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.
Independent webcomics are, generally speaking, a lot more interesting than the comics you can read in the newspaper – they have the space and the freedom to experiment artistically and tackle controversial or niche subjects, and women aren’t as underrepresented. After the jump, a few current comics written and drawn by women that are worth checking out.
I know most people don’t care for Lois, but I think that’s because they haven’t really given her consideration. I mean, here’s a female character who, despite office sexism perseveres with moxie. She’s tough-talking, street smart, and modern. She has her own apartment in the City, is an award-winning reporter, and is dedicated to her profession—all of which sounds admirably progressive, even feminist to me. It reminds me of something I wrote in my book about Gloria Steinem’s comment about rescuing Wonder Woman by putting her on the cover of Ms. magazine. While Wonder Woman serves as a symbol of our highest aspirations, Lois may have more accurately reflected the lives of journalists at Ms., and at the time was certainly in need of as much rescuing as Diana Prince.