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Comic-Con: Girls Gone Genre Panel
Comic-Con's "Girls Gone Genre" panel was full of laughs, applause, and surprises. Most of the surprises came at the beginning when moderator and editor-in-chief of io9.com, Annalee Newitz, introduced the panelists. It was shocking, even for a woman like me, to hear the accomplishments of these female pioneers. Of course, there was Felicia Day, who is probably setting a record for attending the most events at Comic-Con. Then there was Kathryn Immonen, who writes the comics Patsy Walker: Hellcat and Runaways. Laeta Kalogridis was next to come on stage, the writer of Shutter Island and executive producer of Avatar. Marti Nixon use to write for Buffy and Angel, but is now known for her work on Mad Men and the remake of Fright Night. Melissa Rosenberg of Dexter and the Twilight series and Gail Simone, writer of Deadpool and Wonder Woman comics, rounded out the panelists.
Newitz wanted to know what decisions the girls had made based on their sex.
Felicia Day was a frustrated actress who turned to writing to satisfy her desires for better roles for women.
Kathryn Immonen succeeded through stunt casting, when Marvel was teaming up for a women’s history event.
Laeta Kalogridis paraphrased Kathryn Bigelow, who wishes for a world where being female is irrelevant to how she's percieved. She repeated what Felicia Day said about how when one glammed up they were not taken seriously.
Marti Nixon warned young girls never to try to sleep their way to the bottom.
Melissa Rosenberg explained that things differ in TV; where in film and comics it’s the talent that truly matters, TV is full of politics. It is commonplace to have a token woman on the writing team and that’s it. When Gail started working online, she was assumed to be a guy so it didn’t really matter.
Annalee then brought up the marketing of guy movies and girl comics (along with guy comics and girl movies). The women explained that this line truly doesn’t exist, though people want to believe it does. Laeta said writers should try to transcend with stories.
One thing learned from this panel, never bring up Catwoman and Elektra. Suits use these movies as examples of why you can’t have a strong female superhero lead. Guess Kill Bill wasn’t good enough for them. Both these films infuriated the panelist, not just because they were bad, but also because they prevent films like Wonder Woman from being made.
The panel ended with the writers being able to discuss their future projects. Though most couldn’t talk about their plans, Marti Nixon did say she was working on an adaptation of I Am Number Four, while Mellissa Rosenberg is starting up a production company called “Tall Girls Production.”
After the panel I got two autographs, one from Annalee because I was shocked a woman ran io9. I’ve been working on Internet blogs and sites for a few years now and have become used to them being run by men. There is no reason why a woman shouldn’t run them, but I just picture guys like Harry Knowles being in charge. Then I got Laeta’s autograph. The future writer of Ghost in a Shell gave me the best piece of advice in her autograph: Make whatever you want.
I will, Laeta, I will.