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January 19, 2012
Why Chicks Cry: The Book?
In June of 2009, I sorted through piles of old DC romance comics, extracting only those panels in which women were shedding tears. I then assigned captions to each panel explaining why each lady was crying, using only the clues found in each panel. A lady was crying and saying she had a headache, so my caption was simply "Headaches." When I started, I was simply cataloging reasons based on my first impressions of the panel. Soon however, I began to make the reasons more absurd. In one panel a lady is tearfully exiting her house, thinking "NO--NO--I MUST NEVER COME AGAIN!" To this panel, I assigned the reason "Being evicted." The only rule I followed when captioning was to try not to be mean-spirited towards the panel ladies, to rest my snark on a soft velvet pillow. Given the subject matter, I tried to tread lightly, to present the ladies and their dilemmas without judging them. I called my exercise "Why Chicks Cry" and sent it out into the world.
Incredibly, the post began to spread. Thanks largely to higher profile sites like Tumblr, Metafilter, and Feministe people of both genders were talking about the crying ladies. Another surprise, the response was 99% positive. Some people commented on which was their favorite panel. Others were drawn to the wonderful art of the panels, which reminded them of Lichtenstein paintings. The concept seemed to be cathartic for some ladies who revealed that they had also been known to shed a tear over something silly. A reader named Claire wrote " I am ashamed to admit that I do actually cry at sudden rains, but only if I'm caught in them. There is nothing I despise more in life than stomping around in soggy shoes." The most intriguing comment to me was from someone who said that I might have come up with a good idea for a book that her company would be interested in publishing.
The idea of me being a published author was entirely alien to me, so it took me a few months to get up the guts to e-mail this lady, who was still interested. The first step, she wrote, was for me to contact DC Comics to find out how much it would cost to license about 180 panels to fill up a whole book. Using information I found here I wrote and mailed a letter detailing my request to DC Comics. Unfortunately, I never heard back from them, and a bit disheartened, I just went about my business, convincing myself that I had missed the moment.
But, it's been a few years now and people all around the world are still discovering the crying ladies, and I do believe, given the proper exposure, there could me a market for this hypothetical book. So, I'm asking for help. I need to know how to correctly contact the right person or persons at DC Comics to find out how much it would cost to license the 200 panels I would need to expand my post into a nifty book, suitable for any discerning reader's bookshelf. If anyone out there can put me in touch with the right people at DC, I will gladly send you an autographed copy of the finished book if it is published. If you prefer to contact me confidentially, my email address is email@example.com.
Thank you, and may all your tears be joyful.