The Week’s Most Popular Posts: April 18 – 22, 2016

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

Here’s the highlight reel from the week that was on Panels:

The article states that while some of this falls upon the publisher, the rest is heaped upon the collective shoulders of the reader. In other words: “They built it; why didn’t you come?” The implication being: this is just another case of the “loud” vocal minority on the Internet.

Let’s take a deeper look at this whole idea, shall we? The first thing I see is that this piece focuses solely on single (print) issue sales. And while that’s a common metric and the most relevant for the direct market, it really casts a selective focus that ignores critical context.

from It’s Not That Simple: Diversity and Comic Book Sales by Dave Accampo

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The beauty of art in general and comics in particular is that not everything has to be literal. The freedom of creation is theoretically infinite. The possibilities are limitless and the stories to be told are endless. Science fiction and fantasy can prove powerful settings for complex situations and interesting metaphors. For example, the X-Men are a way to think about how we approach difference. They are a community defined by its alterity. But here is the twist: if they are a minority, the mutants are actually a powerful one (literally). And now comes into play—like with a lot of superhero comics—our relationship to power and being at the mercy of forces beyond our control. So clearly the “write what you know” advice can hardly been taken in the most restrictive sense.

from Writing Diversity: Telling A Story vs. Telling The Story by Hélène

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So, in the spirit of Nimona, and her shapeshifting ways, here are a few webcomics which feature queer magical creatures. For your reading pleasure I present a pair of goddesses, some mermaids, a vampire, and a werewolf.

from Magically Queer Webcomics by Keri Crist-Wagner

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Batman is inherently silly, something comics did its best to forget as it pushed back against the image of the campy Caped Crusader. The greatest Batman stories, though, understand that the character’s history isn’t something to be swept under the rug. Batman is the most grounded of all the iconic superheroes, a regular mortal among gods who spends his life wrestling with trauma and the pain of doing good. He’s also a billionaire playboy who dresses up in a bat costume in order to punch criminals in the face. And here’s the thing – neither of those facts negates the other! The reason Batman has been beloved for almost eighty years is that he can be pretty much anything. The Batman of The Dark Knight Returns can live happily alongside the Batman of ‘Surf’s Up! Joker’s Under!’, and in the midst of the battleground of hype and backlash surrounding Batman v Superman, Bat-Labels is there to remind us all of that.

from Bringing The Joy Back to Batman by Heather Davidson

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Finding myself and my journey through women in comics was not because I had little else. This process just seemed to happen, appearing to fall into my lap. While I’m sure there are some other psychological things to unpack, I am nonetheless grateful for the slew of women who I’ve incorporated into my emotional repertoire because they helped me form a conception of myself that felt unlimited. Embracing women in comics, whether in cape stories or other genres, meant that I got to experience power through femininity, but also a masculinity that gave me freedom to explore who I am. I realized eventually that my own gender can be presented in a variety of ways that do not have to fit the portrayal of men in comics. Being able to access parts of myself through women in comics was as curative as it was affirming.

from Reading Women in Comics as a Gay Man by Allen Thomas

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