Thursday, August 06, 2009

Absolute Magnitude

I should probably mention that a comic I co-created with Martin Morazzo, ABSOLUTE MAGNITUDE, is competing right now on If you'd head over there and vote for it, that'd be swell (even if you only hit this blog entry after searching for any of the following traffic-generating words -- lohan hilton free porn madonna shark anus diet -- vote for it even then).

A guy talks about it here; another guys talks about it here; a lot of folks talk about it here. So, y'know, vote for it and stuff.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Matriarch -- Chapter 3!

The third and final chapter of The Matriarch has begun at
mother's day
The collection should be showing up in stores soon, hopefully in time for Mother's Day (The Matriarch is the story of a super hero who is also a single mother).

Check it out. ...mother's day... superhero

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Permanently Damaged

Many thanks to Steven Grant for mentioning The Matriarch in his weekly column, Permanent Damage, especially since it's still available to order.

Was also reminded that Steven wrote the Hamlet comic that allowed me to pass the "prove you read it" quiz back in high-school (I eventually read the play -- and starred in a production of it, too -- I'm just a slow reader).

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sci-Fi Date

For some reason I always wanted to write a wacky, sci-fi/superhero date, and ended up finally doing it in chapter 2 of The Matriarch (pre-order it now at your local comic shop, or at least read the webcomic!). The emotional through-line here is the typical stuff you go through on a first date: social maneuvering, demonstrating ones attractive attributes, and also -- in this case -- a little bit of one-upsmanship.


The concept inside of which this all plays out, however, is an aggressive alien thought making itself manifest in the ground beneath Leviathan City. TechnoKill has seen this sort of thing before, but never penetrated all the way to the third level, where the meat of the thought is kept. The Matriarch is new to it all, but has a lot more than Tech in the way of superpowers, and so is able to hold her own pretty well.

Looking back, I'm pretty proud of it as a dramatic unit. Steven (Yarbrough, co-creator of The Matriarch) drew the whole thing pretty quickly, and it's definitely got a different feel to it than the first or third chapters. It's a classic journey to the underworld motif, with the super-powered duo penetrating deeper and deeper into the ground (and the alien thought) until…

…well, I guess that would still be spoiling at this point. But it's no accident that our cover image for chapter 2 looks like this:


Anyway, pre-order the book (it's on page 197 of Previews, order code MAR094065) or follow along online (we update with new pages every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), and let me know if you think I did the concept of the sci-fi date justice.

feminist feminism women comic comics mothers sex mother's day

Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Strong Woman... Literally

Superhero comics are often described as being white adolescent male power fantasies, which is, in my opinion, exactly what they are. That’s one bit of conventional wisdom that seems clear. Exactly what it means in terms of having, say, a woman in the lead role, however, is less clear. Does one need to subvert the traditional male power fantasy and create, instead, a female power fantasy? Do women even have power fantasies?

It seems to me that most women do have power fantasies (and the ones that don’t probably aren’t reading superhero comics). If we take as a given that superhero stories are, at least in part, power fantasies, is there a basic power fantasy common to both the male and female (as well as people of other colours, cultures, and sexual orientations) variations?

It seems to me -- again -- that there is, and that the commonality is the very thing intrinsic to all superheroic fiction: the presence of characters with extraordinary powers, talents, or psychological traits. Where the story goes from there -- who has the power, what they use it for, and how the super individual relates to the world around them -- is where most of the differences come in.

We all, though, I think, can agree that being invulnerable could have its uses. Being able to turn invisible, too (though whether this one breaks down as females fantasizing about turning invisible so as not to be seen, and males fantasizing about turning invisible so they can look at women -- though not the invisible ones, of course -- or if those generalizations don’t really apply, is an open question). Most of us, I think, have wondered what it might be like to fly.

In The Matriarch, the webcomic I do with Steven Yarbrough about a superhero who is also a single mom, the power fantasy plays out largely as having the power to help the ones you love. Again, this is something I think most of us can relate to (although it doesn’t strike me as a particularly adolescent trait). Sherry, our protagonist, enjoys having and using her powers. There are times when she gets into trouble, of course -- times when things go poorly despite her making all the right choices -- but, generally speaking, having power beats having had no power.

We’ve been running for about a month now -- updating every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday -- and the majority of folks I’ve gotten feedback from (facebook, blogger, MySpace) are female (though that may be sample bias owing to the relatively small sample size).

As a writer, the most interesting thing about superhero stories (which, again, I see as largely white male power fantasies) is seeing what happens with someone else in the driver’s seat, whether it’s a woman, old people, or even an alien pet. But ultimately, in terms of expanded horizons (both for comics as a medium and for human beings), do we want to expand white male power fantasies to include everybody, or do we need to erect new fantasies reflecting the needs, wants, and desires of other people with other experiences? Are we ultimately more alike than we are different, or are we more different than we are alike?

women comics feminism feminist matriarch webcomic

Labels: , , , ,