Matt and I watched a documentary called Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines last evening. It was a very interesting look at the need for female role models in comics and other media.
The documentary pointed out something in media that I hadn’t picked up on but now that I’ve been made aware of it, I’m realizing how prevalent it actually is… the idea of the strong woman sacrificing her power, and often herself, for the sake of the male. The man comes on the scene and the female character suddenly doesn’t need to be independent because he’ll protect her. Or, worse yet, instead of doing as the male character and learning to control her abilities, she lets her fears get the best of her, making the ultimate sacrifice to prevent her powers from harming others. Yeah, so noble.
If the male character can be shown harnessing and taming his power, why can’t the female?
That’s what Moraine’s story is about, her learning how to control this potentially devastating power. A lot of folks have been calling for Moraine to send a nuke through the gates and vaporize Fey. The thing they don’t get is that Moraine is the nuke. Yes, she can destroy Fey, but Britain would be gone as well due to the amount of power she would need to draw to wipe out all of Fey. There would be nothing left, on both sides.
We know Moraine doesn’t want to kill everyone around her. She cares for people. Yet, I don’t want her to pull the “I must hide away / end my life to save others from my power” move either. So, I need to show her mastering her strengths. But, to do that, I also need to show that her strengths are dangerous. Hence what I did in pages 9 and 10 of this issue.
As I said, I wanted to give the impression of insanity, primal power, and vulnerability. As a former literary student, I know nudity is used as a device to illustrate the concepts I was going for. So, I used a known powerful device to highlight a point, figuring my audience would be mature enough to understand the difference between nudity as a loss of sanity, control, and protection and nudity as something intended to titillate. Apparently, with some folks, I was wrong. I’ll admit, it’s more than a little upsetting to have the message I’m trying to convey subverted by folks going on about how sexy Moraine is. It’s even more so when I realize that even if she wasn’t nude, someone would still pull that crap. It’s happened in the past.
The most sickening thing of all… they seem to think they’re giving me a compliment by doing this. Look, if I’ve purposely shown a character in a way that’s clearly intended to titillate then yes, it’s a compliment. When sex isn’t the point of the image, you trying to turn it into the point is a slap in the face. So, if the image makes you “excited” for some reason, please don’t tell me. Kay?
There are many reasons why we need strong female figures in comics and media. One of the reasons is so when a writer shows a female character dealing with issues and overcoming obstacles, the first thing out of folk’s mouths isn’t how “do-able” she is.
We need strong role models for the young women out there. We also need to be able to show these role models and have their stories and struggles not be devalued simply because they’re perceived as good looking.
Hey guys. First off, I wanted to say thanks again for helping me keep CN:H up and running! With us no longer taking the comic to print, it’s donations that help me pay bills. I really appreciate it!
The second thing is I may need to scale back the Patreon milestone goals a bit. With the side series starting in September and me being stressed about finding out I still can’t work at full speed yet, I’d like to pull the goals back to a more manageable level. I honestly haven’t slept much due to freaking out about extra pages owed and our upcoming trip.
As is, next week will be a week of “Mail Bag!” comics to allow me to still post on schedule and get through some of the question backlog. I barely had enough time to do the required four remaining pages this week before losing today and yesterday to health issues. With only three days left and me still feeling like crap, there’s no way four fully-rendered pages are getting done.
So there will likely be a change in milestones here in a bit. I apologize for any inconvenience.
Whoa, I have no idea why that would be happening. I can still see posts marked as spam in the backend even if they don’t show on the site, and I’m not seeing anything with your name or email popping up at all. That’s one hell of a glitch.
I’m sorry for all this, Lee. Let me talk with Matt this evening and see if he can’t figure out what’s up. He’s the one who designed Clickthulu so he knows more about how it works than I ever will.