Yesterday I saw the Eagle Huntress in the cinema. The Eagle Huntress is a documentary about the quest of Aisholpan, a 13-year-old Kazakh girl from Mongolia who dreams of becoming an Eagle Hunter in her country. She lives with her nomadic family, goes to school and helps her family. Her mentor is her father, who believes all kids are equal. In fact, her quest is a memorable one taking into account that Eagle Hunting is mainly a male activity. She comes from a family with several generations of Eagle Hunters.
Her family could have quickly stopped her from such a dangerous endeavor. However, her father is determined to teach her if that’s what she wants. And her mother is willing to have a happy kid. If she intends to be an Eagle Huntress, so be it. This way of doing things shocks with the way of thinking of most elders: women are weaker, don’t know how to hunt, etc.
Yesterday I saw Moana, the new film from Disney that has a different female hero. I must say that I didn’t expect much from the movie, but it surprised me greatly. Since it’s an animation film, I went alone to the cinema. My sweetheart doesn’t like Disney or animation very much. But I don’t mind going alone to the cinema. I’ve done it since I was a teen. For some reason, there are always titles that I want to enjoy, and others find weird.
This movie is pure gold! Forget the other Disney princesses because Moana beats them all! She’s independent, resolute, stubborn and smart. She embarks herself in a hero’s journey, and she is successful. And, there’s no love involved whatsoever!
[SPOILERS: from here onwards there are massive spoilers from the movie. I can’t write a proper review without giving parts of the movie away, so stop reading from here if you haven’t seen it yet. If you’re okay with spoilers, please be my guest.]
Ghost in the Shell’s new trailer is out there. However, there is lots of controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson and the whitewashing of the movie. Naturally, Johansson just took the role because it’s awesome. Who wouldn’t like to be part of the film? However, Ghost in the Shell is famous Japanese anime. When Hollywood adapts Japanese anime, it does it in a very Western way. However, it might not be the correct one.
Whitewashing happens when white actors are cast in historically non-white character roles. It happens pretty often in Hollywood. Less often, we find color-blind casting. It occurs when non-white actors fill roles of characters that historically have been portrayed a white. (Remember Heimdal in Thor, played by Idris Elba; or Shield’s Nick Fury portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson). In all cases, people complain quite loudly.
Today I want to explore what happened with Mockingbird, Chelsea Cain and “ask me about my feminist agenda” tees. Days ago, Mockingbird writer Chelsea Cain quit Twitter after being subject to crazy amounts of abuse from trolls who stated that were comic book fans. She only asked for more representation in her field work and asked her fans to buy Mockingbird #8. She also asked her fans to send Marvel a tweet stating that there’s room for more superhero stories about grown-up women. She had to delete that tweet and close her Twitter account.
She was accused of attacking people. However, that’s just false. She only made a simple request to her fans: buy more comics, and ask Marvel for more stories. The cover of the comic book has a feminist tee depicted. It seems, however, that this was what fuelled hate around her and her work.
Do you remember Milo Manara’s Spider-Woman variant cover for Marvel and all the fuss that it created? Well, Manara has made it again. And he has managed to make it even worse. How? Making her perfectly naked!
Milo Manara and Frank Cho hosted a panel in Lucca Comics and Games 2016, in Italy. The panel was titled “Frank Cho, Milo Manara and Women – A dialogue between two Masters.” Here, Manara presented a Spider-Woman illustration to Cho as a present at the end of the panel. Now, the problem is the picture if you put it in the wrong genre, and the attitude of both artists regarding the illustration and what it represents.
The History of Comics, including Women, continues with the Era of Intention part 3. In part 2 we discovered the pulp heroes that would influence Superheroes of the Depression. But before talking about tough times, let’s explore the pursuit of flappiness. During the 1920s, we could find Flapper girls. Flappers were an entire generation of young and liberated Western women who wore short skirts, bobbed hair and listened to jazz. They drank a lot, partied a lot, and had casual sex as well. The Roaring Twenties gave girls some freedom to explore themselves just as men did.
Clara Bow Brewster, Flapper girl.
