What Does Women in Comics Mean?

This month’s Diamond Previews catalog is celebrating “Women in Comics Month”, which means they stick a circular logo of a tiny skirted blonde standing next to a giant pencil in certain listings. They are promoting “women in comics, both as characters and as creators, with interviews, spotlights, and more!”

Diamond's Women in Comics logo

Not a bad idea, I suppose, although it feels a little three years ago. Except… mixing up female creators with comics that just happen to star women means that not only do we get an interview with Kelly Sue DeConnick and relists of books by such creators as Noelle Stevenson, Amanda Conner, and Raina Telgemeier — we get extra attention for books such as Aspen’s Damsels in Excess (busty, barely dressed fantasy princesses); Milton Caniff’s Male Call (a good girl World War II strip); and Broadsword’s Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose (just google it — it’s full of physically impossible softcore porn-like images).

Diamond may want to celebrate “deserving title[s] featuring female creators or protagonists” but the end result suggests a retrograde tone-deafness to real issues involving sexism in comics. In fact, several of these titles are key exhibits as to why it’s still a problem.

3 Responses to “What Does Women in Comics Mean?”

  1. David Oakes Says:

    ‘Diamond want[s] to celebrate tit[s]’.

    Fixed that for you.

  2. Jack Says:

    “tiny skirted” That? That looks like the tamest outfit I’ve seen on a female character in comics since the Golden Age.

    “three years ago” I always found it amusing that several contributors to “Womanthology” mocked Marvel’s “Girl Comics”, both as a name and as a concept when the only difference between the two is that one that boasts the superior talent and production value had “Girl” in the title. Hmm.

    Also, and this was a surprise to me as well when I heard it, the readership for Tarot skews more female than male. It also has a huge wiccan following. So don’t be judgin’. ;)

  3. Johanna Says:

    “Tiny” modifies blonde, not skirted.

    We talked about women reading books like Tarot and Lady Death a little on Twitter… that’s always been the case (perhaps because women are hungry for comics with lead women), but it doesn’t change the point that promoting Tarot and Smile at the same time is just wrong. IMO.




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