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steph hey you
So, you guys, time to learn about my experience at Heroes Con. I'll talk about the panels first. Because they were...pretty amazing. But not in a good way.

The DC Nation panel was the one where I actually asked questions annnd stuff. First of all, it looks like a good time for Jason Todd fans because Sattler seemed pretty into it and he says they think they've finally found a good place for him as an anti-hero-villian whatever in the DCU and he's super stoked about the Lost Days mini. So for the tons of Jason fans on my f-list, that's good for you.

Now for the bad- second_batgirl's friend asked about Cass and Misfit. Misfit is showing up soon, probably in BoP, but Cass... well, apparently they want to get her reintroduction "right". They had plans, but those got sidetracked. She's coming back, but they don't want to mess anything up. Honestly, as I've said before, this might be a good thing, because if they're worried about getting Cass "right", at least she's not in danger of being raped and killed right now.

They called on me and I seconded wanting to see a return of Cass, telling them that I loved the Steph series, but I wanted her to be a part of it, especially since she's so important to Babs and Steph and the Batgirl legacy.

I popped the question on minority characters. I wrote it down even, so I could get it right. I actually mentioned the topic was big on the internet and referenced WFA (I really shouldn't have bought WFA into it now that I think but I was nervous) I basically said "I co-run a linkblog called When Fangirls Attack, and a big topic that's trending right now is concern over the treatment of minority characters- with Cassandra Cain gone, Lian Harper and Ryan Choi's recent death- as well as several others- and the fact they're being replaced by white people. Do you have any comment?"

And...well...you've seen his response on scans_daily. At the very least, he thanked me for bringing me up and admitted it was an issue they should take responsibility for. But he also did some TRUE strawman arguing in response.  I'll try to break down the answer for you:

1. He could counterstatistic at me all day the good they've done with minority characters!
2. Ryan Choi's death was a hard decision! Really!
3. These things are unintentional!
4. The deaths etc are spread apart pretty far when you look at it from the view of a comic book editor. Also, Ryan and Cass have been inactive forever (I'm not sure how that was supposed to counteract my point?)
5.  "We have pink and green people". Yes, I do believe he was serious when he said that. A couple people laughed, but he sonded like he was being sincere.

But at any rate, I asked the question and bought attention to the issue, and that's all that really mattered to me. Also, Margot and her friends applauded me, so that was nice!

Honestly, the panel was kind of depressing over all. The only good part was when people gushed over the Batgirl series. Several people chimed in that they loved the book, and loved the lighter, Buffy-ish vibe to it. Ian Sattler made sure to inform everyone that he was not around when Steph got killed that time and he said he was glad they bought her back and he thought that it was believable how it was done. ("We faked a death! I do that every week! In real life!")

Margot asked why the Wonder Woman movie not selling would affect a Batgirl Y1 movie, and Sattler basically blew her off, telling her not to read rumors on the internet so much. So I clarified it, saying that it came from an interview with Bruce Timm, and not a rumor, but that I didn't think he could answer that anyway since it's not in his purview. He said thanks to me for clarifying, then he said something about Margot's question being "snarky"... I just think he was pretty rude about the whole thing.

Only other news of note I remember from the panel was Connor and Mia will be involved in the new Green Arrow title. Pray for them. (Sattler said he was responsible for the stuff happening to Arrow family. I'm afraid I can't really respect his editorial skill there).

Anyway, I chatted with Margot afterwards, and then we went to the Defective Comics panel, which was hilarious thanks to Jeff Parker. He went on a blistering rant about the comics industry and especially laid into Rise of Arsenal #3, talking about Speedy's impotency/dead cat flinging/drug binging glory, and then saying "and this kid used to go go-go dancing with the Titans!" He also claimed that Howard the Duck would have been raped and filleted and eaten if he was around now. Colleen Coover was there too, and she is also awesome. She did porn comics because she "wanted to do something that was actually good".

On Sunday, I went to the Conversation with Ian Sattler panel which was...well, I actually had to take a break because I got alternately bored and frustrated. He basically spent the first half of the panel ranting against the Internet and it's rumors and terribleness, and restating more of the same about minorities (because some guy made a joke about it and maybe because I was there). What was hilarious was I went over to the Family Friendly panel for a few minutes, and they discussed how mainstream comics should have less gore and more accessibility. Then I went back to the other panel, and there was Sattler saying people wouldn't read comics if they toned down the gore. Warring panels!

