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*Note- My apologies and thanks to for clarifying that it was the artist that pulled the Joker variant cover and not DC. Where I address DC for pulling the cover, I am wrong.
**Note- I'll respond to anyone I can, but please forgive me if I miss your response, or if our conversation continues to the point I find it too lengthy to continue. I do respect everyone's opinion, though.
Wow... this journal entry is longer than I intended for it to be.
About a week or two ago, when the Batgirl #41 Joker variant cover drama was going on, I read a few articles and comments on different social media websites and news outlets. I considered both sides of the controversy with their arguments- people who believed the cover was sexist, promoted rape (what? Batgirl wasn't even raped or touched sexually on the cover!), and should be pulled, as well as people who believed the cover captured the fictional but well documented nature of The Joker, who is a sociopath and criminal of extreme proportions. The cover was also a reminder of the past Joker and Batgirl shared from The Killing Joke, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's famous graphic novel where The Joker shoots Barbara Gordan (Batgirl) and paralyzes her. The Killing Joke is so popular that most people reference the book when they speak about The Joker.
Of course, anyone that's seen my DA page knows I'm a huge Joker fan. When the controversy about the cover broke, I was very confused as to why the cover was a big deal. The main reason I was confused was because, as an avid reader of comics featuring The Joker, The Joker has always done crazy things to men and women. He's never targeted one specific gender group for violent acts, and his violent acts have ranged from assault and murder to mass genocide. The Joker wasn't only responsible for shooting Batgirl and making her physically disabled. Joker also murdered the second Robin, Jason Todd, ruthlessly by beating him to death with a crowbar in Death in the Family, written by Jim Starlin, one of the greatest comic book writers of all time.
Holy Crap! This promotes violence and rape against men in costumes!
Now, I don't even think I was born at the time, but I've researched the decisions leading to Jason Todd's death (he was a pretty unpopular Robin at the time with many Batman fans) and I've never read about a huge protest surrounding the 2nd Robin's death. I never heard of people accusing DC of hating young, adolescent males (Robin was what, 15 or younger in Death in the Family?) or promoting violence and rape against men. On top of bludgeoning Robin to death, Joker has blown up a school building (Kevin Smith's Batman:Cacophony), killed a crowd of people as a guest on a talk show (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns), kidnapped Robin at gunpoint and drove him around as a hostage bound and gagged in his car (Detective Comics 826 by Paul Dini).... I can go on and on.
Come, my fake-feminists. Let's attack DC for cruelly promoting rape with this scene of Joker kidnapping Robin! Fake-feminists, viral fiends, anyone? *crickets chirping*
The Joker is supposed to be messed up, crazy, creepy, and evil. He's a fictional character, created to be a criminal with an almost superhuman sense of insanity. Going back to the cover, I've heard (and I'm not sure because I'm not a New 52 fan) that the recent Batgirl comics have been marketed towards a younger, female audience and has also had a sense of female empowerment. If that is true, I can certainly understand the backlash against the cover. At the same time, I would think the solution would be to use the cover for something more suitable if the cover seems to contradict what that particular series is about. To remove and ban it from usage altogether not only overlooks the way The Joker has been portrayed for 75+ years, but also enforces censorship.
That rubs me the wrong way. As a writer, and an artist, who has dealt with dark themes and adult subject matter, I despise censorship. Absolutely abhor it. To bully and attack an artist or a company for being creative is despicable. What will come next? Do we completely whitewash the character of The Joker now? Is he too criminal, too insane, to be depicted as a commercially popular fictional character? Maybe the clown makeup is too much- should he just be some dude with regular hair and skin that sits in a corner, never blowing up a building or laughing maniacally? Should he be telling kids to not do drugs and become completely skirmish about guns? Perhaps he shouldn't kill anyone, let alone hold a gun to someone's head. He could catch butterflies and read Shakespeare in a comfortable cell in Arkham. No one would commit crimes, and we could watch Bruce Wayne file paperwork at Wayne Enterprises. None of the women in the book with have boobs or a butt, and they'll all look like ironing boards or beach balls with no sexuality or pronounced form at all. A comfortable, safe comic for everyone, where no one will be offended.
Commissioner Gordon stripped and tortured by The Joker and his midget henchmen. This promotes rape and objectification of men! Right, my fellow fake-fem protestors? ....right?
As a freethinker and also a person that hates discrimination, I champion real feminism along with racial and religious equality. Real feminism that preaches gender equality and respect is great to me. Fake feminism where videos and art goes viral, then a pack of wolves attack a creator for a drawing or something they wrote is sickening.
So, as I stated on Facebook earlier today, consider this-
Real feminist issues to address: Domestic abuse, workplace gender discrimination, oppression of women in religious societies/countries, genocide of female babies in China and India.
Fake feminist issues to address- Assaulting a doctor for wearing a T-Shirt designed by a female friend which happens to have half nude animated women on it, attacking and bullying artists for drawing comic book covers.
Just to be funny, can I quote Sinead O'Conner? Fight the real enemy.
This dude expresses his opinion better than I can:
I've also done a breakdown of Jack Nicholson's portrayal of The Joker (one of my favorites) a year or more back. I argued that Jack's Joker showed some interesting misogynistic traits in his character. Were people protesting in '89-'90?
I am a comic book writer and artist. I'm not limited to comics, though- I also enjoy writing novels and short stories. I enjoy writing almost anything, but I love writing stories where the bad guys win (there's just not enough of those!)
Owner of Cruel Productions, home of the Aghoriverse.
"When you stare into the Aghoriverse... you're %@#*$^!" - Aghori Nietzsche
Check out Nucleus of the Aghoriverse on Amazon! It's a guide that breaks down the Aghoriverse. Also featured is a novel, short stories, novel excerpts, and a comic script.
Favorite visual artistJustin B. Long, Co4, RougeDK (Mike WIlliams), Laemeur (Adam Moore), J.H. Williams III, Goseki Kojima, Otomo Katsuhiro, Stephen Gammell, Brian Bolland, Bosch, NipporiFavorite moviesGoodfellas, Casino, Hellraiser II, Ichi The Killer, Lost Highway, Batman (1989)Favorite TV showsBreaking Bad. Death Note, Hell GirlFavorite bands / musical artistsDeftones, Misfits, Samhain, Danzig, Prince, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The CreaturesFavorite booksOtherland, Aristoi, The Brothers Karamozov, A Clockwork Orange, The Great and Secret ShowFavorite writersDostoyevsky, Burgess, Alan Moore, Clive BarkerFavorite gamesErgheiz, Anything Street Fighter, Way of the Samurai, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2Favorite gaming platformPS2Tools of the TradePencils, pens, brushes, sharpies, bristol/manga/typing paper, Manga Studio, Gimp, PoserOther InterestsFrank Gorshin's Riddler, Nicholson's Joker, Evil Clowns, Defeated Heroines & Superheroines, Damsels in Distress, Supervillains, Regular Villains, Molls, Goons,