Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ladies and gentleman, the president of Friends of Lulu

Friends of Lulu is, in their own words, "a national nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote and encourage female readership and participation in the comic book industry." Valerie D'Orazio is the group's current president.

In the comments thread to D'Orazio's second post in three days about how terrible something she heard happened in a DC comic book she didn't read was, a commenter asked her why D'Orazio is only complainig about DC all of a sudden (a fact underscored by her contrasting that DC comic book she hadn't read unfavorably with a Marvel comic book she hadn't read yet either (the Obama/Spidey team-up), and trumpeting the fact that Marvel's Wonderful Wizard of Oz apparently "sold out" out the distributor level, which is something that should happen pretty much with every single Marvel book (since they print to meet pre-orders, and don't reveal the the numbers of books they print anyway.

Occasionalsuperheroine poster code-named "Najika":

Hello Val. First time poster, long time reader. I just want to say a couple things and then I'll stop bothering you.

When I first discovered your blog I absolutely loved it. I was just discovering the online comic book feminism community. Your blog was definitely the best. I really liked your insider views too. But the real appeal was how you never failed to call out the big name companies on their crap.

Flash forward a few months and it seemed like something had changed. Instead of calling everyone out on their errors, it seemed like you only called DC out on stuff. This confused me a little. I looked through your blog archives and saw that you used to work for DC and it wasn't pleasant for you.

I can see why an unpleasant experiance with a company would make you be hard on them. After all, you have an insight into them we don't. But I'm still disappointed with the new direction you've taken. It seems to me like you've started to ignore the rest of the industry and focus on DC's mess-ups exclusively. I'm bummed that the take no prisoner feminist views seem to be gone. When Ultimate Wasp met her gory end the rest of the blogosphere called Marvel out on it. Even though people have directly asked you about it in Comments sections you haven't addressed it once. I also have to agree with other commentors when they say you aren't really being fair to DC. They have a great all-ages line and publish lots of great titles that I, as a feminist, love to read.

Of course, this is your blog. If you want to talk about DC instead of feminism that is your complete right. But I'm not sure if I want to read about it. That's all I wanted to say. Thanks for your time.

Valerie D'Orazio, President of Friends of Lulu:

Najika, if you support DC Comics, then personally, I really can't consider you a feminist. Sorry. It's like "yeah, I read about your bad experiences with them. that stuff about sexism. that's too bad. but can you cool it on them? I want to read about feminism, but I don't want to ruin my comic book reading experience."

It's like if you had a horrible sexist thing happen to you at a certain coffee shop. And I stop by, and read the stuff you say about the coffee shop. Now, I consider myself a serious feminist. Ad I DO want to hear your opinions on sexism. But I tire of hearing about that coffee shop. Because I want to buy a fucking cappuccino there. They make good cappuccino, and I don't want to feel guilty about buying it. Now, you might feel offended that I have heard your story, yet not only have patronized the sexist coffee shop -- but had the temerity to tell YOU that YOU should stop talking about how you were hurt there. Because I want to enjoy my cappuccino.

For you to tell me to stop posting about this stuff and post about "feminism" instead -- it's like you didn't read a damn thing I wrote.

Go enjoy your comic books, and enjoy your "feminist" blogs. Hope you find one that hates Dave Sim -- he's such a good, soft target.

Once again:

[I]f you support DC Comics, then personally, I really can't consider you a feminist.

Okay obviously, that’s nonsense, D’Orazio knows it’s nonsense, and anyone who’s ever read her blog knows she knows it's nonsense, and if she stopped to think about what she wrote before she sat in front of her keyboard and started banging on the keys, she wouldn’t have written it.

I don't honestly think she honesty thinks that Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, G. Willow Wilson or Amy Reader-Hadley (just to name the women working on ongoings for DC), Jann Jones, Karen Berger and Shelly Bond (to name some editors whose names I happen to know how to spell) are all anti-woman, to say nothing of the scores of others—men and women—who work for DC Comics in some capacity. I don't honestly think she thinks that anyone who buys and reads DC comics is somehow anti-woman.