Bill Willingham came in the panel, and ohmygod this really stupid guy bought up Steph, saying her death was poignant and he didn't think they should have bought her back because it was so important Batman kicked her to the curb and Leslie Thompkins (yes, he apparently liked THAT too) and Mom got all uncomfortable next to me...to Willingham's credit, he shut the guy down, saying the death was never his plan and he actually argued for Steph to live. Sattler said he wasn't around for it, and that the fans are really into Steph, and that he thinks it's important they redeemed Leslie Thompkins. Then Willingham had to ruin everything and say, and I swear to God this is a direct quote "I wanted to gun down those girls who kept asking about the memorial case."

My jaw just dropped open. I knew from interviews and shit that Willingham was an asshole- and I'm sorry, he is, for mocking people at panels, and mocking men for daring to cry over a comic book death- but that is just a creepy as fuck thing to say. I raised my hand and I wanted to say "Willingham, you're an asshole" but instead I just told him a) I hated Stephanie's death and b) You shouldn't want to gun people down for being passionate about a character.

Backpedaling time! No, see, those silly girls were just distracting from important issues at panels by asking the same question over and over again, andandand they just don't understanf how the comics industry works and then, I swear to god, he word for word said the "being hated is almost as good" quote. He DID. He and Sattler telled me that when fans hate a story, it's almost as good as if they love it, because at least they care.

Flaw in that logic, fellas. You do that enough? People are going to stop caring. You've got me close to it.

So I actually left a panel angry, which has never happened to me before. I don't know what was up with this year, I usually come out of panels feeling all positive and full of love for comics, but this year? It was just like they were determined NOT to listen, and to highlight all the negative things about comics in a panel. And I liked Dan Didio when I met him. I liked Sattler okay last year. But this year,though I don't hold it against him that we apparently disagree on several things in comics, I found him to be a bit rude and condescending at times, and don't even get me started on Willingham.

I don't hold it against people when they hold different opinions in comics, but apparently Jamal Igle does. Margot went to talk to him and said she was one of the people who said "yay" to him about Supergirl's shorts and he said "OH THE ONE I GOT IN A TWITTER FLAMEWAR WITH"  and according to her was very rude about it. (I don't think Igle's been in many arguments if he considers what happened between us a flamewar. I never insulted him or called him names, and in fact complimented him, a compliment he never thanked me for but apparently saw, since it was in that compliment I pointed out I was the one from the Supergirl shorts panel). And Margot was like "...no, but I know that girl."

So Jamal Igle remembered our Twitter war, and apparently now doesn't like me because I dared disagree with him. I hate it when people I thought were nice turn out to be...not what I thought.

To end on a positive note...the Comics Alliance panel was hilarious, and Chris Simms and Laura Hudson both agreed if there was one thing they'd wipe out from comics completely, it would be rape. Also, Simms regaled us with a personal recap of the famous "my vagina is haunted" Tarot tale. There was a panel about costumes that was pretty good, even if I only stayed for a half hour. And I saw Kate Beaton! She was cool.

My next post will be all sunshine and lollipops and rainbows and the awesome commissions I got as well as the buttload of trades I collected. But here's why comics still have a long way to go, in the Estimation of Caitlin.
 

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
second_batgirl
Jun. 8th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC)
WOW AM I GLAD I SKIPPED THE SUNDAY CONVERSATION PANEL.

*RAGE BLACKOUT*

On the bright side, at least I got to see you for a little while! And your question really was excellent, Sattler is just an ass.
big_wired
Jun. 8th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
To Hell with Bill Willingham. I can't believe he's getting nominated for an away in which a young Asian girl is shown, quite graphically, getting killed.

Seriously, that stuff he said makes me so mad. Gun down those who disagreed with him? UGH!

DC's whole attitude these days is mirroring Marvel's far too much.

Kudos to you for standing up and asking questions, even if they did nothing but give you the run around. You were a lot cooler than I would have been, that's for sure.
aliasjack
Jun. 8th, 2010 04:56 am (UTC)
The next question people need to ask these guys: "Do you not get that hating a book is actually bad? That it drives away customers? sure, there's the no-such-thing-as-bad-press myth, but even that has it's limits."
Goddamn I am in the mood to buy more Marvel right now.
katescorner
Jun. 8th, 2010 05:14 am (UTC)
I can't wait to compare my experiences. I'm going to comic-con this weekend.
weaverandom
Jun. 8th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC)
Jeeeeeeeeeeesus. *rage*


