Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007


You ever burn yourself so badly that it takes a few minutes to register the pain before you start screaming the expletive of your choice?

That's what happened when I saw this.

On one hand, apparently the cover is a reprint of early art. Which, yeah, product of its time. It's a well-drawn image. I'm assuming that the cover is chosen as a tongue-in-cheek contrast to the actual character, who's always been competent and interesting in every version I've seen.

I'm sure it's meant to be funny and not offensive.

But right now my brain is kind of pickling itself in its own irritation. Of all the clever and nifty art choices, they really had to choose that one? Really? THAT one?

I was furious when I saw it. I'm not ashamed to admit. I've calmed down a bit since. Now it just makes me a bit tired. I think it's a bit more obviously meant as a parody than say the Heroes for Hire cover, which I also think was meant tongue-in-cheek, but...

Call me a humorless bitch if you want, for me, this joke fell flat.


  • At July 18, 2007 8:58 AM, Blogger Rich said…

    That's an incredibly stupid decision, even if the stories included are a product of their times.

    Incredibly stupid.

  • At July 18, 2007 9:14 AM, Blogger Siskoid said…

    I was surprised, but not offended. It raised an eyebrow, but then Heidi praised it at Comics Fairplay, so I thought it was gonna go over fine.

    Silly, but the rest of the book is the same, so it's truth in advertising. At least they didn't use the "run in her stockings" cover.

  • At July 18, 2007 10:40 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Ummmm...they couldn't just get Brian Bolland or someone to make a NEW cover?

    I'm guessing that they thought it was "cute". It WOULD be cute, if she's powdering her face AFTER beating all their butts. Unfortunately that's not what is happening.

  • At July 18, 2007 10:43 AM, Blogger Jason said…

    I think it would've been fine if they'd solicited the "checking her make-up" cover. But the fact is that they solicited the other one, which I think is a better choice anyway.

  • At July 18, 2007 4:52 PM, Blogger Scott said…

    I was surprised too. I think I know that guy who chose that and he is gay and a very nice fellow. I have no reason to believe the has a sexist bone in his body.

    I will say one thing for the cover, it does warn you about what is inside. Let's face it, if you are bothered about the sexist imagery on the cover, you probably shouldn't read the book because it is going to be more of the same. I remember my first experience with Batgirl and it was all about how her purse was filled if make-up gadgets that helped her foil crimes. And her motorcycle had a rainbow headlight that changed colors when it (somehow???) detected "crime vibrations."

    Maybe the cover is for the best to let readers know they should only read it as campy kitch of the era. (Did I mention that a gay guy may have chosen the cover art?)

  • At July 18, 2007 4:55 PM, Anonymous Dan Coyle said…

    I just find the choice very, very odd. Like, why that cover? If not the first cover, then why not any of the other covers in the book? Was it the best way to make the logo fit?

  • At July 18, 2007 5:11 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Scott, I don't doubt that the fellow who chose it did so with no ill intentions.

    Sometimes even the nicest well-intentioned people screw up a bit though. :-) And I'm sure lots of people are looking at it in the spirit it's intended.

    Personally, I'm still a tad urked though. :-)

  • At July 18, 2007 5:18 PM, Anonymous Mark Engblom said…

    "I was surprised, but not offended. It raised an eyebrow, but then Heidi praised it at Comics Fairplay, so I thought it was gonna go over fine."

    See, that's the thing. For every woman who's Mad as Hell and Not Going to Take It Anymore, there's probably a woman (or two) who don't sweat it.

    I admit the switcheroo in cover art from solicitation to printed version was unprofessional, but I guess I don't see the Batgirl makeup scene as a capital offense.

    Speaking as a Patriarchal Pig, of course.

  • At July 18, 2007 5:28 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Siskoid and Mark: Women aren't actually a hive mind. What offends one might not offend another and the same the other way around.

    Neither of these reactions invalidate the other. Heidi's got every right to not be bothered by the choice.

    I, in turn, have equal right to find it damn well offensive. :-)

  • At July 18, 2007 6:18 PM, Anonymous Marionette said…

    There are good answers to many of the questions raised, but I'm getting tired of repeating them. Here's a linky if you are interested.

  • At July 18, 2007 6:34 PM, Anonymous Marionette said…

    I just checked Heidi's review. She doesn't mention the cover at all.

    Apparently she was more interested in the content than the cover.

  • At July 18, 2007 11:35 PM, Blogger Sinspired said…

    No way I'm buying it.

    I am, however, really tempted to read the blog of the artist elpablo, who drew the wacky spanish bit from the post before your link. Thank you!

  • At July 19, 2007 12:50 AM, Anonymous "Starman" Matt Morrison said…

    You know the ultimate irony?

    Babs kicks so much ass in Birds of Prey this week. More than usual.

  • At July 19, 2007 2:25 AM, Anonymous Dan Coyle said…

    Morrison: Agreed. That fight with Spy Smasher was NUTS. In a great way.

    What a phenomenal finish to one of the best superhero runs in recent years.

    I confess I bought this Showcase volume on impulse when I saw there was so much Gil Kane art in there. It's fun so far, but that cover really is lame.

  • At July 19, 2007 1:50 PM, Anonymous Bentcorner said…

    What I find offensive about this cover is that it implies men enjoy wearing funny costumes and fighting crime with prepubescent boys.

  • At July 19, 2007 8:45 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    Mixed feelings on this one.

    On the one hand, this volume is a showcase for Silver-Age Batgirl and all the kitsch and camp that goes with it. That cover is a reconstruction of an actual page from the volume, and is one of the more memorable (if regrettable) parts of Silver-Age Batgirl's history, much like Wolfman Olsen or Giant Turtle Boy is part of Silver-Age Jimmy Olsen's.

    On the other hand: Sweet Jesus, way to misread your book's target audience, DC!

  • At July 20, 2007 7:34 PM, Blogger Siskoid said…

    I don't really want to drag Heidi into this, nor do I think that women all think alike, not at all. I only mentioned it because her blog devotes significant space to discussing gratuitous covers. The fact she doesn't mention the cover, and yet still posts an image of it, to me implied she took it in a whole other spirit.

    You, of course, have every right to be bothered and find it stupid and/or offensive. I really wasn't implying otherwise.

    I prefer to look at it and see Babs letting the boys do the grunt work. She's the smarts and they're the muscle, but I realize I'm only justifying my non-botherment (hey spellcheck, why you tell me that not a word?).

    I DO find it strange that it's not a cover for any of the interior stories, however.


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