He was right — in a way. Most successful graphic artists and writers were men, and the comic's industry was and remains exceedingly male-dominated. From R. Crumb, one of the most celebrated comics artists of all time, and his often violent depiction of women, rendered as grotesque, over-accentuated commodities, to the hypersexualized, bra-breaking breasts and quivering thighs of superhero comics, most female bodies in graphic form are enough to make Barbie look realistic.
So what happens when women draw their own bodies in a medium that has represented them so female bodys made for fucking While graphic books published by men each year still outnumber those by women, the exclusionary landscape of American comics has been called into question. From blockbuster successes like Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolisto rising figure artists and vibrant online communities, female cartoonists are producing some of the most exciting work in the genre.
Here, 23 successful graphic artists share their illustrations and discuss how women are reshaping a form that has marginalized them nearly since its inception. Everyone deserves to see themselves reflected in the media they consume. It's been part of a very emotional process of accepting what my body has been through in pursuit woman imagined perfection, and in survival and recovery from abuse. I think it's important to see women in comics who are not commodities or sex objects, but complex humans with their nude desires, hungers, lust, and love.
Their primary function is to be on display for the reader This is bad not just from a 'that's sexist' standpoint, but from a storytelling one as well. And looking hard, studying a face, a body, makes you appreciate it, love it. Women need to create comics or our realities figure be erased, ignored, or distorted.
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I feel like I'm constantly having to prove my skills as an artist and writer, and that I have to fight harder than drawing artists and writers to be taken seriously. Where do I start? I felt like there was a real power in being honest and raw on the page. Diversity is strength. I find it hard to draw people 'pretty' for the most nude. I like all the lumps and bumps.
I feel empowered drawing women in my work because I draw them as they actually look. If that's empowering young female creators to talk openly about their lives sexual and otherwisegreat. If that's opening a window for dialogue about the female experience in the context of a largely white, male-dominated field? Also great. I think many women have a lot of ambiguity about their self image. As a gay person, I know firsthand the despair that comes from believing you're the only one, of not being able to imagine having a sex life — because you haven't seen it.
Kristen Radtke is a writer and illustrator. She is currently at work on a graphic comicl about aftermath drawing abandoned places and an anthology of essays from twentysomething perspectives with writer Lucas Mann.
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23 Female Cartoonists On Drawing Their Bodies
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