Girl Comics #1

15 Mar

Alright, so it’s been out for a couple weeks, but I just finally got around to reading the whole thing.  I hate to say it, but the cover to the comic and Lucy Knisley’s wonderful Doc Ock story are probably the best parts of this comic with everything else hitting a rather flat note.

The cover by Amanda Conner really hits all the right notes with the facial expressions even if Sue Storm looks a bit Japanese.  I enjoy that Conner still has the ridiculous boobs on She-Hulk with them somehow fitting in with that zipper.  Conner’s She-Hulk really actually boosts the appearance of the character (this image alone would probably bump She-Hulk’s Super HeroiHOT score up a couple points) by being both muscular and feminine… although, I’m really not sure how to interpret the energy drink that is on She-Hulk’s side.

Okay, for those who haven’t heard (mostly my friends), Girl Comics is a 3 issue miniseries promoting the work of women in comics with every position from editor to letterer to inker to penciler, etc., is held by a woman.

The comic boosts itself by saying that these stories aren’t just in here because they’re from women, but because they exemplify great skill as stand alone stories.

Unfortunately, I have a problem with this.  These stories are just too short to really show off the skills of the women creators.  Like many other critics out there, I would have enjoyed for at least one or two of these stories to continue on to the other comics so they could get 10 pages instead of 2-4.  Sure, the stories are all halfway-decent, but they just don’t have the room to flesh them out making them just not memorable.  When these creators are used to working on projects bigger than this, it’s hard for them to constrict their size.  When, a creator like Lucy Knisley, is used to the web-comic format, she is completely capable of doing a quick, light-hearted story.

The Venus story was a big downer for me.  I enjoyed the artwork a lot on it, I just can’t believe they allotted so much space for this one instead of some of the others.  Plus, I just couldn’t understand how all of the characters in the story were basically just giant cliches.

I enjoyed the quiet moments in the Punisher story, and I appreciated a non-super muscle-y Punisher.  So, I feel like that one worked.

I had a real problem with the pin-up.  I’ll echo Kelly Thompson with my statement that I feel that putting a pin-up in here seems sort of like Marvel’s way of justifying pin-ups if women draw them, too.  When the original image has a naked She-Hulk stating “Can you BELIEVE this…??” I find myself thinking “No, I can’t believe that original image, nor can I believe that they would further it with a second one.”  The original is almost mocking the exploitation of women while the newer one is making it seem okay.  Really, She-Hulk is incapable of Jump Roping now?  Seriously?  And when she falls over, she just happens to create a giant mark in the pavement and have the jump rope hog tie her while seductively falling off her fingers?  Then, she confusedly pumps her massive hair with a look stating, “uh! How could this happen to me again!”  Opposed to She-Hulk on the cover, this image really counters the whole point of the book.

The Lucy Knisley story, as mentioned before, is perfect.

I enjoyed the visuals and the creative mix of organic with machine in the Richards kids story,but it all seemed a bit text heavy.

I was super confused by the Jean-Scott-Logan love triangle story until the end which worked, but it could have easily been expanded which I would have liked.

Final verdict:
– This comic is not worth the $5, and I feel like if it fails commercially Marvel will just have an excuse to point fingers at when we feminist-rousers raise our angry voices at the depiction of women by saying, “well, why didn’t you buy the thing that we targeted towards you.”  They don’t understand that the thing they target at us has to be good.

– So, please Marvel, put some women on some ongoing series.  Create some strong female characters who aren’t just meant to be there for people to exploit.  Because, quite frankly, DC is outpacing you with great, strong, female characters about 4:1.

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