Today I witnessed something amazing. Almost in stark contrast to yesterday, today I saw tangible impact of lady-representation in comics.
At the bookstore I work at, we have a dedicated Adventure Time section. This family came in and those kids were SO EXCITED to see their favourite characters in comics. I talked them through each OGN and series compilation, explaining what they all were and in what order they should be read, and this little girl’s entire life was changed. You could see it on her face.
The moment I mentioned Kate Leth (and that, yes, she is a girl.) this little girl’s face lit up like Christmas morning. I don’t know if it just never occurred to her that girls can work in comics but the excitement and wonder that left the store in her was a privilege to see. I ended up selling them the Fionna & Cake’s, all the OGN’s, and an AT doodle book. She left begging her dad to help her learn how to draw Marceline comics. (And he was happy to comply!)
Kate Leth has left an everlasting impression on this little girl just by existing and working in the industry. I honestly hope to someday be able to see such an impact on someone from my own work. Ladies in comics is important. The representation on the page, and behind them, is important. Having a reflection of yourself in the content you enjoy is important. I hope that little girl grows up to be a famous comic author someday.
It was a very good day.
I love stories like this!
This is also a perfect example of why licenses, particularly of all ages and kids properties, are so important to growing the comics industry.
Some DC girls redesigns! An extension to the street wear Super heroines thing I did awhile ago. Unfortunately missed the Project Rooftop redesign contest, but these have been floating around in my head for awhile. I also get a lot of questions concerning the brushes I use for these character portraits. I use 2 brushed in my set to do them, and here they are!
I love the worlds of comics and video games, and I’ll probably be doing more like these :)
The Harley redesign is largely influenced by Kris Anka’s work!
All those things I said to you in that earlier question about wish fulfillment – why should that be limited to a certain space and time? With comic books, Batman has remained the same age forever, Superman has remained the same age – yeah, he gets rebooted and this and that, but if you are writing in a space that is magical, and it is at the whim of the creators, and these stories change as they need to change way back from the early days of the ‘30s and ‘40s all the way up to the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and today, my Batman is not the Batman I understood when I was a kid.
They change. Their stories change. And if they can change to the reality that they do change, why can’t they make that change (of race) as well? You know, there are people who are against people of color getting involved in politics, or there was a time when people were against their getting involved with sports.
The real world has changed and moved on. If we can make that change in the real world, we can make it in this fanciful world that exists beyond us.
And if people don’t like it – we’re not waiting for permission any longer to make these changes in real life, and we’re certainly not going to wait for them in storytelling. I never asked for permission.
So for those who are against it – I get it to a degree, but as a society, we’re moving on, and we’re not asking for permission.
People got angry at this story. They accused me and Michael Lark of all sorts of things, almost all of them without basis in fact, and almost all of them revealing far more about the accusers than the accused. It’s always seemed ridiculous to me that there was such a tempest in the teapot. Most ridiculous to me was the accusation that we “made” Montoya gay.
As far as I’m concerned, we did no such thing. She was always gay. We were simply the first story to actually say so, and to say it in no uncertain terms. We were, I’m told, the first comic book story in the DCU to actually have a character say the words, “I’m a lesbian.”
Tempest in a teapot.
Comics are art, and they are literature, and, yes, they are entertainment. None of these things must exclude the others. For any story to be successful, it must reflect the truths of our own world, the things we all share — love and loss and pain and fear and even the smaller things, the frustration of losing our car keys, the joy at finding a forgotten twenty in a coat pocket. As in our own world, comics cannot be solely stories of straight white Christian males.
Some people don’t like to be reminded of that, I suspect. Some people don’t like to be challenged. Some people think comics are for kids, and that kids are either naive, stupid, or incapable of making up their own minds. I’m not one of those people. Neither is Michael Lark, and, thankfully, neither is the editorial staff at DC Comics.
|Boys:||OMFG fake geek girls! You're just doing this to get attention!|
|Girls:||*don't buy merchandise*|
|Execs:||We don't want girls watching our shows, they don't buy the merch.|
|Girls:||*turn out in massive numbers for comic book movie adaptations*|
|Execs:||We don't need to make more female-lead movies, girls are already turning out for the white men.|
|Girls:||*don't watch comic book movies*|
|Execs:||Why would we make a female-lead superhero movie? No one will watch it! Girls don't even like this stuff!|