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DC Comics’ Gail Simone Has Been Removed As The Writer Of Batgirl

If you follow Gail Simone on Twitter (or anywhere else) you know she’s not shy about expressing her opinions, sometimes sarcastically, sometimes not. She’s a creator who’s very vocal with her fans so while her many tweets yesterday did not come as a surprise, the content of one of them did. DC Comics has told her she is no longer writing Batgirl

This was my first thought after reading Simone’s tweet.

And then the internet exploded.

While getting fired is never a happy experience, getting fired when your work has led to a hugely successful run for your company is that much worse. This is not one of those instances where a title has a great deal of critical acclaim but not the financial success to back it up. Batgirl has been DC’s top-selling female-led title in the New 52, sells consistently better than the majority of DC’s line, not to mention the first collected graphic novel of the book landed at #4 on the NY Times hardcover graphic books best-seller list this year. It’s one thing to switch up creative teams when a book is faltering but Batgirl was anything but, so why the change?

Anything we can put forth is purely speculation and at this point, there are way too many directions to go in as far as reasoning goes, so I won’t get into it. What we do know is Simone had an exclusive contract with DC (which recently expired) and now that she’s been taken off Batgirl, she no longer has an ongoing title at the company (for the first time since the early 2000s I believe). The only project we have her connected with at DC is the previously discussed Time Warp anthology from Vertigo.

Also important to note is not only has Simone been removed from the title, it seems her plans for the character and title might never see the light of day. She replied to a question on Tumblr about seeing Batgirl’s recovery from paralysis, “Sadly, the new editor nixed everything we had planned. I think it’s very likely that will still be covered, but it will not be in the way we had been building to, which I am very sad about. And those issues are already written, but will not be published, I gather.” And as for the transgender character she was creating for the book, “I think it’s very unlikely that thread will be followed up on in Batgirl, sadly. The worst thing about this is all the beautiful things we had set up will likely not happen, as new editors and creative teams understandably want to forge their own trail.”

Besides being personally upset Simone will no longer be writing the title (and knowing a lot of others are too), the other issue here is what this looks like. DC is not alone in remaining silent when it comes to creator controversies. When we reported on Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn’s superhero sex list, we expected a comment from Marvel/Disney but never saw one. Other companies frantically put out official statements when something with the potential to upset customers goes public but that hasn’t been my experience with comic publishers. Perhaps they’re worried about legal ramifications or getting into he said/she said territory but in the age of social networking, responses are not only expected, they’re demanded. Clear and easy communication with companies via Facebook, Twitter and the like have given fans and customers the ability to express their concerns and have not just the company, but the world see it.

Graeme McMillan writes about what will probably be the biggest issue with the revelation:

For one thing, there’s the way it looks, from a PR standpoint; coming less than a week after Karen Berger stepped down as Executive Editor and SVP at DC, it revives memories (and discussion) of DC’s perceived sexism both in terms of those working at the publisher (Berger and Simone were not only the most high-profile women within the company, for awhile Simone was the only female creator working on an ongoing title at the company, remember) and the output of the publisher (Last week also saw the debut of this cover, reminding people of just how naked Starfire is these days).

Without Simone, Anne Nocenti and Christy Marx are the only woman writing ongoing titles at DC while Cat Staggs is doing covers for their Smallville digital series. While Simone may not be placing any blame publicly and is, in fact, being quite gracious about her time writing Batgirl, not everyone is staying so neutral. Important to remember is something Simone pointed out after the announcement:

That seems to be a trend in comic controversies. Tempers flare and people use the internet as if it’s a trash can, throwing out obscene statements that could easily get them arrested. It’s ok to be angry, it’s not ok to send death threats.

But it’s fans and creators who are making the noise online on behalf of Simone, airing grievances, and raising legitimate concerns. Most are just simply confused by the decision, they’ve seen the publisher make what they believe are odd choices in the past, but this one seems to take the cake.

Simone wrote on Tumblr:

I want to thank DC for giving me the opportunity to write Barbara. When the new52 was announced, I was terrified that telling early stories of Barbara would mean completely invalidating her story as a disabled icon. We tried our best never to forget that, even when putting her back in the suit.

