WOMEN IN THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY

In addition to being a comics lover since about age 10 (the first one I ever bought with my own money was the graphic novel retelling of Star Wars, 1978), I'm also a highly experienced, multi-award winning writer with a background that includes everything from corporate slogans, TV commercials and promotional pamphlets to lifestyle magazine pieces, celebrity bios, screenplays and hard-core investigative journalism stories (I once went undercover to infiltrate a prostitution ring in downtown Toronto). I was also the editor in chief of an online news site where my main duties were to proofread and edit stories submitted by seasoned journalists from CNN, NBC news and major newspapers across North America. I'm a damn good writer, and believe I am fully capable of writing a comic book.


With the guidance and support of my comic book brethren, including Jeff Mariotte, Geoff Johns, Brad Meltzer, Jimmy Palmiotti and Jason Badower, I went to the message boards at Comic Book Resources to announce my project in the works, The Black Tower, in 2007, and to inform my fellow comic book geeks that I was in need of an artist who would be available to draw & colour at least the first two or three issues (of a planned 36) for $12,000 per issue.


Well, the venomous, hateful, misogynistic and patronizing remarks I got in the comments section below my post hours later were just so shocking and unbelievably hurtful. These were my fellow comic book lovers and sci-fi/fantasy geeks, telling me to "fuck off, loser", "chicks can't write comics", "why don't you go back to washing the dishes, bitch, no one wants to work on your stupid Black Dildo".




The most hurtful comments came from comic book veteran, Jim Valentino, whose remarks were so patronizing and condescending I felt as though he'd assumed I was just some stupid, misguided teenager instead of a highly accomplished writer – which he would have discovered if he'd just spent 10 seconds Googling my name. On a message board, read by thousands of his devoted fanboys, Jim Valentino told me that I needed to be softer, more coy and flirtatious if I ever hoped to get what I wanted/needed from a man, and that simply stating what my needs and expectations were made me look too abrasive and aggressive. In essence, this highly respected industry pro was telling me that I needed to be less like Wonder Woman and more like Marilyn Monroe, if I ever hoped to have a successful career in the comic book industry because men, such as himself, would never work with a female who was so confident, capable and self-assured.


I was so angry, I tore into him on the message boards, and after a heated half-hour debate between he and I over the inclusion and respectful acceptance of women in the comic book industry (which was read by hundreds of people), Valentino retracted his ill-chosen statements, wished me luck on The Black Tower – and deleted the entire thread on Comic Book Resources, so he didn't look like a misogynistic dick, online, for all eternity (Google has a long memory).


I love comics! My favorite characters are Batman, Venom, Jean Gray/Phoenix, Spider-Man, Spawn, Wonder Woman and so many others I won't take the time to list here. I'm also fully qualified to write comics, the proof being the 100,000 plus readers and fans of my work from all over the world, including writers for Buffy, Angel, Lost, Heroes, Star Trek, X-Files, Smallville, Supernatural and Battlestar Galactica.


OK...I got that out of my system. Now, if you don't mind, I have a sink full of dishes to get to.


KJC




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