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Showing posts from March, 2008

I still don't really know how to think of Wonder Woman...

As we were reading about the evolution of Wonder Woman as a comic book heroine (and occasionally a feminist icon), I couldn't help but think that there was just no happy medium to be found for her as a representation of what a woman could and should be. When she was at her strongest, Amazonian powers and all, she was criticized for her secretarial alter-ego, who was obviously fitting a very prominent gender role of the time. And then, when she was "revamped" in the early 1970s to meet the demands of the growing feminist movement, she was stripped of her powers and what made her most unique, and suddenly she was just an ordinary woman trying to live her life... But then, to state the obvious, Wonder Woman ISN'T ordinary, and that wasn't the intention when she was created, so how can a change that is absolutely the polar opposite of her origin be in keeping with the original message that Marston had in mind? It just doesn't make a lot of sense. I think that the…

Image Development

Wonder Woman was always depicted as a beautiful, strong, female heroine but as times changed, so did her character. New artists decided that a face-lift was necessary and transformed her sleek and clean image into something much more extreme. She use to look like a somewhat average figured woman. She was voluptuous, strong, intelligent, and beatuiful, and those were qualities and traits that many women could relate to and see in themselves, may be even look up to. That, however, didnt remain the case. Opinions change, and body image did as well. Society no longer wanted to watch the average women do things, they wanted more. Men tend to responde to sex. We all know the phrase, "Sex sells" and that is true. Wonder Women was an iconic, sexy symbol that needed to be updated so that they following generation of readers, males and females, could see something that would shock and awe them. Sexy women tend to grab attention and hence the new and improved Wonder Women was needed an…

Feminist Wonder Woman View

It is evident through the article on Gail Simone and the introduction by Gloria Steinem that it is possible to put a different interpretation on things than were originally intended. Feminists Gail Simone and Gloria Steinem both see Wonder Women as a female role model, appealing to a female audience. Gloria Steinem indicates that the creator William Marston “had seen straight into [her] heart and understood the fears of violence and humiliation hidden there.” This is interesting because they don’t seem to realize that William Marston was actually trying to appeal to a young male audience. Gloria Steinem also suggests William Marston “tried to get an egalitarian world view into comic book form” contradicting what was written the Wonder Woman book which indicates Marston was trying to promote a future where women dominated. Gail Simone also gives a view of Wonder Woman as very strong and powerful, as a "princess who didn't need someone to rescue her". Obviously she is disc…

Wonder Woman and Body Issues

Wonder Woman has had one thing that has stayed the same throughout her entire career.Regardless of who was drawing the comic, Wonder Woman was always beautiful, at least in the eyes of her creators and the majority of her fan base.She’s always been shapely overall and top-heavy enough to fill her costume.Furthermore, those costumes have always been at least somewhat tight and/or revealing.Is such a character really a great image for women to latch on to?This and other concerns about Wonder Woman, such as her weakness to being shackled by men, or her early departure from home for the love of a man, may have made her a problematic role model for some. Does her beauty make her better or worse as a role model? How is Wonder Woman different from, say, Xena/Lucy Lawless?

Wonder Woman was on Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in 1998

If Wonder Woman integrates herself in a meal full of protein and carbohydrates, then she's good enough in my book. Seriously, this week's study of Wonder Woman has been interesting. For me, it's peculiar how one man's vision (William Moulton Marston) can be through so much change, and yet remain the same. Despite the efforts of DC's finest Dennis O'Neil, George Perez, and John Byrne to take the character into a new direction, it almost always felt flat (although Perez can be credited for spiking the popularity of the series due to his reputation in the business).

I mentioned this in class, but it's weird reading in chapter 5 of the Wonder Woman book how many artists and writers try so hard to reboot the Wonder Woman series. I agree with Les Daniels when he writes, "the conflicts and tensions in every interpretation of Wonder Woman are what make her memorable" (201). I like this because she's famous for being inconsistent, but then again, how ma…

Racial issues in comics

The online chate we had during fridays class was awesome. i felt like he had such a great insight and knowledge of what issue face our community today. And his insight was also not of a negative temperment. I enjoyed listening to him speak of racial problems, as well as, gender issuses. There were many questions asked and I admit that I asked one that was in order to help me with some direction in my paper.
I asked him how he has seen body imagine change or not change in comics and his reply was one of humor and intregue. he stated that it was interesting to think of women and men, physically portrayed in comics because of a few things. First many illustrators seem to have never seem what a real woman looks like because they are so unproportional and outrageous looking. He stated that he knows onw artist that loves to draw butts of his female characters. He said that in every scene the female character is drawn with a large butt and huge breasts. This is how this man sees women, which …

Race in Comics

In the readings Christopher Priest kept mentioning how “institutionalized” racism, the racism you don’t even realize you are performing. And while he gives very interesting examples of how he has been discriminated against, there seems that there maybe a possibility that he is looking too deep into the race issue. When is it okay to joke about race, and not be considered a racist? Also, he is very annoyed that the comic book industry will not recognize someone as the first black editor, first black writer, etc. And while I can see where that would something meaningful who is actually in the industry, I rather wonder at its importance as a whole. As a reader of comics, I never really look to see who the author is, much less know their race. To have a position recognizing the first black person, the first woman, the first whatever, seems rather superfluous in practically any industry. Overall, it seems like he is much too sensitive about the issue of race. I did appreciate, however, tha…

Dwayne McDuffie... unleashed!

