Our lovely writer, Rachel Stevens, wrote a fantastic piece about the transphobic tropes in Batgirl #37 and Team Batgirl apologized without the typical “but”, “however”, and “if you were offended” non apologies we’re used to seeing in the industry. They followed that up with tweets that did not approve of the controversial Batgirl #40 variant cover on the basis of being “completely at odds with what we are doing with the comic”.
Putting a spotlight on the problems in the comics industry is important since it allows for changes to be made in service of inclusivity. It’s also great to write about the fantastic things in comics too. So when I saw this tweet from Cameron Stewart (co-writer of the current Batgirl run with Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr), I was happy but not surprised.
Team Batgirl has gone back and made some improvements to the same issue that Rachel had discussed in her piece which is something I never thought a creative team would do, though they discussed their intentions during The New Mainstream panel at TCAF in early May. It was evident that this team of creators respected their fans and saw this relationship as something that would thrive in a healthy ongoing dialogue. They – Babs Tarr, Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart – have a loyal fanbase because of this respect and this good will is something that will keep them working in the industry for a long time.
The comics readership is not unforgiving. We don’t want to hold onto anger or seek enjoyment out of “rage”.
So take the pride out of it. We make mistakes. Apologize, fix them where you can and move on in your quest of doing better. Even if you think you’re right, listen and don’t insult your readers. It’s amazing what respect can do. Just ask Team Batgirl.