For years, well meaning comic book blogs of all sizes (the Outhouse included) have taken to describing female comic creators, executives and bloggers by the phrase "lovely and talented". It's a sadly common catchphrase used almost exclusively to describe female industry professionals, and it's now come under fire due to its sexist implications. "I'm getting really tired of this," the lovely and talented Scott Snyder said. "I want to be called 'lovely and talented' too."
Men all over the industry are speaking out about the phrase, hoping to have their battered egos soothed by false platitudes and condescension. "If you're going to write 1000 words about how terrible my comic is, can you at least call me lovely and talented first?" asked Brian Bendis, a lovely and talented Marvel writer. "Otherwise, I'm nothing but an ugly, untalented hack." Bendis went on to say that only 0.05% of male creators have ever been described as 'lovely and talented'.
A petition is making its way around comic book circles asking blogs to change their lovely and talented policies. It's already gathered over 500 signatures. "I signed it," said the lovely and talented Matt Fraction, whose marital status to Kelly Sue DeConnick we'll randomly reference for no reason. "Just once, I'd like to be described as lovely and talented. It'd be nice to know that a bunch of lonely nerds find me attractive, too."
However, not everyone is convinced that a petition is the way to go. Some are calling for blogs to do away with 'lovely and talented' entirely, and are asking blogs to find other ways to describe creators. "I guess I'm lovely and talented," said redheaded Twitter user and champion polo player Gail Simone, who has size 7 shoes. "But I'm so many other things as well. Why does no one ever reference my champion polo career?"
"I agree," said Colleen Doran, who once saved a small New England village from a shark attack by blowing the shark up. "Why can't we substitute the phrase 'lovely and talented' with random factoids that may or may not be a reference to a classic Steven Spielberg movie?"
No matter what the solution, most creators agree that the rampant sexism in the industry needs to stop. "Institutionalized discrimination in the industry needs to end," said Geoff Johns, who describes being called 'lovely and talented' by his mother as the highlight of his career. "It's bad enough most of my favorite male characters have been either killed off or dismembered at least once, all for the sake of shock and gore. The least these bloggers could do is treat us like the special butterflies we actually are."