Comic Books: a Boy’s Thing?

From the beginning of the comic books industry, they were designed for boys and  female characters only existed to be sexy and appealing for the readers.

Readers who were obviously boys, because girls would never be interested in super heroes and graphic novels, right?

WRONG!

Girls have always been interested in super heroes and comic books, but why would they read a story in which they wouldn’t find themselves represented? The female characters were sexualized and created bodies that could never exist in real life, just like Barbie dolls.

So what happened? Women started reading comics with male characters such as Thor, Captain America and Batman, ignoring the existence of female super heroes. Thankfully, after many years, the industry acknowledged the fact that girls do read graphic novels and want to be represented!

Nowadays, the biggest issue is not that you can’t find these characters, there are amazing authors who happen to be women and make an incredible work in this area, but they are not a part of the mass media which is composed mainly by DC Comics and Marvel.

Helô D’Angelo, a casperian who is crazy about comic books, is really into these authors, such as Marjane Satapri, Alison Bechdel and Julie Maroh and explains that since they are girls there is no sexualization of the female body, they talk about relevant and important subjects, discussing even the dictatorship in Iran.

DC comics has been trying to change this image and it started this process in 2011 with the new batgirl, who abandoned her muscles and sexy uniform and traded it for a teenage body, yellow doc martens and a stylish leather jacket, which means she is now a regular college girl with an incredible wardrobe.

Marvel has given a huge step with the new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, a  16-year-old Pakistani-American, who has nerdy interests, and did not meet the white Eurocentric standards of beauty.

If you have always felt curious about comic books, but never knew where to start, here are some amazing tips that our casperians -Isabel Carvalho, Helo D'Angelo, Camila Moura and Lih Jacobs - have for you! So next time you hear someone talking about it, you can definitely say that comics are a “girl’s thing”.

- "Habibi” by Craig Thompson

- “Are you my mother?” by Alison Bechdel

- DC Comics: Batgirl; Black Canary; Harley Quinn;

- Marvel: Jessica Jones; Ms. Marvel