This Week in WWAC History: WWAC Discussions and Roundtables

Crack Comics 01, digital comics museum

Every once in a while there are interesting topics where several WWAC staffers like to express their opinions in a combined article. In searching through the WWAC archives, I try to stop and read these roundtables and discussions as often as possible to enhance my comic and character knowledge. Here’s a few interesting articles to share with you.

Our first is a term — Women in Refrigerators — I was unfamiliar with until joining the WWAC community. Lot’s of good reading here from different contributors around the web. Women in Refrigerators: 13 Years Later Master Post, January 30, 2012,

Please Note: Not all the article links from 2012 are still active. I’ve tried to mark the links that are no longer active, but did not want to remove the author’s article contribution to the blog carnival.

In 1999 Gail Simone asked the comics industry and fandom a question: why does this keep happening? Why do so many female characters keep turning up dead? Why are they so often tortured and raped? That was the start of Women In Refrigerators. Today WiR is a widely recognized trope in comics fandom and beyond. No doubt, Gail Simone opened up space for an important conversation that continues to this day.

This week we got together to look at WiR, to see what had changed in the intervening years, both in the comics we all love, and ourselves and our responses to the phenomenon.

This is the master list of responses to Women Write About Comics’ first blog carnival, Women In Refrigerators: 13 Years Later. We hope that you will take the time to read all of these posts, to comment, and to take the opportunity to get to know each other, writers and readers all.

Sometimes the WWAC articles engage the creators, like this article from February 6, 2014, on the character design in Orbital,

Please note: The discussion between the creator and other commentators takes place in the comments section.

1260457To let Wikipedia do the talking for a moment–

Orbital is a Franco-Belgian comics series written by Sylvain Runberg, illustrated by Serge Pellé and published by Dupuis in French and Cinebook in English.

We were tweeting about space comics the other week (@womenoncomics, hit us up), and Hannah Chapmanfrom Comic Book Slumber Party mentioned Orbital as a favourite. I just read the first volume, and I want to share a scan, a bit of context, and a question: What do you think?

The protagonist of the book is an earth-boy from Poland. He lost his parents to violent politics, and has broken records and boundaries by becoming the first human to be granted membership into the–I’m paraphrasing–galactic united nations’ diplomatic corps. Those humans, they’re so destructive. It’s particularly controversial because his fellow First and eventual colleague is from a race that suffered devastating losses in the face of human colonial aggression. In living memory. They’re (kind of) cops! They’re partners! How will they ever get along?

By utilising their diplomatic training, I hope. That’s a cool angle on mismatched co-workers.

The first volume gives only marginal insight into the personality of our Human. He’s shown to possess the strength of character to be excessively accommodating towards people he is aware he can hurt. But the book quickly introduces the turf war between one planet’s immigrant human mining population, the civilisation in power on this planet, and a non-sentient species native to the miners’ tunnels. There’s a lot going on. READ MORE

Lastley, the roundtable on J.K. Rowling’s regret of the Hermione and Ron pairing in her books, February 7, 2014, is definitely a well thought-out and interesting discussion from our staffers,

On Sunday, J.K. Rowling “admitted” that she married off the wrong characters in her still monstrously popular Harry Potter series. Ron/Hermione, she said, was wish fulfillment and literary bad form. Alas, alas, it was cliche. Instead, she should have changed direction mid-series, and hooked up Harry and Hermione instead.

Our writers had a few things to say about that. 

 harry and hermione
What was your first thought when you read/saw/heard about JKR’s comments?

Claire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y983TDjoglQ

Jamie: I kind of blinked and went “hm…okay.” I don’t recall other authors going public with their feelings about stuff that has long since been published or finished, but it’s her ‘verse. She’s allowed to change her mind.

Carolina: I felt as if J.K. Rowling had said, “Maybe I should have written a book about knights, I don’t think this wizard stuff is literary enough.”

Kathleen: I was a little startled, but mostly just thought, “Well, okay, I can see that.”

Ashley: *shrugs shoulders* Meh. I mean, I started reading the series at 11 and continued every year until the final book, but, I think I kinda lost touch with the HP fandom since then.

Megan: I laughed.

Ivy: I didn’t believe it was actually real. I saw the Tumblr fury before I saw the actual article, so I kind of wrote it off as everyday unfounded Tumblr rage. But then I was like, “Okay, J.K., ret-conning your own universe seems…questionable.”

Maddy: At first I felt alarm, and then I laughed at the juxtaposition of the headline and the movie still they chose. Then a little annoyed, I guess.

How do you feel about what actually happened in the books vs this “maybe I should have done it this other way” thing?

Claire: I read Philosopher’s Stone when I was eleven, which is more than half my life ago, and I never un-expected Ron and Hermione to fall in love. I was like, “obviously they already did.” I waited ten years to see them grow to their best selves and get smooching, and that was cathartic. Now the creator-deity of the universe they inhabit is like “lol wrong,” and that is… I don’t have academic thoughts about it beyond, “this is a stupid thing to do, what are you playing at,” and I don’t really care with the parts of my brain that are used every day, but there’s something very subconsciously itchy about it. Like, ffs, haven’t you had enough from me that you gotta force your way back in through vandalism? lol ~feelings~ READ MORE

Melinda Pierce

Melinda Pierce

Contributor for WWAC, mother of 2 mini-geeks, writer, and girl geek. Dreams of having enough time to write Veronica Mars fanfiction. @melindabpierce
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