Barbarella, Kelly Sue and Unapologetic Lady Sex

If you appreciate the cultural significance of comics, then Barbarella should be a part of your repertoire. Mind you, I didn’t know this until about two months ago. I hope to save ya’ll from such ignorance.

Barbarella 1If you don’t know, Barbarella is a French comic from the early sixties by Jean-Claude Forest. Apparently, France was (and possibly still is) where it’s at for progressive themes in comics, particularly for women and the expression of their sexuality.

While Barbarella was busy being a women’s sexual liberation icon in France, Grove Press published an English version of the comic on this side of the pond in the mid-60s. But that translation is dated.

Humanoids Inc partnered with Kelly Sue DeConnick to do a contemporary take on the original French version. I had the privilege of reading Kelly Sue’s adaptation, and guys, this comic is a game-changer. Continue reading

The Comments Thread: Busiek Tells It Like It Is

So this morning I was checking out an article on The Beat, and as usual proceeded into the belly of the beast, a.k.a. the comments section, to see what great things people men had to say on the subject of the sexualization of men vs. women in comics. The post had used a few pictures to highlight what it looks like when men are sexualized.

It started out as expected, with commenters wondering just what sort of problem women could possibly have with this unequal and oftentimes inappropriate representation. It must have something to do with our self-esteem! Continue reading

How Do You Build a Great Girl Character?

This one time when I was at the bar (and by one time, I mean Tuesday night), I got into one of those taboo conversations about feminism and the treatment of female characters in fiction. The conversation inevitably made its way to comics; I mean this is me after all. Then my nemesis, we’ll call him Baby Bird, made the obvious and seemingly inevitable hasty generalization that men are just as objectified as women in comics. And well, that kicked me into high gear with points about inequity, marginalization and visual representation (see Kelly Thompson’s articulate essay that inspired my vein-popping rant).

Baby Bird may not have been up-to-speed on the gender bias prevalent in comics and fiction in general, but the discussion on the topic has grown exponentially over the past several years. Much of that conversation is spent calling out the bullshit. Rightfully so. While I live for a good row just like the next girl, I think it is pretty clear what the problems are. So how do we fix them? Continue reading

5 Quotes Worth Remembering From SENYC

… And they’re all from the Reimagining the Female Superhero panel!

It’s Throwback Thursday here at Girls Gone Geek, and I wanted to share a few new quotes from the panel that made the trip to SENYC worth it.

Enjoy!


By Alison Bechdel

By Alison Bechdel

On the Bechdel Test:
“I think there’s a lot of dismissal of things that do pass [The Bechdel Test]. If you have a

buddy cop movie about men, then it’s a buddy cop movie. If you have a buddy cop movie about women, it’s a chick flick. If you have a coming of age story about a boy, then it’s a coming of age story, if it’s about a girl it’s a chick flick. If it’s about a father and son relationship, it’s a father and son movie, if it’s a mother and daughter, it’s a chick flick. And I’m tired of it!” – Marguerite Bennett

On creating accurate representations of women:
“You can get a female character up on a pedestal so high, that they’re actually boring to read about. Once in awhile a female character is going to want to go on a date – it doesn’t make them less strong. They’re gonna cry – it doesn’t make them less strong. There are lots of kinds of strength, let’s explore them.” – Gail Simone

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On representation and diversity in comics:
“I think it’s a little strange that there are so many new stories coming out… but so few people of color in them. Because you can do that, you know.” – Amy Reeder

LadySkrullOn how poorly women have been written in the past:
“[Jack Kirby and Stan Lee] found it easier to identify with Skrulls than with women.” – Ben Saunders

On Wonder Woman:
“I think Wonder Woman is the strongest warrior on the planet, and maybe the universe.

