Rippaverse Scribe Chuck Dixon Slams Comic Book Industry’s Ideological Pandering To Female Readers:”They Think Third-Wave Feminist Stories Are Going To Bring Girls Back – No, No They’re Not”
In taking aim at one of the most self-destructive yet common editorial problems of his prior employers, former ‘Big Two’ and current Rippaverse author Chuck Dixon has pushed back against the mainstream comic book industry’s ongoing, tired attempt to bring in female readers by injecting “third-wave feminist stories” into their work, as according to the veteran creator, not only does this rhetoric miss exactly what said demographic actually enjoys about comics, but it also actively turns them away.
The Alphacore writer offered these thoughts while speaking to his artistic collaborator in his Clinton Cash graphic novel, Brett R. Smith, during the second episode of the latter’s Bounding Into Comics-exclusive livestream, Escape the Future.
Therein, at one point during the pair’s discussion of Dixon’s first comic for the Rippaverse, Smith raised his frustrations with how the current comic book industry has abandoned its key male demographic, asserting to his guest, “Something else we’ve talked about is that it’s always been a ‘male-centric’, or it’s been a industry which has been driven for male readers, for boys-“
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However, before Smith could continue, Dixon playfully interrupted, “Not always! Not always,” before explaining, “In the 50s and 60s it was girls buying the comic book market.”
“Archie, Young Romance sold three and a half million copies a month for years,” elaborated The Punisher: War Zone Vol. 1 writer. “You had lots of romance titles. You had Archie. And girls were reading regular comics too! They were reading Little Lulu and Uncle Scrooge and Green Lantern – my sisters read Green Lantern because they though Hal Jordan was cute!”
Returning to the present, Dixon then noted that over the years, the industry had “totally abandoned that [female] market,” and now “they don’t know how to get it back.”
“They think third-wave feminist comic book stories are going to bring girls back to read; no, no they’re not,” he declared. “Because girls, your female readership – I was successful on Nightwing Vol. 2 because I writing the kind of stories girls like too, you know, there was a lot inner relationship. It was a more dense plot. It wasn’t just about guys punching each other.”
“Same thing for Spider-Man,” he continued. “Spider-Man was successful for so long because of the soap opera elements – and I call these soap opera elements, but that’s kind of pejorative, it’s more ‘complex human relationships in the story’ – Women like reading about that stuff and guys like it too.”
Bringing his thoughts on the topic to a close, Dixon laughed, “And guys like it too! But they won’t admit it.”
In turn, Smith ultimately closed out this part of their discussion by agreeing with his guest, declaring, “They do. I mean to me, it’s melodrama, and I think you have to have that mixed in with the action in order to tell a compelling story. It just can’t be wall-to-wall action.”
Featuring art from Immortal Hulk Vol. 1 artist Joe Bennett, Dixon’s first book for the Rippaverse, Alphacore, is currently on sale through the publisher’s official website.
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