Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Heroines and what they look like.

This past Christmas, I was thrilled to receive the complete Wonder Woman series, starring Lynda Carter. I could barely contain myself. Would the show hold up after thirty years? Would I still feel as strong and inspired as I did when I was in single digits?

The answer was a resounding YES. The show was full of women running, jumping, stopping bullets, and forcing airplanes to the ground. It made me feel fierce.

It was a wonderful revelation, for I had quit reading comics during the resurgence of comics in the 1990s. Rob Liefeld was the wonderchild of the medium. He and a slew of fans drew a bunch of women who looked like this:
Imagine page after page filled with women with no internal organs, horrifying wedgies, and thigh pouches. I kid you not. 

And being a feminist, I would point this trend out to my friends and they would tell me not to be so sensitive. So I quit, missing out on my tales of heroic women who could travel to the moon, turn invisible, stop rampaging monsters, and conquer their fears.

Imagine my joy when I discovered the current crop of feminists, both men and women who found these images tedious and tiring. They have retorted to the industry with wit, charm, and parodies that left me in stitches.

For your amusement and edification, I present a list of favorite links on how women are portrayed in popular media.

First, no discussion of comics is complete without Gail Simone's revolutionary Women in Refrigerators.

Now, in no particular order:

The Hawkeye Initiative:  A blog with Clint "Hawkeye" Barton being placed in the same provocative, female poses that are featured in superhero comics.

Escher Girls:  This is a blog to archive and showcase the prevalence of certain ways women are depicted in illustrated pop media, specifically how women are posed, drawn, distorted, and sexualized out of context, often in ridiculous, impossible or disturbing ways that sacrifice storytelling.

Author Jim Hines often parodies the cover art of science fiction/fantasy novels. You gotta love a guy who willingly puts himself in this position.

The aptly named Boobs Don't Work That Way.

The very necessary

 The superfantastic CounterPunch section at This section shows us just what comic book covers would look like if the heroes were as objectified as the women. Subtitled "Turning the tables on Frank Miller's depictions of women."

I hope these links and fun websites will make you want to write, draw, and create interesting art and strong characters.


Dracula's Secret, Blood Wings #1
Dracula's Desires, Blood Wings #2
Dracula Unleashed, Blood Wings #3, to be released March 21, 2013

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