Published on May 27th, 2013 | by Richard Boom
Confessions: A Little On The So-Called BADGrrrLS
I think overall the female champs are sexy under-dressed strong characters (Witchblade, Cavewoman, Vampirella, Tarot…) and some are portrayed more sexy then others…
And male champs are overdressed spandex-ed powerhouses with big (or enormous) chests and muscles and some are portrayed stronger/bigger then others…
THAT is just to begin this post with!!!!
Some could say there is a Bad Grrl phenomenon, others say that there are things like BadGrrl (Chaos!, Harris, Dynamite, Avatar, Cavewoman) and GoodGrrl (Liberty Meadows, Shanna, WonderWoman, Batgirl, Elektra)…
I am not one to take this lightly but am putting things in perspective and combine ALL strong female characters into the BadGrrl-label… hence my BadGrrl fanclub (Yahoogroups) I started in 2001 and this website for that matter, this year!
There is so much variety in comics and there are so many possibilities and genres in the comic-medium and from where I stand this can only be a good thing, since there are a zillion different readers who all have their own taste in comics…
I myself am kinda intrigued by (what I call) Bad Grrls. I do not know why but this is a fact for me.
I grew up reading Spider-Man and Superman and Batman because those were the only translated comics in my country. At one time Gen13 was being translated and I loved those first encounters with that team-book and in 1994 (at age 21) I found this comic-shop and there I discovered that there is so much more…
Comics are a visual medium for me and I love to see gorgeous (and/or almost nekkid) woman doing their good deeds (Vampirella, Cavewoman) and mischief (Lady Death, Purgatory). To me it is a plus that there is a storyline involved… I do want to be entertained beyond my eyes and my brain needs some stimulation from time to time as well.
There are so many great books with strong female lead characters which I love, whether it is coming from Marvel (e.g. She-Hulk, Mystique, Phoenix, Elektra, Satanna, Black Widow, Tigra), DC-comics (e.g. Supergirl, Wonderwoman), Image (Witchblade’s Sara, Magdalena, ARIA’s Kildare, Aphrodite IX) or the so-called INDIES with titles such as Vampirella, Cavewoman, Dogwitch, Kabuki, FANG, Tarot, Painkiller Jane, Dawn and now Belladonna/Gypsy/Unholy/LadyDeath of Brian Pulido (of the late CHAOS! comics with Lady Death, Purgatory and Chastity to name but a few!!). I actually cannot wait for Dynamite Entertainment to start processing the Chaos! Comics characters beyond Evil Ernie, since DE required the license in 2012!
And coming back to the representation of these females…well…those are as different as there are readers I guess…
Spandex (She-Hulk, Super-Girl)
Action (Painkiller Jane, Tigra)
Espionage (Mystique, Black Widow, Kabuki)
Martial Arts (Elektra)
Wicca (Balent’s Tarot, Sirius’ Dogwitch, DC’s Witching, Marvel’s Witches)
Horror/Vampires (Belladonna, FANG, Vampirella)
SF (Palmiotti’s Cloudburst, Aphrodite IX)
Action–adventure (Tomb Raider)
Divinity/religion (Dawn, FANG, Magdalena)
Soap-opera (all of the above 🙂 )
The rendition of the characters involved vary with the way the writers (or in case of Marvel the editors) would like them handled and are mostly aimed at a specific group of people…
TAROT is aimed at fun entertainment while leaning towards the edge of Soft Porn with all its nudity, but Jim Balent wants to address WICCA in his own fashion and he believes nudity is one of the most (in this case) obvious elements that most-times is left out…and he wants this IN his book. This makes a tough crowd but the people who do buy the book are very enamoured with Balent’s work and often are female themselves and do NOT feel offended with the breast-issue at all
CHAOS/PULIDO: Pulido found a niche in the market for some real badass-characters and females who are out with a vengeance and he succeeded immensely. Unfortunately his enterprise folded but at Avatar he is trying to reach that audience once more.
MARVEL/DC: they have some great characters who sometimes are drawn naked and then adding some color to resemble spandex-suits. But yet another rendition…
BASEMENT: Cavewoman is a sexy character with enormous “assets” who does her thing in the jungle sided with dino’s and an oversized gorilla …it is fun and the art is great and just another example of how enormously different the comic-medium and its audience can be.
VAMPIRELLA: Vampirella walks around wearing sort of a bathing suit with extreme cleavage and she battles werewolves and bad vampyres… I have all the issues and I love her story.
ARIA: pure fantasy telling with awesome art brought me enormous amounts of pleasure… no cleavage or sex-remarks or breast-issues and thus yet another example of how different the writers and artists can be to do what they want to do…
KABUKI: a journey through the life and death of special-agent KABUKI, portrayed with amazing artwork with an awesome vary of utensils (pencils, cole, paint, collage, lace, feathers….) to create something I can only call ART… the soul-searching and adventures of Kabuki by David Mack is one of the most amazing pieces in the world!!
In the end you must remember two things though…
Fantasy: writers love drawing monsters, gorgeous women and powerful men…deal with it!!!
Soap: it is what keeps you getting back to see more and more and more…it is a formula that works!!
It does not matter what you do with comics or what you gain with reading comics, whether it be Kingdome Come, Preacher, The Walking Dead, Fables, Tarot, Vampirella, Darkness, Fatale or Archie Comics or DragonballZ or the Simpsons…
Just enjoy it!!!!!
The Confessions space on Comics for Sinners is in fact meant for you, the people like me that love beautiful comics characters, to share your stories: How did you become addicted? How do comics’ femme fatales affect your buying habits? What are your favorite naughty stories or moments in comics history? And does your shelf porn really define the term ‘shelf porn’? Then make your confession to the rest of the world at confessions@comicsforsinners.