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She Has No Head! – Strong Female Characters

Diana1Every once in a while I write a post just so I can use a comprehensive link in discussions rather than explaining myself over and over again. “No, it’s not equal” was born of this. Our issue today is not nearly as complex, nuanced, or far reaching as the subject of that post, but people misunderstanding the phrase “strong female characters” intentionally or innocently, and sometimes I just can’t tell which, is something that has been irritating me for a good long time.

Most of you probably don’t need this tutorial – everything I’m going to say here is honestly pretty basic and obvious (and I am by no means the first – or will be the last – to say it) but a surprising number of people still don’t get it. Since there ARE people that don’t get it, and still others who don’t get it to the tune that they think that writing “strong female characters” is indeed shorthand for tough badasses and that they’re doing “good work” by writing those one note characters, or by vilifying the idea of the “strong female character”…we’ll here’s my mini tutorial, rant, whatever you wanna call it. Enjoy.

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3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode #076 – The 2014 In Review Episode!

It’s EPISODE #076 – 2014 Year In Review Episode!3 Chicks Logo 2 - Blue

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Inside this episode! 

We begin with a review of Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Maris Wicks, and Rico Renzi’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1! We’ve also got a review of Jamie S. Rich and Joelle Jones, and Laura Allred’s Lady Killer #1 from Dark Horse. Next up are our picks for the Best (and a few words) of 2014! And as promised in this episode, here’s a link to my list of 52 Best Comic Covers of the year.

3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers. Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson from She Has No Head! Tune in to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics and discuss hot topics of the week. In addition to the blogs above, you can also follow us all on twitter as well: Kelly and Sue. Special thanks to Caanan Grall for our incredible 3 Chicks Logo and to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

3 Chicks Covers ep 76

She Has No Head! – 25 Favorite Fictional Females, 2014

It’s that time of year again, the time for a million lists, including my 25 Favorite Fictional Females in comics list. Like all years, this was tough. Like all years, I’m never quite convinced I’ve got the list right, but for better or worse, here we are!

Fair warning, if someone was repeated from a previous year, I often cribbed some of the text from my previous post with some light updates to reflect changes. Here are last year’s list and the first list in 2010 (as well as a 10 ladies making a run for the title list) in case you’d like to read about even more female characters in comics. It was a really exciting year and with a promising 2015 ahead of us I’m very excited about where we are when it comes to our progress with female characters – as always things are a bit two forward and one back, but we’re making progress! I’d like this list a bit better if there were more indie ladies on it (there are so many that are worthy) but Marvel’s push with female characters this past year did a good job of gobbling up a good number of spots.

Like last year, what I found most interesting is how some characters managed to triumph over lack of material or worse, bad material. Wonder Woman, despite the fact that I can’t read her book, hasn’t fallen much– maybe she’s just got so much iconic power that others are helpless to overcome the big shadow she casts? I spent a lot of time when trying to organize my list this year thinking about the characters that I’d most like to see creators work with in new series – that was how I ended up defining where they fell – how interested I found myself in seeing them in new stories. Still, you can’t underestimate the power of reading both old and new – Black Widow makes the list this year (finally) thanks to some damn fine work by Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto, while Big Barda shoots up the list because I took some time out this year to read/re-read all her classic Kirby stories…and how can one deny her utter dominance after doing that??

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She Has No Head! – Superheroine Halloween Costumes, Minor Tragedies of our Time!

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Least flattering cut out EVER. Seriously, don’t try this at home unless you’re Emma Frost and you live in a comic book.

I love Halloween. It’s easily my favorite holiday. Christmas is a close second thanks to all the nostalgia (my parents do an epic warm Christmas). But there’s so much pressure on Christmas (just like New Years) that it can start to feel like obligation more than celebration and even I grow weary of the music and everything that comes with it which seems to creep into our lives earlier and earlier each year.

But Halloween never gets aggressive or greedy. It just hangs back being awesome. Go out and have the night of your life, or just hang back and eat chocolate and watch scary movies. Both are completely acceptable.