On a side note, I think you spelled "Wtfingham" wrong. Or maybe it's "Willingfuckheadham." I can never get that one right.

mrsfrankenstien
Jun. 8th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC)
Fucking FUCK, Willingham. Nothing funnier than threats of violence! I know it's mostly 'cos I haven't had enough sleep that I'm letting him get to me but I'm actually crying.
big_wired
Jun. 8th, 2010 12:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, your comment and others made me think that once more, just because women are disagreeing with men and that the latter does not like it, threats of violence are brought up. It's sickening that this happens, even over what's supposed to be a mature, adult discussion of comics at a panel.
rdfox
Jun. 8th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
To play devil's advocate, I'll say two things in defense of Willingham here:

A) I've said many times that I've wanted to shoot someone, not as a threat of violence, but as a way of expressing how frustrated and annoyed I am with them. It's not really a *wise* thing, but it doesn't necessarily mean that he really wanted to commit violence upon anyone--just that it would have been very cathartic to be able to do so.
B) I can also understand his frustration and annoyance--how would you react if you were going to make public appearances pretty much every other weekend, and at each and every one of them, during the very limited time for Q&A, someone got up and asked *exactly* the same question that you'd been answering for six months, when you know for a fact that the Q&A sessions get posted on the internet within a couple of hours? I'd be getting annoyed at having to answer the same question over and over again, and frustrated at people who already *know* what the answer will be taking up time that could be used for *new* questions.

Just a couple of observations, trying to look at it from his point of view. (Icon is not intended as an observation on either side, it's just my "politics" icon.)
bluejaybirdie
Jun. 10th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC)
A) True, but you're not a figure of authority/any type of spokesperson. Being someone who has power, be it something relatively small like being a comic writer or large like the presidency, there's a responsibility not to say things like that. In private, sure, but not in a public setting like Willingham did here. The repercussions of the statement is an authority figure, however jokingly, advocating violence against dissenters, which is definitely not cool.

(And the phrase "gunning [someone] down" seems a lot more deliberate, hostile, and disturbing than a plain "man, I could shoot [whomever]" IMHO)

B) Honestly, the question needed to be asked, especially since there were no results. The issue in question was a symbol of a troubling trend in comics, and nothing was being done about it. Yes, fans could look up one interview on the internet, but unless people keep asking, DC would easily believe they were placated and wouldn't make any changes. On a larger scale, it would be like telling people to stop holding equal rights marches because they've already voiced their opinion once.
rdfox
Jun. 11th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
I certainly agree with you on A, and I think it was most likely a case of Willingham having completely and utterly fucked up when he said it, having come up with completely the *wrong* way to indicate his frustration with the issue. Not smart, but it happens. If it's a single incident of it, then it's just a moment of fleeting idiocy. Start worrying once it becomes a pattern, IMO. (Yeah, maybe it sounds silly, but I don't see this one statement as being *necessarily* endemic of a larger problem... again, I'm playing devil's advocate here, so I'm making the assumption of the best possible situation.)

On B, I certainly understand the need to keep asking, but again, I was playing devil's advocate, meaning I was trying to see it from the DC guys' perspective--after a few cons in a row, it would start to get *very* annoying to hear the exact same question every time. It's like how letter-writing campaigns work better when people actually write their own letters, instead of just printing out a boilerplate one and mailing it in--if you keep hearing the same thing over and over, with NO variation to it, you start to suspect it's a small, organized group that's making the statement instead of it being a sign of a general trend. Variations on the theme help, and occasionally giving them a weekend without having to hear the same question helps immensely with reducing frustration. (Alternatively, it might be less frustrating to have, at least at cons where there's a *lot* of people at the panel, to instead buttonhole them after the panel's over and ask the question privately--at least, that way, you're not preventing other questions from being asked.)

Again, this is all playing devil's advocate, trying to see things from Willingham/DC's perspective, and find a way to explain it as something other than malice...
merelymine
Jun. 8th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
The DC Nation panel was really weird this year. :(

I think the main problem with Sattler at the panel on Saturday was that he OBVIOUSLY didn't want to be answering the serious questions, and because of that he kept trying to make jokes where they weren't appropriate. It was really kind of awkward, especially since your question was such a good one.

I do think (not that it makes it any better) that he was being truthful when he said that they honestly hadn't intended/noticed that all those deaths/sidelining of characters were linked by race. However that just goes to show how little they pay attention to that kind of stuff, and that's really not okay. Which made it all the worse when he tried to say "we didn't notice so that makes it okay, lol!"