Very few writers are ever lucky enough to get to work in the bat-offices, it’s a rare honor and thrill and I absolutely loved it and will miss it terribly.

Are we worried about Simone landing on her feet? No, she’s already working on her creator-owned title with Jim Calafiore, Leaving Megalopolis, which they hosted a hugely successful Kickstarter for, and we’re pretty sure her name alone gets her in the door of many venues. But what now? Not for Simone, but for Barbara Gordon.

Simone’s run is expected to end with the finale of  the “Death in the Family” crossover event and word is there was going to be a fill-in writer that may take over the title. No word on who that actually is yet but you can expect a huge fan backlash no matter the name. Many will drop the title on principle alone. We have to remember, Simone was the sole reason a lot of readers even picked up the New 52 in the first place, myself included.

It’s doubtful we’ll hear anything official from DC Comics on this decision, at least until they announce the new writer. Until then, we’re scratching our heads.

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  • Ja Malia

    You didn’t get a comment from Marvel/Disney because it was completely unnecessary for them to issue one. However, James Gunn released an apology note, which was really unnecessary also. People are too sensitive. Nobody cared about Gunn until he became director of Guardians of the Galaxy.

  • Alex Cranz

    To be fair, a statement wasn’t necessary because sexism isn’t considered taboo in our society. So when a guy is sexist (even when it’s an eh attempt at satire) it doesn’t raise the hackles of PR and mainstream media quite like other insults.

    I’m just flabbergasted by how consistently and unapologetically sexist DC is. Watching their actions every month its like I’m watching a parody. I keep having to pinch myself and say “yes, these guys really are this awful.” And to let Simone go so close on the heels of Berger’s departure? Do they even HAVE a PR department?

  • Ted Van Duyn

    Well, considering that Guardians of the Galaxy had a lesbian couple in it, and for the film they hire a director who made comments like that quite openly, it’s not a stretch to see why some would be upset over it.

  • Sara Sakana

    Saying “sorry I stepped on your foot” does not change the fact that you stepped on my foot, nor does it make my foot hurt less.

    As for your “people are too sensitive” comment, though, I agree. Straight men are entirely too sensitive–just look at all the whining and crying and foot-stomping they do when they’re caught saying disgusting sexist crap. In fact, I’m probably going to get at least one of them replying to this very comment to whine and cry and foot-stomp about how OMG WE’RE NOT ALL LIKE THAT.

  • crosberg

    I said this last night to a friend, and I maintain that while it’s painful, it bears discussion: I think she got dismissed because of her personal behavior online. I agree with her a lot of the time, and definitely appreciate the hard work she’s put into every book she’s ever worked on. More than that, I enjoy a lot of her work, though Batgirl wasn’t my favorite. Her vocal (sometimes deserved) dissatisfaction with DC and mainstream comics in general, particularly her perceived role in stoking the fires of resentment with Steph and Cass and Lois fans, his what put her job at risk. I would have fired her myself, if I was in DC editorial and she didn’t respond to reasonable requests and discussions about the issue. On top of which, we can’t know if the order to fire her came from DC, DC Entertainment, or any number of parent companies, and likely never will. But I can’t help but (sadly) feel like it’s her own fault. If she was a man fighting with the same vehemence to closet previously gay characters, take more female characters out of comics, etc, I would have fired him too. I don’t think this is sexism on the part of her personally or the characters, I think they were just tired of feeling like she was spitting in their eye.

  • Nick Gaston

    The new DC creative team “forging their own trail”? Y’mean to “the Silver Age, but with more gore and month-to-month continuity”?

    Unless she means “…to Hollywood.” *snerk* Sorry. Bad joke.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    (Speaking as a (mostly) straight guy…)

    True, we’re sensitive – but I think a lot of it comes from a sense of entitlement. The idea that (straight, white) guys are the majority, and thus our voice has the right to be heard, and we don’t have to answer to anyone.

    And personally, I think that’s 1) not true, and 2) sucks that we think it’s true. Even if it were, there’s something to be said for having empathy, and being socially aware of the world around you.

    But in reference to your last bit – well, *duh*, of course not everyone’s like that. But the loud ones are, and that’s the big problem.

