dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
Cheesecake (noun): Also called Leg Art. Photographs featuring scantily clad attractive women.

T&A (abbreviation): Tits and Ass.

I know some people are having a hard time wrapping their heads around why we in the comics blogosphere are blowing our stacks over Catwoman #1, especially people in the comments of places like Comics Alliance and Newsarama. I mean, after all, comics are a medium in which women are portrayed as hyper-sexualized all the time, and thus, we should expect it to come with the territory.

Never mind that nobody can actually give me a good reason for why that is the way it is, other than “That’s how it’s always been.” which, frankly, isn’t a reason to do anything.

“I keep stubbing my toe on that coffee table!”

“Well, why don’t you move it?”

“But it‘s always been there!”

Highly illogical.

One of the biggest defenses rising from that mentality is that Catwoman qualifies as a Cheesecake Art Book and not an Objectfying Claptrap Book.

I am here to shut those people up. So sit your ass down, you’re about to get schooled.

Webcomic courtesy of Ty Templeton, six pages from Catwoman #1 (2002) and some mildly NSFW cheesecake art behind the cut. )

How people are still defending this issue is completely beyond me. It’s not just offensive, it’s objectively bad because it’s poorly written. LE SIGH.

And the worst of it is, in all fairness to Winick, I actually really like some of his work (some of his Batman run, specifically, and a bit of his Green Arrow) and by all accounts, his Batwing does right everything Catwoman does wrong. What is it about this title that made him totally jump the rails?

*A note to commeters: Though I'm posting this webcomic, I don't condone use of words like 'hooker' or even 'prostitute'; sex worker is the only term really welcome here in regards to the profession in question, so I ask you to please respect this when commenting. Sex workers read comics blogs, too, you know. :)
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
It's Cover!Wednesday again! Today, we're going to do something a tad bit different than the usual 'post pretty pictures' thing, because I've noticed something.

Looking at the covers I've posted thus far of Selina's 90's series--the ones that I consider to be the coolest from an aesthetic viewpoint--it's interesting to note that the covers suffer from the same visual character development/derailment that the old Nancy Drew novel covers did. In the earliest covers, the main character is always doing something active--something badass--and always confident. For example:

Later, she's still active but scared/startled/apprehensive while in action:

Then she's falling off things...a lot. Or otherwise 'in danger':

Now, there are several instances of Catwoman being confident/badass after and in between these issues, but it's still an interesting trend to consider. In fact, this progression from active to active-but-scared to menaced eventually goes all the way to victim.

This progression inevitably leads to what our cover theme is for the day: The Damsel in Distress.

I find it interesting to note that, while in her solo series from the nineties and in various Bat-family titles she's often portrayed as the damsel in distress, whereas in her second solo series she's almost never portrayed as such. In fact, there are only three instances that I can find:

Let's compare, actually, by the numbers, her 90's series versus her '01 series. But just to make sure we've got things nice and even handed here, the criteria for being 'in distress' is as follows:

1.) Unconsciousness OR
2.) Being bound OR
3.) Falling off things
4.) No apparent means of escape
5.) Not visibly fighting back

Starting with the 90's series:

Issues #15, 20, 34, 42, 48, 49, 56, 57, 60, 63, 70, 74, 80 & 82


Issues #16, 24 & 45

That's fourteen vs. three, for those of you playing along at home.

Something else that I find interesting is that--overall--the same number of issues with DiD covers in series one were penned by both men and women. So it's clearly not a gender bias.

Series One
Jo Duffy: 0
Chuck Dixon: 3
Doug Moench: 3
Devin Grayson: 5
John Ostrander: 1
Bronwyn Carlton: 2

Series Two
Ed Brubaker: 2
Will Pfieffer: 1

In fact, stories written by a woman (Devin Grayson) are the worst offenders by sheer volume, it would seem.

Now, comics writers generally don't have much say over which cover goes on their comic-of-the-month. That's up to an editor to decide, based on the story's content. Does this mean that those stories themselves cast Selina as a damsel instead of a protagonist? Not necessarily, but it's interesting to note, nonetheless.

Of course, there is one instance of the Damsel in Distress trope being turned on its head, from Brubaker's run:

I'm not particularly fond of the art--I find it a bit on the grotesque side, actually--but it's nice to see this sort of thing happening. Rather than being cast as the victim collapsed in the hero's arms, Selina is cast in the hero's role.

Selina as Savior has always been more interesting to me than just Selina for Self. At least, it's always been more interesting since I've been a grown-up who no longer harbors the desire to be a pretty, pretty princess with a castle closet full of flouncy dresses and a treasury full of precious gems.

So, my Fellow Feline Fatale Fans, what do you make of this?

Edited to Add: It's no longer Off-Topic!Tuesday, but this tidbit is too good to just sit on for a week:

The New York Post (which is a bit of a scandal rag, I know) reports that a woman dressed as Catwoman recently robbed a shoe store in New York City.

The thief browsed in the store--in a cat mask!--for an hour and then made off with a whopping eighty-six dollars.

Well...points for cajones and execution, at the very least.


This is the back-up account for what I hope will be the Ultimate Catwoman Fan Blog--Dr. Von Fangirl on LiveJournal. You should go check it out over there. I much prefer the original article.

November 2011

   12 34 5


RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 17th, 2017 06:28 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios