Alright, so it’s pretty obvious that women & comics are becoming quite the hot topic lately. Maybe, it’s from the DC relaunch and the Didio outburst that started the fire, but it has definitely come to a head. It’s kind of like Fox News bashing the president (Sorry Republican’s, it’s not a dig at you, ok it is, but moving on). Nevertheless, I’ve been dying to say some things about women in and around comics for quite some time now and love having a place to do so. Ready???
First on the docket is women who are fans. Until I joined Twitter about four or five months ago (albeit I had an account for over a year) I never knew just how avid women were about comics. And to be honest, it’s awesome. It’s just not common knowledge that women are interested in, let alone passionate, about comics. I found that the first few people I started to follow were hardcore comic fans in @dcwomenkicknass, @girlsreadcomics, @ladiesmakecomix, @thenerdybird, and so many more. It’s fair to say that Gail Simone has quite the following of rabid female followers (I mean rabid in a good way, just relax). So, yes, I was awestruck to see this many females interested in what was believed to be a primarily male pastime. However, this revelation is great. I personally haven’t seen many women in my local comic shop (besides the occasional significant other brought along for the ride), but at the same time, I would be thrilled if women fans came in. Now it is funny that I’ve heard about how women get treated in these establishments, not all but some, as if they have cooties or don’t know anything about comics.
This is very funny to me. I mean let’s think about it. There are some male fanboys that are a little sheltered and confused when it comes to women. Thus, when a woman comes in and starts to talk passionately about her comics a (how should I put this?) living-in-the-basement-with-his-parents geek has no clue how to interact. It’s sad and I can’t think of a way to fix these conversationally-challenged individuals but they exist and they give other fanboys a bad name. That’s not fair ladies. We don’t all believe you have no place in comics, you are just intimidating. We assume it’s our place to hang out and be dorks without women putting us in our place, but we’re men and that’s how we think. Personally, I’ve had great discussions (notice I didn’t say debates or arguments) with women via Twitter and the like. Most of the time, those discussions stay calm and mature, while some conversations with guys just go all wrong. It just blows my mind that it looks as if men don’t want women around. That’s ridiculous and we need to embrace females in and around comics.
On to issue number two: female costumes. Dear lord, PUT SOME CLOTHES ON THOSE WOMEN!!! I can hear the nuns and the feminist movements cringe when they see the ridiculousness that is women’s costumes in comics. They are hilarious aren’t they? I mean come on…have any of you actually looked at Witchblade? If it wasn’t for that little trinket, Sara Pezzini would be fighting crime in her birthday suit. Which, as a male I don’t mind, but it’s just not practical (Oh, no the male just said he likes naked women. I’m terribly sorry). Which brings me to my next point; practicality. Emma Frost, Wonder Woman (non-pants), the new-and-improved Harley Quinn, Power Girl, well basically every female has been drawn absurdly at some point in time. And why? For male fans to drool over? Look, I like the ladies as much as the next guy, but really? Drawn pictures of women? I don’t get it, with the abundance of, um, other forms of entertainment; no grown man is looking at comics to get his jollies. And if you’re reading this and thinking, “This guy is an idiot, these ladies are hot!” Well you’re also the same guy that thinks he’d have a chance with Ariel sans the tail. Went off on a tangent there but only to show that this doesn’t make any sense.
Scandal Savage of the Secret Six, seen her? Yeah, she’s a badass but wears attire that makes sense. Her boobs aren’t flailing about as if the wrong move will poke out her eye, nor can I see her hiney when she jumps around. Ms. Marvel is another example. Sure she’s been drawn over-qualified for a job at Hooter’s, but otherwise its boots and a leotard. She-Hulk even makes some sense. And Catwoman, she is all about being feminine without showing off the goods. I’m just saying it should make SENSE! Emma Frost wouldn’t have to move a muscle to get a man to do her bidding wearing her usual getup. We drool, we listen, and Emma wins. I know guys are foaming at the mouth that I’m an idiot or have no idea what I’m talking about, but that’s ok. I just wanted women to see how I see this situation and I’m sure some other men feel the same way.
In the end, not many costumes make sense. Even male costumes are confusing. Why the hell is Daredevil flying around in the tightest red leather he could find? What kind of gangster is going to be terrified of that? I know its fantasy and I get that, but I like it when things are at least explained. You know what else this does? It creates negative reinforcement for impressionable girls. My good Twitter-friend, Michelle Lloyd, said as much in a blog she did on women in comics. “Women drawn with tight abs, perky breasts and even perkier nipples – provocative, stimulating, stunning.” If that doesn’t say it all I don’t know what will. We’ve all seen them. And if you haven’t I don’t know what comics you’re reading.
Oh God, now the pants debate. This is insane. I am fully aware that Wonder Woman has spent most of her professional career in what can only be described as old lady swim trunks, but seriously? This is not practical. Personally, I thought the pants looked good. The jacket may be a little much, but what is the big deal with the pants? She’s a warrior princess in modern times, how can she fight evil half-nekkid? I just couldn’t believe the outcry after DC announced the changes in uniforms. This could be another topic, but basically I’m putting it in the practical costume category.
For now, this is where I believe women in comics are at. They are looked upon as frightening and opinionated and no man likes to battle with a woman about his hobbies. We (men) have to get past this or we’re doomed to enjoy comics in our “all-male” bubbles we’ve created to keep the cooties out. Screw that, cooties are treatable so let’s move on. Nevertheless, talk to a woman that has the same interests as you and you might find out they know a lot more than you think. And a final note. If you are looking at comics for adult entertainment, it might be time to get out of the basement.