Race and Sexuality in Comics

Dr Monalisa Earle : Guest Lecturer

MULTIPLE ERASURES: THE PORTRAYAL OF QWoC- SEXUALITY IN COMICS AND GRAPHIC NARRATIVES.

Out and the night documentary -Lesbian women defending themselves from sexual assault branded as sexual deviants.

Does popular culture affirm or challenge the notion that gender and sexuality are inexplicably bound up in race?

If so how or does sequential art act as counter narrative? is it showing it in a negative way is it not helping the narrative progress?

Multi- modality (see quote on moodle)

Wil Eisners definition of sequential art

http://www.floobynooby.com/pdfs/Will_Eisner-Theory_of_Comics_and_Sequential_Art.pdf

Chris Ware

Chris ware has developed very interesting ways of working in a graphic narrative including giant pop up book and interactive digital comics
Chris ware has developed very interesting ways of working in a graphic narrative including giant pop up book and interactive digital comics

chris-ware1

How is sequential art used to deconstruct or reinforce sexuality and race?

 

 

Palestine -Joe Sacco – what is it like to be oppressed in Palestine

Joe Sacco -raw behind the scenes commentary of life in Palestine in recent war times.
Joe Sacco -raw behind the scenes commentary of life in Palestine in recent war times.

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ANC- what is the meaning of ANC and how is its meaning changed since Nelson Mandela

 

Comics give activists freedom to speak out against oppressive regimes

Movements built around images

Persepolis

Gender and sexuality is explored in Persepolis
image from Persepolis

Robert Crumb

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illustrations by Robert Crumb
illustrations by Robert Crumb
BIG GIRL ENJOYS PENETRATION FROM THE REAR
BIG GIRL ENJOYS PENETRATION FROM THE REAR

Robert Crumb is an American cartoonist and musician. He is a prolific artist who contributed to the underground comix movement. His work of ten is depicting sexual themes and over sexualising women and women of colour. I found his work to be misogynistic and offensive.

 

Problematic Categories of Society – perpetuating stereotypes or breaking new ground in popular culture.

Whos GAZE is the narrative created for?

Sexualisation of women in comics

stereotyping and degradation through comics

QWoC -visual activism

Jamaica Dyer

Jamaica Dyers artwork
Jamaica Dyers artwork

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draw a 4 or 6 panel narrative – HOW IS YOUR SEXUALITY REFLECTED BACK TO YOU – DRAW YOUR OWN COMIC.

my graphic narrative about how my sexuality is reflected back to me
my graphic narrative about how my sexuality is reflected back to me

Creative non truth- Journalism and non-fiction -health-comics as therapy.

Creating Comics as Journalism, Memoir and Nonfiction -by Randy Duncan, Michael Ray Taylor and David Stoddard.

What is qualitative interviewing?

Ethical Issues in Interviewing, awareness of decision making process, using Sudonames, anonymity etc.

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Race and Sexuality in Comics

Multiple Erasures: The portrayal of QWoC- Sexuality in Comics and Graphic Narratives.

In looking at this subject matter what strikes me is the fact that as a female graphic artist there is the necessity of establishing oneself and ones’ role as a Graphic narrator and therefore there is a need to evaluate the current scene of Graphic Narratives and who is who and who does what and then to find a place there as an individual. This is finding an identity as a woman, as an artist and as a personality amidst many other personalities in an industry that is most run by men.

The seminar that was given by Dr. Mona Lisa Earle and was focussed firstly on her identity as a Black woman of colour and as a lesbian, we examined how this identity is portrayed in the world of comics and graphic narratives. We were introduced to a ‘world of comics overview’ and asked to consider how sequential art is used to deconstruct and/or reinforce sexuality and race. After a mini tour of the world of sequential art and its various artists and the ways they use the art form to express opinions or feelings or rebellion or fantasies we were asked to directly participate by creating sequential art.

What is important to me is that I took from the seminar an alternative vision of the comics world, one from a very different perspective that I may have never seen before and was then able to from that viewpoint place myself in a role within that world.

Balancing male and female natures in a Krishna Conscious relationship- Creating a divine child by Denia Hood

In examining how sexuality is portrayed in sequential art we are able to understand our own sexual identity and from there we were asked to create a Graphic Narrative of 6 panels. The above image is my work from this session and shows the development of a relationship in Krishna Consciousness in which Prayer is very important.

