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There, Now I’m Not Naked Anymore

April 25, 2010

And the promised webcomic post.  I’d planned on doing something similar to my post on the Streamys as, like online tv, webcomics are another creative use of new technologies. I thought I might be able to find a better representation of women. This process became difficult because I found that many of the comics I encountered required previous knowledge of the history of the comic.  This made looking at depictions of women in the comics more difficult.  Looking around at different ones I did find that female webcomic writers were as underrepresented as in any other tech or geek field.  There are a solid handful, though.  And their comics are pretty popular.  So a look at a few of my favorites from the ones I encountered.

First up, Dinosaur Comics By Ryan North.  Not a woman, but still my favorite Dinosaur Comic.
How many comics, or any other mediums, have you seen talk about male gaze so explicitly?  Bonus points for extrapolating it onto video games. Even if Mulvey just meant the essay as a provocation, it’s still fun.

Now onto the women.  A Softer World is cowritten by Emily Horne and Joey Comeau. They’re comicing in the tradition of the “comic” being sad or harsh.
This is how their comics go. Pictures split into a triptych with text overlayed in various “sad or harsh” fashions.

Cat and Girl is written by Dorothy Gambrell. Her strips have appeared in newspapers. Not sure which ones, but sometimes she posts scans of her print strips.
This is one with an ongoing storyline, of sorts. Or at least characters I get the feeling I should recognize. Some strips can stand alone.

Hark! A Vagrant is written by Kate Beaton.
This is one of her shorter strips. There’s another, much longer, and amusing one called Great Gatsbys that I quite like. I always liked that book.

I don’t know much about this final one, Patches by Kelly Vivanco, but from what I’ve seen it’s a lot of single panels.
I think Patches is the gopher looking thing.

So they are out there, they do have a following, but sadly female writers are still few in the world of webcomics. I do get the feeling that representations of women are more positive than in some other mediums. Here’s a quick look at some other strips I found featuring women, but written by men. It’s always interesting when men write women like this instead of as objects.

Diesel Sweeties by Richard Stevens
Geek girl!

Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques
Science girls!

Bad Machinery by John Allison
Teen girls!

Wondermark by David Malki
Historical girls!

And my favorite. As genius as dinosaurs talking gaze. Leave it to xkcd by Randall Munroe.
Because we like porn too! Nothing wrong with liking porn! With actual people parts in it! Women do like sex world! Oh xkcd.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. greenstring permalink
    April 25, 2010 6:28 pm

    Can’t stop laughing at this one! And it’s the last. Well, I wish you would continue nevertheless.

    A dinosaur commentator on male gaze. Brilliant. Money as “old as balls.” Geek, science, teen, and historical girls, oh my. And porn. I was never partial to that Porn for Women book, I’m glad to see that wrong, righted.

    A field with women. On the interwebs. Fabulous.

    • Mary permalink
      April 25, 2010 6:38 pm

      So nice to be done with at least one thing. Glad I’m not the only one who was annoyed by the Porn for Women thing. Now it makes me wonder if it was written by men. Nope, sadly it was actually written by women. Well, maybe that’s porn for some women.

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