Today, the conversation with Arigon Starr, the cartoonist behind Super Indian, continues! We discuss the history and future of Super Indian, her experience of being a woman of color in an industry dominated by white men, and a special sneak preview of her graphic novel investigating the origins of Super Indian. Check it out after the jump!
Bitch's series of interviews with webcomic creators, Beyond the Panel, returns with Arigon Starr, the multitalented force behind the comic-book-style webcomic Super Indian. After the jump, she tells Bitch about her history in comics, Native superheroes, geek culture, and what she'd like people to take away from her work.
The first panel of the third row is by far my favorite, contrasting the dominant culture's reaction to two forms of sexual attraction. From private conversations I've had with gay men in the past I know that some of them believe that this is evidence that same sex attraction is easier for women than men, but both reactions are harmful and disgusting. In the second, the sight or idea of two men being affectionate (or even sitting "unnaturally close to each other, effeminately rubbing elbows and exchanging doe-eyes") makes the viewer repulsed, angry, uncomfortable, or violent and leads to immediate policing by word or action. But in the first a personal act of affection is being extruded through another person's fetish and commodified for that person's pleasure and consumption. Having a narrative forced onto your love life isn't fun or easy for anyone. Additionally, the same man declaring two women kissing is hot can become violent very quickly if his advances are met with anything less than enthusiasm.
Anyone who gets geeky about gender, numbers, and comics should check out Ladydrawers today! Writer and artist Anne Elizabeth Moore teams up with a female comics artist to produce comics explore various inequities within the comics industry—from who's being hired, who's being printed, and who's inside the pages (and how fully dressed they are!).
The message of The Rawhide Kid reboot—that there is nothing inherently straight or male about being able to defend oneself or attaining mastery of the "manly arts"—is one I never tire of seeing. But why the explicit content warning?
Earlier this week, DC Comics (who dominates the mainstream comics market along with Marvel) made a real douche move when they announced a "reboot" of their leading characters. This means they'll be ending a large portion of their storylines in August and release 52 first-issues of characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League. They'll be "publishing innovative storylines featuring our most iconic characters" with the assumption that they'll be not just "compelling for existing readers, it'll give new readers a precise entry point into our titles." This has some pretty radical implications for many superhero narratives, but one of the most significant changes is that of Barbara Gordon--aka Oracle.
I enjoyed most of X-Men: First Class. The acting, special effects, and writing were excellent, except possibly the two times Xavier tries to hit on women in bars by saying they have "groovy mutation[s]".
But then again, the whole movie had a cheesy retro vibe to it, with its Cold War setting and costumes (turtlenecks for the men, not much clothing at all for the women) giving it the feel of a cross between X-Men and a Connery-era Bond movie.
Since those early days of running around doing Batman-themed dressup, Batgirl has been my favorite superheroine.
She's less cutesy than the Sailor Scouts, nerdier than Nightshade, wears more clothing than Wonder Woman, and has a greater variety of super abilities than my second-favorite superheroine, Storm (but it's really close, so don't hate on me, X-Men fans).
Today I'm sharing the second part of my interview with the delightful Christine Smith, the very talented artist behind webcomics Eve's Apple and The Princess. Check out the first part here, and then read our conversation about The Princess, flipping the script, and feminism after the jump!