During this period we find Art-Nouveau style Flapper strips and Art-Decó style Flapper strips. Some Flapper strip artists got so famous as to dictate fashion with their comic strips! One of them was Nell Brinkley (1886-1944), a comic strip artist we saw in the previous post. She had set the style for almost all the women cartoonists during the 1920s. Her Flapper girls were elegant and had incredible hair styles. But, these ladies also created tons of controversy and fan mail!
Yesterday was a big day! I went to the Geek Girl Brunch Brighton Ghostbusters edition, and it was a blast! We met to eat in a haunted restaurant in Brighton, but the big thing was the movie. Don’t listen to the haters: the movie is a masterpiece. It honors the previous films; it swaps genders without being a feminist claim, and it’s super funny. So, before I review the movie itself, let me tell you how was the brunch. We met quite late, around 3 pm at a Mexican restaurant called El Mexicano, where there has been ghost-seeing. Nope, we didn’t see any ghost, but we had a lovely time eating and playing games. We gave away Ghostbusters Funko Pops, and we got ready for the huge thing: the film.
The food was lovely. Ghost hunting was impossible since the ghost of the restaurant didn’t show up, but the whole brunch was a blast. We played games with Tarot and Ghostbuster cards, and we arrived just on time to the cinema!
[SPOILER ALERT: you’ll find spoilers for the movie from now on. If you keep reading you’ll be spoiled!]
Today Lessons on Geek Anthropology celebrates the International Women’s Day by cheering the better representation of women in comics. Granted that it’s not perfect, but in recent years, we’ve seen many steps for the better. A better representation of women in media also means that certain stereotypes are being abandoned. It’s a time for tinkering and bettering ourselves by representing reality in media. While Superhero comic books are metaphors of what we would like to attain, our hopes and dreams and even our fears; these are great mirrors to take a look at the state of women’s representation in a medium that has been traditionally focused on straight, white men. Not only we’ve seen more solo comic book titles from the big two, Marvel and DC, we’ve also seen a significant improvement in depicting women in the correct way. There’s still a lot to be done. However, the achievements have to be cherished. So, what are we cherishing exactly?
This week’s lessons on Geek Anthropology wants to focus its attention on the super gender, or said, in other words, the extreme gender in comics. Have you ever notice how male and female bodies are exaggerated representations of the idea of masculinity and feminity we held in popular culture? Men are hyper-musculated, and women have intense curves. However, does the super gender show up the masculine and feminine qualities as super? I’m not talking about the bodies only, but also the roles that are attached by culture to men and women. Is the super gender super in all its glory, or do we have something different from reality?
Let’s pause and think for a moment about Thor and Black Widow. Or if you’re a DC fan, Superman and Wonder Woman. How are they drawn? Thor and Superman are pretty muscular, masculine and not very delicate. They show a pretty triangular shape on their upper bodies, with thin legs (as a general rule). However, Black Widow and Wonder Woman have really amazing curves. Sometimes they’re too curvy, so much so, that it would be hard for them to exist in reality. Their feminine traits, specially waist, bust and butt, are brought to extremes. If the depiction of their bodies is an exaggeration of reality, a caricature of what we understand to be male and female; do their personalities show up super gender traits?
Jessica Jones is a masterpiece! I loved Daredevil, but Jessica Jones is a must watch. Be warned though: booze and chills will plague your dreams. I usually don’t get the chills watching shows, but I must tell you that Killgrave is so spooky that I had nightmares! He’s all too real. This supervillain uses his powers in a way that many abused women know. And that’s what makes him so spooky. This story got under my skin. And yes, I will never be able to see Dr. Who again in the same light. The Purple Man just made it happen. [Amazing interpretation, but also a scary one!]
[MILD SPOILERS: if you haven’t seen the show yet, please consider to do it before reading this post. I know that there are lots of spoilers around already, but just in case be advised to skip if you haven’t seen it yet. If you haven’t seen it but are thinking about to what length the villain is spooky: he left me shitless. So far, this is the villain of your worst dreams! So, be advised about it too when you start watching the show!]