  • Anonymous

    Gail’s presence online, and her behaviour, has been a HUGE PR positive for DC. She doesn’t diss DC, but discusses problematic stuff. And she does so with great patience. It’d be worth keeping her on the payroll just because of that; she has defended DC *a lot*. And in her criticism of DC, she’s always been very reasonable and mild. She’s made DC look better than they deserve.

    Not to mention that she was the only one with the reputation to be able to revert Oracle to Batgirl… Mayby, possibly, Greg Rucka or BQM could have done it too.
    This is a PR disaster of epic proportions on DCs part. I suspect Marvel can’t wait to get her working on Storm or Rogue (which she’s said before she’d like to do). Gail just wins at social media in a way no other comics writer does.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    And this is exactly what I disagree with. What she says in her Twitter, or FaceBook, or her what-have-you account is not DC’s business, unless specifically she starts saying things which are beyond the pale. She’s entitled to her opinions, and she’s entitled to speak her mind. Yes, there’s consequences to being open, I’ll accept that – but being critical isn’t a crime, and I don’t think it’s worth being fired over. If she has a problem with DC, then the guys at DC can sit down and talk with her about them. Employee dissatisfaction means there might be something wrong with the company, not the employee.

  • Matt Goldey

    This whole situation just left a sour taste in my mouth. My heart breaks for Gail and for Batgirl fans (myself included). I hate that Gail was taken off the book and I hate that it was done by email. That’s just classless on DC’s part. A writer of her caliber and stature in the business deserves a phone call.

    DC seems to be on a mission to self-destruct, these days. Marvel is getting more and more of my comics dollars every week. I’m really saddened by this. I’m a huge Bat-family fan and DC keeps giving me reasons to give them less and less of my money. Here’s one more.

  • crosberg

    Here’s the thing: looking at it from the perspective of a corporation, not a fan, she becomes a liability. She really does. She’s fighting for a lot of change and she discusses it openly. This might be a “PR disaster” in the eyes of a reasonably sized fanbase within comic book readership, but it is nowhere near an industry-wide scandal. In the echo chamber of people who agree with her (myself included), this is a BIG DEAL, just like the Gunn controversy was. But outside of that small group? Not a deal. Not at all. And from a corporation’s perspective, they get to cut loose a liability. And I would argue the point that Simone might have been a draw for the BG book, but I bet that a lot of people will stick with it even after she’s gone. Probably won’t sell as well, but that’s a business decision they had to make. I think some fans were just happy to see Babs as BG again and that the reboot made it accessible, even if Simone was the cherry on top.

  • Brian Adkins

    I was wondering if this was the case as welll since it’s the only thing I could think of for them to let go of someone who has been so successful for the company. Maybe it was like the reason they fired the late Dwayne McDuffie? Even so,an e-mail? Really!?

  • crosberg

    Why isn’t it their business? I work for IT in an accounting firm, and if I was on Facebook and Twitter every day discussing the challenges faced by women in this industry and in particular providing the services I do, I would get called into my boss’s office to discuss it. They are perfectly within their rights to dismiss an industry celebrity from their employ for her behavior online, because people will see her as a rep of them, or as badmouthing them. I’m not saying I agree with their decision, or that I don’t respect and admire Simone (I really do). But I am saying that from a business standpoint, I’m not surprised and I don’t blame them one bit.

    Let’s say, for example, that Marissa Meyer, the new CEO of Yahoo who was a VP a Google and is relatively well known in her industry, started going online and repeatedly going into detail about the fights she had with other Yahoo execs over product and how to run the company. You can bet your ass the board would haul her in to explain herself, and maybe dismiss her. Or Anderson Cooper started posting on Twitter about fighting with Jeff Zucker, the head of CNN? Same thing. Employees are accountable to their employers for their behavior outside of work and especially on the internet. I’ve had to help draft as well as sign several different contracts with my employers about my online behavior, and I bet Simone’s contract had similar clauses.

  • crosberg

    Oh I agree on the email thing, that was just bad taste. But looking at the social media guidelines and employment contract for the companies I’ve worked it, I would have been dismissed for some of the stuff she said, and it doesn’t surprise me that she was, however sad/frustrated it makes me.

