Jude Terror here, reporting from the trenches of the culture wars!
*ducks behind cover as bullets wiz by*
The latest battle involves artist Frank Cho vs The Mary Sue. Cho drew a parody image of the infamous Milo Manara Spider-Woman cover for his blog featuring popular new character Spider-Gwen:
The Mary Sue's Sam Maggs took issue with the cover in an article titled "Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should," saying:
Here's the thing: yes, Cho has always drawn some cheesecake stuff, and there will always be a place for that in comics. It's why we don't write daily articles about stuff like this and this. But by taking a shot at this particular cover, one that caused so much discomfort among lots of comic book readers, it shows a clear disregard for the perfectly valid outrage over Manara's original Spider-Woman variant; an incident that, we should note, made our list of the "Worst Moments in Female Fandom in 2014."
Aside from being an obvious poke at "those angry feminists" who "overreact" to things, the cover is also an unfortunate but elucidating look at what some men think about women who are trying to carve out a space for themselves in the frequently misogynist world of comics – where they feel objectified and overly-sexualized on a regular basis. What makes this sketch even moreinappropriate is that the Spider-Gwen book is clearly aimed at a teen audience, meant to entice new, younger female readers to Marvel comics. Plus, Gwen herself is a teenager.
In response, Cho doubled down and posted the following on his blog:
Wow. What a crazy couple of days it has been. My parody cover sketch of Spider-Gwen aping the infamous Manara Spider-Woman pose sent some of the hypersensitive people in a tizzy.
To be honest, I was amused and surprised by the uproar since it was, in my opinion, over nothing. It's essentially a small group of angry and humorless people ranting against my DRAWING of a pretty woman. It's utter nonsense. This world would be a better and a happier place if some people just grow a sense of humor and relax.
Now, I'm getting bombarded by various bloggers asking for an interview addressing this "scandal". Instead of me wasting my breath and precious time over this non-issue replying to all the interviewers, I've drawn another cover sketch in response which will, hopefully, answer all the questions.
What will happen next? There's no company to pull covers here, since these are sketches on a blog, so the battle appears to be purely one of wills that will be fought on the battleground of social media. Will the conflict continue to escalate? Will Cho eventually capitulate? Will his employers get involved? Will I get called an "SJW" for reporting on these events in a completely matter-of-fact fashion? The only certainty is that the answer to that last one is: "Yes, probably within three comments."
Let us know what you think below.