The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror

19/02/2013 at 5:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Hello, neglected blogosphere. This is a note to let you guys know that my story “The Bird Country” (which originally appeared in Shimmer Issue 15, and can still be read at the Shimmer website here) is going to be appearing in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2013, edited by Paula Guran.

“The Bird Country” is actually an older story of mine, which I began while I was studying fiction with Scott Snyder, who at that time had not yet become King of All the Comics. I’m using that piece of information as a tenuous link to a discussion of comics, which keep me sane as I plow the icy waves of a Midwestern winter. In terms of comics, here is a thing I like: YOUNG AVENGERS, Y’ALL. New Young Avengers! Young Avengers with Kid Loki! I’m so excited about this title.

But here is a thing I do not like in terms of comics: many of the quotes in this article. I actually think that the series in question sounds like fun idea, but: “Women for good reason don’t feel particularly engaged in the superhero genre.” O RLY? “If someone like me feels uncomfortable walking into a comic shop, it’s no wonder most teenage girls and adult women wouldn’t set foot inside one.” It’s true that I actively avoid comic shops, but this is because I am generally treated as an alien by the staff. (It’s a girl! What does she want? She must need help. I bet she’s lost.) This doesn’t prevent me from buying a bunch of comics (digitally, used, or– mostly– in trades); I have issues with the representation of women in some of them, but the books themselves do not comprise the culture that’s off-putting to me.

I’ve recently been reminded of just how obnoxious the comics world can be for women. This is a phenomenon that always surprises me, since I have a massive love for superhero comic books. The biggest part of it seems to be an attitude that’s not really misogyny, but rather its cousin: a failure to consider women as fully human. It’s not hatred, but really a kind of condescension. Women, to men with worldviews like this, fall somewhere on a scale between children and pets. All right, perhaps robots: they’re not animals, they’re fully sentient beings, but they just don’t quite come up to the standard of human. So they have to be patted on the head and spoken to very simply. This attitude is why I avoid, for the most part, comics culture. I would end up leading a robot revolution if I had to deal with these things.

Here endeth my thoughts. Except: watch Person of Interest! It’s a weird show that entertains me.

And keep an eye out for The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror. It too will be entertaining.

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