  • Anonymous

    well I guess we disagree there was any “foot stomping”

  • Anonymous

    Considering the traction this is getting… I am pretty sure DC is shooting itself in the foot big time. Unless they put one of their big name writers on Batgirl, like Scott Snyder or… Wait… Do they HAVE any big name writers besides Snyder, now that Morrison is leaving? Geoff Jones…? Heh… *snort* I said Batgirl, not Green Lantern.

    Unless they manage to do something spectacular (like getting BQM to take over, and reintroduce Steph & Cass as supporting characters), I can’t see Batgirl sales doing anything but drop heavily. And I do think you underestimate just how much effect this will have. Not just Gail getting fired, but the manner in which it was done. Batgirl was a success, and this is the reward the writer gets, a writer who cared deeply about the character, and handled an extremely difficult transition in a way that actually largely worked. “Let’s get Gail to take the heat for the de-crippling, and then we’ll fire her”.

  • crosberg

    Why isn’t it their business? I work for IT in an accounting firm, and if I was on Facebook and Twitter every day discussing the challenges faced by women in this industry and in particular providing the services I do, I would get called into my boss’s office to discuss it. They are perfectly within their rights to dismiss an industry celebrity from their employ for her behavior online, because people will see her as a rep of them, or as badmouthing them. I’m not saying I agree with their decision, or that I don’t respect and admire Simone (I really do). But I am saying that from a business standpoint, I’m not surprised and I don’t blame them one bit.

    Let’s say, for example, that Marissa Meyer, the new CEO of Yahoo who was a VP a Google and is relatively well known in her industry, started going online and repeatedly going into detail about the fights she had with other Yahoo execs over product and how to run the company. You can bet your ass the board would haul her in to explain herself, and maybe dismiss her. Or Anderson Cooper started posting on Twitter about fighting with Jeff Zucker, the head of CNN? Same thing. Employees are accountable to their employers for their behavior outside of work and especially on the internet. I’ve had to help draft as well as sign several different contracts with my employers about my online behavior, and I bet Simone’s contract had similar clauses.

    I agree that it seems like DC is not a great place to work right now, especially for women. But I will not blame them for making what looks like it could have been a sound business decision. They didn’t fire Simone to spite people, just like they didn’t bench Cass and Steph to piss off fans. People take this kind of stuff FAR too personally, and, realistically, very few are willing to remember that at the end of the day, DC is in business to make money, not to make individual special snowflakes happy. If 10% of the readership is pissed that Simone is leaving and only 25% of them are pissed enough to boycott DC entirely, from a business standpoint that’s an acceptable loss. Not to mention that new writers starting runs are always a sales boost.

  • Ladies Making Comics

    Agree. She might say stuff like “I want Cass and Steph back too” but she always follows up with “Anything can happen, I and other creators are going to bat for them, this is just how comics works sometimes”. Nothing that made DC look bad, just a little feet-dragging.

  • crosberg

    But that DOES make them look bad, from the BUSINESS’S standpoint. Even if you don’t think it makes them look bad, from their point of view they had an employee that was repeatedly undermining all their editorial staff’s hard work and fomenting dissatisfaction with the product. That’s bad for business. As an individual creative working on a single book, it might be hard to see the larger picture that the company has planned, and repeated commentary about what YOU would like to fans is really frustrating and demoralizing to the larger staff.

  • strife

    Berger’s departure and Simone being taken off 1 book are unrelated and completely different circumstances, and certainly not sexist.

    ” I am not giving up on anything, the higher ups at DC and elsewhere have all called or written and been quite kind. We’re not done, Barbara OR me. Just sadly not on the same book!” – Gail Simone

    Why would Simone work so long with DC if they were really “unapologetically sexist”? Outrage spawns absurdity.

  • crosberg

    Ok, I’m going to cast aside the first paragraph because it was said with derision and frankly none of us have anything to speculate on at this point. I don’t know who the new author will be.

    They don’t need something spectacular to keep the book afloat. People like Simone, I won’t argue that. But her hard core fanbase and the people who are big Cass and Steph fans are a vast minority compared to the larger BG readership. Just because they are a vocal minority doesn’t mean that they will get their way.