I loved our video conference this morning with Mr. McDuffie. How rare it is to have a conversation with someone really in the business of comic books. I liked his answer to my question about what he liked most and least about his job. I could somewhat predict what he would like the least; creating art and stories are a lot of people's dream profession. However I found it insightful for him to say that he did not like the discipline needed to be in this business. He said there is no one breathing down your neck forcing you to make it on top. He told us it took him 17 years before he got a shot at the big time. He said most of the people who made it into the big time within two years were no longer in the business, and he still is a prominent figure.

I liked that he personally knew who Christopher Priest was as well. Reading about someone as interesting as Priest, to then have a dialouge about him with a professional made this class special. Now we have had a comic book industry man …

to be black and recognize

The previous class we spoke about the comic book editor Mr. Priest who was unhappy with his status in the comic book industry. As one of the first black editors in the industry he felt that his lack of recognition was a slap in the face. Priest was also unhappy with the portrayal with black characters in comic books. Why do minorities characters have to play the stereotypical role to be expected into the white community? The reoccurring trend seems to be with these characters they should be authentic enough for their community to accept them but at the same time still conform to the margins on the majority population. In today's reading, we see the great change in the role of black characters. In the original Tarzan we see him defeat the "black cannibals" but we then see them change into equal partners. During the time of this article we know that there were great changes happening in the 1970's, minorities that were long subjugated were demanding equality. The trend…

I'm Back!

Comic books... upfront let me say I'm so happy I took this class because otherwise I would not have had any real exposure to comics this semester- I just wouldn't have had time. But thank God (or whoever you might thank) that I did, cause now I get to talk about the awesomeness of 80s comics, which is where we seem to finally be stumbling towards. Now we seem to have started discussing minorities in comics, which were pretty non-existent in much of major comic continuity. Ironically enough, I'm pretty sure this is still a persistent problem. I'm actually writing about Black heroes for my term paper, and had a difficult time finding important characters within the Marvel and DC universe that truly encompass or depict the struggles Blacks face/d. Priest touched on this, and I thought that was a worthy part of his discussion (though I do not agree with much of the other things he said, but I digress). I wonder what it will take to have valuable depictions of other minori…

race and blacks in comics

Race in comics and the blacks in comics essays were actually quite similar.  It seems the writer is upset with how there is very little black culture in comics, including the writers, illustrators and comic book characters.  The author states that he was the first African American to work for the big comic book companies and that it upsets him that his name is not mentioned.  He also notes that he does not like people to get ahead based on their skin color or ethnicity.  Yet what confuses me about this is that he did nothing spectacular unless it is based on his being the first African American to work at the largest comic book companies.  He talks of not wanting to get ahead based on color and yet he wants to be recognized for being the first of his color to work for D.C. and Marvel comics.  The man in my opinion is a hypocrite

Jim Handlin... friend or foe?

Well, after class today it is safe to say he is definitely a friend. Seriously, what a cool man! I learned a lot about the business of comic books after he came to speak to us. I had no idea about the differences between owning his own comic shop and going to a place like Borders. In addition, I did not know there were two channels for comic book sales -- newsstands, which allow you to return the comic, and a direct order system, which allows Mr. Handlin to own the comics giving him a larger sale when they sell.

It was also nice to hear that he graduated from college as an Economics major. My older brother used to be a huge comic book nerd and would drag our family to a place called "Comic Book Heaven" to by the latest X-Men comics. The clerks in that store were some of the shadiest looking characters I have ever seen (keep in mind I am a young, impressionable six year old at this time). But of course the stereotype of comic book store owner always being like the guy from The…

His sales may go up after class today!

Im was very interested by the speaker we had today in class. I would have to say that before this class I really never read comic books and now that I know that some of my favorite television shows have been continued through comics, i just might have to take a look.
One thing that I found was most interesting about his presentation was when he spoke about the amount of women that come into his shop on a weekly basis. Video games and comic books are something that I always really saw as a male dominated interest. I know that i personally like to play gameboy (Nintendo DS) and whenever i enter into a GameStop of the game section as BestBuy, I get looks like "what are you doing here?" or "she must be looking for a brother or boyfriend". Its really annoying to say the least but its also understandable. He said today taht only 30% of women come into the store, which is about 20% more than i excepted. That is because it seems that women arent as interested, arent introdu…

So, am I the only person who actually liked Green Lantern/Green Arrow?

