13 Jun 2015

The gender tantrum..

Let me acknowledge first that I dont have any MISOGYNISTIC propaganda. Heck, I dont even know how exactly to pronounce the word properly. And I absolutely luv'yall ladies.. But.. As an artist - albeit a mediocre one - it pisses me off to see that there’s been a new casualty in the ongoing incessant barrage of gender-equality tantrums. Yet another ban on the artistic freedom of expression. This time the victim is Rafael Albuquerque, an artist from DC comics and co-creator of the American Vampire(Which won the prestigious Eisner award in 2011).

An online preview of a variant cover for the comic book, Batgirl #41, set off an online charade of angry protests, eventually generating a hashtag, #ChangeTheCover. The cover, as you can see, shows Joker doing to Batgirl, what he always does – weird, scary stuff. Hence why he refers to himself, “PRINCE OF ANARCHY”.

The ‘controversial’ cover was intended to be a homage to the classic standalone issue, The Killing Joke, by the legendary Alan Moore. DC comics had commissioned a month full of variant covers featuring the joker, to celebrate the 75th anniversary  of the characters creation. And as for the angry mob who are yet to figure out what the hell is a variant cover(or what exactly are they protesting against)... Variant is an alternate cover for die-hard comic fans, who are into collecting the entire set, a marketing strategy of comic publishers around the world. It would not have been forced upon any unwilling fans, only those who would have wanted it would have had it.

Any half-wit comic fan could identify that the scene depicted in this cover is not nearly as gruesome or violent as some other weird stuff Joker has partaken in. But some perpetually offended retards were quick to associate the cover with woman-abuse, misogyny etc. and thats how the whole shitshorm started. Seemingly getting a kick out of protesting against anything and everything, these idiots fail to understand one tiny little fact – IT IS FICTIONAL, No human dressed in black spandex was harmed during the production of this art-work.. So get a life, and try dealing with issues that matter. How about standing upto the wife-abusing thug next door? (Yes, at the risk of getting your ass handed over to you) Nah, you’d rather indulge in a Freudian analysis of a comic cover.

And this is the worst part. Prior to all this, DC actually did acknowledge its sexualisation of female characters in early years, and deliberate attention was given to the Bat Girl series to make sure it is moving in a direction which is more inspiring to the female audience. What these protestors, most of whom would never have bought or read this book anyway, does’nt know is that the crippled Batgirl eventually returns as Oracle - a major upgrade from being Batman’s sidekick into a powerful, respectable figure in the DC universe.

From an artists point of view, the freedom of expression is at stake here. A while back, similar kind of nonsense were instigated against the movie “Gone Girl”, with accusations made against the author (of the book of the same name)of being... that's right.. misogynistic. Now, are we living in a happy hunky-dory world without the Jokers and Gone Girls? Are'nt all these characters, although fictional, an artists rendering of the kind of evil out there in the real world?

#An artist has a right for expression. When he/she is telling the story of a fictional character, who is basically evil personified, then that character needs to be portrayed doing evil. It’s not promotion of evil, it is a depiction of world as it is.
 #A patron or a fan has a right for opinion. To exercise the right to decide what they want to enjoy or not. A bunch of sensitive whimps do not have any right to take it away.
 # Shame on DC to succumb to such pressure, and withdrawing those covers.