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Thursday, September 29, 2011

WALLER NOISE

A week or so ago I first read of DC Comics' "Amanda Waller Weight Loss Program" on THE BEAT.  I was initially torqued.

However, then I saw that Tom Spurgeon was against it, so I was tempted to be in favor of the de-fattinization.

I can't quite go that far, unfortunately. However, I will say that my reasons for being against the transformation are different from his (and, of course, better).

  Tom said:

...there’s an interesting phenomenon in funnybooks in that the latest version of the character matters more than the majority of their appearances — so while super-hot Amanda Waller doesn’t mean all those issues of Suicide Squad burst into flame, the way fans and company create meaning out of these non-realities this is the version that in many ways matters. It’s not as easy for comics fans, for whatever reason, to go back to a previous iteration of a character the way it was for say, James Bond fans underwhelmed by Pierce Brosnan to fire up the Sean Connery flicks. Not sure why that is, especially since in comics those old books are probably way cheaper.
I find it "interesting" that he manages to spend less time focusing on the identity politics involved in DC's decision and more time sniping at the conservatism of mainstream fans : "this is the version that in many ways matters."  I find it fascinating that Spurgeon emphasizes their conservatism rather than their moral dudgeon.  He does admit that some alt-comics fans didn't like it when Maggie Chascarillo gained weight, for what that's worth.

However, I don't agree with his conclusion: "People are fucked up."  If anything mainstream fans are more justified in wanting images of hottitude in their entertainment than alt-readers of LOVE AND ROCKETS, in that the genre of adventure comics is centered around the idea of enjoying mass quantities of sex and violence.

To that end, standard images of hottitude are entirely justified to pursue that kind of narrative, as I addressed more fully in my essay THAT OBSCURE OBJECTIVIZATION.

Thus it's not wrong to de-fattinize Amanda Waller because it encroaches upon false ideas of diversity in an escapist genre.

It's wrong simply because Amanda was so much more awesome as a fattie.



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