    Frankly, I think that we need to remember, as fans, that we exist in an echo chamber that most people do not, and that we will not get our way all the time (or even most of the time) if our desires do not reflect those of the majority of readership. DC is in the business of making money, and not enough people liked Cass or Steph to buy enough books to keep them in the New52. That’s facts. Insisting that the only way to save a book that we DON’T YET KNOW WILL FAIL would be to cow tow to the demands of a small group that was ALREADY BOYCOTTING DC IN LARGE PART is just…frankly, bad business.

  • Anonymous

    It’s NOT bad for business, when it comes to comics. It made fans feel that there were people in the company who cared, and wanted those characters back too. It kept their hope up, meaning they might continue to buy books, knowing it might happen.

    As for Steph and Cass… Grant effing Morrison was asked about Cass on a con, and if he’d bring her back. His reply was “I tried”. Grant Morrison, the man who can do pretty much what he wants, and whose last few issues of Action Comics have basically been giving Dan DiDio the finger, and saying the New 52 is awful, that the Superman/Wonder Woman pairing is wrong etc… Even he couldn’t. What IS DCs problem with Cass?

  • crosberg

    I never said it was bad for fans, or bad for perception of the creator, but it is bad for business. People liked that Simone was available and accessible, that meant little about DC. And the more she spoke about her struggles to include more characters (Cass, Steph, an unamed trans* character, etc), the more people grew angry and frustrated on her behalf at DC. She is a brand unto herself that was doing damage to the brand she worked for.

    And there’s a difference between Simone and Morrison in terms of readership and methodology. Morrison’s remarks are made once or twice in interviews and at cons. Simone said things repeatedly online, daily.

    Again, I’m NOT saying I agree with the choice. I’m NOT saying I dislike Simone. I like her, I respect her, I buy her books. I funded her Kickstarter. I follow her on Tumblr and Twitter, I appreciate how accessible and involved she is with her readership. But as a businessperson I understand why she might have been dismissed.

  • Captain ZADL

    Well, crumb. I guess there’s no reason to buy DC anymore.

  • crosberg

    I can understand wanting to support an artist or writer you like, but I also worry that people boycotting DC because of this change are actually not helping their argument. I might drop BG as a monthly after Simone’s run is over, but I will give the new permanent writer three issues to show me what they’ve got. BG was never one of my favorite characters and I did buy the book because of her. But I will continue my orders of Animal Man and other books because I think they’re amazingly well done and I want to show DC with my wallet what they are doing RIGHT. If every book was crap, I’d stop ordering. But, if there are still good ones and you abandon the entire enterprise, you risk more people that are talented and doing astonishing work to change DC from the inside getting fired, and that doesn’t serve any purpose at all.

  • Anonymous

    An accounting firm is far far different from a comics publisher. I mean, I work as a professional writer, writing copy text (in my native Swedish, my English isn’t nearly as good). And I can write some pretty controversial stuff without anyone batting an eyelid, because it leads to cool copy, that’s actually worth reading. And Gail never criticised individuals, which is a big part of your example. Gail Simone is not Rob Liefeld.

    In a creative field, the requirements are very different from, say, accounting. Simone’s presence on social networks was a PR positive for DC. It is possible they didn’t see it, but it was. DC or Marvel is NOT Yahoo or some random tech firm.

    Your percentage examples are odd too. People will turn away from DC, and that number is far larger, FAR larger than the number who will return to DC because she’s gone. It makes *no sense whatsoever* to fire her from a business standpoint. She brought in extra dollars, she brought in goodwill… But she didn’t make a noticeable number of people turn away from DC.

  • Alisa Schreibman

    Hey, The Mary Sue, is someone covering The Avengers: Illuminati being all male so far, and the question of why the “Avengers” (ie, people who go out and right wrongs), “Illuminati” (ie, those in the know and with the power) are coded male and the “Defenders” (ie, people who stick around and protect hearth and home) aren’t just coded but are actually all female? The heroine’s journey (e.g., Valerie Estelle Frankel, From Girl to Goddess, or the titular work by Maureen Murdock) may be different from Campbell’s famed hero’s journey – both in mythic fiction and in perceived reality – but gender essentialism in comics just isn’t cool, folks.

  • Anonymous

    See, now I wish I was actually reading Batgirl so that I could stop reading it in response to this mess. DC’s loss is a gain to whoever snaps her up next.

