“MARRY, DO, OR KILL”
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO SHATTER FEMALE STEREOTYPES IN COMICS?
AMBER LOVE 15-OCT-2014 This panel was presented the second day of New York Comic Con 2014. I have plenty of thoughts about how it came out. I want to put it out there up front I’m friends or professional acquaintances with most of the people that were on the panel. It was hosted by publisher and writer Enrica Jang of Red Stylo Media and I was one of the contributors to a RSM anthology, SHAKESPEARE SHAKEN. That being said, there could have been improvements to the presentation, some of which were in control of those who organized and some out of their control.
- Enrica Jang – VOC 1225
- Dennis Calero
- Claire Connelly – VOC 1424
- Jennie Wood – VOC 1431
- Erica Schultz – VOC 1219
- Shaun Noel – VOC 1224
- Ellie Pyle
- Andy Schmidt
- Abede Lovelace
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The room was far too small and the panel lineup was far too big. Those were the major set backs. Even if you are an experienced panelist, it seems to be common for speakers to forget that they need to properly use a microphone especially when there isn’t a technician actively running a sound board. It’s awkward but usually you do need to be uncomfortably close to the microphone in order for it to properly project. This wasn’t exclusive of this panel by any means because I saw it in every panel that had more than one guest. The reason it stood out more in this one is because I watched a couple of people in the back of the room continuously try to get the moderator’s attention to have people speak louder; eventually those audience members got up and walked out because all they could hear was mumbling. I was up front on the floor and there were times I couldn’t hear them well. The panel had maybe five mics set up but as you can see from the list there were more people; they didn’t even have enough tables and chairs for the panelists (this was a problem with the organization and planning with the con).
The title of the panel threw me off. “Marry, Do, or Kill” is a game that’s often played where you would be given three names of people (real or fictional) and decide which one you’d marry, which one you’d have sex with and which one you’d kill off. I thought that would actually be part of the discussion in a comedic way but it wasn’t there at all. They seem to have been using the game’s name as a way to point out that female characters are not often given much development other than being there for a male character as a spouse, sex toy or victim.
As far as content about stereotypes, I was pleased to hear differing opinions from people like Dennis Calero and Ellie Pyle on subjects usually considered tropes. I’m of the mind that tropes are not always improper to use. It’s okay to have characters date and marry; it’s okay for them to have sex lives even if that means casual and uncommitted; and it’s okay to have female characters killed. The issues arise from how well a story is done and the context. Calero in fact starts off the conversation talking about beauty standards.