Obviously Bechdel is (or maybe was, before Fun Home) best known for her long-running strip Dykes to Watch Out For, and Tesori is known for musicals like Violet and Caroline, or Change, though also for the Shrek musical and for scoring several Disney animated sequels and prequels… Here’s a clip of the production of Violet at Endstation Theatre in Virginia:
Created by cartoonist, animator, and illustrator Robert Valley, these shorts have brought Wonder Woman some much-need media exposure at a time when higher-ups in DC Entertainment cite her “tricky” background as an impediment to her own TV show or movie. Sue, the blogger on DC Women Kicking Ass, has used these shorts as proof to the contrary, and Comics Alliance called them the cartoon equivalent to a summer jam.
The shorts so far are now officially available in full on YouTube, starting with the one above. Here are Part 2 & Part 3. I have to admit I found the last installment pretty sexy, what with Wonder Woman saving dude-in-distress Steve Trevor on a surfboard, full 70s style.
My sister shared these charts with me the other day, visualizing the proportion of movies that pass the Bechdel Test, which is made up of 3 rules as follows:
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man
This is of course named after famous cartoonist Alison Bechdel, whose long-running strip Dykes to Watch Out For basically always passed the test… Even though in this case, which may actually be the very first strip, from 1987, it’s two lesbian women talking about women… Seems like a technicality…
This comes at a good time, given all the discussion in mainstream American comics about strong female characters and the tendency of their costumes to expose as much skin as possible… Wouldn’t want anyone thinking they’re some kind of turbo dyke!
Alice Marble had a pretty eventful retirement, later claiming that she had worked as a spy for the US government during WWII. When I was taking my first class on making comics, with cartoonist Tom Motley, I actually wound up using her as my subject! Not the greatest, but if you’re curious about Marble or my art “skills”, the story is up in full on my woefully neglected DeviantArt account:
Short notice since I thought this was airing later, but tonight, in a new installment of PBS’ Independent Lens series of documentaries, is the nationwide TV premiere of Kristy Guevara-Flanagan‘s Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. The movie looks at how depictions of female characters in popular media, especially superheroes, reflected changing attitudes towards women and women’s issues throughout American history, starting with the grandmommy of them all, Wonder Woman!
I learned about this from DC Women Kicking Ass which, despite it’s narrow-sounding focus, is still a great place for anyone concerned about representations of women and diversity in general in maisntream American comics.