You can tell how unplugged I am from the mainstream fandom that the internet broke this week over a variant Batgirl cover, and I had no idea whatsoever.
Earlier in the week, DC Comics received a deluge of critical responses to a variant cover for Batgirl #41 drawn by artist Rafael Albuquerque. As my friend Will West points out in his blog post weighing in on the controversy, variant covers are special versions of a comic featuring unique cover art, and usually offered as an incentive to comic book stores to increase their orders of certain issues, with the idea that the increased order size cost can be recouped when the variant is sold as a specialty or collector’s item. Lately, both DC and Marvel have been issuing month-long variant cover themes, which invite artists to create art across a common focus that can span all issues; June’s theme for DC centers around the Batman villain, Joker.
In this particular case, Batgirl #41‘s variant cover featured cover art depicting the comic’s heroine being terrifyingly brutalized by the Joker in an homage to a classic graphic novel (The Killing Joke) where he violently sexual assaults her and paralyses her with a gunshot wound.
Albuquerque’s variant cover for Batgirl #41 appears after the jump.
In a story that I’m posting about mostly because I find it effin’ hilarious, Arthur Chu –former Jeopardy champion who tweets at @arthur_affect about geek culture — has a problem. See, for the last several months, Chu has been a stalwart critic of GamerGate, that thing that I planned to write about regarding feminism and gaming culture and never pulled together into something coherent. Chu has written several columns, and his Twitter timeline is prolonged documentation of his Leonidas-style one-man-stand against the Persian hoards of angry misogynistsgamer puristsanti-racistsdefenders of ethical journalism I-don’t-know.
Arthur Chu is also the guy on the right in the picture above.
Ian Miles Cheong is a former Reddit moderator, editor-in-chief of Gameranx, progressive, and GamerGate critic who now tweets at @stillgray. He is also the guy on the left of the picture above.
There are apparently some folks who support GamerGate who are having trouble telling these two individuals apart.
You can check out the episode by streaming through YouTube above or downloading or playing the audio only version after the jump at the bottom of the post. For more episodes, you can also subscribe to my YouTube channel or subscribe to this podcast in the iTunes Store.
Next episode: James (@SnoopyJenkins) joins me once again, this time to discuss affirmative action and the now infamous Mismatch Theory used by conservatives to argue against the benefits of race-conscious college admissions policies for underrepresented minority students. We endeavour to answer the question: “Is Mismatch Theory just wrong, or both wrong and racist?” Tune in October 27th at 9pm EST to watch!