MARK CRILLEY responds
I'm always kind of afraid to describe Mark Crilley's wonderful book "Akiko" with the words that first pop into my head, for fear of scaring off the audience--"lyrical", "delightful" and "good-hearted" come to mind. Here's hoping that he's created the next comic to successfully break out into other media. There are many Akiko pages on the web--the official one is Mark Crilley's Akiko Web Site. Check it out and buy "Akiko"! (GS)
The horror, the horror! I don't really follow the characters you listed, so I've been blissfully unaware of this nasty little trait of the comic industry. (Well, ALMOST unaware; I guess one can't help but get a sense of it just walking through your average comic convention...) You are to be congratulated on taking the time to put this list together.
I think Tony Isabella made a good point when he pointed this out as part of a larger tendency in the entire entertainment industry. I think it's pretty scary that people find this kind of stuff entertaining! I think it's safe to say that if more women were involved in the writing of comics, there would be a lot less of this violence-for-cheap-thrills going on at the expense of female characters.
To come at it from a different angle, I think it smacks of plain, old, bad writing. Surely people can come up with plot lines that don't involve major characters dying right and left (and then --even lamer-- being miraculously restored to life a few issues later). I think the trend of characters being killed or nearly-killed should be sharply reduced on dramatic grounds alone. How can it possibly have a powerful effect when it's been so overused as a plot device?
Not that I'm an authority on good writing. I'm as guilty of crummy plot lines as anyone else!
Thanks again, Gail, for putting all this together.