Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
There are a lot of cool comic book blogs out there (see our sidebar for a list of a bunch of them), but I guess it is hard to pick which ones you think you’d like to read. So each week, I will feature a guest entry by a really cool comic blogger, and you all can then check out that comic blog after you see how cool they are from their guest bit. Today’s entry comes from Meaghan Quinn, of Webcomics are from Uranus, a blog about, what else, but webcomics!
However, beyond just webcomics, Meaghan writes quite well about comic writing period, like examining why exactly it funny when women beat up men in comics or demonstrating how not to write stereotypes. It’s insightful stuff.
Today, she provides us a review of a webcomic. The review is titled “Girls Get Robots.”
Girls Get Robots
My own personal feminist mission is for when people think of an everyman, or an example person, about half the time what they come up with is female. I never want to see “the girl character” ever, ever, again.
Which is why I love seeing a girl character who is not “the girl character” in a comic. Especially when this happens despite her having no name. She’s just the girl.
Girl/Robot is a sort of morbidly cheery exercise in science vs. people. The two characters are a girl and a robot and most of the humor comes from the difference in how the two think. The comics, however, very rarely delve into little girl stereotypes for the girl character. Why would you need to when the gulf between how a little kid thinks and how a robot, well, processes is so fantabulously huge already?
Girl functions as an everyman. She brings the human perspective to the interaction, and we can sit back and watch in horror as Robot takes the situation to its logical, yet ususally horrendous and traumatizing, conclusion.
Girl most often ends up horror struck, just as the reader is, except we have the comfort of knowing it’s only a comic, so it can be hilarious to us. But we relate to Girl.
This is a little unusual and yet seems so very normal. You wouldn’t even notice if you weren’t really looking for it. It’s another nice example of how intiutive gender equality can be, and gosh, can we stop thinking that it’s going to ruin all the fun in the world, already?
Girls already easily indentify with male characters. It’s probably because of things like the theater truism/joke that 90% of roles are for men and 90% of actors are women. Girls seem to understand very quickly that they are people and men are people, so it’s totally okay to see yourself in a male character. I think guys get it, too, but sometimes it takes a little thinking, or wanting some variety, for it to occur. It’s nothing deliberate, but it certainly happens.
And comics like Girl/Robot do a lot to help balance it out, and in a very natural, easy, horrifically funny way.
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