I have to say, I really enjoyed Green Lantern/Green Arrow. No, it wasn't the most original portrayal of superheroes, but at least it was interesting to read! The social issues also weren't terribly subtle, but I appreciated that they were being addressed at all. I also liked that the characters had a little bit of depth and spoke in a way that normal people might actually talk to each other. And, on top of all of this, Green Arrow calls the Black Canary "Bird Lady"... You just can't get much more entertaining than that... :)

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that, overall, I think this graphic novel was beautifully illustrated and dealt with issues in a way that was far less trite and obvious than some other comics, which made ME feel a little less stupid, and that was great.

Green Lantern

The Green Lantern was in my opinion much less interesting than Batman or Superman.  I mean Woohoo He has a ring that can do cool things, but without the ring he is completely powerless.  His companion Green arrow is not much better, in that he is also only a superhero due to his bow and arrow, without which he would be powerless.  Green Lantern's enemy is the color yellow, I am sorry if I am offending anyone in saying this but, that is the silliest enemy one could have.  Yellow is a color, how could it possibly be an enemy, other than not being exactly your color or not flattering against your skin complexion, yellow tends to not have any hazardous effects.  I realize that in many comics there are issues or qualities that the comic has or must deal with that are unrealistic, but this is the most absurd in my opinion.

Green Arrow

The Green Arrow is so a rip off of Robin Hood- not only in the costume and choice of weapon, but also in the mission of helping protect the oppressed from the vicious upper class. I’m somewhat surprised Green Arrow’s alias is not some pun on the name Robin Hood.I did, however, like how Nazis became the enemy in rural America. I’m assuming that the presence of these Nazis who were rescued from war camps/ prisons means that Americans’ were facing a degree of anxiety over the Neo-Nazi movement. It could also just be that the writers were remembering the success of the Nazis as a villain during the war years. I also noticed the reference to Charlie Manson in the villain with the creepy and weird hypnotic eyes. That section seemed to point out that even superheroes, good andstrong people, are able to fall victim to corruption with the temporary fall of the Black Canary.

Green Lantern/ Green Arrow: Fighting Evil through Approved Means

The role of women in the Green Lantern/ Green Arrow comics makes for some entertaining battles.One example can be found on page 148, where Black Canary combats Mother Juna.In a fight referred to as “short—but sweet!” by Green Lantern, Mother Juna leaps angrily at Canary.The smaller woman responds by trying to toss Mother away to a relatively safe landing, but at the last second the assailant twists her body and ends up crashing brutally into a wall.The fact that these combatants are women heavily shapes this scene.Black Canary, as a woman, is very unique because of her talents in martial arts.This is made quite clear when she is introduced on page 60.“Long Ago, she mastered the ancient arts of judo and jiu-jitsu—mastered them as perhaps no other mortal ever has!You look at her, and see a soft, totally feminine woman, and perhaps you don’t glimpse the fire… the fury… that seethes behind her loveliness… until you cross her!”As a woman, she’s not expected to fight at all, much less to be…

Journalist for Social Injustice...what a good quality in a comic book writer.

The Green Lantern is written by a jounralist who was very involved with the civil rights movement, Denny O'Neil. This is interesting to hear and is very apparent in his comic stories. Of all the comics we have read thus far, it seems that the Green Latern, while quite a Batman rip off, has many good messages that other stories never bother to touch. The 1960s and 1970s were a difficult time for the United States because of all the racial and gender struggles. The nation was not only battling soviet influence and active in Vietnam War, but there was a major issue over women's, black's, native-american's, and chicano rights. Basically everyone needed and deserved an equal voice in the United States and this was the beginnings of a better way of life in our country. As i mentioned before, I think that O'Neil had great messages in his comics. He was able to introduce a character that was brave, strong, intelligent and capable of thinking critially about issues. He als…

The Arrow and the Lantern

In the first issue of the team up series of the Green Lantern and the Green Arrow, some very interesting questions about justice are raised. Also, the state of our society at the time was reflected very well in this premiere issue.
In the beginning, The Green Lantern was represented and introduced as the superhero who we know who lives by the mantra “no evil shall escape my sight”. It is interesting how that evil in comic books has always been interpreted by street bullies and “bug eyed monsters”, but now much more needs to be fixed in the United States by the Green Lantern and his power ring, and the Green Arrow is the one to open his eyes to that. I love how the Green Arrow presents this moral dilemma to the Green Lantern In conflict, there are two sides, and often there is more than just good and evil at stake. Also, the Robin Hood feel of the Green Arrow is so humorous to me yet so cool, as his attitude iin the comics is characterized much deeper than most characters than we…