    Maybe DC editorial had reason to want her off the book, Which is possible since we know DC editorial is a bit heavy handed. It might have been simply ‘their way goes’ or she goes. Maybe if they didn’t care about keeping a popular comic book creator in their company, which is possible. I get the impression DC want books sales to be character based rather than creator based.

    But even considering that: WHY FIRE HER OVER EMAIL?
    This is Gail Simone, she’s been working at DC for years, been responsible for several critically acclaimed runs. I’m pretty sure she deserves better. What the hell are they playing at?

  • crosberg

    A few points:

    - Yes, accounting firms are different, but I worked as a writer and social media manager at several jobs in the past and we had strict social media policies about what I was and was not allowed to discuss online. I am not as well known as Gail Simone for sure, but I do have friends that have Twitter/Tumblr follower counts comparable to hers and they all have contracts they signed with their employers.

    - Are you from Sweden or working for a Swedish company? Is the “controversial copy” you reference posted on your personal blog or social media site and does it directly complain about the industry you work in? I think this may be the core difference here.
    - You’re right, she didn’t name names, but if you hear repeatedly “I’ve fought editorial about doing XYZ thing but they say no” then pretty quickly fans get a good idea of who you’re talking about. Even if it’s not a specific individual, it doesn’t cast DC in a great light.
    - I’ll admit I took a stab on those numbers based on a an anthropological study I did in graduate school about brand abandonment based on business decisions. But how do you know the numbers are larger? Where is your proof that more than 10% of the BG readership even knows about this news? Or what percentage of them will abandon DC completely because of it?

    As someone that has worked in marketing and brand management, she was bad for the DC brand. She was good for her own brand, good for the BG brand, but bad for DC. She made them come off like assholes, and clearly she didn’t make them enough money for them not to fire her. They didn’t fire her to piss you or any other fan off, they did it for their own business reasons, which I attempted to identify. There’s no reason to take it personally as a fan.

  • crosberg

    I’ll reiterate: I really like Gail Simone’s work. I think she’s a remarkably talented and amazingly kind person. I love the role she plays in fandom. I love that people can interact with her online. I do not agree with the decision by DC editorial to fire her. But IF (a big if) they fired her for her online behavior, I do understand, from a BUSINESS STANDPOINT ALONE, why they did it.

  • Regina Small

    Because very, very few women have the luxury of being able to turn down a job in their chosen field on the grounds of casual sexism? Gail has openly expressed that Batgirl was her dream project; that’s hard for anyone to walk away from. The bigger question is: the book was selling well, people were enjoying it…so why was one of the only female creators let go from one of the few female-led comics?

  • Sarah

    I’m not a big Batgirl fan, but I am a huge Gail Simone fan. Buying all of Secret Six is one of my happiest nerd moments. I did pick it up at the start of the storyline before Death of the Family because I just kept hearing good things. Fell in love IMMEDIATELY.

    This kind of firing makes me nervous. What is DC going to do next? Take JH Williams off Batwoman?

  • strife

    Probably the same reason Greg Rucka was kicked off of his dream project: Dreadful Editors and story mandates. I doubt it had much if anything to do with the creator or the character being female. It’s editors being crappy to writers.

  • Sophie

    You say that, but with so few female creators, and so many of the ones that are there being treated badly, well if it looks like a duck…

    Either way it doesn’t matter. DC have made so many mis-steps with women in the past year that sexism is now part of their company image, and all thier actions are viewed through that lens. And that bad reputation is entirely deserved. If they want people not to view their company as being one that hates women, then this is the exact opposite of what they should do. At this point it’s their job to win back people’s trust not the fans’ job to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a bit confused by this. The previous series of Defenders wasn’t all-female though. And they didn’t stick at home either. There doesn’t appear to be any significance to the name at all.

  • electrasteph

    Yeah, it definitely means I’m considering dropping Batgirl out of my pull list, depending on who is replacing Gail. And I don’t feel a whole lot of loyalty to my other DC titles, either, other than Batwoman. Wonder Woman will get the boot for sure, as of this month. I’m not going to stick with DC if they’re willing to fire someone via email. I love my favorite female characters, but not that much.

