Something I’ve found in my experience reading comics: many times I’ll pick up a book, get a look at the cover, wince and then come to peace with the fact that there are aspects of this thing that I love that are offensive but that I’m willing to look past. Lots of the imagery is crafted specifically for the male gaze. Their typical audience is dudes, I get it.
But slews of people are going to see the Batman movie this summer. Both males and females will flock to comic book stores so they can find stuff to read that delves further into the characters. Batman Returns came out when I was 13 and I became obsessed with Michelle Pfiefer’s Catwoman. Had someone pointed me in the direction of comics I would have purged my piggy bank to read them.
I’m very interested to see if DC can capitalize on that potential influx of readers.
Two words: Darwyn Cooke.
Or Hush, if you’re looking for an awesome Batman/Catwoman dynamic.
Handing the Winnick Catwoman reboot to a potential female reader is not what I would call a successful plan for using this opportunity to grow lady readership.
If I gave my non-comicbook-reading friends Winnick’s new TPB, they’d read Catwoman #1, question why it is I read comics, and then never pick one up again. They don’t have the preexisting love for the characters and the medium that allows me to look past the oversexualized bullshit. And as far as wide-eyed 13-year-old-me consuming Catwoman #1, I shudder.
So, here’s hoping that this summer’s movie is good enough to inspire girls and women to seek out more stories and give comics a try. AND here’s hoping DC has concocted marketing plans that will direct interested lady readers in the direction of Darwyn Cooke or Hush so that the first book they pick up won’t be their last.