical to me.

    And last I checked Kate’s sexual prowess isn’t being made a big deal or played up by the author. Sadly it’s not the fact that we are getting a strong female lead in a big DC title but her sexual orientation that’s getting press.

    Oh and they look like really long combat boots to me.

    And the salon manages to offend every one of us who reads comics with the “boys brains breaking” comment. What stereotypical garbage.

  20. danielbarlow

    “I presume the author means comic book fans like this one.”

    This is the best comeback in the history of the Internet.

    All of us journalists aren’t bad, Greg, just a bunch at the top.

  21. ajpursell

    Wait… Salon’s still relevant?

  22. dewline

    Yeah. That comeback works.

  23. gailsimone1

    Gay, straight or upside-down in the monkey pit, those boots are hot.

    Gail

  24. raimisj

    Punk Rock

    Those boots are made for stompin.
    And that’s just what they’ll do
    One of these days those boots are gonna stomp all over you!

    When I was in third grade, the local paper did an article about our school’s indigenous peoples day festival, and incorrectly described my lily-white friend as “part Cherokee”. I haven’t trusted a word in print since.

  25. admin

    All JH.

    When I saw it the first time I pretty much geeked-out all over again.

  26. admin

    And don’t forget the glasses….

  27. admin

    That’s always been part of the appeal to me, too. It’s an odd tension, though, because there is a tension between “costume” and “plain clothes.”

    We’ve been trying to give her a more consistent look. Hopefully you’ll see the latest evolution later this year.

  28. admin

    Clearly penned by a scholar of the form.

  29. admin

    Glad you liked it.

    No offense to the work Jonathan, Philip, and I did on Revelations, but the stuff in TEC is gonna blow your mind — it’s just a totally different stripe of cat.

  30. admin

    No, he wants it all to make sense. Given his utilitarian bent, the layouts and page construction consistently blow me away. Very non-traditional.

  31. admin

    Excellent link, thanks!

  32. admin

    I’m afraid to. ;)

  33. admin

    Fair cop — I can’t rightly bitch about tarring the fan community in sentence and then indict all journalism in the next.

    And yeah, I was kinda pleased with that link, myself. :D

  34. jjgalahad

    I don’t know if it’s the same clip is talking about but I found this news clip of two anchors discussing “BATWOMAN!” (/smarmy newscaster voice) iaround 2:50. Brace yourself if you work up the nerve to click it. ;)

  35. jjgalahad

    Demanding accuracy and facts from people who write the news? Why, that’s just crazy talk!

    Very much looking forward to the series – that art is amazing. And beautiful comebacks, btw. :)

  36. jjgalahad

    Upside-down in the monkey pit is a terrible place to be. It’s a little known yet horrifying fact that monkeys love the taste of eyelashes. But yes, those boots are crazy hot.

    P.S. I loved Ragdoll’s multitude of little monkeys.

  37. jonlaw

    On the one hand, backing off from a broad stereotype is not wrong. However, I have found that in the government/policy reporting where I know my stuff, journalism is bad from local to national. There is no fact checking, no context, no balance, no objectivity, no depth no dispassion and frankly no fairness.

    I can’t say that this is the case for all journalists. But is the case for all the journalism I have read or watched that touches on my areas of expertise. It makes me sad and frankly scared.

    When things are “exposed” it seems more through luck than any skill, dedication or quality in the reporting. I have become intensely cynical and unhappy with the “news.”. Even so, I try to be dedicated and give a chance to NPR and PBS and hope that there is enough quality and an attempt to be aware of bias. But I am intensely skeptical.

    And don’t even get me stsrted on cable news. I am just finishing up travel and I have discovered I am glad I don’t hav e that sewer emptying into my house. I think I have found universal contempt for them all. Even the folks that you like.

    I hope for the sake of us all that we can get the voices of good journalists out. But I don’t have much hope.

  38. tranceptor

    That would be cool to see. Though there is something to be said about consistently inconsistent.

  39. abc_evie

    I think DC could single-handedly fix the economic crisis by licensing the manufacture of those boots.

    And all of this infuriating nonsense will blow over, not that it’s not winding me up daily anyway.

  40. nadefilippis

    I’m not sure why anyone needs to work up the nerve to click it – other than the smarmy newscaster voice, which you’d get if they were discussing kittens or the weather and does not reflect on their attitude about Batwoman but rather on the type of people who get work as newscasters.

    The coverage on that clip is hugely positive, with both announcers commending DC’s move to diversify their superhero ranks, and with one of them saying “it’s about time” there was a lesbian superhero.

    Are their facts wrong? Was Renee Montoya a lesbian superhero some time ago? Sure.

    But this is a woman taking over the pages of Detective frigging Comics, the flagship from which DC gets its name. And it’s a woman taking over shortly after Batman dies, creating a replacement vibe. The news is gonna eat that up, especially if she represents an additional under-represented demographic.

    All this news is GOOD for Greg and the book. It may boost sales, it may not. But it makes the book incredibly relevant to DC, which can bring editorial headaches, but often means good things in terms of support for the work.

    Trust me, it’s no fun to work on a book your publisher thinks of as largely irrelevant. This hype helps prevent against that (though the fact that it was in Detective was a good bulwark against that to start with).

  41. dewline

    Hats and the Questions

    Porkpie? Isn’t that Carl Kolchak’s signature headgear?

    I always thought the Questions were supposed to be in for fedoras.

  42. dewline

    Yes, it was. It still is.

    Looking forward to the next year…

  43. nweinham

    Re: Hats and the Questions

    I can see it now, Art Carney as The Question. The zaniest detective in the five boroughs.

  44. dewline

    Re: Hats and the Questions

    Make it “Anywhere from Saint-Louie to Chi-Town”, and I’m in.

  45. jjgalahad

    Heh. Really, it’s just the smarmy newscaster voice. As somebody who gets all his news either online or in print, I’d honestly forgotten how cheesy they can sound.

    You’re absolutely right about all of it. The commentary itself is actually quite positive and a big plus mark for the creators, the book and the GBLTA community. Any promotion of a comic book in the mainstream media is a good promotion, to rework the old Hollywood adage.

    I wish hype would extend similarly to other books with gay characters in them but I know that none of them have quite the same cache as Batman. Fingers crossed that intelligent retailers out there will also point interested new customers to the wide variety of other quality comic books out there with GBLT characters.

  46. scottyquick

    waitaminute, YOU’RE RACHEL! I’m Lawliet! I feel like I should be surprised but the second thing I thought after “wow that’s from that awesome cover” is that “oh yeah Rachel at GW loved that cover too”.

  47. rae_beta

    It’s a small, small, small, small internet.

  48. odessasteps

    Lesbian batwoman is one thing.

    Bringing King Tut to comics (and not having look like Victor Buono) is a whole new level of WIN.:>

  49. will_eslinger

    Your passion for this book…

    Makes me want to invent a time machine to June so I can read it. (also, I’m graduated in June, so there’s that)

  50. atticreviews

    So . . . . . . seen Time magazine?

  51. admin

    Nope.

    That good, huh?

  52. atticreviews

    Whoops, sorry. It was Newsweek.

    Small quote. No real context. I think people will just see the word ‘lesbian’ and jump to whatever conclusion is easiest.

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