In Krishna Consciousness, we learn that our identity is eternal and spiritual. We are eternal spiritual beings. The graphic narrative shows me praying and chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra which is called “The Great Chanting for Deliverance”. Within the Hare Krishna Movement, the philosophy is about the divine feminine and divine masculine natures within all of us and uniting in Krishna Conscious marriage is for the propagation of Krishna Conscious children. Before the conception of a child in Krishna Conscious marriages the couple chant 50 rounds of Mantras before conceiving a child. Sex is not explored for sense gratification.

 

Biographic Graphic Narratives

The tortures of Saint Erasmus-1455-65

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Erasmus

Saint Sebastian.

Execution of Carthusian Monks under Henry eight of England.

Autobiographic/Biographic Narratives

Maus- Art Spiegelman, Persepolis-Marjane `Satrapi, Fun Home-Alison Bechdel.

maus-large

originalmaus

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I read Maus 1 and Maus 2 after being introduced to it within this class.

Found it really moving and engaging and I read both Graphic Novels with a couple of days each.

I read Persepolis and watched the animation last year and really felt a lot of empathy with the main character. What was particularly interesting was that I have had similar experiences as her and the amazing factor is that reading this graphic novel has helped me to see more and more similarities with people from Iran and other cultures in general.

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Panthers In The Hole- Bruno Cenou David Cenou, Portraits of Violence, Nelson Mandela The Authorised Comic Book, Anne Frank,

Barbara Stock, Vincent 2014,

 

Identity and Autobiographical Graphic Narrative

Jimmy Corrigan The Smartest Kid on Earth, Chris Ware 2000

Good Woman Bad Woman -The Mother is in the Heat of Composing while the baby is in the water of the bathtub! Daumier, Le Charivari 1844.

Lal 2016

Three  Words Anthology NZ

Intersectionality (Kimberle Crenshaw 1989)

Menstrual Island (once a month!) Gemma Correll 2016 – Autobiographical comics

menstrual island
menstrual island

‘Autobiofictionalography’) (Barry 2002)

Blue is The Warmest Colour- Julie Maroh

 

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Graphic Subjects-

City Press, South Africa Mail Online,

not Funny Ha Ha, Hayes 2015 (Graphic medicine Genre)

Becoming Unbecoming- Una context of childhood Trauma makes this very interesting.

The Guerrilla Girls –  a history of Art or a history of money and power.

Laydeez do Comics, 2009 FOILS

Bloody Pussy-The Blood Sisters 2015, Seattle

“If a Child is taken into a museum to learn about either its heritage or what is deemed the cultural heritage of the country in which the child is living sees only ……

AYA DE YOPOUGON- Marguerite Abouet, Clement Oubreirie

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It is amazing how Graphic Narratives can be used in this way to tell about a personalities life. There is a history of graphic narratives being used to describe the lives of saintly people such as Saint Erasmus and his tortures (1455-65), the life of Saint Sabastian and as with Srila Prabhupada.

I have recently bought and have been reading ACHARYA which is a graphic narrative that shows the whole of Srila Prabhupadas life and has many beautiful pencil drawings by Bhaktisiddanta Das who also illustrated the Comic book about Srila Prabhupada that was written by Satsvarupa das Gosvami. In exploring the role of Graphic narratives within the Hare Krishna Movement I have found out that Govinda Dasi illustrated many of Lord Caitanya pastimes.

The interesting thing about using graphic narratives in either a biographic or autobiographical way is that a window can be opened into a person’s world so that we can see their lives in intricate detail.

One of the many pencil drawings from ACHARYA by Bhaktisiddanta Das. This one depicts Srila Prabhupadas history of love of watching Charlie Chaplin in his young life.

I also read Persepolis and watched the animation as well as Maus 1 and Maus 2.

In Maus we get a view into the life of Art Spiegelman via his father who tells the story of his and his wife’s struggles to survive the holocaust. Spiegelman takes us on a journey through his father’s memories and we come face to face with the horrors of both Auschwitz and Birkenau. The way Spiegelman did this was so clever and he has brought the viewer of the graphic novel directly into the horrible world using animal motifs which is quite unnerving yet effective because it really asks the viewer to question what they are seeing.

