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Real Life Lady Heroes (within the comic industry)

by Tori B. on November 27, 2013

Now, I'd like to think of myself as a fairly confident young woman and yet within the boundaries of comic fandom (or any fandom that considers itself "male dominted", but we're talking strictly comics here for all intents and purposes) I find myself struggling to find a voice. While it shouldn't have to do with anything, being aware that I'm very much a female, keeps me to be constantly aware of every move I make or any word I say in regards towards comics because I'm terrified of being judged. Despite the fact that I think I'm fairly knowledgable on some aspects (*cough*X-Men*cough*), and never have I claimed to be all knowing in everything, it still terrifies me constantly as I write a review.

Let's face it, men are the predominant gender in comics, both as creators and as fans, so as they set down the bases, it makes it a little bit harder for us ladies to wade through it all and make a place for ourselves. The first noticeable aspect is in the sexualization of female characters in comics. It's a very fine line between pure objectification and characterization. Some characters are sexual, it's in their nature, while others are not and yet by the hand of certain artists, are made to seem so. There's nothing wrong with spandex, but there's nothing wrong with a baggy sweater either. All this sexualization pours over into the convention scene as well, especially as a female fan if you're dressing up as your favourite scantily clad hero. Guys making obscene jokes or taking creepy snapshots of you without your permission and hoping you didn't see (yeah, I've had all of these things happen to me).

But I've mostly been naive about women (or lack thereof) and comics and (thenotsomuch)equality, and it's easy to just accept everything at face value or celebrate the little victories. As a kid who grew up with X-Men I already had characters like Jubilee, Storm, Rogue, and Kitty to look up to, and never really questioned their costuming choices at times, so it didn't really feel like I had a lack of strong female characters around. As one grows older and becomes more aware though, you notice it more, how the numbers aren't as even as you once thought they were, or even a whole team just falls into stereotypical female tropes. If we want change we need to push the boundaries. That isn't to say we can't enjoy what's still given to us. Even if it's just pure fanservice, I'm not always going to complain if a character wears something particularly skimpy, or if there's two girls kissing just because it's 'hot'. There's a time and place for fanservice, even I won't argue, but then every other time should be pushing for letting our voices be heard.

There's this perpetual myth about the 'fake geek girl' in which it has such horrible connotations that I as both a feminist and one who appreciates anyone who can just enjoy something should strongly fight against, yet my instincts tell me that I should just shut up and keep my head down so I don't sound like a 'fake geek girl' where I could be attacked with torches and pitchforks if I say just one thing that the male masses don't agree with. There's just so many things we have to fight for that it's exhausting to be a fan. But one must persevere and thankfully there are some really strong women within the industry as well, fighting the good fight too.

5 Women in the Comic Industry Who Inspire Me:

5. Natasha Allegri



While she's primarily an artist associated with the Adventure Time animated series, she grew in great popularity when she designed gender versions of the characters-- turning the main hero (a boy) into a strong young girl while still holding true to the essential of the character in strength and personality. It garnered it's own whole episode and a mini comic series as well, which Allegri both wrote and drew. She's also vocal about her preference for having two of the main female characters in the animated series to be in a romantic relationship, portraying a lesbain relationship that's more about emotions and personality and not just because it's "hot".

4. G. Willow Wilson



A prolific writer but has garnered some headlines with the recent announcement slating her as the writer of the new Ms. Marvel series about a young muslim shapeshifter who idolizes Carol Danvers, but now it's up to her to step up to that plate. A muslim as well, Wilson is bound to bring us good things in time to come.

3. Ellie Pyle



As an associate editor for Marvel, her name isn't common to most, but it's not only writers and artists in the industry either. She studiously works to ensure fans' happiness on the books that she's a part of, and prior to the sad end of the recent Fearless Defenders run, she made sure to make a strong push constantly to get the word out and get everyone excited for a predominanty female title.

2. Fiona Staples



Her artwork is astounding, and we all know it. (Not to mention she's Canadian and gives a little Alberta girl like me hope). What's even greater is having her work on a title like Saga where her talents shine through. It can be a sexy book, but it's also a title of love and relationships and the humanity in everyone (even if they aren't humans at all). She can draw a scantily clad woman without it being objectifying or sexy, but just simply is, and everything drawn is with pure intention towards a character.

1. Kelly Sue DeConnick



Kelly Sue is my captain in fighting the good fight for representation in comics. She is a constant reminder that we can't stop and that it is our perseverence that gets us the recognition and change we so deserve. A writer with big titles like Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble, Ghost, and Pretty Deadly, under her belt, her name is certainly getting around, and she's using it to her advantage. She isn't afraid to tell you when she rocks and deserves respect, but is grown enough to be humble about her popularity and talents as well. A true gem in the industry.

While there are many other names that deserved to be mentioned, Kathryn Immonen, Jordie Bellaire, Emma Rios, and Becky Cloonan, as honourable mentions, these five are women who have personally inspired me, and currently serve as a reminder as to why it rocks to be a girl.

Comments

Comments

No doubt women are doing their jobs perfectly in every field in which they are hired. Also I have my most famous comic character Liss who just have resemblance with this lady "Kelly". Yes it is true. And like this college essay writing service reviews the admin have resemblance and found common things in these women.