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Jones, Bethan. "Producing and Branding Gender in Comics: my so-called secret identity and the ambivalence of an alternative address." Palabra Clave 20. (2017): 1073–104. 
Added by: joachim (2/25/20, 11:55 AM)   
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.5294/pacla.2017.20.4.9
BibTeX citation key: Jones2017
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Categories: General
Keywords: "My So-Called Secret Identity", Brooker. Will, Collaboration, Fandom, Gender, Paratext, Superhero, USA
Creators: Jones
Collection: Palabra Clave
Views: 24/574
As media consumption grows increasingly niche and distribution extends further away from old network and print models (Lotz, 2007), media producers continue to hone their marketing toward ever more specific audiences. Yet, while fan-centred franchises and crowdfunding projects have garnered some scholarly attention, there has been less discussion of the ways that gender, race, and sexuality intersect with media production and marketing. This paper analyses the crowdfunded comic My So-Called Secret Identity (MSCSI) and its attempts to appeal to female comics fans. MSCSI was launched in 2013 with the aim of countering misogynistic depictions of women in comics. Created by academic Professor Will Brooker, the series focuses on Cat Daniels, an ordinary girl who becomes a superhero. I examine how the production and branding processes of the comic were used in paratexts to market MSCSI to women as specifically gendered audiences. In particular, I consider the implications of gendered (and de-gendered) media texts on the ways that content producers imagine female audiences, as well as how they commodify and capitalize on these audiences. I argue that the comic’s tagline #smartisasuperpower, the design of the website and the deliberately female creative team function to appeal to female comic book fans and introduce new fans to the genre. I suggest, however, that the paratextual elements of MSCSI resulted in ambivalent responses from comic fans and critics, demonstrating the contradictions and difficulties of producing and branding a gendered text for a gendered audience.
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