ladyabercrombie

ladyabercrombie

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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Latest Topics

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Women in Comics: Who Run the World?

Explore how women and girls are portrayed in superhero comics by comparing depictions of women in a variety of superhero comics, their (gender) role in the narratives, the challenging the problematic concept of the "strong female" trope, as well as delving into the (for the most part) unrealistic depictions of their bodies.

  • Female heroes do come with a variety of stereotypes. It is great to see the increasing number of female superheroes which are more reflective of our times today. It would be great to see how relevant is Wonder Women today and see how her role and character has been upgraded in the latest installment in Superman vs Batman. I find it odd that she is not mentioned in the title. Perhaps an analysis could start there. – Munjeera 5 years ago
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  • Really love this topic. Maybe the writer would also want to, very, very briefly, discuss how and which female led comics get adapted to film, as well. – Jaye Freeland 5 years ago
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  • This is a great topic, but I think it would work better narrowed down. Maybe select the most popular women heroes, or only heroes from either Marvel or DC Comics. There so many characters to write about--in fact, too many! – Tiffany 5 years ago
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  • Great topic, but are you focusing on all girls in superhero comics or specifically female heroes? There are plenty of female villains, you should clarify who you are targeting or possibly do a comparison between the heroes and villains. – dlowe4934 5 years ago
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Latest Comments

ladyabercrombie

I was listening to NPR’s show The Takeaway, and Oscar winning actress Viola Davis gave a wonderful response to the lack of diversity in the film business. What we all have to remember is that, even though the word comes second, in Hollywood, the business comes first. If a movie won’t sell tickets, then it’s not going to get made. I agree completely that there needs to be more diversity in film, but until the AUDIENCES who buy tickets do that, then those movies will not be produced.

The other thing that Davis said which really resonated with me was that audiences and producers, casting agents and directors, need to be able to imagine people of color in a variety of roles–not just pigeon-hole us into stereotypical, and therefore degrading, parts like maid, drug dealer, or basketball player. I think about the casting of the Divergent movie. In the novels, Tris is described as a very tiny girl. Yes, she is white, but her most important characteristic, the characteristic that influences plot outcomes, is that she’s small. And yet, the actress cast to play her is 5’9″ whereas her friend, Christina, who is supposed to be tall, was played by teeny-tiny Zoe Kravitz. How different (and I argue better) would the movie have been had Kravitz been cast as Tris? She fits the size requirement, and is a superior actress. But if no one can imagine a person of color in that role, or if the narrative that a person of color couldn’t possibly headline a big budget film, then, again, they will never be made.

I don’t think there’s a question we need more diversity in film, but in order to change Hollywood’s mind, we need to change our neighbor’s.

Here’s a link to the interview with Davis. Very powerful stuff.
http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/viola-davis-getting-more-minorities-and-women-big-screen/

Diversity Matters in Movies
ladyabercrombie

I take issue with the question of gender roles in this article because there are several of glaring exclusions. Every couple used as an example are heterosexual, white, highly educated, and middle to upper-middle class. Now granted, there aren’t a ton of examples to support other groups, but there are some. Modern Family, for example, which portrays a gay couple, has won 21 Emmy awards. Blackish, which centers around a black family with a heterosexual couple as the lead has been nominated for 2 Emmys and won an AFI award. Roseanne, an extremely popular sitcom around the time Friends was on, featured a family who, economically (and, let’s be honest, looks-wise) were much more representative of Americans at large. (Seriously? An apartment like the one Monica and Rachel live in would’ve cost thousands to rent every month. The idea that they’re in a rent controlled area so they can live there for $200 a month is like saying I ride a unicorn to my job as a Keebler elf everyday.) So while, I can concede that over time traditional gender roles have been challenged, reversed, or in some cases completely discarded, the sampling here is far too narrow for a real discussion about it.

Relationship Gender Roles in Sitcoms: For Better or For Worse?
ladyabercrombie

I am teaching a Comp 2 class this semester designed around reading and analyzing graphic novels. Since most of my students are complete novices when it comes to comics, I found it to be essential to teach them how to read a comic. Apparently for some it’s not as intuitive as I would’ve thought. I heard several comments when I gave them Jessica Abel’s “What is a Graphic Novel” comic say, “where do I look first”.

A Guide to Reading Comics: Where to Start?