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CCI:SD on the defensive [Oct. 9th, 2006|01:02 pm]

divalea posted a pretty blatant hey, suggest me as a guest plea regarding the San Diego Comic Con's 2007 special guests.

Being the sycophantic fanboy suckup that I am, I wrote to Jackie Estrada. She wrote back:

I appreciate your making the suggestion, as I have known Lea for many, many years. At this point, all guest invitations for the 2007 Comic-Con have gone out, and the guest list is nearly complete. I'm sure Lea is delighted to see that CCI has so many female guests already lined up, ranging from writer/artists (Alison Bechdel, Miriam Katin, Renee French) to Golden Age creators (Lily Renee) to fantasy painter (Rowena). We will certainly keep Lea in mind when we start meeting to develop the 2008 guest list--


Jackie E.

Now, here's the weird thing. My letter to Jackie didn't actually mention anything about her being TEH WOMAN.

Hi Jackie --

Hope you're doing well. As a CCI:SD con-goer for over dozen years now, I'd like to take this time to recommend Lea Hernandez to you as a special guest for the 2007. She has an impressive and distinguished career in the comics industry, as well as providing a valuable and unique viewpoint on comics which might otherwise be missing from the con.

Thanks for considering this suggestion!


I specifically wrote about Lea's career and her point of view, not the fact that she's female.

But the response was all about "look at all these women! we don't need any more! we got plenty!"

And it was also about whatever reaction Lea would have to the female guests.

Now, I love divalea dearly, but I don't view her as interchangeable with Alison Bechdel, Lily Renee, or Rowena simply because they all have female body parts. I value her for her views such as "HURT COMICS," for her experience in web comics, for her skill as an artist, and so on. Her recent experience with having her home destroyed and the response from the comics community is also very, very interesting.

But, apparently, since Miriam Katin is a girl, that's all the response I get back.

If I'd suggested -- pulling a name from the hat -- Steve Lieber as a guest for the con, would Jackie Estrada rattle off a list to me of other men who would be there who have nothing in common with Steve? "Well, Steve didn't make the cut, but I'm sure he's happy to know that Adam Hughes, who also has a penis, has been invited!"


[User Picture]From: kyburg
2006-10-09 08:21 pm (UTC)
No way in hell I'd work in that industry or go to that convention. I don't need a dick to use my brain, thanks.
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[User Picture]From: ___temporal
2006-10-09 08:43 pm (UTC)
ugh how frustrating!!! nice ending there, well put.

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[User Picture]From: doodlesthegreat
2006-10-09 11:57 pm (UTC)
As long as they have Roy Thomas, they could discard several other males. He's enough of a dick for five or six...
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[User Picture]From: lilituc
2006-10-10 04:17 am (UTC)
Ow, my brain.
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[User Picture]From: divalea
2006-10-10 05:40 am (UTC)
I'd like how Jackie is sure I'm delighted (I'm pleased and surprised and not a little smug, actually).
What I find puzzling is that she mentions knowing me for many years. That's true--she's known me for twenty years--I just wonder what that has to do with why I'm a suitable guest or not.
Volume of work can't possibly have anything to do with it. Brian Fries, for example, a guest this past year, had done, as far as I know, ONE complete comic before being a guest.

As for having the guest list finalized (nearly), well, huh. That would be a change from this year, when half the guests were announced two months before the show (and when the female guests were added/announced.)

Buh. This just reminds me of what I hate about comics. Time to go back and re-read all the nice letters I got between September 6th and now, because horseshit like this just sucks the fun from my life.
Let's face it--if I don't qualify as a CCI guest now, I never will.
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From: morchades
2006-10-10 10:17 am (UTC)
Maybe its just because you brought up the absence of female guests last year.
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[User Picture]From: kynn
2006-10-10 02:41 pm (UTC)
But so did I. (Although I'm not as famous as Lea.)

You'd think that if she were assuming that I wanted Lea there just because I wanted a woman there, that she'd say You'll be delighted... (to me) instead of Lea is delighted...
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[User Picture]From: divalea
2006-10-10 06:45 pm (UTC)
What bothers me about it is the assumption that I'm delighted merely by the prescence of women, as if (once again) we're a Borg Cube, and honoring one or a few women is as good as ALL.

Her letter is problematic in several ways, already detailed above. Yes, five women for the initial announcement is great. But I don't like Jackie assuming how I feel about it. That also has NOTHING to do with me being a guest, or not.

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[User Picture]From: arcana_j
2006-10-10 11:37 pm (UTC)
I wonder how many of those "so many female guests already lined up" are actually sponsored, and as such, not actually costing CCI much (if anything) to have as guests? Three of last year's five were in that very category.

Just sayin'.
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[User Picture]From: kynn
2006-10-11 12:13 am (UTC)
Jackie is apparently reading your comments, as she addressed this in her "private" (haha) followup to me.
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[User Picture]From: arcana_j
2006-10-11 12:28 am (UTC)
That's fine. She can email me directly if she likes. I'm honestly curious.

In principle, I have no issue with any guest being sponsored. But I do have difficulty with it when CCI is willing to pay for such a disproportionate number of male guests to female. It makes it look as if the only way a woman can even be a guest is if she has sponsorship from elsewhere, and I'm willing to bet that that's not the image Jackie (or anyone behind CCI) is trying to promote.
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