That Batgirl cover....originally it wasn't creepy

From http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/03/18/albuquerque-was-asked-to-make-batgirl-cover-more-extreme/
 
Well now.
 
I understand, from a number of inside contacts, that the Batgirl Joker variant cover by Rafael Albuquerque that caused so much fuss this week was not the first version of that cover.
 
The first version was a lot less extreme. It still features Batgirl and The Joker. But there was no gun pointing towards the crotch. No finger in the face. No tears, lipstick smear or extreme distress. Not that it wasn’t creepy, it still was.
 
But apparently not creepy enough.
 
Albuquerque received notes from DC Comics, redrew the cover, and it was accepted. Again, none of this came from Batman editorial or creatives, it was a promotional/marketing decision and commission. And one that has now had a few safeguards added.
 
Albuquerque has also given an account of the situation to Brazilian site UOL. Translated, it reads,
 
UOL – Do you think your cover was misunderstood?
 
Rafael Albuquerque - I think the cover has brought up many interpretations. But in the end, the problem is not the cover itself, but the comic where it would be published. A series aimed at the teenage female audience should not have a cover like this. Regardless of the question of who is right or wrong, the cover that I did do not serve its intent.
 
UOL: The classic comic “Batman: The Killing Joke” showed 25 years ago a much greater violence against Batgirl than your illustration. You think people criticized your cover without knowledge of the original material?
 
RA: I do not know. I think those who know the “Killing Joke” got the point. But again, young people aged 14 to 17 years does not have the obligation to know, and I think both myself and the publisher, even unintentionally, were wrong in thinking that the image would be appropriate.
 
UOL: The cover was dropped by your request, but did you ever receive any pressure by a department or person at DC Comics in this sense?
 
RA: No. I took the initiative. I see many people commenting on freedom of expression and that I gave in to pressure. I have always defended minorities. I think is the right and moral thing to do. I do not think a comic that aims to raise women´s self-esteem should have an image that may suggest otherwise. In another comic, maybe that image made sense. Not for the current Batgirl comic. Freedom of expression also means not saying what you do not want to say, and it was exactly the right that I exercised here.
 
UOL: Nowadays we see the content of comics being increasingly questioned regarding issues such as excessive violence and sexualisation of women. Do you think these questions are valid? Do you think that even if valid, these questions may be exaggerated and hinder the creative freedom of artists and writers?
 
RA: I think these questions are completely valid. In a general way, the industry has always been sexist. We are used to it and now we live a moment of opening of this industry. It is important that we review our values and our positions. I think, regardless of individual standings, dialogue and respect is essential for the industry not end up divided. Respect is my main flag here.
 
UOL: What would you like to be the legacy of this case?
 
RA: I think, despite one’s position regarding the cover, either prioritizing feminism or freedom of expression, it is important to learn to listen. Empathize with those who have a different opinion from yours. Put yourself in the place of other and consider what is being said. Discussion on the Internet tends to turn into childish tantrums, on one side or the other. That’s what makes people lose interest in things. I think criticism is always welcome. But respect for those who do, for those who publish and for those who disagrees is what validates criticism. Freedom of expression cannot be limited only to what you like or want. Freedom must come with responsibility.

Sounds like a sensible dude.

Yes, Albugquerque sounds like a level-headed fellow.  However, I would object that current Batgirl title is aimed at 14-17 year olds.  To me that's just marketing lip-service.  The first issue of the new creative team certainly covered topics that are more appropriate for a much older audience.  I would be shocked if issues that followed don't continue to contain themes for an older audience as well.  

Why assume the gun is pointing towards her crotch? Talk about grasping! If anything it's pointing towards her stomach where she was shot. Or it could just be an indication of how casual or lackadaisical the Joker is being. Gonna assume this article was by Rich Johnston? Phone Post 3.0

I did not take it at all as the gun being pointed at her crotch, I think people are reaching a little there.

I looked again, it is just pointed down, at the floor. Not at her crotch.

Sleazy Martinez - Why assume the gun is pointing towards her crotch? Talk about grasping! If anything it's pointing towards her stomach where she was shot. Or it could just be an indication of how casual or lackadaisical the Joker is being. Gonna assume this article was by Rich Johnston? Phone Post 3.0


Correct.  Rich Johnston was the author.



I would never describe the gun as pointing towards her crotch (although I have read others describing it that way).  To me the gun is pointed down.

Yea the pointing at the crotch thing is reaching, that's irresponsible reporting Phone Post 3.0

If he pulled the trigger the bullet would hit the floor Phone Post 3.0

If anything the gun was pointing at her left big toe.

BigWilliam - I did not take it at all as the gun being pointed at her crotch, I think people are reaching a little there.

But that's how these people's brains function. EVERYTHING must fit the narrative, no matter how it must be shoe-horned in there.

