Here are some notes and images from Lois Lane, Girl Reporter, a pitch for a series of illustrated young adult novels I worked on a few years ago for DC Comics. Story by me, with considerable brainstorming help from my pal John Campbell, and art by Project: Rooftop fan favorite Daniel Krall.
My wonderful editor, Chris Cerasi, was a real champion of the series, which we codenamed “Project 77,” and while we had a great time working on it and finding this secret window into the DCU, it doesn’t look like the current leadership of DC is remotely interested in this kinda thing. I thought some Lois Lane fans here on the interwebs might at least like a look at what might have been…
Hey, out of curiosity, what convinced you to do the sexy pin-up thing you're currently doing? By the way, I must say I'm really enjoying these pin-ups so far. My favorite so far is the Hound pin-up. ;)
Thanks! I’m glad you like them.
The pinups were inspired by nude sports magazine pinups and the idea of sexy calendars, I wanted to do something that’s supposed to be sexy for once and not break Hound’s character over it, since this is something the character would actually do and enjoy.
male leads that go directly against the much parroted ‘male power fantasy’ traits
An entire part revolving around a female protagonist, female supporting crew, and primarily female cast
An entire part with a crippled lead
I didn’t say diversity shouldn’t be a part of media, I said that media shouldn’t fall back on their diversity if their product is ill received. If you want a topical example of this, consider the ironically named Remember Me, which was a complete flop. Even though it was released the same year as the commercially successful Tomb Raider, publishers, journalists and comic artists all presented the female protagonist as the reason the game didn’t do well. I can scrounge up sources if you don’t believe me but it was pretty universal. I think that points the finger at the audience and blames THEM for not enjoying something when they really didn’t enjoy it because it was a shitty product.
Back to jojo, its an excellent story and in part 3 brought the unique element of Stands to the table (as you mentioned). This was a cool concept and people who were definitely not some fringe group minority ate it up. From there the cast can be as homoerotic, crippled or straight up female as it wants because no one cares as long as the story remained entertaining to consume. On the flip side, awkwardly forcing diversity into your media (cough bioware) can jam up the experience. Coincidentally Bioware is also guilty of the same thing I’ve been talking about as they deflected the angry response towards ME3 that arose because of the bad ending and other reasons by saying ‘oh they don’t like it because we put the gays in’.
So, to wrap what I’m saying up, when I see someone saying their product failed because of how ‘progressive’ it is, I just look at jojos success and say ‘yo you’re full of shit’.
PS: Early jojo characters followed shonen traditions in part one because the comic hadn’t found its footing yet, and in part two continued with a similar protagonist because Araki was afraid of the reaction of killing off a main shonen character so he made Joseph look the exact same as Jonathan. From there Araki had proven himself as an able mangaka storywise and was able to expand on the style and characters, leading to a more diverse cast. Does this invalidate the 1-3 characters that would fall under the ‘male power fantasy’ term? No, and this might be a controversial statement to make, but I think the concept of a ‘male power fantasy’ is made up bullshit. I find the idea that women can’t be attracted to a manly buff character incredibly stupid.
I hope I provided enough examples from media to justify my point.