  • Carol Darnell

    You also talked about how what she was discussing, and the direction she wanted things to go was not how the editors wanted it to go. She was let go (via email – EXTREMELY TACKY IMHO) by a new editor. Did said editor bother to take stock of how the fans felt? I understand that as fans we have limited input at the sufferance of the company, but we also are the ones giving them our hard-earned money, so bending an ear to what we would like to see might behoove them.

    I also agree with the poster above that sparking discussions about the direction of certain characters or titles isn’t the same as badmouthing or belittling them. Discussion and debate keeps people interested.

    I’m looking forward to her future endeavors, and I will give the new writer a few issues as well – but I am NOT holding my breath.

  • Drawbak

    “not enough people liked Cass or Steph to buy enough books to keep them in the New52. That’s facts.”
    Actually, no. Cass & Steph’s books sold quite well. BQM’s Batgirl was a both a critical and financial success. The benching has nothing to do with making money. Insiders all say someone higher up just doesn’t like them. It’s seems really, really weird. And … frankly, bad business. : /

  • Jamie Jeans

    I… I shouldn’t be surprised, I shouldn’t, but… I don’t know what to say. When you’ve got someone as successful as Gail has been, and you fire her?

    What the hell, DC?

    I never liked the decision to undo Oracle and put Barbara back in the mask, thus erasing Steph Brown AND Cassandra Cain, and it’s kept me from reading the comic after the third issue because I keep on seeing Oracle and not Batgirl… but from what my friends told me, Gail really knocked it out of the park and did a great job.

    The only thing I can think of is that with Gail’s contract having run out, DC decided to get rid of a troublemaker, that instead of having someone who would conform, they got someone who routintely called them on their BS, and now they’re getting rid of her.

    So go to hell, DC Comics… just fire Greg Rucka while you’re at it so I can have ZERO interest in buying anything from you.

  • TASdama

    That’s some incredibly disgusting sexist you’re spouting.

  • Laura Truxillo

    I thought they lost Rucka ages ago?

  • Laura Truxillo

    It’s probably worse for business to repeatedly give your fans the finger.

    Simone never tore down DC. She ALWAYS encouraged fans to be reading it, despite their misgivings.

    And honestly, she’s far more positive about it than, as someone pointed out, Grant Morrison, or even other, much more grumbly writers.

    It’s entirely possibly, and maybe even likely, that TPTB thought of her advocating the less-seen aspects of fandom was a problem. But better business would have been maybe to LISTEN to some of the concerns brought up by many of their major talents. Firing Simone for her very mild criticisms (always balanced with optimistic cheerleading) is like firing the guy at a factory pointing out that the cars are all going out with a slight problem, and hey, how about we fix this problem and everything’ll run a little smoother? It only makes “business sense” if your business sense is coming from some kind of old-timey J Jonah Jameson guy.

  • Katie

    Too bad they won’t be in the film

  • strife

    If you’re going to judge any group/organization/company as sexist due to the male:female ratio, then that’s not going to convince anyone outside like-minded people. By saying DC is sexist, you’re also accusing everyone employed by DC as complicit to some degree. Most people don’t believe that. People because too enveloped in online niches that they confuse it for reality. Reality is more complicated than something like “DC is sexist”.

  • Laura Truxillo

    How about a statement like “In the past few years, TPTB at DC have made many sexist moves, both with the characters they are stewards of and in their response to their fans.”

    But no, you’re playing devil’s advocate. There’ve been a lot of dick moves getting made by people higher up on the food chain than the average writer. And if you’re thinking it’s just about the male/female ratio, you’re looking at that one stat in a very sterile vacuum. There’s been a lot of little and big instances in the past few years that are making up a rather unpleasant gestalt of the overall vibe of DC.

    And yes, DC does have an overall vibe. In fact, part of the whole reboot was the idea of giving DC a unified vision. It…er, well, it worked in that most every book in the main universe feels more or less the same.

  • strife

    The problem is interpreting such moves as sexist, which is a harsh judgement that other people wouldn’t be quick to label. Gail Simone being taken off of 1 title is sexist? I don’t think most people think that. Batgirl still continues, and Simone hasn’t conclusively left DC. It’s been hinted otherwise.

