Friday, May 15, 2009

Joe Quesada Says: Ladies, Give Me Your Money And Shut Up

It's not often that I come across a quote from a major comic book creator that makes me go, "AAAAAAARGHSASHALBARGLRLE" with murderous fury and terrible rage. The reasons for this is that my expectations for socially progressive statements from the big two comic companies are staggeringly low.

So when a reader came out and said that this cover to "Marvel Divas" was sexist, I was extra impressed by Joe Q's reply ;

"If you’re Marvel reader and truly feel we’re sexist, then why are you reading our books?  Now, perhaps you’re not a Marvel reader, then if that’s the case, I’m not quite sure what you’re criticizing if you don’t read our books?"

Putting aside that the reader was concerned about an image, something that can be critiqued as soon as someone views it, this defense is completely bulletproof. I'm sorry, I meant "bullshit". Completely bullshit.

If you are buying Marvel Comics, perhaps because you enjoy some of the characters they have exclusive rights too, then you've immediately lost the right to question any subject matter in those comics. But if you're not reading them, perhaps because you found the cover of a comic you'd otherwise be interested in too demeaning to women, then your opinion is again invalid. Basically, this statement says; ladies, give me your money and shut up.

Now, to his credit, Joe Q goes on to give an industry answer to this issue; that if the book launched with a less sex-laden cover, it would never sell. He even goes so far as to say that "the book would be canceled before it hits the shelves,*" and defends the cover, saying "Is the cover image provocative, perhaps, but it’s no more or less than any other book we do."

I find this interesting, because by saying this, Joe Q acknowledges what he's denied the reader the ability to point out - that there is something wrong here, it's the industry standard, and what's more it's The Marvel Standard. A standard that they, with their huge market share and some of the most popular and iconic characters in the world, could fight against. A standard that they have no intention of ever challenging.

I don't know about you, but I don't want a comic company that's going to grumble, "Yeah, yeah, we know that we're not great to women, but what are we supposed to do?" and pushes Incompetent Professional She-Hulk and Domesticated Mary Jane statues on me. And I certainly don't want one that's going to tell me to shut up while they're doing it.


* All I have to say to this is, "28 Issue Run."


Sonictail said...

Both Q and Didido need to take early retirement -_- The annoying thing is that the artwork inside the book at this stage looks good. Why the hell did they bother with a Campbell cover, there's no need!

in short, I agree with your raging, the man is a tool

BonnieBelle said...

Yes, that is classic tool behavior. It's like, heads I win, tails you lose. There's no legitimate way, in his eyes, to dispute the rightness or wrongness of the cover.

Erica said...

Somehow I always thought editor-in-chiefs were supposed to help shape the market. My bad.

And I had not seen that She-Hulk statue. FAIL.

Sennapod said...

Hmmm...and since no one bought 'Domesticated Mary Jane'...oh wait! It's SOLD OUT! Guess it's a product PEOPLE WANT, BITCH!!