I had a fun chat with Yannick Paquette in Artist’s Alley at New York Comic Con, where we talked about All-Star Wonder Woman. He’s always been articulate about his feminist views and the perspective he and Grant Morrison intended, all illustrated with Paquette’s lavish, meticulous art.
Paquette said Morrison planned the books as a trilogy and Volume 2 is the one where things go wrong. He stopped short of saying it’s like Star Wars where the current book is Empire Strikes Back but we both knew that’s what he meant.
In the book, misogynist villain Dr. Psycho has updated and refashioned as a pick-up artist type who manipulates words and thoughts to mess with Wonder Woman, who can’t simply punch her problems away. I reckoned this was a commentary on the misogyny of pick-up artists who use terms that veer from teasing to insults and put-downs to erode women’s sense of stability and self-esteem in order to break down their emotional defenses in order to manipulate them into bed. Both Morrison and Paquette have clearly been thinking about that scene, which draws in many insecure men hoping to get dates and have more sex with women. To have this storyline is in keeping with the series’ overall arc of Wonder Woman fighting the patriarchy as the US government comes to treat her as a threat to the status quo. In this respect, All-Star Wonder Woman is the most politically-charged comic DC Comics has brought out this month, never mind the Batpenis. Makes me wonder why so few outlets have run reviews of it so far.
He talked about how Grant’s scripts are very impressionistic and he has to interpret how to draw them, then Grant writes in new dialogue around his art. This in contrast to working with Brian Michael Bendis on a Superman story. Where Morrison’s scripts are often freewheeling and improvisational in feel, Bendis’ scripts are more traditional in working everything out beforehand. They can include extremely dense and often entail dense, long dialogue scenes, sometimes between six people that he has to figure out how to draw. But Bendis is still flexible and open to ideas and approaches from him.
Yannick will be at the con all weekend signing books and taking art commissions.