In fashion shows as well as print ads, we’re starting to see a broader representations of women than in previous years and, thanks to forward-thinking illustrators and accessible creative platforms like Tumblr, the comic book scene is starting to follow suit.
Thus far, in American comic book culture, women have typically occupied a very limited space — and we refer to both their characteristic roles and their Barbie-esque figures here. Catwoman and Wonder Woman, while powerful and independent, spend a good chunk of time off-screen shimmying into their skin-tight, breast-accentuating latex onesies. Then you’ve got your damsels in distress and your Bettys and Veronicas who, though more comfortably clad, waste too much of their time pining away or quibbling over emotionally unavailable or otherwise undeserving male protagonists.
Thankfully, we’re beginning to see exceptions to the rule. In October 2015, Harbinger, a series documenting the adventures of a super-powered runaway teenager, went viral when it announced a spinoff miniseries, written by Jody Houser, featuring a curvy-figured female protagonist by the very fitting name of Faith. Now, another female artist, Jess, also known by her Tumblr alias, angryartist113, is putting her pen to excellent use in the comic “Is This Healthy,” which portrays the daily challenges plus-size women face. From devoted gym routines that provide little validation to online shopping struggles, this series covers it all and really hits the nail on the head.
“’Is This Healthy’ is a comic that I made for an independent study in which I looked deeper into the idea of health, mental, physical, and emotional as it relates to myself,” Jess writes. “This project was extremely personal and I thank any of you who take the time to read it.” As do we. We strongly suggest you check it out:
Of course, Jess’ work shouldn’t be novel. The comic book industry needs to look at the bigger picture and evolve beyond stunted spinoffs and online-only portrayals of diverse women but, for the moment, we’ll chalk this up to a victory.
For those seeking even more awesome, inclusive illustrations, check out our friend Mohammad Fayaz’s work. Known as Mojiucy on Tumblr, the New York native beautifully depicts the experience of queer people of color, of all shapes, tones and sizes.
[ via Mic ]