HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!!!
Art, Philosophy, and other curious happenings.
Today I witnessed something amazing. Almost in stark contrast to yesterday, today I saw tangible impact of lady-representation in comics.
At the bookstore I work at, we have a dedicated Adventure Time section. This family came in and those kids were SO EXCITED to see their favourite characters in comics. I talked them through each OGN and series compilation, explaining what they all were and in what order they should be read, and this little girl’s entire life was changed. You could see it on her face.
The moment I mentioned Kate Leth (and that, yes, she is a girl.) this little girl’s face lit up like Christmas morning. I don’t know if it just never occurred to her that girls can work in comics but the excitement and wonder that left the store in her was a privilege to see. I ended up selling them the Fionna & Cake’s, all the OGN’s, and an AT doodle book. She left begging her dad to help her learn how to draw Marceline comics. (And he was happy to comply!)
Kate Leth has left an everlasting impression on this little girl just by existing and working in the industry. I honestly hope to someday be able to see such an impact on someone from my own work. Ladies in comics is important. The representation on the page, and behind them, is important. Having a reflection of yourself in the content you enjoy is important. I hope that little girl grows up to be a famous comic author someday.
It was a very good day.
I don’t even know what to say, I think my heart exploded. This is, I think, the best response I could ever hope for.
The power of comics!!!!
That said, stereotypes aren’t so much about people totally projecting things that completely aren’t there but about people having a framework with which they interpret things that actually are there. It’s not that racism causes people to see (for example) belligerent teenage boys where there are none, but that a white belligerent teenage boy is just seen as himself while a black belligerent teenage boy is part of a pattern, a script, and when people blindly follow the scripts in their head that leads to discrimination and prejudice.
So yeah, it is a fact, I think, that I was a bit off-putting in my Jeopardy! appearance—hyper-focused on the game, had an intense stare, clicked madly on the buzzer, spat out answers super-fast, wasn’t too charming in the interviews, etc.
But this may have taken root in people’s heads because I’m an Asian and the “Asian mastermind” is a meme in people’s heads that it wouldn’t have otherwise.
Look, we all know that there’s a trope in the movies where someone of a minority race is flattened out into just being “good at X” and that the white protagonist is the one we root for because unlike the guy who’s just “good at X” the protagonist has human depth, human relationships, a human point of view—and this somehow makes him more worthy of success than the antagonist who seems to exist just to be good at X.
So we root for Rocky against black guys who, by all appearances, really are better boxers than he is, because unlike them Rocky isn’t JUST a boxer, he has a girlfriend, he has hopes, he has dreams, etc. This comes up over and over again in movies where the athletic black competitor is set up as the “heel”—look at the black chick in Million Dollar Baby and how much we’re pushed to hate her. Look at all this “Great White Hope” stuff, historically, with Joe Louis.
So is it any surprise that this trope comes into play with Asians? That the Asian character in the movie is the robotic, heartless, genius mastermind who is only pure intellect and whom we’re crying out to be defeated by some white guy who may not be as brainy but has more pluck, more heart, more humanity? It’s not just Flash Gordon vs. Ming the Merciless, it’s stuff like how in the pilot episode of Girls Hannah gets fired in favor of an overachieving Asian girl who’s genuinely better at her job than she is (the Asian girl knows Photoshop and she doesn’t) and we’re supposed to sympathize with Hannah.
Okay, here’s one more comment from the Internet that kind of encapsulates it. The kind of un-self-awareness of what someone is saying when they say they’d prefer I not win because I try too hard at the game, work too hard at it, care too much about it, and that they’d prefer that a “likable average Joe” win.
This is disturbing because it amounts to basically an attack on competence, a desire to bust people who work very hard and have very strong natural gifts down in favor of “likable average Joes”—and it’s disturbing because the subtext is frequently that to be “likable” and “average” you have to have other traits that are comforting and appealing to an “average Joe” audience, like white skin and an American accent."
NO “TELEPHONES”. TALK TO EACH OTHER. FACE TO FACE ONLY. WRITE A LETTER. SEND A TELEGRAM TO YOUR MOM. PRETEND IT’S 1860. LIVE.
NO ‘WRITING’… TALK TO EACH OTHER. THROW A ROCK AT YOUR MOM. PRETEND IT’S 10,000 BCE. LIVE.
URGGA. ROU GRAAURH. RUH.
<SMACKS HANDS ON WALL WITH PAINT.>
NO ‘HIGHER BRAIN FUNCTIONS’ …USE YOUR REPTILIAN BRAIN
EAT YOUR MOM’S CORPSE SHE DIED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH SUSTENANCE
PRETEND YOU HAVE JUST AROSE FROM THE SEA
NO “MULTICELLULAR TRAITS”….. USE YOUR SYMBIOTIC MITOCHONDRIA
REPRODUCE ASEXUALLY, YOU’RE YOUR OWN PARENT
PRETEND IT’S 2BYA
NO “LIFE.” USE FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICAL FORCES TO FORM SPHERICAL OBJECTS REVOLVING AROUND ONE ANOTHER IN SPACE.
