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The Female Perspective: Frank Cho and Wonder Woman

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


So last week there was a flurry of stories regarding artist Frank Cho and his variant Wonder Woman covers. Seeing as a lot of the articles dealt with people being aghast at the amount of skin Cho was drawing and his departure from DC Comics because they did not like his covers (he quit the job) I became curious. Was this another case of women being drawn as fodder for drooling men?

Nope.

The few covers that Cho did do are actually quite stunning. They are well-executed and I have to say, awesome. I am neither offended by the amount of skin or the poses Wonder Woman is in. I am confused as to why there is even a story.

The fact is, Cho acted like a petulant child, posting this online:

All the problem lies with Greg Rucka.

EVERYONE loves my Wonder Woman covers and wants me to stay. Greg Rucka is the ONLY one who has any problem with covers. Greg Rucka has been trying to alter and censor my artwork since day one.

Greg Rucka thought my Wonder Woman #3 cover was vulgar and showed too much skin, and has been spearheading censorship, which is baffling since my Wonder Woman image is on model and shows the same amount of skin as the interior art, and it’s a VARIANT COVER and he should have no editorial control over it. (But he does. WTF?!!!)
I tried to play nice, not rock the boat and do my best on the covers, but Greg’s weird political agenda against me and my art has made that job impossible. Wonder Woman was the ONLY reason I came over to DC Comics.

To DC’s credit, especially [Art Director] Mark Chiarello, they have been very accommodating. But they are caught between a rock and a hard place.

I just wanted to be left alone and do my Wonder Woman variant covers in peace. But Greg Rucka is in a hostile power trip and causing unnecessary friction over variant covers.

ComicsBeat.com

Sure, Cho isn’t really taking the “high road” here, but whatever. What really annoys me is that DC hired him, knowing exactly what kind of artwork Cho is famous for (click here, but be warned NSFW) so why the heck are they hiring someone who has a website called Apes and Babes and who is KNOWN for drawing naked ladies in sexy positions?

The mindset of these comic companies baffles me. In 2014, Marvel had a similar issue, only they actually published a variant cover of Spiderwoman that was fairly insulting to women, spiders and anyone who has any respect for women. In this case, Cho’s covers are actually pretty awesome and in keeping with the characters spirit.

It’s a difficult thing in this world today, toeing the line between being “too” sensitive and being sensitive “enough”. I have to go with my own thoughts and feelings on these things, but as a feminist, as a woman, I see nothing wrong with Cho’s covers. I may not care for him as an artist (or as a human being), but his artwork here is pretty great. What I have to wonder is if DC was simply looking for some press (which they got) or if Cho just wanted out of the deal that he signed because he was frustrated with the team at DC, (or, Cho wanted some press) or these guys are really just children in disguise, and none of them know what they’re doing. My bet is on that last one.

There’s another aspect to this story though, is it inappropriate for the creative in charge of the story to want to have some control over how his/her story is packaged? Is it wrong that Greg Rucka didn’t like what Cho was doing and kicked up a fuss? That’s a tricky one. As an author, I would be aghast if someone took my character Katrina (from my book The Last Daughter of Lilith) and drew her as a sexpot wearing heels and a miniskirt (or something worse than that) because she is a simple character who wears simple clothing. I wouldn’t want that to happen either and would kick up a big ole fuss about it. In this case though, I’m not sure what is going on since (as you can see below), these covers are pretty cool, and not at all insulting to the source material.

Original Art.
Original Art.
Finished piece.
Finished piece.

While the cropping is different, ending at the knee, everything else is the same. There is no extra cleavage, no under skirt shot. I feel like I am missing some piece of a puzzle and these guys at DC are holding the piece I need to complete the puzzle over their heads going, “Nope, not gonna give it to you!”

Let’s look at one more.

Original Art.
Original Art.
Finished piece.
Finished piece.

