Another super early “Too Negative”. How much has changed since I drew this:
Heh, although Dahlia’s the one crash landing on unicorns and getting kicked in the butt, I remember a couple of the culprits behind this kind of thinking acting like they were the ones getting banged around by this comic. Not that I can blame a certain degree of defensiveness, I suppose. Comix culture is still rife wth misogynerds (as evidenced by the recent Kate Beaton/Gabby Schulz shitstorm), and it was even worse back in the day, I’d wager – if you look at the letter columns in old issues of Weirdo (circa Aline Kominsky-Crumb editing the thing) you can find lots of letters decrying the inclusion of female cartoonists as “not funny” , “can’t draw” etc. etc. HOWEVER, by the mid 90’s-early 00’s, there seemed to be this big push for “more girls in comix, yay!” that seemed to lack teeth and pull all punches. This movement was not looking for the bawdy Dori Sedas, confrontational Phoebe Gloeckners, or political Sue Coes, although they were all out there. There just seemed to be this big push for everything to be happy, bright and cheerful (probably a spillover from the sudden popularity of shojo manga), contain Positive Role Models™, and above all else, BE ALL AGES. And not to detract from motherhood and children as feminist issues, but I personally find something very pigeonholing and stereotypical about drawing the instant equation between woman-friendly and child-friendly. Also, although I am personally all in favor of “empowerment” as a concept, I am not interested in it as an overused buzzword that becomes devoid of all meaning.
Fortunately, this myth of what female cartooning is supposed to be seems to have gone the way of the dodo, and although Sexism In Comics is not Over, I’d say it’s safely acknowledged that woman creators may be comical or surreal or literary or political or angry or raunchy or confessional or fantastical or pornographic or any other kind of story they may feel compelled to tell. You know, just like male creators.