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A final word on the Supergirl shorts saga

So. I've been totally into this HP parody musical thing that was posted on Youtube. It's HILARIOUS. But it's been temporarily taken down because WB sucks. But it should be back up soon, and then I'll link you guys to it.

In other news, since my statement about Supergirl's scandalous shorts has caused such a sensation, I'd sorely sort of like to state a statement that simply swooped upon me a sum of two days ago.

(Edit: This is a reaction to the 'Rama article about Supergirl's shorts. I mean seriously. I am quoted by Jamal Igle. What is it with me attracting industry people's attention just by being my pushy feminist self? I suddenly turned the shorts in a a NEWSARAMA story just by bringing them up, what the hell. And Jamal quoted me!

Igle said that the negative reaction, thankfully, is in the minority, and he’s approached by female Supergirl fans at panels who thank him for the changes that he and Gates have brought to the book, noting how one woman at a recent panel at Heroes Con in North Carolina said that prior to his and Gates’ start on the book, she had tried to read the series, but with the costume, and her “bad girl” attitude, realized that the book wasn’t being written for the character’s female fans.

Yeah, that was me. WHAT THE HELL, first Jann Jones and now this. Here's the story: www.newsarama.com/comics/060926-Supergirl.html#comments)

I don't think the shorts are the biggest deal ever. My main concern is story telling. If Supergirl is about some flirtysexual dynamo of a character who gets off on showing guys her panties, clearly she wouldn't wear shorts. And I wouldn't read the book as that's not my thing. But others would enjoy it, and they could have all the T & A they desired. My main concern is good storytelling. I want the art to reflect the character, I want the art to reflect the story told. When Supergirl was a bratty, unlikable vixen-y 20 something in a 16 year olds body, the art, as hideous as it was, reflected that. It was a bad book, and I stayed away from it. And if someone had been drawing that book like it was drawn now, yet the character was still the same, I would still stay away from it. There would be a disparity between the art and writing.

The Supergirl that we have now is a confident but struggling young woman who is trying to pull her life together and make the right choice. She has a brain, and she's in the game to save lives, not have people stare up her skirt. Any girl with half a brain and a sense of modesty would not want to be flashing their panties (or lack of panties) while saving the world, if she wasn't focused on attracting people's stares.

This is what I'm getting into about storytelling. If the writing paints Supergirl this way, the art should reflect it. If the Supergirl we have now was constantly showing her knickers, I would not just be annoyed at the tastelessness of sexualizing an underage girl, I'd be PULLED OUT OF THE STORY. It would seem out of character and jarring. The story would be sending one message (Supergirl is strong, sensible and confident) and the art another (you should forget all that, and focus on her hot body. Also, Kara is an idiot who doesn't realize photographers are going to be running around under her trying to get upskirt shots). Mairrage of art and story is what makes a good comic book. Jamal Igle is sending the same message (Supergirl is strong, sensible and knows how the world works) that Sterling Gates is, by not focusing on cheesecake and instead focusing on storytelling.

This makes for a good comic and one that girls like me can relate too. It's just good storytelling. It allows us to focus on the character.

The case in point was at the Brave and Bold Panel- I saw a bit in Brave and Bold #4 where Supergirl tells Lobo: "Look up my skirt and I melt your face". And I was like "...If you don't want people to look up your skirt, why are you wearing it?" I'm not saying "Guys can't control their hormones" or it's Supergirl's fault Lobo's a skeez, I'm saying WHY. There's only one reason I think you'd go flying in a skirt- you want people to look up it. Because they will. Not even on purpose or because they want to. They'll look up, and they'll see your underwear. If you like that, fine. Go ahead. But if you don't...wear some goddamn shorts. Brave and Bold is a perfect example of my talk of art and storyytelling not working together. Supergirl is supposed to be powerful and sensible, and she doesn't want Lobo goggling her panties. Yet she wears a costume that guarantees everyone will goggle at her panties. Where is the logic here? How am I supposed to understand a character like that?

And finally, the shorts allow Jamal Igle to bring actual physics into his art. He doesn't have to do gymnastics to make sure the skirt stays down whatever posistion Kara's in. (On TV Tropes, they call it "Magic Skirt". tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MagicSkirt ) I  can only imagine what a relief that must be. Now he can focus on actual important things, like y'know...THE STORY.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
golden_tuna
Jun. 26th, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC)
i love reading the lists on tv tropes! lol
nevermore999
Jun. 27th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, that place'll eat up your life.
scottyquick
Jun. 28th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
There's even a trope for that!

Also, I'm loving Jamal Igle now more then ever, because I just read 52 and it was like five straight issues alternating between Barrows and Bennett, and then all of a sudden we get Igle and it's like the day is saved!
parsimonia
Jun. 26th, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
Well said!
nevermore999
Jun. 27th, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
Thanks!
the_narration
Jun. 27th, 2009 04:36 am (UTC)
Heh. Well, I guess you must make quite the impression.

You're dead on about the stupidity of the panty shots. Even before I hated that sort of nonsense because I was a feminist, I hated it for being just plain stupid. If I'm watching or reading a work of fiction, it's because I want a good story, not because I want to ogle girls. "Fan service" is just distracting and obnoxious and makes the work in question seem stupid and immature. I'd rather have the Magic Skirt than the fetishy flashing of an underage girl's underwear, but the most sensible option is for fictional characters to dress practically when they're expecting to have to engage in physical activity, like real people would.
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Jun. 23rd, 2010 04:17 am (UTC)
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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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