By Aileen Cacayorin, Staff Writer
When Tina Fey, writer, producer and star of NBC’s 30 ROCK (but still probably best known for spot on impression of Sarah Palin) became the third woman to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor she said in her acceptance speech:
“I’m so honored . . . but I do hope that women these days are achieving at a rate where we can stop counting what number they are at things . . . “
When Amy Poehler, SNL-veteran and star of Parks and Recreation, was asked a question about the rising number of women in comedy she responded with:
“This question is boring.”
And when the panelists at SDCC 2011 were asked how they felt about being asked to be part of the Women of Marvel panel, they all had opinions along the same line of thought:
They hoped one day there would no longer be a need for a Women of Marvel/Comics panel and that the focus should instead be on people in comics.
That was the take-home message of the estroge-, er . . .Oxygen sponsored Women of Marvel panel on Sunday. Like other leading ladies, rather than receive recognition for being successful women in a traditionally male-dominated industry, they preferred that women simply be recognized for their success. “There are a lot of women in comics and working at Marvel,” said panelist and Marvel.com social media coordinator Janna O’Shea, and the panelists concurred their wasn’t a need to single them out.
So why aren’t there more female-lead driven titles in both comics and movies? Again, the panelists preferred that the focus shouldn’t be about more female characters and stories, but stronger characters and stories in general. Female characters should not be written for the wrong reasons, in the end it comes down to good story telling. “ Just so long as the story’s good, that’s what is ultimately important” , said colorist Christina Strain.
Regarding the future of women in comics, X-23 writer, Marjorie Lui commented that she “would like to see it taken for granted that women are into comics.” Overall, it shouldn’t simply be about encouraging more women to pursue careers in comics, but to encouraging more people in general to become part of the industry.
On a more personal note, I was excited to attend this panel. I had spoken briefly with social media coordinator, Janna O’Shea, at the Marvel booth (she’s so nice!) and wanted to hear what she and web designer, Judy Stephens, had to say about working for Marvel, especially since they both worked outside of the actual comic book creation process.
“A lot of people working at Marvel don’t necessarily start out being into comics. There are lots of people working in HR, web design, legal, etc,” said Judy.
“Just do good work, and get yourself and and your work out there,” advised Janna.
There was a pretty good turnout for the panel, though the audience was mostly (and unsurprisingly) women. Overall, the panel was informative and I agree with its underlying sentiment: hopefully sooner, than later, we won’t need to have a Women of Marvel/in Comics panel, and we can focus more on people in comics.