Comics & Comix by Summer Pierre Brooklyn
Comic book reading is most popularly portrayed as the domain of boys and men, and their content is often assumed to be masculine. While that may be true, it’s just as true that plenty of girls like superhero/sci-fi/action comics and there have always been “girl comics” written, and read, by both men and women. In other words, the question of gender and comics is just as complex as gender in everyday life.
I’ll eventually write about some brilliant (and diverse) comics by women artists/writers, but I think it’s worth mentioning that with Love and Rockets, Los Bros Hernandez have created some of my all-time favourite female comix characters, and arguably some the most complex women to appear in contemporary literature. Dan Clowes’ Ghost World characters, Enid and Rebecca, also resonate strongly with me, and Pete Bagge features some pretty unlikeable but nonetheless believable women in his Hate comics.
I’ve started this blog for a couple of reasons.
First, I read a lot of graphic novels and noticed that most of them focus on people’s everyday lives. I’ve been told my taste is “very feminine” and I think that means I like character- and emotion-driven stories, which is true. But it also made me realise that my (long-time) preferred leisure reading actually shares a lot in common with my (more recent) academic research on affect and critiques of everyday life. I hope that making a place to think and write about these things will help me better explore, and understand, these links.
Second, I want to start a reading group at school. I’m teaching courses on design and culture and believe that comics and graphic novels provide really rich ways of exploring connections between the two. I also thought I should have a place where I reviewed some of the books I love and hate. I’d like to have some sort of record of my library, and others may find them interesting and/or helpful. And maybe, if I’m really lucky, students will find something to talk about here.
I don’t know how often I’ll post, although it’ll be another month before all my books arrive from Canada and I kind of need them to really get started. In any case, it’ll be fun to see where all this goes.