Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Who'd Read THAT?

You know, I keep thinking of a particular accusation that I've seen flung about. That no one would want to read the kind of comics that "feminists" want.

Well, I can't speak for all feminists, naturally (no hive vagina here, after all), but I can definitely tell you the kind of comic stories I'd like to see.

I'd like to see strong, heroic protagonists, whether male or female. (Naturally flawed protagonists are good too. Though I prefer the flaws/weaknesses to be portrayed as something the hero strives to transcend rather than being made as an excuse for the heroes).

I like to see female characters in a variety of roles. Not just "love interest". Mothers, allies, friends, enemies.

I like to see female characters that are on equal footing with the men, with strengths and weaknesses that may be different from a particular male character, but no less formidable for it.

I like to see female characters that are strong in a variety of ways, like male characters tend to be. Warriors. Thinkers. Rulers. Nurturers. Mentors. Not just the same sort of tired cliche.

I like seeing female characters that also have relationships to one another, beyond their relationships to men. Women who talk about things other than men.

I like seeing competence and women playing the "damsel and distress" role no more or no less than men.

I like seeing shows that pack action and violence with likeable characters and interesting stories.

And it occurs to me. One series, a cartoon series actually, comes immediately to mind as having all these traits. A series I loved as a child, despite the early eighties cheesiness. A series that I watched, completely unconscious of all of the gender element that I'm now so sensitive to, but absorbed nonetheless.

The series that most influenced the feminist I am today.

Nah. These guys are right. No one would read anything like that...


  • At June 04, 2007 10:42 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Well gosh, all you have to do is pick up any issue of GG: Warrior! You'll get ALL of those wonderful things.

    Sorry, I've been going through the boxes again, and rereading all my Warriors books. Gosh, but they're fun.

    Whoever would have thought of Beau Smith as a "feminist" writer?

    Of course for new books, just pick up Birds of Prey, or JSA, or JLI or Green Lantern, or Allstar Superman, or Blue Beetle, or Checkmate.

  • At June 04, 2007 6:06 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    :-) Without a doubt. :-)

    But no one would read THOSE, right?


  • At June 04, 2007 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Marc Andreyko's Manhunter comes to mind, too. Kate is a vigilant but also a mother, a competent lawyer, etc.

  • At June 04, 2007 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At June 05, 2007 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I fear the hive vagina...

    And yet I can't help but think of how useful that many compartments might be...

  • At June 05, 2007 1:48 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    that is one of the best lines I've ever heard

  • At June 05, 2007 3:25 AM, Blogger Ami Angelwings said…

    I always wonder what ppl think comics "we" want would be like?

    It must be horrifying in their minds. :o Large angry ape like women with hair everywhere stomping on emasculated male villains while burning the American flag >.>;;

  • At June 05, 2007 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    there is also Claymore, a shonen manga with a strong female lead and almost completely female cast.

  • At June 05, 2007 10:31 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Gee Ami, sounds like "Amazons Attack!"

    No subtext there...oh no!

  • At June 05, 2007 11:39 AM, Blogger PixelFish said…

    Your comments on wanting women and men in strong roles (plus your comments on Marlena in the He-Man post) triggered a thought. It's not a comic but have you read Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga series? The characters are all strong, but the main character, Miles Vorkosigan's mother was an space survey captain who after playing a pivotal part in a war, goes on to protect a young Emperor from assassination. Miles' first love interest ends up captaining a starship later and the development of her character is central to the book's themes. The series is chock-a-block full of interesting women characters--plus there are some interesting plays on gender issues. I'd recommend starting with Shards of Honor (or Cordelia's Honor) and then moving onto the Warrior's Apprentice.


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