This past weekend I caught up a bit on comic books. I went to Midtown Comics, my usual haunt, and got the most recent trades of DMZ and The Unwritten. The staff weren’t that helpful in my explorations, though — for example, when I asked about what Alison Bechdel’s been up to, I got basically a shrug.
The next day, I visited Forbidden Planet south of Union Square, and the staff seemed far more helpful and sympathetic. When I got up the nerve to ask, “What comics have people who look like me?” they were actually interested in figuring it out and loading up my arms.Â “OMG you haven’t read Love And Rockets?!”
(Doesn’t it suck that so much of the Virgin India line is just crap?)
So, since it’s on my mind, some comics that feature women of color as interesting characters:
- Amar Chitra Katha series — the comics I grew up with, telling Indian history, myths, legends, and fables. Draupadi! Savitri! Parvati! Sati! And so on.Â (That panel is the image on this post, photo taken by Satish Krishnamurthy.)
Amar Chitra Katha panel:
The Rakshasi opened her mouth wide as Hanuman
was drawn into her jaws by a mysterious force.
- Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. I read the whole thing, I loved it, it’s what got me back into comics a decade ago. Most of the characters are women, and I’m thinking especially of 355 (African-American), Dr. Mann (American of Chinese and Japanese ancestry), and You (Japanese).
- DMZ by Brian Wood, which I read avidly. Volunteer medic Zee Hernandez isn’t the main character but she’s in there and important.
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, her autobiography about a childhood in Iran. A modern classic, and can you believe I’m only reading this now?
- Love and Rockets by the Hernandez brothers. Ditto. (I’m a Philistine!)
- Ayaseries by Marguerite Abouet and ClÃ©ment Oubrerie, about a family in the Ivory Coast. I haven’t read it yet but it’s come recommended.
- Lots of stuff by Lynda Barry. I like her stories (but find her art style a little overwhelming).
- Patrick Farley’s The Spiders stars the African-American soldier Lt. Celicia Miller, and The Jain’s Death is about Anuradha, a South Asian woman.
- I hear very good things about Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder but haven’t started it yet.
I don’t much care about superhero comics so I’m leaving out Storm from X-Men, etc. Should I read Frank Miller’s Martha Washington stuff? I should also sweep through my household’s shelves, especially our three binders of indie stuff we’ve bought at MoCCA, to find more recommendation-worthy books and one-offs, especially by women and people of color.
(Random shout-out: Mel Chua’s engineering education comics “What is Engineering?” and “What is Education?”)
- Sexism at Work: Young Women, NEWSWEEK and Gender: NEWSWEEK was the subject of a gender-discrimination case in 1970. Young women currently working at NEWSWEEK reflect on the case and the current state of the battle.
- Why ask for an unskilled, not-yet-involved comaintainer?: Christine Spang explores the difference between saying she's be willing to mentor someone inexperienced in Debian packaging, and saying she'd prefer to mentor someone inexperienced.
- The sorority of the Ring: Cath Elliott explores what Tolkien’s works have to offer women fans.
- New Research from ABI Highlights the Characteristics That Lead to Advancement of Technical Women: “A new research report released today by the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology (ABI) sheds light on the attributes of senior level technical women”
- Notes from the LibrePlanet Women’s Caucus: A point-by-point summary of the FSF Women's Caucus.
- Glamour Slam!: In response to the suvudu cagematch which had not enough women, this LiveJournal community is doing the same, but with all female characters.
- Why SXSW Sucks: Jolie O'Dell reports numerous problems with the SXSWi conference, including harassment and assault of women.
- Women of Color and Wealth â€” Starting Points and Class Jumping [Part 3]: â€œMany people think, and I might have been guilty of it, that we need $25,000 per year per student and thatâ€™s what it takes to get through college. But really itâ€™s very often $50 problems that knock them out: a car breakdown, a dental bill, a changing shift in their job. So really helping these students, as a policy matter, is a lot cheaper than people think.â€
- You Win When They Call You a Bitch: Cinnamon Cooper has a presentation up with slides. “So when youâ€™re called a bitch, instead of letting the argument get derailed, recognize that youâ€™ve outsmarted them. Reply with ‘I win! You arenâ€™t smart enough to continue the conversation, so thanks for ending it.’”
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Thanks to everyone who suggested links in comments and on delicious.