• comic books

    2% is not equality

    The comic book blogosphere has been obsessed by one topic of conversation lately: the reboot of the DC Comics Universe that’s coming in September. All the forthcoming 52 titles will be reset to number 1, which (theoretically) will leave the creative teams free to forge new identities for the characters. Information has been released to the fans about the forthcoming changes in a slow-drip fashion. It’s a cunning PR strategy to inflame interest and discussion about the direction DC is taking. They’ll also be offering digital downloads of the comics on the same day as the print release, which is a big indicator of where they think the market is…

  • advocacy

    be part of the solution

    It’s no surprise to any of my regular readers that I’ve considered myself a feminist from the moment I understood what it meant. Most importantly, I have always stated that fact without embarrassment or the need for a self-deprecating modifier (‘but I like men!’, ‘but I never burned a bra!’, etc. etc.). Yet, for me it comes with a responsibility. I always remember that it’s due to the legacy of action by past feminists that I enjoy the right to vote, as well as a raft of anti-discrimination legislation. It’s up to succeeding generations of women to continue their mission for equality and fair treatment for everyone (irrespective of gender,…

  • comic books

    Kapow! – with added women

    The Kapow! Comic Book convention is going on this weekend, and it’s good to see that in the face of criticism over its initial all-male line-up the event has adjusted its guest list. I was not the only one who pointed out the lack of women, and I’m not claiming this result is due to my input alone. Honestly, this is a positive response, and I hope it means more women featured at the event (if they hold it again) when they have time to include women in the planning from the very beginning. Millar is even talking up the female angle now, mentioned a 30% female readership in this…

  • comic books

    women in comics in UK/Ireland – overview

    There are occasions when perhaps it’s best not to promise a blog post on a subject. Regular readers might remember that in January I commented upon the utter lack of women comic book guests at the forthcoming Kapow! comic book convention in London. This was followed by an entry in which I posted a number of women artists/writers working in the field in the UK (and Ireland), with a promise to put together a much more detailed listing of women working in the field. The follow-up post has been a long time coming because: There are loads of women working in comics in the UK and Ireland People might remember…

  • comic books

    women in comics in UK/Ireland – redux

    The promised follow-up to the British women in comics blog post in January. I’ve written an overview of this entry also. A list of female writers and artists (colourists, inkers, pencilers, etc.) who work in sequential storytelling in the UK and Ireland. I’ve created a permanent page for this list on my web site – it’s linked on the sidebar. This post will no longer be updated. All further updates will be on the page. Update: for a comprehensive overview of the history of women who have worked in the comic book industry in the UK read The Inking Woman, edited by Nicola Streeten and Cath Tate, published by Myriad.…

  • comic books

    warren ellis in Galway

    Last night at the National University of Galway the Literary and Debating Society and the Comic Book Society showcased a public interview with legendary British comic book writer Warren Ellis. When I arrived for the event I met Galway cartoonist/caricaturist Allan Cavanagh and writer/editor Stan Carey, and we all sat together. This turned out to be a dogsend because we discovered the Lit and Deb Soc were going to have an hour of their usual debates before the event. Thus, the three of us were subjected to two discussions: “That the House Welcomes the Queen of England to Ireland with Open Arms” and “That the House Endorses Gender Quotas in…

  • personal

    thanks Mom

    Today is the 100th anniversary of the first International Women’s Day. The idea for it was proposed by German feminist and socialist Clara Zetkin in 1910 at the second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen, and it was implemented the following year. Here’s what the IDW web site says about Zetkin’s aims: She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s…

  • Film,  video

    flipping the gender

    Thanks to Bad Reputation – a blog that’s become part of my regular reading – I discovered the awesome The Girls on Film. The team is made up of Ashleigh Harrington (co-creator, actress, editor, effects artist), Cat McCormick (co-creator, actress) and Jeff Hammond (co-creator, director). The trio re-makes scenes from male-dominated movies with the women playing the parts of the men. Thus far they’ve re-created scenes from Star Trek, The Town and Fight Club. Here is the Fight Club clip in all it’s wicked glory. The remade scenes – or cocktails as TGOF call them – underline the potential of putting women into roles that are not conventional. Both the…

  • advocacy

    miss representation

    I was delighted to hear that a new documentary, called Miss Represention, created by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, played at the Sundance Film Festival, and has been getting a great reception. Here’s the trailer: The issue of how women are represented in the media is one that occupies my mind on a regular basis, so I’m pleased that Newsom has put her time and effort into analysing and criticising this subject. There are a couple of articles in the Deseret News, touching upon this film and related issues that are well worth reading. The first is Family Films are not Friendly to Women, which reports on a public interview that took…

  • advocacy

    because I’m a girl

    I mentioned last year that Martin and I joined Plan Ireland, and we’re now sponsoring a girl in India. In December we received our first note from her. Both the letter and its translation were hand-written. It was lovely to hear from her in a way that makes the connection immediate and real. I returned her note with my own hand-written letter. I could have sent it via email, but in this case I felt it was important to take the effort for her to see my writing – not as neat as hers! Plan Ireland acts as the intermediary, so I included a note saying how much I appreciate…