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Girls comics September 12, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Thanks to JM for forwarding the link to this post on Down the Tubes which asks why there’s not a recent book on British girls comics and magazines. It’s a great question. Another one that comes to mind is how heavily gendered comics were in the 1970s and before and after how clearly delineated the areas that the respective ones for boys or girls would be. And yet the oddity is that as a comics fan even as a kid if that was the only available in a house I’d pick them up to read without a moment’s hesitation. Anything supernatural was bonus – just look at Misty above, which was more than happy in horror and was a remarkable comic in many ways.

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1. roddy - September 12, 2020

The big 2 ,the Beano and Dandy were not gendered at all and were read by me and all my siblings.

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WorldbyStorm - September 12, 2020

Those are indeed honourable exceptions – Minnie the Minx etc.

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2. 6to5against - September 12, 2020

That’s a great point about how gendered they were, but how little you – as a reader – cared. I was the same. Read all my cousin’s ‘girl’ comics and went on to read all of their Mallory Towers books too. It never even occurred to me to not do so.
Presumably the publishers knew this was happening. But – like with heavily gendered toys today – perhaps they see it as more to do with marketing their product to the adults who are making the purchase decisions?

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WorldbyStorm - September 12, 2020

That’s really true, I’d never have thought not to either. They were readable materials, some bland some brilliant.

I bet you’re right, the gendering now is with half an eye on adults who buy them.

The current gendered stuff is really irritating in toys. What strikes me is that while there was gendering of dolls and Action man back in the day now it’s say for example gendered nerf guns and so on. And why? Unless adults don’t buy them for girls and it’s a way of selling more which brings us back to your point and the reality the adults are kind of th3 problem here.

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3. Mat - September 13, 2020

I would be inclined to argue that the existence of “girls” comics was a great thing and contributed to girls reading a broad range of comics during the sixties and seventies, compared to the Eighties and Nineties where US comics became dominant and were pretty much boys comics in a de facto sense and often written, drawn, and published by misogynists.

I remember finding a box of Mistys in a second hand bookshop and being given them for free basically. That was a very enjoyable weekend devouring them.

I think if Marvel and DC had made more effort with so called girls comics they may not have nearly destroyed themselves on the alter of such a niche interest as super heros.

I mean that’s not to say they haven’t recovered of course and done very well especially in a recent years but there’s no question that for long years they were boy only zones and that damaged them at the time.

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WorldbyStorm - September 13, 2020

Yeah – think there’s something in that definitely. Absent them it would have been a very bleak environment for female readers.

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4. Starkadder - September 13, 2020

“compared to the Eighties and Nineties where US comics became dominant and were pretty much boys comics in a de facto sense and often written, drawn, and published by misogynists.”

The infamous Image Comics of the early 90s, (Spawn and Youngblood) full of women with massive chests and two-inch waists who always walked about en pointe, spring to mind. Embarrassingly, I was a keen reader of these comics as an adolescent.

The American publishers seem to be making more of an effort to win women readers nowadays – when I was in Forbidden Planet a few years ago, looking for stuff for a 20-something female relative, I was offered a whole shelf of various titles, including superhero fare like Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, and Black Widow. There was also lots of non-superhero material, like Lumberjanes, Saga and Fun Home.

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WorldbyStorm - September 13, 2020

And women working in Forbidden Planet too and similar. That’s a real step forward. Lumberjanes is pretty great. And interesting that your relative is reading comics. As well as which one has to imagine that the anime influence is coming to the fore too.

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Mat - September 14, 2020

Totally agree things are a lot brighter now and there are lots more women writers and artists around now with real profiles – thanks to pioneers like Colleen Doran.

It’s sad to see one of the leaders of inclusive and diverse comics Warren Ellis get outed recently for some inappropriate behaviour.

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WorldbyStorm - September 14, 2020

And the thing is to add to what you say it’s not like it’s a limited resource where more writers and artists take away from it. Instead they add to it as an area of culture. The range of available materials broadens out. Has to be a good thing. Yes, I love Warren Ellis’s work – found that depressing – and kind of weird. Reminded me of a certain science fiction author long associated with a UK far left party.

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5. Joe - September 14, 2020

Stumbled across this story in the Guardian a few months back.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/jul/13/women-speak-out-about-warren-ellis-transmetropolitan
And more here https://www.denofgeek.com/comics/wave-of-sexual-misconduct-accusations-rock-comics-industry/

Not sure if this is relevant to this thread.
Sexual abuse, misconduct, exploitation is everywhere.

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WorldbyStorm - September 14, 2020

He’s brilliant in his work. But this is just a complete mess. He treated those people very very badly indeed. You’re spot on Joe, sexual abuse, misconduct and exploitation everywhere.

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