FUSE HYDROGEN INTO HELIUM USING GRAVITATIONAL PRESSURE TO PRODUCE HEAT AND LIGHT.
PRETEND IT’S 4.5BYA.
STABILIZE INTO EQUILIBRIA
NO “MATTER”. EXIST IN THE VOID WITHOUT PURPOSE OR MEANING.
THERE IS NO “YOU”, ONLY THE VAST CONCEPT OF NOTHING.
TIME DOES NOT EXIST.
no void existence and essence without existence and essence there is no being no not being only the only the dynamic infinite infinite with duality without duality with monality without monality with quality without quality without without quality time does not exist does not not-exist space does not exist does not not-exist only it-not-an-it
Eva Mirabal wasn’t just the first female Native American cartoonist—she was one of the first Native American cartoonists period, and one of the first female creators to have her own strip. Born Eah-Ha-Wa (“Fast Growing Corn” in the Tiwa language), Mirabal grew up surrounded by art: her father served as an artists’ model, she spent years studying art at the Santa Fe Indian school under director Dorothy Dunn, who recognized her “ability to translate everyday events into scenes of warmth and seminaturalistic beauty” right off the bat, and at nineteen was featured as part of a gallery exhibition in Chicago. World War II brought her work to a wider audience when, after enlisting in the Woman’s Army Corps in 1943, she was commissioned to create a strip for the Corps newsletter. G.I. Gertie gave canny, irreverent voice to women in the military, and Mirabal was quickly commissioned for more work, most notably her posters advertising war bonds. After the war, she served as an Artist-in-Residence at Southern Illinois University, painted murals for schools, planetariums, and military facilities, and eventually returned to the Taos Pueblo. Her later works, signed not as Eva Mirabal but as Eah-Ha-Wah, depict everyday Pueblo life with uncommon passion and candor.
Today, Eva Mirabal is far from celebrated. You’re really only going to find the same G.I.Gertie strip over and over again if you search online, many of her murals have been demolished, and her tumblr tag is empty. But her work—intimate, warm, and keenly felt—stands strong, decades after her death. The comics and art world stand in sore need of women like Mirabal: G.I. Gertie was not the work of a male cartoonist, cracking jokes about those silly women and their silly woman concerns, nor are her paintings the product of a white observer, smearing his bias across a community he “discovered.” Mirabal was a woman writing for women, a member of the Taos Pueblo creating for the Taos Pueblo—an artist committed to her world and its validity.
(Third in a series on women in the comics industry.)
Yup. Hopefully a women in comics documentary covers the women in comics who created during gender & racially challenging times and broke norms.
Mobile library at bus stop in Colombia
Colombia Has 100 Tiny Libraries in Public Parks
The program was started more than 15 years ago, and it has continued to thrive, operating 51 mini libraries in Bogotá and more than 100 throughout the country. The libraries themselves are rather remarkable—they hold about 350 books each, and they’re operated by volunteer librarians who organize activities and help kids with their homework.
So awesome! Solidarity with fellow library workers around the world!
It’s Time to Talk About Black Tudors
‘A criminally neglected part of British history is the true scope of the African diaspora in Britain that reaches as far back as Renaissance Europe. A new book by Onyeka Nubia seeks to rectify the problem, examining the lives of the thousands of blacks that lived in the UK in Tudor times. In Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, Onyeka Nubia shares research conducted in uncovering early evidence of Black existence in the United Kingdom, and proves that black presence was evident a lot earlier than is usually assumed. Nubia’s research focuses on the Tudor era (1485- 1603), specifically looking at the four English cities of London, Plymouth, Bristol and Barnstable.
This is not the first book published about African presence in England. Black Lives in the English Archives by Imtiaz Habib (2008) and Gustav Ungerer’s The Mediterranean Apprenticeship of British Slavery (2010) are two other books that look at similar subject matter and help substantiate the information uncovered in this research project. Additionally, just this year, academic Miranda Kaufman has published essays on the same research.
"In the right hands, a comic strip attains a beauty and an elegance that really, I’d put against any other art” - Bill Watterson
I was interested just because it’s about comics, then I got hype because BILL WATTERSON is in it, THEN I got hype because it’s cartoonists with different opinions talking about where comics strips are and where they’re going. Can not wait to see.
Olympics confirmed for being fixed
w/r/t/: Russia vs Japan, Women’s Hockey