Boys often dream of being a superhero. They picture putting on a suit filled with gadgets, a cape that flows as they fly through the air and having the whole world honor them as they bring down bad guys. Little girls get to dream about wearing skin tight outfits that reveal way too much, saying ignorant statements and waiting for the superhero to come to their rescue. Comic books are a fantasy just like movies, television, and novels. The only difference is that comic books are a male dominated world. Women are shown in an unfair way, mostly because they do not have any say in it. There are few women who have a career in the comic book industry.
It starts with the fact that women do not want to write comic books. ” They see comic as juvenile fantasies for guys who’ve never grown upÃ¢Â?Â¦” (Franklin). It’s easy to see where female’s opinions on comics come from when you think about the fact that the most well known examples of comic characters are the super heroes Superman, Spider-man, and Batman. Casey Franklin, author of the article ” No Girls Allowed”, points out that ” the comic book industry is almost entirely made-up of superhero stories, mostly written by men” (1). Why would women want to work in a field where they are left out? If comic book companies wanted women they would know where to find them. Writer Buddy Scalera notes that Marvel Comics hires male writers from movies, novels and television shows. Women also do these things successfully, so why aren’t comic companies soliciting them (1)?
Another reason there is a lack of female creators is that men are not interested in comics created by women. Seeing the book is written or drawn by a woman pushes male readers away. They believe women can only write what they want to read. Christa Shermont, a comic book author, says, ” People always assume that all girls want to read is nothing but romance stories”. (7) But think of the soap operas that women are so traditionally known for watching. Any given day you can channel surf through and find murders, kidnappings, and back stabbing betrayals. But men are also afraid that women creators will take away the fantasy comics provide. It is no secret that females in comic are generally ” unrealistically written and drawn bimbos, victim, sluts, doms [dominatrix], or men in dresses” (“Emphasis” 8). And men do not buy comics because they hate that fact about them. However, it can be hard for men to realize the stereotypes about women creating comics only about romance, feminist ways and making men look bad are untrue when there are so few women in industry to prove otherwise.
The publishers such as DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse do not hire women because they have to go with what sells. Companies ” cater to popular trendsÃ¢Â?Â¦ in this case superheroesÃ¢Â?Â¦” (Shermont 4). Men are comic’s major consumers. Their preferences are what will sell the best. The article “A Matter of Emphasis” mentions, ” mostly male readers prefer action and don’t mind unrealistical drawn characters ” (1). So that is what they get. It is these same things that make women not want to buy comics. Females like character relationships over plot. Although, what most draws women away from comics is the in accurate portrayal of their gender. The best example is comics most well known female superhero Wonder Woman. She is very tall, thin and beautiful. She is also very in accurately proportioned, and fights crime in high heels with her hair down. As well as wears a costume that not only leaves little to the imagination but also would probably fall of while she is fighting crime. Also, the few books that portray women well are made only about love or our full of conversation. Harry Potter books are full of science fiction such as flying, and fighting against the dark side of magic as well as character relationships. A woman does not only write them, but the majority readers are female. So why is it still stereotyped that woman would not want to read comics full of the same material? And why can’t a woman create them?
Comics are evolving constantly. While women have progressed in them, it is still a long road ahead. Franklin makes it clear where women stand in the creation of comics by noting that the female creators in comics go unnoticed because no one understands them and no one cares to notice. It’s unfair that few women find a career in comics. The number of female creators is not even equal in proportion to female readers (1). There is room for women in comics. If there is not, they will make it. It will call for hard work, perseverance and open minds from everyone.
Franklin, Casey. ” No Girls Allowed.” Gadfly Online. 2003. 28 Feb. 2005
“Matter of Emphasis, A.” Sequential Tart. 6.3 (2003): 6+.
Scalera, Buddy. ” Why aren’t More Women Creating Comics?” Silver Bullet Comics.
2002. 28 Feb. 2005
Shermont, Christa. 100% Guaranteed How to Manual for Getting Anyone to Read
Comics. Bartonsville, PA: Second 2 Some Studios, 2003.