Friday, May 21, 2010
Fishnets and Female Characters!
Here it is, the inaugural issue of Zatanna.
Tub woh si ti?
Maybe we often miss or overlook the layout of the panels and the gutter in comic books, but they are crucial to the story. I really got into reading manga because of way the panels moved in many of the titles.
DC Comics has not disappointed me in its creative layouts. For example in Zatanna the panels sometimes have a clear, white gutter between scenes that then switches to floating over other panels. When Zatanna reads someone's mind in the story each panel is surrounded by a smoky looking and messy frame that really emphsizes the action and what Zatanna is doing with her powers.
Ok, what about the fishnets? They come out when Zatanna has to confront the story's villain. Gl
For a first issue of a series I thought this book worked rather well. There wasn't a lot of back-story exposition and yet we still got comfortably situated into Zatanna's reality.
The ending promises much more to come.
Finally, I had an observation about the two big American comic book publishers that came out of my pulls for this week. A few years ago I passed the time in my life that I happily read media that contained mostly male driven plots and played games with only male PC's. It had never bothered me, but I also don't believe in gender roles aside from the social constructs of individual cultures. I don't fit into what the American female gender role is and I don't care.
At some point in my mid to late twenties I realized that I wanted to see more female characters just being people and doing things like any one else. I realized that male was the default in almost anything I liked and I started to realize that maybe that's what kept so many other women away from the media I liked. Maybe the media saturation of our culture with traditional, outdated ideas about gender is a contributing factor to staunch gender divides and all those related problems. I've always just felt like a "person" and not one particular gender, although due to what I liked I often found myself cast in the role of being masculine.
Well, Marvel Comics declared 2010 their year of women and have done several things to spotlight women artists and have put out some good one-shot titles with female characters. I think drawing attention to the issue and writing about is important. Meanwhile, DC is just releasing a bevy of great comic books with female leads. Both approaches are awesome.