When E. and I decided to embark on the adventure that is Girls Gone Geek, I spent a good amount of time perusing the interwebs for fellow comic book bloggers. I found that the comic blogosphere is a vast community with every flavor of geek one could imagine. Of all the sites that crossed my virtual path, there was one that was so wildly impressive that I was a tad jealous. Not in an “I’m gonna take this geek down” kind of way, but in a “Holy shit! This is so good I better step up my game” kind of way.
The blog is Desperate Worlds, and there is some excellent comic book commentary contained within its figurative walls. Think the New Yorker meets Newsarama. The smarty-pants behind Desperate Worlds is Ramon Gamboa, and he’s officially got a standing invite to geek lunch with E. and I. His approach to comics has a philosophy feel with definite artistic honesty, which makes Desperate Worlds intelligent and often scathingly funny. E.’s got my back on this one. Shortly after I discovered Desperate Worlds, Mr. Gamboa launched another illustrious project: an eight-panel daily comic strip called LBD.
I’ll be honest; I’m not really a comic STRIP kind of girl. I love my comic books, and aside from some Farside and Calvin & Hobbes as a kid, my strip game is slim. But, I was so impressed by Desperate Worlds, that I decided to give LBD a whirl.
LBD describes itself as a “comic strip about a company named LBD that produces a comic strip entitled LBD.” Meta, much? Not really. LBD is a well-crafted, nuanced and immensely thoughtful daily conversation between women who work in the fashion industry. But, one certainly doesn’t have to be privy to fashion jargon to play along. Tour Guide, Model, Designer, Dancer, Angry Stylist, and Editrix offer so much more than just fashion commentary. LBD deals in perception and human experiences that infiltrate everyday lives, no matter what industry you work in.
What makes LBD exceptional is the clear and conscientious ways it presents its all-female cast and their experiences. The strip has a lot to say about American culture, beauty standards, gender and race. I found myself relating and empathizing with the characters on a very personal level, which is so not typical. It’s not that men can’t write women well. Many men can and have done so. But, particularly in comics, it is glaringly apparent when a male perspective is projected onto a woman rather than the character being treated simply as a person … who happens to be female.
We all know gender roles exist; let’s not be dense here. However, an understanding of the mythology that is sold to women and how we are portrayed in the larger media eludes so many men — and women. LBD acknowledges it and talks about it, and it does so in thought-provoking and humorous ways. It’s a rewarding reading experience, and an uncommon one. I have come to absolutely adore the women of LBD, and their stories.
Mr. Gamboa is quite religious about his work; thus, Monday through Friday at 5 a.m., a new LBD goes live. I NEVER wake up at 5 a.m., but LBD goes quite nicely with my coffee around 8 a.m. How about you give it a whirl?