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5 More Lady-Led Comics and The Men Hollywood Will Probably Ask to Direct Them

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Sonja Palmer

Staff Writer

Sonja resides in Asheville, NC where she has a job she loves at a children’s nonprofit.  When she’s not working, she probably has a book or comic in hand as she tries to read her way out of the ever-growing stack in her small apartment.  On weekends, she’s probably clambering through the mountains with her husband and dog or trying to eat too much cake while watching Great British Bake Off.

With Joss Whedon being handed the new Batgirl solo movie, I thought I’d just save Hollywood some time and help them figure out which women’s comic book stories should be paired with which famous male director, because it’s not like we can trust women with women’s stories.

Bitch Planet can be directed by Quentin Tarentino. Well guys, I mean he did Kill Bill so we know he like, knows about women and stuff because there were women in that. Also, he can do violence, and he likes using offensive words so come on, man. It’s got “bitch” right there in the title. This is just waiting for some bloody action scenes and some added creeper monologues. BAM, problem solved Hollywood.



art by Mingjue Helen Chen

So for Gotham Academy, I’m thinking we give good ole Tim Burton another crack at Gotham.  I mean, he’s been there before, and who else can really capture this series and female friendships at a boarding school like Mr. Burton. Johnny Depp can totally be like the schoolmaster person. That’s a character right? Yeah, yeah, carry on. This is perfect.



Art by Sana Takeda

Ahem, okay, so go with me here, but Monstress is a really expansive beautiful world that calls for lush scenery and long fantastical battle scenes so I’m definitely thinking PETER JACKSON.  Every person said they wanted the first book to be longer, so like, this is perfect. Bonus points, I’ve already cast the lead and we are thinking Scarlett Johansson, because like who else can really capture that main character?  WHEW, glad we worked that one out.


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

So I heard you guys want Anna Kendrick for squirrel girl, and that’s fine I guess, as long as we pair that with Judd Apatow because we’ve heard this one is funny or something, and when you think feminist you think Joss Whedon and when you think funny you think Judd Apatow. Just add like a couple of gross out jokes and this is set. Then when it succeeds we can all pat ourselves on the back for being progressive and letting women take center stage and allowing them to be funny, because HAHAHAHA, that’s totally a surprise every time it happens. Sit down honey, the men are talking over here.

For my final suggestion, why don’t we just give Lumberjanes to Wes Anderson. I mean, this is supposed to be quirky and colorful and he’s worked with kids before, right? Everyone LOVED Moonrise Kingdom. This is totally a success waiting to happen. But let’s make sure we only cast super conventionally attractive cis girls, because CAN YOU IMAGINE?  This is for children, you guys. So yeah, yeah, just throw some music and Wes at this one and we’ve totally got an indie darling.

If this all seems like a terrible idea, its because I’m being bitterly sarcastic. If these seem like great ideas, hoo boy my friend. We need to talk.

Dear Hollywood and the world in general: we have to start trusting women to tell women’s stories. I know there are more male directors in Hollywood, but it is long past time to change that. Ideally we don’t even have to have a male co-director to soothe studio’s feelings. More than that, please stop casting white people to play people of color, and for the love of God stop casting Jared Leto to play trans women. Let’s just stop casting Jared Leto altogether. Can we do that?

These stories are about women being heroes and the center of their own stories, and I know you think people like Joss Whedon are the mouthpiece for feminism and heroes, but it is long past time for women and people of color to be trusted with their own stories in comics and in movies about comics. If you say you’re an ally, but you continually take the stories for yourself and talk about how progressive you are and how you are making space for new stories, I don’t know how much of an ally you are really being when instead you could be using your leverage to fight for people to tell their own stories.

And before you rant and rave, I’m not saying only women can tell their own stories, and that men can never talk or direct women’s stories or that women have never directed their own stories or whatever other argument you’re about to make. I’m just saying we could keep the mostly white dude comic thing that’s been going on a long time and blame diversity for sales (seems to be going great for you Marvel. Top notch work guys), or we could try actually doing the thing we should have doing all along.