Brandon: Speaking of Ross Campbell(artist on Glory) and his stuff, he’s going through this period where he’s reassessing his work, really looking at how he’s approaching women. He’s actively trying not to be sexist in his own work, and talking about that a lot. His being given this character is almost a chance to make right how DC fucked themselves up on their relaunch and how they were really shitty to their female readers. Ross is coming in and being able to actually be thinking about them, because he comes off as one of the creators most aware of the female reader and how female characters are being depicted in comics.
Joe Keatinge (writer on Glory): That’s definitely a big part of it too. I mean, character comes first before any big political statement, but I want a female lead who can break Supreme in half, because why not? That’s definitely what we’re going for here.
My goal is to make her and one of the characters in the book who I won’t name, but who appears in the first issue, into two of the biggest bad asses in comics. Their gender doesn’t really come into it for me. I don’t see why it should. It’s just about who they are.
Brandon: It doesn’t hurt to point out they’re characters a teenaged girl could read about and not feel embarrassed.
Joe: Exactly! I wanted this to be a book that I could show to a girlfriend or my parents, and not be ashamed. I want a 13, 18, 20 year-old-girl to read this and not be embarrassed because Catwoman’s fucking Batman or whatever. I want this to be something where it can be enjoyed by them just as much by a 13, 18, 20-year-old boy, whatever.
Nrama: Well, the Extreme books of the 1990s were known to deal in certain stereotypes regarding women’s – and let’s face it, men’s – chests. And rear ends, and guns, and shoulder pads, and feet that were always off-panel….what are the challenges in moving beyond that stereotype.
Joe: I think you just have to make the kind of comic you want to read and go from there.
Brandon: I think it’s important to try to address that shit too, though. It’s like when they brought back The Spirit and brought in Ebony, and they had that smug thing in the back of the issue where they go, “Here’s how we dealt with Ebony! We made her a hot chick!” They just screwed the pooch so badly on that.
You have to bring this stuff up, I feel. It has to be addressed and not ignored. And Ross’ way of drawing Glory, I feel, kind of does address it.
Joe: There’s a difference, though, between addressing it and having a political message in it that overpowers your book, and not being able to tell a story, you know what I mean? We were methodical in making Glory look the way she looks now, as opposed to how she looked before, but at the end of the day, I just want to make some really great comics with Ross. And that’s more important, I think, than trying to change someone else’s political viewpoint.
Brandon: It’s important, I think, how you show the story. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a soapbox comic, but how you depict female characters shows how you’re approaching it as opposed to how they were depicted in the past.
Joe: True. That’s certainly fair. Tim, what’s your opinion on all this?
Tim: I have a character who’s a dominatrix who wears a leather mask and a thong, so whatever.
Brandon: But I kind of think that sort of stuff’s okay. It’s all about owning your shit. I don’t have any problem with DC’s Catwoman because of the content; it’s because the dork from fuckin’ MTV’s Real World is a shitty writer. That’s what bothers me.
Brandon: It’s okay. DC’s not calling me anyway.
That’s the great thing about Image, though. I was just reading an interview with Eric Stephenson, and that dude actually talks about comic books like a reader, and he’s not just trying to sell you shit. He was talking about the Grant Morrison X-Men stuff as a reader, and why he loved it, and what he didn’t like about it. And I think that as a comic book community, we have address things as adults, and not just as marketing people.