30 November 2011

Bechdel Test, pt. 3

On more positive notes, I do really like this quote by Lauren Faust. She's the creative force behind My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (which I watched as part of my research...honest...it's actually really good!).

"There are lots of different ways to be a girl. You can be sweet and shy, or bold and physical. You can be silly and friendly, or reserved and studious. You can be strong and hard working, or artistic and beautiful. This show is wonderfully free of “token girl” syndrome, so there is no pressure to shove all the ideals of what we want our daughters to be into one package. There is a diversity of personalities, ambitions, talents, strengths and even flaws in our characters – it’s not an army of cookie-cutter nice-girls or cookie-cutter beauty queens like you see in most shows for girls."

Another shining example is Avatar: The Last Airbender. Its female characters are wonderfully well-rounded; they kick ass, but are also full of flaws and traits that are complex and make them engaging characters.

I kind of did a fun little doodle on what I envisioned characters based on Faust's quote would look like:

Bechdel Test, pt. 2

I should let you know, I'm a bitter, bitter person. I hate many things. I hate Frank Miller. Yes, I know he did The Dark Knight Returns (which I will say is amazingly written) and I have heard good things about Sin City, but after you've seen The Spirit and read All-Star Batman and Robin (oh, you know, the one where he kidnaps 12-year-old Dick Grayson and calls him retarded because he doesn't know that he's 'the goddamn Batman) you'll realize Mr. Miller has gone off the deep end and definitely cannot write female characters (outside of Carrie Kelly, to his credit).

Here's his script to penciller Jim Lee for the above page of Vicki Vale in All-Star Batman and Robin:

"Okay Jim, I'm shameless. Let's go with an ASS shot. Panties detailed. Balloons from above. She's walking, restless as always. We can't take our eyes off her. Especially since she's got one fine ass."

I'm not against sexualizing women (after all, we do have sexuality) but when it's done in such a degrading way that this one aspect is the only thing that defines her characterization - a sex object - it really frustrates me. Especially since the marketing of female superheroes can sometimes be based heavily on her sex appeal as opposed to, oh...other things. I imagine if males were sexualized in the same way it would definitely expose the inherent ridiculousness of it all. Thus:

I'll apologize now for scarring you all forever. But hey, he's got one fine ass, so that makes it all okay, doesn't it?

Bechdel Test, pt. 1

My new project is on the Bechdel Test (Google it please, dear friend). Basically it tests female presence in a work (movie, TV show, book, graphic novel, etc.) But I'm also exploring it in a broader spectrum. I'll explain later, but I wanted to post some visuals I'd done.

Since I tend to babble on and I'll be ranting on several topics I'll split in into parts.

These two 'strong women' were inspired (should I even use that word...) by Sucker Punch. Basically, Sucker Punch passes the Bechdel Test with flying colours, but I felt cheated when I watched it.

I find it masquerades itself as 'female empowerment' when it is anything but, and Zack Snyder seems to think 'feminism' = girls wielding guns being super-violent and fighting back in a world where they're oppressed by evil, evil men while wearing skimpy outfits and sultry expressions. If anything, it perpetuates the Hollywood notion that girl power can only be girl power under a masculine ideal.

This is perfectly satirized in this strip of Hark! A Vagrant!

To be perfectly fair, the movie is horrible on its own terms. I hated 300. If Sucker Punch consisted of a solely male cast, I still would have hated it. I hate Zack Snyder and his overly-CGIed, gratuitous slow-mo. I could go on and on, but I won't. Not now, anyway.

Pretty pretty flowers

Just randomly realized that I did actually submit two drawings to last year's Lloyds competition. I do actually like this one better (mainly because of the colours), but I can see why it didn't get selected. This was another interpretation of 'we make it simple'. She's cutting away the weeds to get a beautiful garden, can't you see? Ho-ho! How clever. Ho-ho. Obviously they were equally as unimpressed as I was.

22 November 2011

Superheroes 'n Stuff

I feel potentially like I'm in a poker game with my cards on full display by posting this, but I thought I should as well. Hopefully won't regret this later. These are a few pages from my mode of design. Woo! It's finally over! 6 months of heartache and headaches - goodbye!

P.S. Even looking now, I see a lot of mistakes I am irked about. Can you blame me? I was half-asleep, hooked on caffeine, and in a last-minute daze when I did these. Oh well; what's done is done.

12 November 2011

It's a bird, it's a plane...it's Superheroman!

Just a preview of my visual work for my dissertation. I really feel very stressed about this. Too much work, and so little time. But I felt compelled to update my blog, so I shall. And am. Guh.

I'll, uh, explain some other time, when I'm more awake. For once, I'm going to sleep early.