Mar 5th Today I witnessed something amazing. Almost in stark contrast to yesterday, today I saw tangible impact of lady-representation in comics.
At the bookstore I work at, we have a dedicated Adventure Time section. This family came in and those kids were SO EXCITED to see their favourite characters in comics. I talked them through each OGN and series compilation, explaining what they all were and in what order they should be read, and this little girl’s entire life was changed. You could see it on her face.
The moment I mentioned Kate Leth (and that, yes, she is a girl.) this little girl’s face lit up like Christmas morning. I don’t know if it just never occurred to her that girls can work in comics but the excitement and wonder that left the store in her was a privilege to see. I ended up selling them the Fionna & Cake’s, all the OGN’s, and an AT doodle book. She left begging her dad to help her learn how to draw Marceline comics. (And he was happy to comply!)
Kate Leth has left an everlasting impression on this little girl just by existing and working in the industry. I honestly hope to someday be able to see such an impact on someone from my own work. Ladies in comics is important. The representation on the page, and behind them, is important. Having a reflection of yourself in the content you enjoy is important. I hope that little girl grows up to be a famous comic author someday.
I really dislike this design for Harley Quinn/ Dr. Harleen Quinzel.
The original created by artist Bruce and writer Paul Dini remains the best. It actually fits her villain moniker and personality. Harley Quinn wears an outfit inspired by a harlequin, obviously. The thing is the allure of Harley Quinn’s character comes from her going against the norm. It seems like most miss that, including DC Comics.
She’s not voluptuous or this eye-candy, say comparatively to the majority of versions of Rogues Gallery member Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy. That’s Ivy’s shtick. She’s supposed to be viewed as seductress: it is an innate part of her character. …Which is why she wears pretty much nothing, in most of her designs.
For Harley, she’s fun and can be occasionally flirty. That’s why she’s so beloved. Visually, this Arkham Knight take doesn’t say that. With each redesign, what has defined Harleen since her creation in the 90s becomes more lost. I’m sure her unfortunate portrayal in the New 52 has had definitely contributed to it.
Does your brand of feminism remove barriers for women, or simply move them around? Does is expand options for women, or does it just shift them? You don’t liberate women by forcing them to choose option B instead of option A. What is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for someone else, and it’s entirely possible that what you see as oppressive, other women find comfortable or even downright liberating.
Before you think the girl in the middle is a strawman, let me tell you I used to be her, back in my misguided youth. I considered myself the standard to which other people should adhere. But that was stupid. It’s not up to me to tell people how to dress, and it’s much nicer to let everyone choose for themselves.
Some women would feel naked without a veil. Some women would find it restrictive. Some women would feel restricted by a bra. Some women would feel naked without one. Some women would feel restricted by a tight corset. Others love them. Some wear lots of clothes with a corset. Some only wear the corset and nothing else. What makes any article of clothing oppressive is someone forcing you to wear it. And it’s just as oppressive to force someone not to wear something that they want to wear.
"Protection For gangs, clubs, and nations Causing grief in human relations It’s a turf war on a global scale I’d rather hear both sides of the tale See, it’s not about races Just places Faces Where your blood comes from Is were your space is I’ve seen the bright get duller I’m not going to spend my life being a color
Don’t tell me you agree with me When I saw you kicking dirt in my eye
But, if you’re thinkin’ about my baby It don’t matter if you’re black or white
I said if you’re thinkin’ of being my baby It don’t matter if you’re black or white
I said if you’re thinkin’ of being my brother It don’t matter if you’re black or white…”
-“Black or White”, Michael Jackson
I think it is really frustrating and sad that in 2014 casting actor Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm in the reboot Fantastic Four film is causing mostly, backlash. Although, considering that people got mad at that biracial Cheerios commercial, I guess I’m not that damn surprised, truthfully. I’m all for diversity, even if that includes altering longstanding, ahem, safe and white depictions of a character. I mean, think about it, due to this change and keeping Sue Storm’s character white, that means there would of have to be an interracial marriage or something like that.
However, some are seriously like, “How dare they wreck Johnny Storm’s character like this, by making him black!” For me, it doesn’t matter. Generally speaking, the race of a superhero isn’t actually integral to what matters concerning the character. Now, if T’Challa (Black Panther) or Ororo Munroe (Storm) had been cast with a white actor, there’s definitely an obvious issue there. There’s a major difference.
I welcome Fox infusing diversity instead of sticking with the same old over and over. I’ll admit that as much as I cherish superhero stuff, there’s definitely tons of room for improvement when it comes to diversity, among other problems. Ideally, it’ll be done respectfully and not an example of tokenism in the new Fantastic Four movie. I’m quite excited!