The red on her face? Clearly indicative of hymenal blood from rape, signifying that Joker has stolen her vital womanly flower.

Joker's white face? Clearly indicative of the white male patriarchy, reinforced by his extra-long revolver, which is therefore a powerful phallic symbol that he uses to control an otherwise strong and confident womyn.

etc., etc.

And these folks believe that shit like they believe the sun is coming up tomorrow, their conviction is amazing.

None So Blind - 
BigWilliam - I did not take it at all as the gun being pointed at her crotch, I think people are reaching a little there.

But that's how these people's brains function. EVERYTHING must fit the narrative, no matter how it must be shoe-horned in there.

The red on her face? Clearly indicative of hymenal blood from rape, signifying that Joker has stolen her vital womanly flower.

Joker's white face? Clearly indicative of the white male patriarchy, reinforced by his extra-long revolver, which is therefore a powerful phallic symbol that he uses to control an otherwise strong and confident womyn.

etc., etc.

And these folks believe that shit like they believe the sun is coming up tomorrow, their conviction is amazing.


Nice post

People complaining about the cover realize that it is ink on paper right? It's a form of entertainment, nobody is actually getting hurt or oppressed Phone Post 3.0

You know, we joke about this shit in comics and movies - like Ultron being programmed to help end war, and he interprets that to mean "kill all humans, thus there will be no more war," or Terminator's Skynet realizing that all humans are a threat, not just the other side, and so it cooks off a nuclear holocaust.

But there is a small number of folks out there, some on the radical lefty side, some on the radical right, that honestly believe that everything, even a comic cover, is so supportive of a sick system, that the only way to fix things is to destroy the entire system. It's really funny to see ultra-far right and ultra-far left converge on anarchy like that.

Sorry for the weird tangent, I just have this on the brain after reading an interesting blog post on how one far-left college kid got alarmed at the nihilism and destructive mindset in her "progressive" colleagues...

(if you're interested - http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2014/11/everything-problematic/ )

And again, I don't mean to seem like I'm picking on our liberal geek bros here - conservatives are equally capable of thinking and acting this way. It's just that in this particular example with the comic cover, the lefty fringe is the one raising hell...

"The red on her face? Clearly indicative of hymenal blood from rape, signifying that Joker has stolen her vital womanly flower. "

Honestly the first thing I thought was that it was period blood or rape blood.

None So Blind - You know, we joke about this shit in comics and movies - like Ultron being programmed to help end war, and he interprets that to mean "kill all humans, thus there will be no more war," or Terminator's Skynet realizing that all humans are a threat, not just the other side, and so it cooks off a nuclear holocaust.

But there is a small number of folks out there, some on the radical lefty side, some on the radical right, that honestly believe that everything, even a comic cover, is so supportive of a sick system, that the only way to fix things is to destroy the entire system. It's really funny to see ultra-far right and ultra-far left converge on anarchy like that.

Sorry for the weird tangent, I just have this on the brain after reading an interesting blog post on how one far-left college kid got alarmed at the nihilism and destructive mindset in her "progressive" colleagues...

(if you're interested - http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2014/11/everything-problematic/ )

And again, I don't mean to seem like I'm picking on our liberal geek bros here - conservatives are equally capable of thinking and acting this way. It's just that in this particular example with the comic cover, the lefty fringe is the one raising hell...
Thanks for posting that article, I enjoyed reading it, it has a lot of interesting ideas and viewpoints Phone Post 3.0

orcus - "The red on her face? Clearly indicative of hymenal blood from rape, signifying that Joker has stolen her vital womanly flower. "

Honestly the first thing I thought was that it was period blood or rape blood.
Why would that be the first thing you think when you see that? I haven't read any Batgirl, but is the Joker raping her a thing? Phone Post 3.0

I'm glad others have brought up the "gun at the crotch" issue - the gun is pointed at her crotch in the same way it is pointed at her big toe or left knee...down is down.

I've never read a Batgirl book, but if the book really is more of a young adult themed title, this cover really doesn't have any business being printed, but if the book already covers adult themes, I don't understand the controversy.

Furthermore, isn't this an alternate cover?  As an alt cover it is fine to have as something for an older audience as a homage to Killing Joke and want to appreciate a very well done and very dark cover.

It reminds me of a zombie book I used to read in the 90's called Deadworld.  Deadworld was an amazing book (mind you, this was the mid-90's when zombies were still an underground phenomenon and outside of the classic Romero/Fulci movies there was very little zombie media available) and the main artist, Vincent Locke, (who is probably best known as the guy who does all of the Cannibal Corpse covers) started pushing the envelope with some intense violence in the Deadworld covers.  Even though it was a indie book, the publisher still made a "tame" and "intense" cover to make it easier for shops to sell the title.