Batwoman – An Arsenic Lullaby?


I've made it clear that I really enjoy DC's Batwoman comic book. I find it artistically inventive, a dazzling display of comics storytelling. I think Williams and Blackman created something special in this comic, within a structure that many would seem as not that conductive to such experimentation. Not everyone feels the same way. Like Harvey/Eisner nominated Arsenic Lullabies author/artist Douglas Paszkiewicz. Who admits he has tried to read the comic, but failed. He writes;

JH Williams III And W Haden Blackman Walk Off Batwoman Over DC Not Allowing Her Marriage To Maggie Sawyer

Personally I would have named the story-

Two self absorbed children with over inflated senses of self-worth leave perfectly good job because their lame story line is turned down by editors whose job it is to protect the brand of a company that was started decades before any of them were even sperm.

Listen up, you two clowns…

  1. Your idea is lame, it is current events in lieu of innovation. It is every bit as lame and heavy-handed and out of place as the Green Lantern becoming gay. What is interesting or clever about it? Nothing. It is a sad attempt to appeal to prurient interests instead of writing an actual story. Having no ideas for a comic book story about crime fighting you have drudged up some current event, possibly hoping to spark some lame controversy, or look really hip and cool, and push back the task of actual writing another couple of months. Although I do see your dilemma…must be hard to come up with new stuff for a character that's OVER FIFTY YEARS OLD. This brings me to point no.2
  2. You are hacks no. 301 and 302 to write this character. You are cogs in a machine that exists to keep the titles alive for the sake of licensing. Welcome to reality. Everyone needs a job, no shame in this…until you start to complain. I have no respect or pity for anyone picking at the bones of characters old enough to be grandparents that have already had over 120,000 pages written about them. You are the current hacks keeping the books on the shelf so that the licensing agreements stay valid…nothing more. Creatively you are one small step above whoever writes coca-cola commercials. You can pat yourself on the back about whatever "new spin" you did on the character…but the truth is the boobs on the cover are selling the book and no one would even notice if the whole story itself was a script from 40 years ago…other than it would probably be better Fill pages, shut your mouth, collect your check. Don't like it? There are about 50 people in every artist alley at every comic book convention on earth that would jump at the chance to do that job, and probably do it better. What's that? "no they couldn't"…? Well that brings me to point no.3
  3. If you are soooo important and your ideas are sooo great, start your own company and create YOUR OWN CHARACTERS. Take your little script, remove the famous character everyone already knew and loved long before you came around…and ask yourself if anyone would pay one single dollar for it. They wouldn't, which is why you won't. Which is good because this industry doesn't need Image 2.0 with the main title "Bat Lady And The Jester Whore."

As someone who knows what it takes to build something from the ground up I find it pathetic and laughable when a couple of replacement cogs in a machine, that was already up and running when they were inserted, belly ache about their job. Whining and moaning about their rights and what they want to do…how about what everyone else wants to do? What about everyone else involved in that company who don't want a big crap storm threatening their financial well being? Like editors, and copywriters and clerks and everyone else low enough on the totem pole to get the axe if a publisher in an already dwindling industry loses just a little bit more market share? More importantly what about all the readers who work regular jobs and put up with far more draconian bosses and stomach turning tasks, who can't swing a dead cat without hearing about some social issue or another, who just want fifteen minutes of peace from it all in the form of flipping through a comic book and seeing a super villain getting kicked in the head by someone wearing batman logo on his or her chest?

You are both buffoons, go get a picket sign and stand in line with the striking McDonalds workers and have long conversations about how your mothers told you that you were special every single day and the rest of the world should treat as such.

"Jester whore?" Sigh… we'll get letters. Douglas Paszkiewicz's own work can be found here. It is unlikely Dan DiDio will be contacting him any time soon.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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