Going as a character from a short lived cult tv show from the 90s? Too mainstream for me, apparently. I just had to cosplay a room. Glamorous Black Lodge is probably the best costume I’ve ever made.
As I stood in line at the fabric store, I saw “Indian headdresses” made of felt in the bargain bin for a dollar. And suddenly, I was back in Mrs. Morris’s first grade class, making the same thing out of paper. “1 little 2 little 3 little Indians,” we sang together. All I knew about Indians was that they lived in America before Christopher Columbus got here and thought he was in India, they shared food with him on Thanksgiving, something something dream catchers, and then… they just kind of died out? Like the dinosaurs, they had just gone extinct. I’d never met one, never seen one or heard of one outside of stories that took place hundreds of years ago.
"Gypsies", in my young mind, had never been real. With Native Americans, I’d heard about them in the context of history class, but the only time I came across gypsies was the same time I came across mermaids and fairies and unicorns: fairy tales. They wore lots of scarves, lived in pretty wagons, and cursed people with their magic powers. Never main characters, always serving more as plot devices than characters.
Dressing up as an “Indian princess” one year, a “gypsy” another year, was easy when these people were not real to me. Either long gone or imaginary, they could take no more offense than a centaur or dinosaur.
It wasn’t until middle school that I met someone who told me he was Native American. That was the first opportunity I got to realize that they were still around. As time went on, I met more and more (and I’m not talking white girls who are 1/64th Cherokee) and some became good friends. They became real people to me. It wasn’t until much later that I realized “gypsies” (which, by the way, is an ethnic slur and doesn’t just mean “I’m a free spirit who likes to travel and wear lots of flowing scarves”) not only existed in the past, but existed in the present, and were real human beings. People who had struggles that were ignored because their entire existence was ignored.
This is why visibility matters, in our culture and media. All these people were invisible to me, make believe, imaginary, not human. Because I never saw them. I never learned about them beyond superficial and usually inaccurate history from second, third, fourth-hand accounts. They were just concepts for me to play with. Treating them as costumes only further dehumanizes them in our culture, perpetuates the line of thinking that their lives are fantasies and so we don’t have to worry about them or think about them at all.
Like young me, I don’t think most of the people who dress up in these costumes mean any harm or are purposely trying to offend. You don’t have to feel bad, you just have to change. You aren’t responsible for changing the whole culture that made this seem okay, but you’re responsible for your own part of it. I’ve hung up my felt headdress for good.
Note: Because we’re looking at characters who happen to wear stupid costumes, not stupid costumes which happen to contain a crusty bit of character, we won’t include Tarot, Witchblade, Red Sonja, or any other inky emissions spurted onto comics instead of tissue paper.Starfire, because PG Cinemax is exactly why we read comics about people who can fly and fire energy blasts.Which characters would you have included in this one?
Doctor Who Burlesque Concept - 4th Doctor
I like looking at things and imagining how to turn them into burlesque costumes. There’s a lot of iconic imagery in Doctor Who that makes for some pretty swanky burlesque concepts. Gonna do a whole series of them, but I had to start with Doc #4 and that long, long scarf.
[Image: A drawing of Superman in a redesigned costume and pose meant to be in the style that many super heroines and women in comics wear and how they are posed. The traditional Superman suit now has very, very high heels, the front parts of the thigh, arm, chest, abdomen and hip areas are now removed, revealing bare skin. A tight red bikini-style bottom replaces the traditional red brief-style bottoms. He stands, cape in the wind, with his chest thrust forward and his bottom thrust back in a “sexy” stance.\
Needless to say, this is the worst thing I’ve ever drawn.
I’m sorry Superman. I’m so sorry. My beloved boyscout. Oh, Benevolent Blue. Ah ah ah forgive me this atrocity oh oh oh.
Okay going to go watch Sherlock now wish me luck.
We should redo ALL the male super heroes like this
The high heels, though. THE HEELS. I love that. Because that is exactly the kind of shoes they put on women in comics and it makes me want to throw a brick at something EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Apparently it’s too much to ask that artists think of something besides the male gaze long enough to at least give women in comics REASONABLE FUCKING FOOTWEAR.
Seriously. I want to know what kind of skeletal structure they think women possess because not only do women apparently have SPINES MADE OF RUBBER BANDS AND FLEXISTRAWS so they can have both ass and tits facing the viewer, but apparently their hips and legs may be molded out of silly putty that ends in ANKLES AND FEET MADE OF SOME KIND OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL ADAMANTIUM ALLOY AND DISALLOWS ANY NERVES OR NEED FOR BLOODFLOW because holy fuck the shoes. I seriously wonder how these women don’t have constant stress fractures or soft tissue injuries. There’s a reason athletes and soldiers wear either sneakers or boots or something like it.
I really do want to get some high heels just like this, find the artists who draw them on comic book women, then make them run an obstacle course, run stairs in a stadium, try some pilates, and then run a mile in these EXACT SHOES before they sit back down at the drawing board. Because that’s what you’re having women in comics do. And for no other reason than it looks good to straight dudes.
I love beautiful, impractical, painful, ridiculous shoes. I also know when not to wear them. One of those times is “during fight practice.”
Inspired by this Comics Alliance article, which stated, regarding many female comic characters, “They read like men’s voices coming out of women’s faces.”*
This isn’t to say men can’t write good women, or shouldn’t write women. It’s great when anyone writes fantastic female characters. But as far as I’m concerned, a lot of comic writers have never written women at all, only hollow wooden sex puppets.
(Prints of this if you want them.)
*EDIT: By “men’s voices coming from women’s faces”, it’s not implying anything about gender roles, more that so much of what women talk about is in the service of men, for men’s sake, about men’s interests, without motives of their own. Just wanted to clarify.
So, the reason I was looking up aforementioned photos earlier was to reference this.
I had a bit of a rant on twitter today about how tired I am of seeing “action girls” and superheroines always wearing extremely revealing clothes that make NO SENSE for their job.
I haven’t read a whole lot of superhero comics, mainly for this reason. They are so full of shameless fanservice and fap material and the way female characters are CONSISTENTLY portrayed is really annoying.
Now, I have nothing against women flaunting their sexuality, or having big boobs, or wearing revealing costumes. What I do have a problem with is when EVERY FEMALE CHARACTER is dressed like some kind of fetish model, while the guys are pretty much always all covered, with costumes that emphasize their strength/character rather than their glorious bubble butts.
I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re okay with giving all your female characters skimpy bathing suits and boob-windows for crime-fighting suits, why not give us some guys in similar outfits? Fair is fair.
Also, this guy’s name is Moon Man, and he’s up for grabs. I’m giving him to you for free, Marvel and DC! Go wild.
Moon Man! I am rolling!
For those of you who haven’t seen my version of WonderWoman, here she is again! I’d love to do an Original Graphic Novel!
I’d read it!
I think my absolute favourite thing about this is that she actually looks Mediterranean.
Yeah, all the redesigns I see of her (by people not at DC) attempt to bring some kind of Greek elements to her costume, which I love. It makes sense for the character, looks nice, retains elements of her original costume, and is interesting.