Yep, I still don’t see it, do you? Am I missing something? If so, please enlighten me!

Tell me what YOU think about all this? Do you see the problem? Do you think there’s no problem and everyone in comics is coco-NUTS? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Why I’m Disappointed in “Supergirl”

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Oh Supergirl, I had such high hopes for you. I was so excited during the first episode when you seemed smart and capable. When you seemed unsure of your power and how to use it for good. When it seemed like you were going to be a good show.

Now, however many episodes in, I’m bored.

Here is why I’m disappointed in Supergirl.

  1. She’s trite. With all the power and responsibility now at her feet, she carries a torch for Jimmy Olsen and obsesses about what Cat needs. She also spends a lot of time convincing those around her that she is smart and capable and that they are super duper people with great personalities. Gag.
  2. Her friends are boring and needy and I find Jimmy Olson boring as heck.
  3. I feel that the feminist angle is being literally shoved down my throat rather than just placed gently in front of me (ala Agent Carter). We DO NOT need to be reminded multiple times in an episode that Supergirl is a woman. It’s built right into her title, SuperGIRL. Leaves nothing to the imagination. Stop telling us that she’s a woman and that women have to be strong and powerful. What I mean by stop telling is to start SHOWING us. Give us a Supergirl that IS strong instead of her talking about it all the dang time.
  4. The fact that they can’t have Superman on the show is lame and her sharing cute little IM’s with him is just stupid. They need to figure that out STAT.
  5. The writing stinks. It’s trite and it’s extraordinarily lazy. When you have someone with super hearing that doesn’t hear her best friend being kidnapped in the hallway outside your apartment, that’s an issue.

The fact is, Supergirl is a show that has a lot of potential. I still have hope that they’ll figure out who they are before Season 2 because right now Supergirl is in the midst of an identity crisis. It wants to be a show about a kick-ass heroine but it also wants to appeal to teenagers and young girls.

CBS_SUPERGIRL_101_CLEAN_IMAGE_thumb_Master

Let me tell you something CBS, you can have a show about a woman that is both smart, fun AND appealing to young girls without making it suck for the adults who watch it. My boyfriend loves all the little nugget of Supergirl coolness that they add in for fans. We both detest the “love triangle” between Kara, Jimmy and her geeky friend who’s name I can’t even be bothered to remember. It’s boring. As a grown woman,  I find the fact that another grown woman (and SUPERGIRL no less) is clearly pining away for Jimmy. He has a woman, get over it Kara and do something with all your power, you know, save some people instead of eating pizza with your sister or getting food for Cat.

I know that Supergirl has to have human qualities, especially since she’s lived as a human most of her life but … Does she have to be so childish? So … bubble-headed? I long for the Supergirl created by Helen Slater, she was young and naive but she was also strong, smart and more than capable of saving her friends from the witchy Selena. I think Supergirl is having issues because it is on CBS and not the CW like it’s brother shows, Arrow and The Flash. Both shows are killing it on the CW. Both shows are about hero’s who are flawed, confused and longing for a normal life but also fighting bad guys and being smart. They have the formula down (but, to be fair, it took a season for Arrow to get really good), Supergirl needs some help and I hope she finds it before she gets the axe.

I need Supergirl to be...well, SUPER.
I need Supergirl to be…well, SUPER.

I also know that a show about a female heroine can be good. Agent Carter is the perfect example of that. Peggy Carter is smart, kind, strong and capable. All the things a woman should be who is used to taking care of herself. Supergirl seems like she’s never taken care of a houseplant, let alone herself, though we’re supposed to believe she’s lived on Earth most of her life, has an apartment and a job and yet, she’s still so … blah. I want more from my Supergirl and I’m willing to be patient because I’m a patient woman, but if Season 2 is anything like Season 1, this woman is going to start skipping Supergirl and go straight for Agent Carter.

What do you think of Supergirl? Is she “super” or is she boring? Sound off in the comments?