[Editorial] On Superheroes and Gender Expectations

co-written by Dayna Abel and Kate Spencer

“If you perceive ‘Supergirl’ as anything less than excellent, isn’t the real problem…you?” -Cat Grant, Supergirl First Look trailer

I watched the Supergirl trailer the other night and had…thoughts. More to the point, I had gut reactions. Saturday Night Live recently did a skit about a Black Widow movie basically being a rom-com, because that’s what chicks like, right?

I got that same vibe off the Supergirl trailer. I was immediately put off by the clumsy, dorky, working-girl-in-the-big-city pop-music feel of Kara in the office, as well as the “You want to help? Go back to getting someone’s coffee” line and its subsequent pouty, dejected walking away. It put me in mind of Jodi Picoult’s bit in Wonder Woman where WW infamously cried after a mild criticism from Tom Tresser.

I saw Kara giggling and crying and being flustered around cute boys and I thought to myself “oh god no.” But then I thought about it for a while. About why it bugged me. And it boils down to “I don’t like traditionally girly things. I am not the target audience here.” But what about the trailer made it “girly?” The giggling, the crying, the doofy stumbling of her words around Jimmy Olsen? And why do I automatically code these things as “female”? And, by extension, some kind of weakness?

Continue reading

[Review] The Posthuman Project

I have written before, at great length, about my views on the modern take on superheroes. I grew up around my father’s collection of Bronze and Silver Age comics, and it should be no great shock to know that my preference in superheroes trends more towards actual heroism rather than the grim-and-gritty fare that’s so pervasive in modern comics.

Call me old-fashioned or na├»ve if you like, but I like to come out of a superhero story feeling hopeful. Inspired to do good. Not, you know, tallying up property damage or readjusting my eyes to actual color. When I saw the Batman v Superman trailer last month, my instant reaction was revulsion at its sheer bleakness. There was no hope or joy. I saw plenty of super, but no hero. Hope and joy, something to aspire to…isn’t that what superheroes are supposed to give us?

Look no further than The Posthuman Project.

Continue reading

[News] Hiatus

To all friends/fans/listeners of Made Of Fail-

You may have noticed we do not have a July episode up. We regret to inform you that George has been let go from the show due to setbacks with his ongoing struggle with alcoholism. He is currently rededicating himself to the Alcoholics Anonymous program and is working incredibly hard to get himself back on track. Unfortunately, actions do have consequences, and we’re afraid this is one of them.

Kevin and I are in talks regarding the future of the flagship podcast, and for now we will be placing it on indefinite hiatus. But don’t fear! Made Of Fail Productions still hosts a number of excellent podcasts and blogs that update frequently, and now is a wonderful time to check them out!

If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer them. Also we ask that you give George your love and support during this time, because no one in the Made Of Fail family ever stands alone.

Thank you-
Dayna

[Editorial] What’s Good For Sales Is Not Good For Comics

I have been a DC Comics fangirl for thirty years, and I’ve never been embarrassed by that until now.

Last Saturday was Free Comic Book Day across the U.S. FCBD is traditionally when comics companies, large and small, offer free issues which are designed to entice the reader into buying more of their product (thus benefiting the comic book store) and drawing in new readers. Usually a lot of the offerings are tuned into the latest successes of the properties in other media – there were plenty of Avengers stories for the taking last year, for example.

That’s where DC dropped the ball.

Continue reading