But that’s what she said.


Richard Cook said...

What about people who illegally download DC comics online? They're reading DC's output, but they're not really supporting DC. Can they be feminists, or does merely reading a DC comic reduce your feminism quotient? If I download JLA, will I be downgraded from Paglia class to a lowly Cady Stanton?

JohnF said...

Oh Caleb, you're just sore because she made fun of your writing!

In all seriousness, though- she's just a dreadfully tedious woman. I wish it were otherwise. I wish she had something substantive to say about...anything. Her stories basically all have to do with her shitty experiences at DC, and how it must have been either sexist, personal, or both.

The typical Valerie story goes something like this:
Hey this thing that's happening in comics now reminds me of when I used to work at DC! Have I mentioned that I used to work there? Yeah, I did. But it was HORRIBLE! Everyone there was so SEXIST! Nobody wanted to hear any of my ideas ever, and it's not because I'm an ill-informed dunderhead with a massive persecution complex or anything. It's because I'm such a STRONG WOMAN WITH STRONG IDEAS™. There can't be any other explanation. They were intimidated by my brilliance and couldn't see past the fact that I have breasts! You think I'm making this up? You think I'm exaggerating? You're obviously a misogynist.

It's a wonder she has any readers at all. I guess the promise of insider dish is just too irresistible to some folks. Maybe she'll do less blogging now that she has an actual writing gig. I wish her the best in that regard. Seriously. I hope she writes great, female-positive stories that sell a million copies.

Baal said...

I used to visit her blog on almost daily basis until I read one too many nasty retort from her towards anyone who would criticize her, even in the mildest of ways. It started me thinking that all these horrible things she wrote about might have started with 'hey, Val. You misspelled this word' and spiraled out of control in her head. Poor DC...

Patrick C said...

I can't stand her views and actually get angry most of the time reading her blog. It's a painful experience. Yet I read it every time she has a new post.

This 'glutton for punishment' aspect to my personality probably explains a lot of the awful runs of comics I've amassed over the years.

Michael Hoskin said...

Oh geez, that's horrible. I'm glad I stopped reading that blog, although the virus it gave me made it an easy out.

Mr. Bretterson said...

I think I stopped reading after she basically blamed the economic crisis on the Sex and the City move...

She has an almost sort of Ann Coulter style of crazy to her with her leaps and somersaults in logic and sense.

SallyP said...

I don't think that she used to be quite this trigger-happy, but lately, if you even mildly disagree with her, she goes bananas.

Also, she'll write about a particular subject, and then a few entries later, will completely disagree with HERSELF, which has me a bit confused. Such as being sure to support women who write comics, and to support Wonder Woman, who is a feminist icon. But since Wonder Woman is published by DC, then you can't support Wonder Woman. 'Cause if you are a woman who reads DC, then you can't be her idea of a feminist. Oh, and by the Wonder Woman!


Jeff said...

Haven't read Valerie's blog and I'm not going to. Nope. Not going to do it.

People who make blanket statements like that - regardless of their position on the political spectrum - are boobs. In Valerie's case, she's two of 'em - not because she's a chick, but because she should know better.

And before anyone accuses me of being a sexist pig, a disclaimer: I am a *flaming* homosexual. So yes, it's true - I don't like women. Not *that* way, anyhow.

Charlie said...

I stopped reading because she has all these tics that I think of as "13-year-old who won the junior high essay award (which came with a $25 Sizzler gift certificate!)". She's not a great writer, which is fine, blogs are for everyone, but she obviously thinks she's a great writer, which becomes grating.
And hey, if you go all the way to the bottom of the comments, she becomes even more imperious and histrionic!
And hey, pt. 2, I think it's possible to be both sexist and homosexual. Just sayin'.

Unknown said...

Uh...isn't she writing that Cloak and Dagger mini for Marvel?

Could that maybe possibly have something to do with the fact that she is reluctant to criticize Marvel?