After their first comic-themed event back in August turned out to be such a monumental success, the group decided to arrange a follow-up to continue the ongoing discussion about the portrayal of women (and of femenist themes in general) in the world of comics. The event will take the form of a salon-style discussion about the state of feminism in comics, and will be co-hosted by Lauren Murphy and Lisa Woynarski.
Here’s the official blurb;
At one time, the pairing of feminism and comics may have seemed antithetical in mainstream comics. The assumption of the default male reader (who was also assumed to be heterosexual, cisgender and probably white) dictated much of the portrayal of women (as fantasy or plot devices) and feminism in comics. Female superheroes were derived as an afterthought to their male counterparts (She-Hulk, Superwoman, Batgirl, Spider-woman…) or women featured as victims, regularly tortured and raped to propel the action for the male lead. Recently, a sea change has emerged: feminist portrayals of heroes have infiltrated the mainstream. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Captain Marvel, Ms Marvel, A-Force, Black Canary in the superhero genre as well as ODY-C, Bitch Planet, Saga and lots more great graphic novels.
Feminist zines, small press and underground comics have long been a subversive form for challenging sexism. The Bechdel Test was born from the groundbreaking comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For and small press (and web comics) continues to be fruitful and vibrant territory for feminism and comics (also see zines published by the Feminist Library, One Beat zines, Global Grrrl Zine Network).
The event was ticketed (although free to attend), and quickly sold out. However, given the immense popularity of the events – not to mention the obvious need for these kinds of ongoing discussions to take place – it’s surely only a matter of time before the group arranges more similar events in the near future.
Interestingly, the group also put forth a list of suggested (though not required) reading, a list we really couldn’t agree with more.
The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel
Sally Heathcote: Suffragette By Mary Talbot, Kate Charlesworth, and Bryan Talbot
Henni by Miss Lasko-Gross
Lily Renee, Escape Artist by Trina Robbins
Kiki De Montparnasse by Catel Muller and Jose-Luis Bocquet
Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary by Keshni Kashyap and Mari Araki
This One Summer Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Zines and Anthologies:
Feminist Library Zines
One Beat Zines
Comic Book Slumber Party
Global Grrrl Zine Network
Love & Rockets
The Wicked + The Divine
Check out the Official Event Facebook Group for more information and make sure to follow Let’s Talk Intersectionality on Facebook for more details about future events and an assortment of interesting articles and discussion points.