Cosplayers at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012. Original photo by Pat Loika, via Creative Commons.
It’s hard for comic conventions to shake the idea that they’re the sole domain of people who look like the Simpsons' Comic Book Guy. In reality, comic conventions are attended by an ever-growing number of female fans: Female attendance at New York Comic-Con has grown 62 percent over the last three years alone, making women to 41 percent of total attendees. As the number of female fans attending cons has grown, so have conversations about harassment in the comics industry and at conventions specifically.
The best way to talk about comics is through comics. That’s why we’re so excited to announce that we’re partnering with comics collective Ladydrawers to publish online a series of six comics about easy steps the comics industry could take to embrace a more diverse fan base.
This post originally appeared on the Bitch blogs in March of 2010, but we're reposting it because August 1st is Jackie Ormes' birthday. In honor of her birthday, our Jackie Ormes coffee mugs are 25% off! Order yours today.
Jackie Ormes wasn't just the first black syndicated newspaper cartoonist. She was the only black female cartoonist of her time and for decades after that.
For its many fans like me, reading more about Francine and Katchoo would be like reuniting with old friends. But there are certain aspects of SiP that prevent me from getting too excited about the prospect of a comeback.
For months, I eagerly awaited the arrival of Marvel's all-women series X-Men #1. I wasn't sure what to expect: would the all-woman series be marketed as a comic for girls or just another showcase of all the great female X-Men characters?
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!).
Kominsky-Crumb. Gloeckner. Barry. Satrapi. Bechdel. Some of the most well-renowned contemporary female comic artists are all featured in the book Graphic Women: Life Narrative & Contemporary Comics by Hillary Chute, published by Columbia University Press. Chute, an associate professor at University of Chicago (and who helped edit Art Spiegelman's MetaMaus), has written one of the only books out there that specifically looks out how female comic artists tell their story through comics. (And it features a killer cover design by Israeli comics artist Rutu Modan.)
While the decision to paralyze Barbara Gordon was certainly a misogynistic one, the way that her character develops after the shooting speaks to the transformative power of information and technology...and librarians! Last week we looked at Barbara Gordon's character prior to The Killing Joke. She was a librarian by day and Batgirl by night. Her role as a librarian disguised her alter ego as Batgirl; reasserting the stereotype of librarians as meek and the opposite of badass. But this all changes after The Killing Joke. Thanks to a few writers who decided to make the best of what had happened to Gordon, Gordon's character decides to embrace her identity as a skilled librarian. She becomes Oracle, a computer hacker who discovers that access to information is a pretty phenomenal superpower.