I’ll admit that my interest in comics is relatively recent. By that, I mean that I jumped on the wagon around the time The Avengers movie came out, and by Deadpool, I was hooked.
What I noticed as I browsed the shelves were the prevalence of males/heroes, and I asked myself: what roles did women play – both as characters and as developers and illustrators – in the comic industry? Were there more archetypes than Wonder Woman and Betty & Veronica?
I’m happy to say it’s a resounding yes on that last one, folks.
The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen by Hope Nicholson is a comprehensive reference book that is a must-read! Nicholson dives era by era, and we discover the trends of the decade, who was working behind the scenes, and what women were doing, facing and saving in their story lines.
After each section, Nicholson also tells us where to find reprints of comics (digital or print) so we can see these ladies in action. But it’s not all positives for comics – we have a long way to go in having comics target diverse audiences and in doing so, broadening their scope.
But there’s a silver lining for Nicholson:
“…this decade’s readers – especially the younger generation – are clamoring for the pages to reflect the diversity they see in their lives, in their social media feeds, and in the mirror.”
I urge any comic enthusiast – or simply someone with a passing interest in feminine roles in an important part of literature – would gladly immerse themselves between the pages of this book. You’ll find yourself coming back just to learn.
And isn’t that what a good book is supposed to do?
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