So it bums me out every year, especially the last five or so when superheroes have become so popular and mainstream to see so many lazy superhero costumes and since this is a column about women in comics we’ll focus on the superheroine costumes especially. The “super sexy” versions of costumes (that were already reasonably high on the sexy to begin with) get pretty tedious too, but my beef is not with costumes that are “too sexy” my beef is with costumes that are lazy as all get out or worse, don’t make a lick of goddamn sense (and not in the good way that things sometimes don’t make sense). Here are a few that really ticked me off in my hunt this year…

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Year of the Artist, Day 294: Lee Moder, Part 1 – Wonder Woman #73

EPSON MFP image

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Lee Moder, and the issue is Wonder Woman #73, which was published by DC and is cover dated April 1993. Enjoy!
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She Has No Head – The 11 Women Of The Marvel Studios Films

So, obviously this is spurred by Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy, which came out last weekend, which demolished all August film openings, which I saw this weekend, and which was, as everyone has already been telling you, pretty much awesome.

But you don’t need another post about that, you’ve seen it all before, there’s nothing new I can tell you. This movie is like pure joy, bottled and delivered directly into your soul. It’s not perfect but it’s fun, funny, and a great example of how super complicated ideas and utterly bizarre characters and concepts can be made “new viewer” friendly and yet still appeal to fans. It’s a success all around.

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD

SHNH Ranking Marvel Movie Ladies

Click to Embiggen! From Left: Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Emily VanCamp as Agent 13, Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Jamie Alexander as Sif, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter, Karen Gillan as Nebula, and Natalie Portman as Dr. Jane Foster

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3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode #068

It’s EPISODE #068!!!3 Chicks Logo 2 - Blue

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Inside this episode! 

We have a very special guest host joining us for the entire episode, Tim Hanley, author of Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine, also blogger at Straitened Circumstances, and author of the “gendercrunching” series on Bleeding Cool! Give him a warm welcome.

First up we talk about Tim’s excellent book Wonder Woman Unbound, an absolute must read for anyone with an interest in Wonder Woman or gender in comics, or even just fascinating comics history period.

Next up, a review of the brand new Storm #1 by Greg Pak, Victor Ibanez, and Ruth Redmond. Then a review of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples Saga #21. Since we recorded on Saturday, two days into SDCC, we discuss what’s been released so far – new book announcements from Image, teaser pages of Finch’s Wonder Woman, some movie teasers by Marvel and DC, and a few other interesting bits and bobs. Unfortunately perhaps the biggest announcement relevant to THIS cast, was the Wonder Woman image that dropped later in the day, which, if you haven’t seen it, is here in all it’s “eh” plus ridiculous heeled boots glory.  No dramatic reading this week, but next time, we probably promise!

3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers. Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson from She Has No Head! Tune in to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics and discuss hot topics of the week. In addition to the blogs above, you can also follow us all on twitter as well: Kelly and Sue.  Special thanks to Caanan Grall for our incredible 3 Chicks Logo and to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

3 Chicks Ep 68 covers

 

3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode #066

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Inside this episode! 

So, first up we have a review of Grayson #1 by Tim Seeley, Tom King, Mikel Janin, and Jeromy Cox. Up next is a review of Captain Marvel #5 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, David Lopez, and Lee Loughridge. Following that we have an interview with the wonderful G. Willow Wilson, talking about all things Ms. Marvel. We close with a comics news wrap up and because we love you all very much, a couple dramatic readings.

3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers. Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson from She Has No Head! Tune in to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics and discuss hot topics of the week. In addition to the blogs above, you can also follow us all on twitter as well: Kelly and Sue.  Special thanks to Caanan Grall for our incredible 3 Chicks Logo and to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

3 Chicks Episode 66 Covers

She Has No Head! – I Was Wrong, THIS Marks The Destruction of Feminism at DC Comics

David Finch Wonder Woman and White Rabbit

A promotional image from Finch’s Wonder Woman and Finch’s White Rabbit from his book The Dark Knight. Not nearly as different as they should be.