She’s not gonna pull punches. And if you want to defeat her, you better not pull yours.” – Gail Simone

Wonder Woman by Marcio Takara

Wonder Woman by Marcio Takara

Reimagining the Female Superhero

Saturday I attended a panel at Special Edition: NYC, and from what I gathered it was one of the only panels that day that was even nearing maximum capacity. The Carol Corps, various members of the Young Avengers team, and plenty more in addition to myself waited patiently in the ever-growing line for this event. It was pretty much the only reason I went to the convention that day. It seems that many others had the same idea. Continue reading

Missing Stair, Beware

Calling Out Shady Behavior in the Comics Industry

Perhaps you are familiar with a specific situation that’s been going on in the comics world, started by a string of tweets from creator Tess Fowler. It has been gaining momentum since a few weeks back, when Bleeding Cool published this article, chronicling a horrifying interaction Fowler had at SDCC one year with a high-profile creator, which continued even after the con ended.

She has continued speaking out about it, detailed here.

This trend of calling out creators and the industry as a whole for their bullshit was recently reinvigorated on Twitter by Brandon Graham, which propelled Fowler to share her experience. Continue reading

Lara Croft’s Pants and Modesty in Cosplay

Is there a place for modesty in cosplay? G3 guest essayist Marie Sumner wondered after a friend told her there was no point in dressing up as Lara Croft for Halloween if she was going to wear pants, and not short-shorts. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing a revealing costume. But if “sexy” is the default for the design of so many female characters’ garments, where does that leave cosplayers who want to pay tribute to them without baring a lot of skin? Marie, a cosplayer with a serious passion for costumes, has found it to be incredibly frustrating, and she explores the issue thoughtfully in today’s guest post . — E.

I’ve run into a cosplay crisis. I’m dressing up for Halloween as Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider games, the newest incarnation. I chose this version because, at the end of October, I don’t have much interest in trotting around in short-shorts. To be honest, I don’t have much interest in trotting around in short-shorts pretty much ever. So the new Lara’s cargo pants seemed like an excellent option. Imagine my surprise when a friend of mine told me that I might as well not bother playing Lara. Continue reading

Geek Girls Have “Nothing To Prove”

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Perusing Twitter is a bedtime ritual of mine and a general side-effect of smartphone addiction. But tonight I happened across something that made me get out of bed and blog. Our darling Gail tweeted this:

Therefore, I had the pleasure of watching this:

I may or may not have welled-up just a bit while watching that. Continue reading

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines on PBS

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I love a good documentary, but none more than Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. Last year, Erika and I had the distinct pleasure of viewing this film (and reviewing it), and it moved me beyond words. It says so many of the things I want to say here at this blog about women and comics. For this fangirl, it’s an intelligent, poignant and supremely validating look at the female superheroine and her role in shaping the American woman. It is a must see film for ALL comic book fans. Beyond comic fandom, it will enlighten the friends and families of comic lovers of the power of comics in culture.

WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES will have its television broadcast premiere in the United States on PBS’s Independent Lens series on Monday, April 15, 2013. Check your local listings to confirm the time and date.

Gail Simone on Writing Female Characters

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Because diversity of female characters has been lacking in comics, film and just fiction in general, coupled with an upsurgence of feminism; there seems to be this perception that IF you choose to portray a female character, then she HAS to be a positive role model. I think that is absurd, unrealistic, and stifling of creativity.

Today, Gail Simone posted a respone to an anonymous question on her Tumblr addressing this very thing, and her response is highly rebloggable:

No one is ever asking for all females to be perfect avatars of all good things. Most sensible people are looking for a SPECTRUM of qualities for female (and other gender specifications) characters.

We want bad girls and good women and selfish ladies and caring mothers and terrible daughters and nasty wives and sacrificing girlfriends, we want villains and heroes and supporting cast members.

There’s no ‘wrong’ female character or scenario, it’s all purely in the execution.

Yes. It’s in the execution.

Write any kind of character that you like, that fits the story, that is creative and honest. Write every kind of female. Write lots of female characters. Then maybe we will get to a point where there is something for everyone, and she won’t have to be everything to everyone.