Alyssa Rosenberg investigates:

...when I followed up with [Spawn creator Todd] McFarlane, Wolverine creator Len Wein, and The Punisher creator Gerry Conway, the presentation became a showcase for a kind of attitude that’s far from universal in comics, but that still exerts considerable power among both creators and consumers of comics. In Conway’s words, “the comics follow society. They don’t lead society.”

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I loved reading Gerry Conway's Spider-Man comics when I was a kid, and that makes this answer especially disappointing. If you're creating art, you shouldn't be proud about following. You make art to lead. The whole article is depressing as hell, covering every lame white guy comics excuse for sexism you can imagine, from "it's just fantasy, it's not hurting anyone" to "if women don't like it, they should just make their own comics" to "some of my best characters are women," to "the men in comics have stylized fantasy bodies, too." All of which are total bunk that I'm not going to bother to argue with here*. The thing is, if superhero comics continue to be a boy's club, they're going to die out, which means that the men on this panel—not to mention Hollywood, which turns to comics for concepts with freakish regularity these days for ideas—should be worried about the future of their genre.

* Oh, okay. Fine. In order: Fiction affects reality, which is why we tell each other stories; women do make their own comics, but the fact that women are ritually excluded from an entire genre is shameful and creates a toxic environment for women in fandom; just because you have a few token examples of women in comics doesn't mean your comics can pass the Bechdel Test; and show me the comics where the men go into battle while wearing skimpy thongs and posing like porn stars and then we can have a conversation.

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