just an observation

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abacus
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just an observation

Post by abacus »

This is not really a topic as such but it seems to me women play a greater part in US comic stories than in the UK.Whether or not this is age related in the UK where comics are either for boys or for girls or not I don't know.
The US comics seem to add what might be called eye candy to all sorts of genre from adventure to horror and crime stories etc.I have not read many commando comics but have women featured in any stories? like they have from time to time in american war stories.As I say this is a personal observation based on US comics.
Last edited by abacus on 19 Jan 2016, 13:24, edited 7 times in total.

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philcom55
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Re: just an observation

Post by philcom55 »

I seem to remember that there was some discussion on this site about a recent Commando series that spotlighted the Russian 'Night Witches'.

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paw broon
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Re: just an observation

Post by paw broon »

Eye candy all over the shop in American comics but some British comics aimed, I assume, at boys, did have female characters. Val Venture in Ace Hart stories in Superthriller had the usual skintight superhero cossie. Swift morgan had the lightly clad Silver. Roy Carson had the svelte Silk and the stories featured a number of shapely "molls". Lady Penelope featured well in boys comics. Katy shared adventures with Billy the Cat - not that I'm suggesting she was "eye candy" only another female character in boys' comics. Jack O'Justice shared his adventures with Moll Moonlight and she was always portrayed as shapely and attractive. Not many but they were there. This has interested me and I fancy a rake through my records and collection to remind myself of others. Can anyone add more. please?
Re. American war comics, I used to enjoy the stories of Mlle. Marie in Star Spangled War (DC).

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abacus
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Re: just an observation

Post by abacus »

I suppose it is just a cultural thing remember how women were glamorized in earlier hollywood movies.Then again glamorous women on comic cover stories probably did no harm where comic sales were concerned.
I generally find US golden age comics similiar to movies with the gangster molls, femme fatales,or damsels in distress adding to the comic entertainment.These comics seem to appeal to all age groups and stand the test of time.I think there is an attempt to create the best art and stories and not aimed at specific ages.

On my main computer a red line appears under any spelling mistakes whereas on my tablet there is no help whatsoever and therefore I have to use edit when I spot any errors.Such is life :).

davidandrewsimpson
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Re: just an observation

Post by davidandrewsimpson »

Two more female characters in British boys comics were Jo Hagan in Valiant's Raven On The Wing (she was definitely eye candy) and Russian pilot Nina Petrova in Battle's Johnny Red (she was pretty much the opposite of eye candy).

I just realised that both these characters were written, and presumably created by, Tom Tully.

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Marionette
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Re: just an observation

Post by Marionette »

abacus wrote:I suppose it is just a cultural thing remember how women were glamorized in earlier hollywood movies.Then again glamorous women on comic cover stories probably did no harm where comic sales were concerned.
Well, except for sales to female comic readers. A particularly painful example was the Emma Frost series, which was about Emma, as an adolescent, coming into her powers of telepathy. It was a great girls' comic, but Marvel were so frightened of putting off their core demographic of male readers that they insisted on making the covers positively drip with cheesecake images of the adult Emma Frost in thighboots and a corset. Result was that the female readers wouldn't go near it, and the male readers felt cheated by the bait and switch, and a good comic died.

In fact it's taken both Marvel and DC decades to spot that they were actively pushing away half the population, and that even guys will read comics about women who are fully clothed if they are well written, but they've both made great strides in the last year to produce female friendly titles, and it's been a great success for them.
The Tammy Project: Documenting the classic British girls' comic, one serial at a time.

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paw broon
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Re: just an observation

Post by paw broon »

I remember the Ms. Tree series from a series of publishers:- Eclipse Comics, Aardvark-Vanaheim, Renegade Press, DC Comics. Written by Max Allan Collins, these were good detective stories with a strong female character, so it can be done.
But the problem with female superheroes is that most superheroes of both sexes tend to have skintight cossies, and a number of male heroes didn't wear that much, with some of them doing their derring bare chested. And so it was with female heroes, well, not bare chested, but I think there is a difference between the majority of GA female heroes and some of the balloon chested, sexy posing characters that have appeared on many more modern American comic covers. Obviously some of Phantom Lady's covers were deliberately exploitative and I admit to admiring them.

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philcom55
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Re: just an observation

Post by philcom55 »

Thankfully some of the very latest American super-heroines have tended to be a lot less exploitative and more female-friendly - though even I find it hard to understand the astonishing popularity of DC's psychotic Harley Quinn (I lost count of the number of costumed women carrying giant hammers and baseball bats at the last Memorabilia event in Birmingham!).

