Gender In Comics 101

Comics Fan? Check.

Enlightened? I like to think so.

Willing to use some free time to sample new emerging technology (for free) while participating in some engaging dialog with some of the biggest, most progressive figures in the comics industry?

From Mark Waid:
For the last few months, a talented university teacher named Christy Blanch has been putting together a college-level course called Gender Through Comic Books, but it’s not limited to college students. It’s the world’s first comics-related Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)—meaning that it will be FREELY AVAILABLE to ANYONE across the world who has web access and who’s interested in comics and in the creative process. There’s no obligation, NO COST, and all you have to do is take thirty seconds to enroll at the following site:

HI1HI2One of my favorite things this week has been the discovery of The Hawkeye Initiative, a tumblr set up to showcase the ridiculousness of sexism in comics by taking panels of blatent posing and replacing them with Hawkeye. The utter absurdity revealed in the mirroring of these panels achieved its intended purpose of getting (at least this reader to) delve a little deeper into the notion of just how much impractical and double standard-y comic poses fall. Even a progressive artistic community like we comics fans find ourselves, still clings to outdated gender expectations of form on one side of the room and function on the other. I’m sure this is corporately driven at least in some small part to appeal to comics’ target audience. But overall it feels forced and stereotypical as the comics core base evolves.

This left me wondering as to what one could do about it for either further introspection or to make a change (assuming there’s one to be had in the first place) on our world at large. So, I encourage all of my readers to join me in enrolling in this class to take in unique interviews with folks like Brian Bendis, Gail Simone, Scott Snyder, Matt Fraction, and many others as they tackle the questions of gender identity and roles in their characters and as an industry as a whole!