Yet more sexism in comics: Yale Stewart and Spider-Woman

Once again, sexism reared its ugly head in the comics medium during the past week…

Last week, it was fully revealed (after being an “open secret” for awhile) that artist Yale Stewart had sent unsolicited lewd pictures of himself to various women. Stewart is the cartoonist of the popular webcomic “JL8,” about child versions of DC Comics’ Justice League members. Stewart’s placed his comic on an indefinite (and likely permanent) hiatus, while also issuing an apology. Meanwhile, Stewart’s also facing accusations from another artist (Ulises Farinas) that his fundraising artwork for charity’s just an excuse to promote himself. The full details on all of this are available on Comic Book Reader (and The Outhouse).

I enjoyed reading “JL8,” but like others, I’m disappointed to learn of Mr. Stewart’s inappropriate behavior. (Yes, I’ve removed the link to “JL8” from the site’s blogroll.) The fact that there’s defenders of his actions is also sad. Website “Unleash the Fanboy” claimedany self respecting American male younger than 30 knows the pain of the regrettable d**k slip.” Um, no. One have to go out of their way to take naughty pictures of themselves, let alone send them to someone who doesn’t want them in the first place. And what kind of people (over or under 30) would think doing that is OK in the first place, anyway?!

Meanwhile, Marvel announced that Spider-Woman is getting her own ongoing comic series this fall. Which would fit in fine with their previous attempts at expanding their readership to be more inclusive, except that Marvel’s offering this as the variant cover:

Spider-Woman

The artist of the cover, an Italian man named Milo Manara, is more known for drawing risque artwork (that I won’t be linking to from here). Unsurprisingly, the cover’s getting its defenders too, mostly under the “reasoning” of “that’s the sort of artwork he draws, what’d you expect?” Well, we’d expect that Marvel should’ve known better when hiring artists, especially when Marvel’s been trying to attract more female readers. More on the Spider-Woman story, including Manara’s own response to the controversy (translated from Italian), is available on The Mary Sue.

Let’s hope this week proves better than last week for women and comics…

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