With the annual comics mega-event, San Diego Comic-Con
, coming up fast in July, the LA Times has released what it calls "The Girls' Guide to Comic-Con 2009
." And on behalf of female comics fans everywhere, I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart: SCREW. YOU.
You know this piece is about to go horribly wrong the moment you read the first line: "Comic-Con. It's not just for nerdy guys anymore." In one sentence, the writer manages to a) insult the guys who attend Comic-Con b) insult the girls who attend Comic-Con and c) channel the most cliched comic book headline
of the last decade. But it was really when I got to the next sentence, "and it's not all just about the influx of squealing 'Twilight' girls, either" that I understood exactly how much I was going to hate this.
It's time to pack your smelling salts and practice your hysterical shrieking, because we're going on an adventuuuuure into totally insulting stereotypes! Are you ready? I hope so.
So what's the first thing that Comic-Con has to offer ladies, according to "The Girls' Guide"? Apparently, an appearance by actor Jake Gyllenhaal. And how do you think women will react when they see him, LA Times?
"Women will be rushing the stage, offering to do star Jake Gyllenhaal's laundry on those washboard abs that he acquired for the film." It's true: When women are attracted to a man, the one thing we cannot wait to do is his laundry. It's... it's like the LA Times can see
into our hearts.
The other things the "Girls' Guide to Comic-Con" recommends for the "female fandemonium": Vampires, a TV show about "love, mystery, and changing your fate," Brad Pitt, more goddamn vampires, and a romance movie that promises tears as an incentive. Then it mentions that "there are girls galore watching sci-fi" like it is some kind of breaking news, actually manages to sexualize "Where the Wild Things Are," and then MORE GODDAMN VAMPIRES.
The only time it really diverges from the vampire fixation is during its description of "The Wolfman" movie, where it takes the controversial stance that "vampire-lovers have it all wrong. Werewolves can keep you warm [and] sympathize with your monthly curse."
Yeah, you heard that right: Girls are totally going to love this movie because of their periods.
I hate you, "Girls' Guide to Comic-Con 2009." I hate you so much.
What really bothers me about this piece -- besides the pervasive, condescending tone that talks to every woman attending Comic-Con like that she's that girl who can't stop screaming at a Jonas Brothers concert -- is the fact that this entire list of things to see and do at San Diego Comic-Con doesn't contain a single event related to comics.
The only thing they recommend with even a vague
relationship to comic books is the "Whiteout" movie, which they do NOT say is based on an Oni Press graphic novel by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber, but DO say stars an attractive actor that they somehow manage to tangentially relate to vampires.
So thank you for this, LA Times. Since you obviously don't believe that women read comics, thank you for not even attempting to expose them to the medium. Thank you for clearly affirming that women who don't know anything about comics shouldn't try to learn more -- even when they're at Comic-Con
. And thank you for marginalizing the many women who do read comics -- including manga fans! -- at an event that belongs to them just as much as it belongs to anybody. And thank you for reminding us that there are a lot of people who still think it doesn't.