I thought the rest of the panel was fun, but there wasn't much substance to it, if that makes any sense? And I think that the enjoyment that I got from it came from all the fans being together and laughing more than anything else.

I really wanted to go to the Defective Comics panel, but Saturday was my last day at the show and I had to go dig for comics! I hate that I missed it now, it sounds like it was really good.
tripoli
Jun. 9th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
Wait, that Bill Willingham with Sattler on the Sunday panel?

BWAHAHA! I walked into that an hour late in my Girl Wonder t-shirt, at the tail end of the Steph conversation. There's no way I would've been able to keep a straight face if I'd heard Bill friggin' Willingham saying he wanted to gun me down.

I already felt like a goober for inappropriately snickering when Sattler clarified that Roy wasn't beating people with the dead cat, he thought the dead cat was his daughter, guys, come on. Now I can appreciate that panel on a whole new level.
tripoli
Jun. 9th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
And Comics Alliance was really funny, but I ended up skipping Kate Beaton because it was my only day at the con and I got caught up talking to some dealers on the floor. Was it awesome?
tavella
Jun. 10th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
Defective Comics panel, which was hilarious thanks to Jeff Parker. He went on a blistering rant about the comics industry and especially laid into Rise of Arsenal #3, talking about Speedy's impotency/dead cat flinging/drug binging glory, and then saying "and this kid used to go go-go dancing with the Titans!" He also claimed that Howard the Duck would have been raped and filleted and eaten if he was around now.

I kind of loved Jeff Parker for his MA: Avengers work, but I *really* love him now.
karenhealey
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
OH AWESOME WILLINGHAM.

I REALLY LOVE HEARING ABOUT YOUR FANTASIES ABOUT SHOOTING ME.
nevermore999
Jun. 11th, 2010 01:24 am (UTC)
Great, now I want to squee that you commented on my blog, but that would be totally insensitive given the circumstances, right? SO TORN.

Yeah, I'm sorry he said that for both yours and Mary's sake. It's terrible.
lovedatjoker
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
Been passed on here by another outraged fangirl and just feeling for ya. I would've been devastated to have been met with that much lady-hatin' from pros working on books I love. It made me angry just to read. :(
skalja
Jun. 10th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
Here from noscans_daily, and I wanted to say thanks for calling Willingham out. I would boycott him if I weren't already avoiding his work XD.

ETA: I changed my icon because it struck me as a bit insensitive, under the circumstances. My apologies to anyone I offended.

Edited at 2010-06-10 11:39 pm (UTC)
pyrotwilight
Jun. 11th, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)
Wait...what happened with Mr. Igle? Their was an argument over her skirt?
nevermore999
Jun. 11th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
We had an argument on Twitter over WiR and Lian Harper. He thoght
Lian's death was peachy keen and all that, and claimed WiR was disrespectful to the mens. I disagreed with him. Apparently he's still not over it, despite the fact I don't THINK I said anything rude during the argument other than, you know, not prostrating myself at his feet and agreeing with his every word.
brown_betty
Jun. 11th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
Super, fantasies about gunning down girls! That's not creepy at all!
queerveg78
Jun. 13th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
Let's get organized.
First, THANK YOU for standing up and asking these questions and calling these guys out!!

Second, I've been wondering how DC fans (and comics fans, in general) might be able to get organized to demand an end to oppressive representations. There's an incredible internet community that obviously gets the attention of these creators/editors, but I think an organized presence at Cons may be harder for these folks to dismiss. Especially when they see a large group of frustrated, organized, and dedicated fans sitting across from them at their PR panel.

I plan on attending NYCC in several months and possibly ComicCon in 2011 and would be more than willing to help put something together for those and other Cons.

Ideas, everyone?
benicio127
Jun. 14th, 2010 01:20 am (UTC)
So apparently Bill Willingham is denying he said it. Which pisses me off to no end.
nevermore999
Jun. 14th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC)
What the fuck. What. the. fuck. How can he- MY MOTHER WAS THERE. He can't deny what he said in front of a roomfull of people.
benicio127
Jun. 14th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
I've seen this happen before, but usually it's a politician's tactic. I'm not surprised and I wonder if it's possible that there's video footage of the panel?

I've actually had this happen to me a couple of times. I either showed the individual my notes or pulled out my tape recorder. They never really liked that, but they respected it enough.
chains_of_irony
Jun. 16th, 2010 11:07 am (UTC)
Weren't all the Heroecon panels recorded on tape?
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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