Interview: Lane Montoya on Her Upcoming Panels Regarding Women in Comics at Comicpalooza

Sexism and misogyny in comic and geek culture is still a very big problem. Whether we're watching people hurl rape threats at Anita Sarkeesian or Starman creator Tony Harris ranting about girls in cosplay, there is still a lot of work to be done. One of the voices in that fight is Houston comic artist Lane Montoya, who will be joining several panels on the topic at this weekend's Comicpalooza. We sat down with her briefly to talk about sexism in the comic industry.

Art Attack: What are some of the panels you will be conducting at Comicpalooza? :

Lane Montoya: Right now there is some shuffling going on with the panels. I am going to be on a "local comic creator" panel, but right now I'm trying to get onto the "Representations of Gender in Graphic Literature" comics panel. In the past I have been on "Women in Comics" panels. I will try to make an appearance at a similar panel at Comicpalooza.

Note: Another excellent local artist, Jamie Kinosian, will also be on the panel.

AA: Have you ever personally been the object of sexism in the industry?

LM: I'm not mentioning specifics, but there have been several times where my attitude has been perceived as "bitchy" instead of "constructive" or "taking charge" of a situation. I'm passionate about this art form and want the best I can be for every party involved. I wouldn't want to mess that up. I have no reason to do so.

There have also been a few incidents where I would be talking for jobs and such via e-mail or through chats, only to meet the clients in person and they would be shocked that I was female. As if my sex has anything to do with my ability to get a job for a client done, which it doesn't.

AA: What is the worst example of sexism in geek culture that you've seen or heard about?

LM: One is the harassment of cosplayers in skimpy costumes at conventions. Hands down. These people dress in these costumes for fun, to be seen, to take pictures, not to be harassed or touched in an unwelcoming manner.

The other is in the artist alley of conventions, where you see artist after artist drawing the same characters in a multitude of sexy poses like it's the only thing they know how to draw. I'd like to see Power Girl in an actual powerful pose or stance for once.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner