The Week’s Most Popular Posts: March 7 – 11, 2016

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

Let’s take a look back at the week that was, here on Panels:

What actually bothered me more about this, though, was how dismissive it is of female readers and critics. To me, Danika Hart—the YouTuber excited about a black Spider-Man—read as a stereotype of young women on the internet, down to her over-excited gushing and her dancing to an impromptu “Black Spider-Man” song. It felt like a mean-spirited takedown of the “Tumblr Fan”, the ultimate “Fake Geek Girl” who doesn’t actually read comics, but posts about them online. (Never mind that no one’s verified that these “Tumblr Fans” actually exist, outside of the usual crowd of trade-waiters and others who can’t afford to buy every comic ever published.) It’s also punching down in the worst way for one of the best-selling writers in comics history to mock young female fans for how they decide to celebrate the books they love.

from SPIDER-MAN #2’s Attack on Female Fans by Charles Paul Hoffman

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You might think that comics and dating having little overlap, beyond the possibility of comics being a shared interest. I thought so too, until recently when I redownloaded Tinder (don’t judge me) and discovered that being a woman and liking comics invites a whole host of ways for people to disqualify themselves as being potential dating material.

Thanks to the helpful dudes of Tinder, I’ve been able to add quite generously to my list of red flags. I’ve gotten a few of these already – some on first dates, some thankfully before I ever got to the first date – and (thanks to my fellow Panelteers) a few I’m watching out for.

from 10 Things Not To Say To Me On A First Date by Rachel Manwill

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I’m not arguing that Marvel should increase the diversity of their casting because it’ll make them more money, though all signs point to it doing just that. They should do it because it’s the right thing to do; because everyone deserves to see someone who looks like them as a hero, not just white men. But please, stop with the tired scaremongering about Marvel – or DC, or any other comic book company – losing fans on opening day because they changed the race of a character, or frankly for any other reason. Not only are most comic book fans better than that, but we’re honestly a drop in the bucket compared to the kinds of audiences these franchises bring in.

Which brings me back to the title of this article. What, exactly, is the financial cost of racebending?

from The Financial Cost of Racebending by Jessica Plummer

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I love Batgirl, and I wish more people I knew were reading it. It’s fun and incredibly well written, it’s progressive, with great representation, the art is incredible, and Babs is just so perfect (and not perfect at the same time, which makes her even more perfect.) If you’re not reading this excellent series, written by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, art by Babs Tarr, and colors by Anna LaPoint, you’re missing out. And with the second volume out in trade now, it’s the perfect time to catch up!

So without further ado, I present 7 panels from Batgirl, Vol. 2 that show you just why you need to pick up this excellent series.

from 7 Reasons You Need To Pick Up BATGIRL #2 by Swapna Krishna

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Substitute artists are mainly used by Marvel and DC to keep the ball rolling 12 months a year with a full-length 32-page comic every single month (or more)–a pace that’s virtually impossible for a single artist to keep up.

Most creator-owned books, like the ones you’ll find at Image, don’t do this. Take Sagafor example: rather than pump out an issue every month for the whole year, they’ll release a six-issue story arc once a month for six months, and then take a few months off so Fiona Staples can recharge her batteries before beginning the next arc.

DC and Marvel, on the other hand, want readers coming back to their local comic shop to put down cold hard cash every month (or week!). Many superhero comic readers are invested in a series for the iconic characters rather than for a specific artist, so they’re more likely to keep buying a book regardless of who’s drawing it.

from Adventures of a Comic Book Newbie: Why Do Series Use Substitute Artists? by Jake Shapiro

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We’re only, what, ten weeks into 2016, and already there have been all-male comics panels and titles with minimal representation and lady-free Kickstarters (for a project about a woman!) and backlash against a plus-sized heroine and the discontinuation of diverse titles and on and on and on. Writing about comics and caring about diversity and inclusion in 2016 often feels like one step forward and two steps back. I’m not immune from wondering why I bother, a lot of the time, when I’m sifting through the hate-filled egg avatars in my Twitter mentions.

from Why I Need My Comics Girl Gang by Brenna Clarke Gray

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