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I've noticed some weird attitudes about female comics fandom… - erstwhile comix fiend...
June 10th, 2007
12:40 am


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I've noticed some weird attitudes about female comics fandom recently. I... think anyone who says that "comics aren't for girls" (like this) should read this, from The Comics Journal. Read the whole thing, even after the main essay ends & it goes into info on the magazine issue. Like this bit:
A word about our cover artist: Moto Hagio is one of the most important creators to rise from the world of Japanese manga. As a guiding member of the Magnificent Forty-Niners, she was one of a select group of female manga-ka who entered what was then a backwater, male-dominated section of the Japanese comics industry and shook it up from top to bottom, revitalizing it in the process. As you'll read in the following pages, modern shoujo manga was essentially plotted and shaped in the cheap apartment Hagio shared with Keiko Takemiya back in the early 1970s. In a very real sense, an industry was born in these women's wake.

Yeah, read that paragraph again. So, do you think that that sort of thing can't happen here? or shouldn't somehow? Are we more sexist than Japan in the 1970's, really?

Anyway, the main point I draw from that essay is that manga is much much huger commercially than American "mainstream comics" (which long ago ceased to be with either mainstream or comic) because it's much much broader artistically.

Wow, actual thematic & genre variety as a means to draw more sales? What a shock!

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:June 10th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)

Two things you may have overlooked

I wrote the "Superhero comics aren't for girls" piece you link to, and by calling it "comics aren't for girls", you're missing a very important qualifier. In the past, I've often criticized those who assume "superhero comics" equal "all comics", so it's rather amusing to see someone mistakenly attribute that error to me.

Also, I'm well aware of the Comics Journal piece you cite, since I contributed an article to that issue myself. I'm a big fan of manga, and I often recommend it to women and girls.

Johanna Draper Carlson
Date:July 21st, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)

Re: Two things you may have overlooked

Been neglecting my livejournal, so I just noticed your response.

Fair enough. I think superheroes as currently constructed are both decadent & moribund. I also think that they're only in worse shape when they're put into a narrow box, where they're only written to feel like American pro wrestling with more weird powers.

I think the problem is that superhero comics historically encompass a wider range of genres & concepts than the stereotypical idea of "what a superhero comic is" acknowledges.

Spider-Man is really a soap opera where one of the main characters is a superhero. Legion of Superheroes has large dollops of space fantasy & romance. Batman is a crime comic with superhero & horror. X-Men is dystopian horror in superhero drag.

Any statement that claims that all things called "superhero comics" are somehow necessarily archetypal adolescent male power fantasy superheroes--is missing the diversity of the "genre."

crossposted: http://comicsworthreading.com/2007/05/09/superhero-comics-arent-for-girls/#comment-71390
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