Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ban Bunty.

I came across this article today. It's about how one gets one's girlfriend into comics. Despite the prelim being written by your typical piss-smelling comics-nerd virgin whose knowledge of what a naked woman looks like is gleaned from Rob Liefeld's shitty drawings in X-Force, the ten books chosen make interesting reading. I like some of the books. I'm not a woman (don't let my breasts fool you!). Does that mean that if I was to put down my 'top ten' comic books, girls wouldn't enjoy them if they read them?
There's loads of great stuff out there, and sticking them onto lists such as 'for boys' or 'for girls' is going to belittle an already marginalised artform. My girlfriend wasn't particularly into comics when I met her, but she is now, by reading the stuff I'd recommended to her. None of that stuff was typically 'girly', but she got it. She reads stuff now that I'm not keen on, and vice-versa.To assume girls won't like comics because it's 'all superheroes' is like assuming boys won't like novels because it's 'all chick-lit'. Not that superheroes are bad, you understand. If it wasn't for superheroes, you wouldn't have Watchmen or Dark Knight Returns or my favourite Batman classic:Year One.
Girls generally don't like comic books as adults because the comics they're bought as kids are trite shite like Bunty. I'm like I am because I was bought 2000AD!
Go and read a comic book. It's brilliant.Buy your kids good comics. Or, you could hang on until October and buy the amazing MC2 book, featuring some unknown scruffy chubby brummie's art.


DanProject76 said...

Liefeld's ladies! Oh my lord... the man could never draw yet he made a fortune! He wouldn't even try to draw feet! What a fool!

Comics for girls? Come on now. Girls like shopping, hair and make up and shoes, not comics. :-)

Your URL for the article doesn't work! If I was writing the list I would include...

Strangers In Paradise (Abstract) as it has lady main characters and is great for people who don't usually read comics).

Alias (MArvel Max) by Bendis, not that TV show, as it has a great strong lead female character and kicks arse!

Watchmen (cos it's a classic).

Top Ten (Alan Moore. Like Homicide with powers).

X-Factor (the new series) as it's mutants but funny and charming, plus you don't need to know much backstory.

American Virgin (Vertigo) as it's new and looking promising.

Manhunter (current DC series) as it's set in the DC Universe but it's fun and quirky and dramatic.

Y:The Last Man (from Vertigo) as it's a great serial with a lot of twists and turns. And a monkey.

Daredevil (Bendis issues) because it's like a really good HBO series.

Starman (DC) as it was simply enchanting most of the time and they're all in trade paperbacks now.

Will that do?

mick said...

I got the URL to work now. I've read a lot of books on the list, but 'Strangers in paradise' is one of those books that has been floating around in the background, but I've never felt the urge to pick it up. I've always been a big fan of DD (I even liked the movie-shhh! don't tell anyone! Elektra's movie was utter shite, though.)Most of Bendis' stuff is good. I'm tthinking of doing a list on this blog soon-'Why I love comics', so keep 'em peeled, as ol' Shaw Taylor used to say.

bb said...

Bunty was interesting and relevant to me as a wee girl. As were many other comics aimed directly at girls or otherwise.

If your girlfriend is anything like me (and sometimes she is) then she had a passion for comics as a young girl but hadn't really latched on to the fact that as an older teenager and then adult there were things published comics wise that I might want to read.

So she may (or may not) have been into comics when you met her but she may (or may not) have been into them previously.

Hope that clears it up. Clear as mud.

mick said...

Clear as crystal, BB.
I think the fact that so-called 'adult' comics were, in the olden days, only available in non-female friendly comics shops, didn't help, either. Now with graphic novels available in most bookshops and online, this shouldn't be a problem.
I glad 'Bunty' was relevant for you, but speaking for myself,I personally don't think 'relevant' and 'Bunty' should go together because whenever I used to see it, it was always about ponies and hockey,school (!) and bleedin' ballet and the title 'The 4 Marys' always made me laugh. 2000ad,on the other hand, for all it's violence, was always politically informed and an extreme kind of social commentary. Bunty just seemed to reinforce the wifey-at-home middle class bollocks that was the status quo when it was first published but became less and less relevant as the decades wore on.

bb said...

And that was what I wanted to believe in then. That there was a middle class comfort and hope for the future. I do not believe in this know, of course. However, I gladly admit that I was not harched out of an egg politically and socially aware.

bb said...

PS Enjoyed the post though. I can see why you would think said comic was a pile of crap. It makes me question why I vehemently stand by Bunty despite its (now clearly) dodgy political stance. But I do. Probably best not to clog up your comments box anymore on said subject though.

mick said...

That's what comments boxes are for! You're right, we are not politically or socially aware as children, but we are influenced by what we see and read. You stopped believing in all that middle class cobblers as soon as you stopped buying 'Bunty' and reading more relevant stuff. You stand by it because you liked it as a kid. It's like me and the band Queen!

bb said...

Well that's certainly one interpretation of events and one that you're jolly well entitled too. Is that your most comments ever now?

mick said...

Yeah. Does it count when it's mostly only two contributors? We should've just had a chat!

Jemima said...

Yeah but I loved Bunty too, and also stand by that love. The overly moralistic and simple tales of sadistic suffering and unjust punishment led me to my current martyrdom and slef righteousness. That is in no way not a good thing. It was engaging storytelling with an unhealthy, yet delicious side order of Grand Guignol. (I love that I have the opportunity to use that phrase). There were pony and ballet stories. I have ridden ponies, not much, but I enjoyed and was able to relive and expand that experience. I have jetéed and pliéd in satin shoes, but didn't have the self discipline to shine. I quite fancied having a malevolent power over birds to smite my enemies, or being an aristocratic Victorian urchin, or fighting a vengeance hungry comic character slipped into reality or having hi jinks at boarding school. The opportunity to live many lives. A good and vibrant thing. I quite liked the plastic pendant in the shape of a pineapple ring sellotaped to the front. And do not get me started on how I loved the cut out dress up paper dolls. I am becoming moist at the merest thought. Discuss the power of Bunty, but don't dismiss.

Jemima said...

Also lead me to not be able to spell good.

DanProject76 said...

OK I have seen the original article now and must comment:

'Blankets' :Yay! I love that book. I should have mentioned it but I forgot. It's great.

'Bone' : Never liked the look of it. Sorry!

'Ghost World' : Not bad but plotless and a bit cliched these days.

'Kabuki': Never read it but I like David Mack's other work.

'Leave It To Chance': James Robinson also wrote Starman so double yay!

'Runaways' : One of my current favourite monthly reads. Volume One is out in a giant hardback, well worth the money.

'Sandman': Great but too obvious for my list.

'Strangers In Paradise': On my list.

'Ultra': Never heard of this one.

'Y:The Last Man': On my list too.

The end. How many pages?

mick said...

I don't like the look of 'Bone' either (I'm sure there's a double entendre in here somewhere!) It looks too cartoony for me; that's always put me off. I'm surprised 'The ballad of Halo Jones' isn't on the list. That's both SF and Girly and brilliant. I also think 'Ghost World' is overrated, but the females I know who have read it love it.
What is interesting is the lack of comics by women creators on this list.

Jemima said...

I didn't get Ghostworld the first time, but it bore a second reading and grew grew grew.

steve said...

i've tried to get my girlfriend to read some of the comics i like, but the only one she liked was tony millionaire's sock monkey. ghost world's not overrated- it's just one of those things that you get or you don't, like wes anderson films- and the art is superb, as with all clowes work.
i really need to read more proper comics like the alan moores and that, but i much prefer funny indies.