Comics

Published on May 13th, 2014 | by Cullen

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The Janelle Asselin Controversy

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As many of you already know, sex sells. We are bombarded with sex everywhere we turn. We see it in commercials, magazines, even in comic books. But what happens when someone publicly criticizes a major comics title for going too far? They are subject to ridicule, threats, and harassment by any who disagree. That is exactly what happened to former DC Comics editor Janelle Asselin, a critic who recently spoke out against the Teen Titans #1 cover.

Janelle Asselin

After viewing Kenneth Rocafort’s illustration of Wonder Girl in the image above, to say that Wonder Girl is “chesty” would be something of an understatement. Although the majority of comic book fans may not take offense to this depiction of Wonder Girl, Asselin certainly did. On April 11th Asselin posted an article on Comic Book Resources entitled “Anatomy of a Bad Cover: DC’s New Teen Titans #1.” In her article, Asselin points out several issues with the cover as whole, but emphasizes her disapproval of Wonder Girls absurdly large breasts. Asselin goes on to criticize illustrator Kenneth Rocafort by pointing out that Wonder Girl is supposed to be a teenager and yet she has breasts that, as Asselin describes, “only exists in the world as silicone implants.”

Unfortunately, we live in an era where photoshopping, digital alteration, and image manipulation of the female form is common practice. In the world of comic books, this is certainly nothing new. While the vast majority of female images are being altered, so too are our perceptions of what is normal, healthy, beautiful and attainable. Although we hear about image manipulation controversies all the time, publications continue to alter reality because in their mind it is deemed profitable. Although Asselin is clearly aware of this fact, she simply wanted to point out in her article that publications like DC Comics are marketing strictly to men, while forgetting that they have a female fan base that could potentially be young and impressionable as well.

Comic Book Resources encouraged its readers to share their feedback of Asselin’s article on their forum. What happened next was deplorable. Comic book “fans” around the world attacked Asselin personally, threatening her with rape and assault. These same people sought out her personal information (email, home address, bank accounts, etc) and used it to terrorize her. All for a critique of a comic book cover! Let that sink in for second.

This unfortunate incident has resulted in numerous postings with opinions on all sides. Without wishing to get into the mix of who was right, where things went wrong, or why this happened, I simply wish to state that the last thing the world of comics needs is hate-mongers. Comic book critiques are written all the time, but none are worthy of threats. Although everyone is entitled to their own opinion, we here at Need To Consume hope our readers are above the hate. Please join with us by taking a stand against this type of behavior. Let’s make our industry fun, and safe, for everyones enjoyment.

Cullen

Cullen

Comic Book Enthusiast, Craft Brew Connoisseur, and TableTop Champion.

I want my last words to be; Hold my beer and watch this!
Cullen
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