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paw broon
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Re: just an observation

Post by paw broon »

I'm with you Phil on Harley Quinn. Same thing at the last couple of big Glasgow shows.
Any number of newspaper strips, which appeared in "respectable" British newspapers, had titillating illos in some panels, either the heroine or one of the supporting females being drawn in underwear, or naked in silhouette. Jane is the obvious one but also in Buck Ryan; Modesty Blaise; The Seekers; Judy - here's a strip:-
http://carol-day.com/htl/judy/judy-02.php
Romeo Brown, here's a strip - legs akimbo:-
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eiWIhLxCj0k/U ... meo+11.jpg
Even The Gambols got in on act at times. Many more. But this didn't stop female readers buying the papers and reading the strips, I think. OK they were for adults but how many comics were sold to servicemen because of the revealing costumes on the garish covers? Did that make up for missing out on sales to girls? Doesn't make it correct but comics are a business and perhaps calculations were done - or perhaps the thought of American girls being in the market for comics didn't occur to the owners.
Not being an expert on British comics, I was always struck by the divide , comics aimed solely at girls and comics aimed solely at boys and wondered why. I'm still not sure how many young to teen girls would have wanted to read a lot of the "boys'" comics, while it seems obvious that a fair number of boys would read girls' comics. I never read my sister's Bunty and she had absolutely no interest in The Victor, or Marvelman or Jet Ace Logan. A lot of this reflects society's historic attitude to how girls should be brought up and also the different interests, albeit drummed in, of boys and girls.
But some of the stuff on some more modern American covers is a bit too much, imo. I'm remembering the Wonder Girl controversy. that didn't seem right to me. I think this has been mentioned previously on this forum but you you can remind yourselves with this article:-
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page ... e&id=52103

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abacus
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Re: just an observation

Post by abacus »

I feel like I am walking through a minefield with this particular subject with the likes of Marionette probably scrutinizing every word,however here goes.To me the definition of eye candy in golden age comics for example refers to any attractive portrayal of the female in a comic story.This doesn 't mean blatant sexploitation ,that belongs to another comic genre.I don 't think the portrayal of attractive women in slightly provocative situations counts as exploitation.For hasn't art portrayed the beauty of the female throughout the ages.
However I can also accept the fetish art of Robert Crumb because it is art with a capital A.This is because there is an integrity between artist and his art (they are one)whether you find the results distasteful or not.In golden age comics the female is usually attractive and fully clothed and still counts as eye candy.
Image
Last edited by abacus on 22 Jun 2015, 06:43, edited 1 time in total.

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suebutcher
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Re: just an observation

Post by suebutcher »

The Americans published romance comics aimed at female readers, and around 1950 they were the biggest sellers on the stands. So they can do it! These comics were filled with pictures of fashionably dressed pretty young ladies, much as womens' magazines were, and I suppose they had some male readers because of this. The female readers would no doubt be checking out the clothes and the boyfriends!

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philcom55
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Re: just an observation

Post by philcom55 »

As I understand it Jack Kirby and Joe Simon started the Romance Boom in American comics with stories that could be quite ground-breaking, dealing with all sorts of controversial social issues. Unfortunately the vast majority of publishers who followed in their wake soon established a mind-numbingly repetitive formula of drippy girls who suffer heartache until they inevitably discover happiness with 'Mr. Right'. Though they could be beautifully drawn a lot of these comics were dreadfully limited, and to me they seemed much much less imaginative than the sort of material to be found in British girls' comics like Bunty (though we also had our own Romance comics like Romeo, Jackie and Roxy). Given their success on this side of the Atlantic I've often wondered how non-romantic girls' strips such as the Four Marys might have fared with American readers.

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suebutcher
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Re: just an observation

Post by suebutcher »

The Simon and Kirby titles (Young Love, Young Romance) were the best of the crop, judging by what's been reprinted. Well-drawn, with interesting stories. I suspect that the Comics Code had something to do with the genre's downfall.

doncox
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Re: just an observation

Post by doncox »

Don't forget Professor Peabody in "Dan Dare". She is presented as a real character and not as cheesecake.

Greta Tomlinson, who posed for the reference photos for the character, has a web site here:
http://www.gretatomlinson.co.uk/

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paw broon
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Re: just an observation

Post by paw broon »

Thanks for the link. I don't suppose, given the publisher, that she could have been portrayed as cheesecake, and thank goodness for that.
The Four Marys; I wonder if the strip and other similar stories would have been too alien for Americans way back then. Same with many of the private school based stories. I mentioned earlier that some American comics fans I have spoken to say they can't get their heads round the 2, 3, or 4 page episodes per week style of British comics. But perhaps that very "otherness" would have attracted American female readers. Do you know? I can't make my mind up :?

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