Drawing Disability/ Drawing Diversity

This was the collaborative image our group produced to represent a disability
This was the collaborative image our group produced to represent a disability

This week the theme was on how images are used to portray disability or difference. We looked at lots of quite controversial and sensitive issues to do with the topic and ended the session drawing a portrayal of someone with a disability. The session gave us an insight into how difficult it can be to portray sensitive subject matter.

We were asked to think about how we do this as a profession which was  interesting to think about.

Drawing Disability/ Drawing Diversity

The theme was on how images are used to portray disability or difference. We looked at lots of quite controversial and sensitive issues to do with the topic and ended the session drawing a portrayal of someone with a disability. The session gave us an insight into how difficult it can be to portray sensitive subject matter.

We were asked to think about how we do this as a profession which was an interesting topic to think about. If you were asked to draw about disabilities and the issues surrounding them would you be able to do it! – Great question!

The above image is a combined work by our group of three artists. We had been thinking about how someone may feel with Downs syndrome and also about how to show someone you have a disability when it is a hidden disability or mental health condition that does not have too many external symptoms or signs. By Denia Hood, Tom Denny and

In Thinking about how difficult subject matter is dealt with within Graphic Narratives lots of issues that are very personal to me became apparent. I have a disability and it felt empowering and healing to think about being able to tell my story or the story of others using sequential art.

When someone has a disability, it can be extremely isolating for that person and to communicate needs can seem like a huge insurmountable task. To use drawing to overcome some of the difficulties of a disability cannot be underestimated in importance and therapeutic capacity. For me finding new ways to express myself has always been something that helps me to deal with the difficulties of life. With a disability, it becomes a fundamental expression of who I am to find new ways to communicate the things I could automatically express with little or no effort before. For the viewer of art made by a disabled person the viewer takes on a role of responsibility with the new information gained by looking at the information presented to them. This is a responsibility to hold the disabled persons needs in consideration with compassion and empathy and to act accordingly with all due respect and love.

 

Week 4 – Visit to the cartoon Museum

 

http://www.cartoonmuseum.org

I had the opportunity to visit the Cartoon Museum in London today.

This is what I experienced .

The Cartoon Museum London

I visited The Cartoon Museum in Little Russell Street London. I went alone and I had never visited before. The Museum is through the shop at the front which is full of many Graphic Novels and Comics books and Comics paraphernalia.

The 2000AD exhibition was showing while I was there and the main exhibition showed lots of full colour artworks from Judge Dredd and 2000AD. I am not really a fan of this work but was interested to see the artwork in close detail and liked seeing the female Judge character which was the most interesting part of that exhibition for me…seeing that they are representing women of the future in such a way. At least they showed one female character in the whole exhibition! There was definitely al lack in variety of people represented in the museum and I did not see any artwork by female artists on the walls.

Above is a photo of the 2000AD Exhibition entry on the ground floor of the museum.

I did however find a graphic narrative on the shelf which was by a female illustrator and about her own personal story which interested me and I actually spent most of my visit sitting near the Graphic Novel shelf reading this one book. I actually read it from cover to cover and was encouraged to do so by the attendant of the gallery who told me that he had seen a woman do that before. He kept coming over to say ‘you see I told you…you will very likely read that whole novel from cover to cover like the other lay who did the same.” And I did! The Graphic Novel was called Lighter than my Shadow and is by Katie Green and is an autobiographic piece about how the artist suffers from Anorexia and recovers. I found this very engaging and personal and because I have also recovered from eating disorders this book touched me deeply. It made me think hard about whether or not I would like to make work that detailed my personal experiences in this way or not. That is still to be decided but I think that Katie is brave for being so open about her struggles in this way.

Above is the main museum downstairs floor. At the back is the entry to the History of British Comics section and in the front we can see an interesting art piece inside a case, that is the Alice falling down the Rabbit hole piece that they have there.

This is the entrance to The 2000AD exhibition they are currently showing.

The Alice going down the rabbit hole exhibit and entrance to the history of british comics section which is mainly about political artworks and satire for news papers and propaganda .

The shelf where I found “lighter than my shadow” by Katie Green and read in its’s entirety

https://lighterthanmyshadow.com/press/

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/28/anorexia-affects-everyone-family-katie-green

Upstairs Gallery of comics originals such as Beano.