Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Ballad of 'Ol Shootin' Jed: Page 19

Heeheeee~! This page makes me laugh :D
Seeing Jed all bundled up in that jacket. Plus the concept of a grown man yelling at a baby also makes me chortle a lil' bit. Especially knowing what's about to happen. YOU don't know! I know because I read the story in advance, but YOU don't. I'll give you a hint, it's gonna be sweet. ^_^

So! Taking this BBS thing to a new level this summer. I've compiled a summer reading list of feminist/female centered comics. I am hoping to gain some inspiration from a more modern take on ladies in the comic pages, and ladies as super heroes.
First up, is Empowered, by Adam Warren. Many of you know him as "the first white dude to got famous by ripping anime." Well, it's important to know that he is no way the first, but that aside, I know him as the writer of Empowered, one of my favourite comics.
I read volume 1 years ago and a I loved it, so I got volumes 2-6 the other day. It's pretty hard to know exactly what to make of it. On the surface, it's a bunch of stereotypically sexy super-girls in clingy skin tight outfits, doing these exaggerated poses that seem carefully orchestrated to show off their various assets. In the mean time, they battle and their suits get ripped up, sometimes they get captured by the enemy and get all nice and tied up, all very sexy. Adam even admits in the back of the first volume that the character of "Empowered" herself was created as a commission from a random client who has some kind of super girl bondage fetish, but she became a whole lot more after that. You might be rolling your eyes at this point, but I should point out that THIS IS EXACTLY HOW WONDER WOMAN STARTED OUT! And look where she is today! But like I said, this is all on the surface. If you actually READ the comic, it's about a young, up and coming super heroine trying to make her way in a superhero's world. They hook you in with the gratuitous T&A and then whip a little message about sexism at you, PRETTY CLEVER!

I would go as far as to call this comic a very well written and poignant study of sexism and misogyny within the comic book industry/culture, and it's all coming from a male writer/author, which to me, is great.
I worried at first, during the beginning stages of BBS, that when I finally DO do it, people will take one look at the comic, and one look at me, and say "What the fuck are you doing? You're a boy! Who wants to hear your opinions on this kind of shit?" Now, I'm less worried. I am certain it will still happen to some extent, but I'll come from a long line of fine artists to whom it's happened before.
So, thank you, Adam Warren, for blazing this trail for me, and if you weren't the first, then thanks to whoever blazed that trail for YOU.
On the flip side, it also means that what I'm doing is actually in no way original... but despite that, the message I'm trying to convey is still VERY MUCH needed. Sexism and misogyny still exist rampantly in the world, not the least of which in the comic book and nerd cultures, and I just can't have that. Like Kurt Cobain always said:

"I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me"

I will do my best to clean up my little corner of the world. Or maybe the comic will get super popular and MANY people will obtain the intended moral of the story. I guess I should get it down on paper before I start dreaming THAT big, shouldn't I?

Next up on the reading list is the remainder of the Ariel Schrag high school comics, Awkward", "Definition" and "Potential" I read "Likewise", which unbeknownst to me at the time, encompassed her Senior year, and thusly was part 4 in the series. Now I'm going backwards and filling in whatever blanks were left behind. Thankfully, there weren't many. Even when in high school, Ariel was a good enough author to make "Likewise" stand well enough on its own, for people who had not read the previous years.
"Definition" and "Awkward" came together in the same book, yet is still incredibly thin. "Potential" is about twice as thick as that, which still isn't very thick. Both books (or rather, all three books) together seem they're about as long as "Likewise" was in its entirety :P
Now that i think of it, my own senior year was at least four times more eventful than any of my previous years in high school.
Additionally, I recently discovered that Ariel has been doing a cool, ongoing webcomic in a similar style called "Ariel and Kevin Invade Everything". I love reading it, but it's kinda confusing, because in this comic, Ariel has let her hair grow out and go back to its original colour (blonde), whereas in "Likewise" her hair starts out very short, and very black, and as the comic goes on, it gets shorter and blacker. She looks more like her sidekick Kevin, and it's messin' with my head, yo..

In either case, I've fawned over Ariel enough in previous entries.

Last on the list is "How I Made it to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story" by Tracy White. I think I picked this one up less because it had to do with girls, and more to do with severely depressed people, and THAT'S something I've been relating to a lot recently. The fact that the main character is a girl is a coincidence, but it certainly doesn't hurt, either. I haven't even begun reading it yet, but I'm sure it's gonna be one of those staggeringly tear-jerking masterpieces that I wind up loving forever. Sadly, this seems to be her ONLY book, which is kinda scary to me, because as the inside flap explains, this is a story about someone struggling through being suicidal. The back flap assures me that the author is still alive, and living happily though. I think I will simply just believe what the book tells me. Tracy herself doesn't have a website, or even a wikipedia page. Further info is made even more difficult to find by the fact there's a football player ALSO named Tracy White :/

Either way. My summer reading list is pretty much set.
I also happen to have picked up "Just a Couple Of Days" by Tony Vigorito, but that has nothing to do with my feminism study :P It's still a pretty good book, though.

Last up. I meant to share this awhile back. a VERY talented young lady I met at Fanime who goes by the handle of GodBait on DeviantArt did for me a wickedly badass piece of Dave the Punk Rock Cat fan art, which I will gladly show you now.

Spectacular :)
I hardly ever get fan art. This is the third and a half-ish one I've ever gotten in all my years as a cartoon-man.
One of the first pieces I ever got was from my friend Courteney, who goes by Fishguts-San on DeviantArt. She did me a piece from an ollllllld old comic I did called "Blood Will Tell". I wanted to include it in one of the books I put out. I told her and she panicked and went "no! let me do it better!" ...and so she did! So one piece became two pieces, hence third and a half-ish.
I might share the one in between sometime later :)

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