Last week, a new ad campaign was released by the Associação da Luta Contra o Cancer, a breast cancer awareness foundation based in Mozambique, who have run some pretty hard hitting campaigns in the past. These ads were a little bit different, and featured some of the most well known women comic characters, which is why you may have seen it featured on a fair few of the comic websites around.
Clearly, breast cancer awareness is a very worthy cause, and anything that will help get the message to women is great. However, that doesn't mean we can't stop and think about just why it is that a) comic book women almost always look sexualised, and b) women touching their boobs immediately gets re-shared across fandom (the reaction in Mozambique is not covered here as it is not my place!). We need to separate our applause of the message, from our apparent applause of the (objectified) method. Everyone knows "sex sells", but how messed up is it that we live in a society where the best way to spread a serious message about women's health is to use objectified women's bodies?
How messed up is it, that these wonderful illustrations of women touching their own body, have been greeted with slobbering idiots drooling over the idea of women checking their own breasts?
Grant Morrison made an appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival this year to promote Supergods and have a Q&A session with the audience. Lots of talk about Wonder Woman, superheroes, the weaponisation of stories, risk taking, magic and the new Superman.
I've published my transcript in its entirety once more. I got a lot of good feedback on publishing the interview full and uncut though a couple of people weren't happy that I kept in Grant's tendency to ramble and his Scottishness. To be honest I feel that editing that out can often edit out the intent of what the person is actually saying (particularly for us fast talking Scots!), and while I am careful to keep my quotes up to scratch for a printed publication, it would be near impossible to edit a full transcript and be confident I wasn't misrepresenting the person.
In all my interaction with Grant Morrison the one thing I'm very sure of is his easy going manner, and that a lot of what he says (regardless of how you prefer to quote it) is both earnest and well humoured. Hopefully my interview with Alan Moore will be able to go up full and uncut too!
As always hit the jump for the full article.
It's fair to say that DC have dominated the comic headlines in recent months, with their much hyped reboot/relaunch stirring up a great deal of controversy and interest for those with an existing interest in comics. A relaunch of any kind is guaranteed attention, but in assuring fans that this move was about attracting new readers and increasing diversity, DC found themselves firmly in the spotlight.
All the first issues are now out, and you've no doubt seen some of the more vitriolic criticism already. I've been waiting for the last week of #1's to arrive so that I could sit back and look at the comics as a whole as well as individually. Now my mega-review of women in the New 52 is ready... and it may not be what you are expecting.
Firstly, a huge thank you to Red Hot Comics for selling me all the comics I needed and going to great lengths to procure them! Despite being a huge fan of comics, I've previously only bought trade collections and graphic novels due to not living particularly near a comic shop. So I guess in some ways, I'm both an existing fan and a potential newcomer.
DC has been announcing some big changes this week, and comic fans can't get enough of it. Love or loathe DC's new plans to somewhat reboot the DC Universe later this year, there's no denying that it's garnered them a whole lot of attention and hype.
Amongst the official announcements (everyone to start over at issue 1 again) and rumoured developments (Barbara Gordon back as Batgirl?!), there is one rumour in particular that is of great interest to geek women everywhere: all DC women are to wear trousers.
Is this a victory for feminism? Or a troubling sign of our increasingly conservative times?
Elasti-Girl had kicked the door open for women heroes to be treated as equals at DC, and with second wave feminism well under way, and a decade of sexual revolution behind them, it's no surprise that the 1970s saw more female characters than ever appearing in mainstream comics. However, Woman's Lib still wasn't taken very seriously by many writers, and several feminist characters failed to find an audience amongst the established comics audience.
Those women characters that were successful had two things in common: a passionate desire to be treated as equals, and either a care-not attitude about skimpy clothing, or downright pleasure in flashing their tits and asses. At a time when feminists were seen as "bitches", and feminism itself treated as a passing fad, a good cleavage has been described as the sugar that helped the medicine of progression go down.
"Why you little chauvinistic piglet! I thought you understood... I'm my own woman!"
In the early 40s, a character named Suprema was poised to make her comics début. She was to be unconventional and liberated, strong and forceful. A powerful woman. Comics and comic strips had never seen the like before, nor that of her overweight man-chasing sidekick.
After a quick name change, Wonder Woman was here, and for six glorious years she led young girls astray, promising them that strength and confidence meant they could achieve anything. Unfortunately, this still wasn't true: the number of women behind comics dwindled post-war and into the 50s. And Wonder Woman herself was soon told to sit down like a good girl and stop all her silly progressive nonsense.