How do you top turning a matriarchal female society historically depicted as honorable in your comics into absolute monsters? For starters, you assign creators that either don’t know what feminism means, or worse, do know and are still afraid to use that word to describe the preeminent female hero in the world. In 2012 I thought feminism had been destroyed at DC Comics but I was wrong, because there were further lows to which we could descend.

We have found new depths as a creator (David Finch) assigned to the most important woman in comics doesn’t know what the word feminist means, or much much worse, knows what it means and doesn’t think that Wonder Woman is a feminist, in other words, he doesn’t believe that Wonder Woman believes in equality of the sexes.

You know what I can’t believe? That this kind of thing can still happen in the year 2014.

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3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode #065

We’re BAAAAAACK!3 Chicks Logo 2 - Blue

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Inside this episode! First off, thanks to EVERYONE that helped bring us back, especially to those of you that went the extra mile and donated. Those of you listening right now owe these people big time: Douglas, Angela, Rob, Matthew F., Keith, Ben, Tim, Chris, Rachel, Kelly, Rodney, and Matthew C.  Thank you!!

So, first up we have a review of Ms. Marvel #5 by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Ian Herring. Up next is an advance review of the Velvet trade (collecting the first five issues) by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, and Elizabeth Breitweizer.  We then try to recap and offer our thoughts on all the big news we missed over the past six plus months (it takes A WHILE). And as a special treat we have SEVERAL dramatic readings.

3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers. Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson from She Has No Head! Tune in to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics and discuss hot topics of the week. In addition to the blogs above, you can also follow us all on twitter as well: Kelly and Sue.  Special thanks to Caanan Grall for our incredible 3 Chicks Logo and to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

3 Chicks Covers Episode Ep 065

Year of the Artist, Day 139: Mike Deodato, Part 1 – Wonder Woman #85

wonderwoman3003 (2)

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Mike Deodato, and the issue is Wonder Woman #85, which was published by DC and is cover dated April 1994. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 80: Jill Thompson, Part 2 – Wonder Woman #46

02-23-2014 03;06;15PM (2)

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Jill Thompson, and the issue is Wonder Woman #46, which was published by DC and is cover dated September 1990. Enjoy!
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Committed: 10 Ways to Introduce Wonder Woman to Your Child

This week my friend Leah asked for suggestions on how to introduce her 5 year old to Wonder Woman and so my friends and I put together this list of ways to gradually bring Wonder Woman into children’s lives.

1. Dress your baby like Wonder Woman.

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It might just be a onesie, but it’s a star-spangled onesie! Okay, realistically if your child can fit in a onesie then they probably won’t remember wearing it or care what it looks like. At the very least it’ll be fun for you, and it might make for some good photos to send to the amazing tumblr, Girls Love Superheroes.

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Committed: Make Your Own Superhero Snowflakes

snowflakes_window2Since it’s Christmas (whether celebrating it or not) I thought I’d forego my usual Wednesday column for something to do instead. So here are five snowflake templates to print and cut out, each based on a different superhero; Batman, Storm (I used her old headdress, who knows if she’s still wearing that), Iron Man (both the old circular chest reactor and the triangular one incorporated), Wonder Woman, and the Punisher (I wanted to make the knives serrated, but my paper was too thick and it was too fiddly).

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She Has No Head! – The Problem With Wonder Woman

The problem with Wonder Woman?wonder woman full

Let’s cut to the chase, there isn’t one.

Unless it’s lack of balls…and you can take that either way you like. That she can’t catch a break because she doesn’t have literal balls like her male counterparts or because DC/WB/Hollywood/Whoever Is Really In Charge of These Things don’t have the metaphorical balls to simply make her damn movie.

And why not? Frozen and Catching Fire are blowing the doors off at the box office and nobody cares that they have female leads. They just care that they’re damn good movies. Smart movies. Movies that respect their characters and their audiences. And in the case of Catching Fire a movie that is vehemently faithful to its source material.

But we still somehow live in a world where “whoever is in charge of these things” thinks the best way to introduce Wonder Woman to the world is as a bit part in Superman/Batman.

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