    I don’t agree that DC comics has an overall unpleasant vibe considering that new 52 is considered a success. The inside managerial/editorial business aspect of DC on the other hand has had troubling conflicts.

  • Brian

    Frankly, there’s no significance to the Avengers, either. Avenge doesn’t just mean to right a wrong, it means to punish or cause harm in return for a wrong, and that’s not really at all what they do.

  • Brian

    I do not envy the man (and it will be a man) who replaces here. They need a name and a fan-favorite. I’m talking Chuck Dixon or better.

  • Tristan Danner

    To say the least, like many others I was a little shocked. Definitely not happy, Simone is quite possibly my favorite DC writer. I don’t really see a reason to keep following Batgirl any longer, or the rest of the 52. This run of Batgirl was what got me wanting to give the new 52 a shot and kept me collecting up until this point.

  • Zenith

    Frankly, her personal online conduct has been abysmal, being a constant nay-sayer and trying to drag DC a way they clearly didn’t want to go. Regardless of how talented she is, DC is not the right place for her. And then let’s not forget that time she publicly endorsed a fairly obvious scam ran by a known bigot (google “Arkh Project”). I’d call anyone who didn’t see this coming from a mile away blind as a bat.

  • Edcedc8

    pssst, your sexism is showing.

  • Edcedc8

    logic has no part in this argument, though.

  • RobinCook

    Given that Dixon was fired by DiDio years ago, I doubt he wants to return.

  • Tiffany

    who gives a piece of flying ape fecal matter.

  • Brian

    True. I was just trying to think of someone who could come in with a lot of fan goodwill, and Batgirl Year One crossed my mind. But yeah, there’s another bridge they’ve burned.

  • Maggie

    You keep saying that they fired her for being a liability, but nothing you’ve said hasn’t been refuted more than once by other posters. I understand that from a business standpoint some of what she’s said could make DC look bad, but their own behavior also makes them look bad. From Didio’s responses to the SDCC Batgirl a couple years back to the promises they’ve made to the fan base and then broken to talking about wanting more diversity and then getting rid of many of their more diverse characters, that’s the kind of stuff that makes DC look bad. Simone, as others have said, did express concerns about the company but she also made it clear that she believed in DC and what they could do.

    I admit that I’m one of the readers who’ll probably keep reading Batgirl for a little while so that I can judge the new writer fairly. I also only started reading the new 52 Batgirl because Gail Simone was the one writing it and I figured that if anyone would handle the transition from Oracle to Batgirl well she’d be it. Liability or not, DC editorial dropped the ball here.

  • Maggie

    As you’ve said before though, if she was breaking something in her contract with what she was saying online, one would think that someone in DC would have pulled her aside to tell her that she needed to tone it down rather than skipping straight to firing her.

  • Christy

    Rucka left in 2010 to work with Marvel. Smart move.

  • Christy

    Considering Jim Lee’s track record as of late, I shouldn’t be surprised. I look at the creative decisions they have made, even before the New 52′s, and I just shake my head.

  • Bradley Paul Valentine

    Actually Rucka recently got buttloved by Marvel when they abruptly ordered him to conclude his excellent PUNISHER book so that they could move the character to the THUNDERBOLTS (which is insane and a massive misunderstanding of that character, making him the member of a team). So Rucka looks to be exiting Marvel as soon as he can, sour grapes abound. I think he has one title left at Marvel.

  • Bradley Paul Valentine

    There was no “foot stomping” other than an opportunist blogger taking advantage of a director’s new success by calling him out on sex jokes. If that were a woman making pecker jokes involving Superman, etc., you’d all be call any man “insecure” if he raised objection. Grow up, ladies. Enjoying sex doesn’t make you a degenerate.

  • strife

    UPDATE: Shelly Bond Promoted To Executive Editor Of Vertigo

    First they hire Karen Berger and keep her for a long and successful career until she left on her own accord. Then, they promote Shelly Bond, and in-house editor, to be executive editor. How ‘sexist’ of DC…

  • Melissia

    What the hell DC? Simone was one of your best, if not THE best, writer in your employ!

  • Melissia

    “Here’s the thing: looking at it from the perspective of a corporation, not a fan,”

    Still seeing misogyny. Corporate culture itself is still highly sexist.