lowleveldrone asked: Hi Julia, I received In Pace Requiescat in the post today. It is beautifully drawn. I wanted to ask, why the fellatio motif in your work? Fun to draw, or is there a deeper (sorry) meaning? Thanks!
Thanks so much for your kind words about In Pace Requiescat! I can’t take all the credit for the epic blowjob that dominates this comic, since Sean T. Collins wrote the script, but of course I drew it because it meant something to me, and it was my choice to devote an entire sixty panels to close-up, repetitious images of Montresor with his mouth on Fortunato’s dick. To be glib, it must be obvious from my body of work where my personal interests in this area lie. But you asked if there’s a deeper meaning, so let’s try to tease one out.
Sean’s script created a sense of more and more tightly-focussed but undefined emotion, where eventually the ruined friendship and the “thousand injuries” are honed to this single pinpoint act of sociopathic affection. My goal as the artist was to support this progression by narrowing the perspective of the visuals, too, so that the story begins with some establishing shots of the crypt, the scattered bones, Montresor’s body shown full-length as he works on the masonry, and draws closer until for several pages of the comic only four things exist in all the world: a penis, a hand, a face, and a wall. It had to be fellatio, then, for the intimacy and cruel precision of it, and for its frank one-sidedness, which implies perhaps a kind of generosity but also ruthlessness—it’s a sexual act, in this case, not being shared so much as inflicted.
I’m not certain that fellatio occurs significantly more often in my comics than do other types of sexual activity, but there certainly is an excess of semen across the body of work that’s worth examining for clues. One of the throughlines of my art has always been an obsession with involuntary responses of the body to strong emotion. I think that bodily fluids, when they appear in my comics, serve the urgent purpose of undeniably evincing something the character producing them might have preferred to hide, and transmuting an emotional mess into a physical mess that can no longer be safely ignored.
For those who still need to get in on the action, In Pace Requiescat is available for purchase at my etsy store.
You can’t solve a problem without illustrating it.
#4. Not Questioning Institutions
Why aren’t there more female investment bankers? Maybe it’s actually the same reason there aren’t more male investment bankers who aren’t insufferable alpha males — because investment banking is a gigantic fly trap for macho assholes and ideally nobody should be doing it. … This is of course in no way to suggest that efforts to reduce gender imbalances should cease, because there are going to be people of any gender who want to be investment bankers for whatever reason, and equality means all of them should by God have an equal chance at wasting their lives… The point is just to illustrate that what men do is automatically seen as desirable, as opposed to maybe asking if maybe something having no women in it maybe means it’s maybe bullshit maybe.
Check out the comic Anne Elizabeth Moore and I made for Salon on the politics of horror films!
Gender and race analysis of (mostly) American horror movies, in comic form, on Salon.
Not officially from our collective, but …
Don’t Be a Dick will appear on Bitch Media monthly starting January 2014. Using original research, existing datasets compiled by diversity-minded comics compatriots, artists with a range of gender and race identities, and jokes, the new Ladydrawers series will explore the diverse world of comics readership and not-so-hard-to grasp (but apparently difficult to implement) best practices for not forcing them to turn them away from publishers, stores, or books in disgust.
When she left DC Comics in September of last year, Janelle Asselin was one of the few female editors at the company. Asselin, who worked on the Batman line, was an editor on Birds of Prey as well as an associate editor on Batwoman, Detective, Batman and few other books. During her time at DC Comics, Asselin began work on graduate thesis in publishing at Pace University. The topic was one that I have a lot of interest in — increasing the sales of comics among women. I follow Asselin on Twitter and kept tabs on her progress over several months. With the thesis finished, I set up some time to speak to her about her findings. The following is an interview with her about the findings of her thesis and thoughts about women in comics.
Janelle, you took on this thesis when you were an editor at DC Comics, which as you say in your piece, focuses on male readers. Tell me about how you came up with the topic.
I knew when I started my masters program that I wanted to do as much as I could to turn what was a generally focused publishing program into being comics related. I often used comic companies for assignments and things like that. So I knew that I wanted my thesis to be about comics from the very beginning. My thesis advisor had me come up with two possible topics, so I chose women and comics as one and copyright and comics as the other. Through the course of doing some basic research and talking through both topics with friends and family, it became clear that while both interested me, the topic of women and comics was the one I was really passionate about. I worry that a lot of times, commentary on the topic of women and comics veers into the negative, which is so easily dismissed by people on the other side. I wanted to write something positive - something that admitted the problems in the industry (which are plentiful) but more importantly offered what I saw as solutions. And certainly being in the midst of the early days of planning the New 52 and watching, from the inside, as DC hatched marketing plans and all that as I came up with my topic was…influential.
That seems to imply you had some questions about how they were choosing their targets for the new 52. Were you surprised about the lack of targeting of female readers (i.e. the identification of the male 18-34 target)?
I wasn’t surprised, but it was hard to think - I’m working on a book like Birds of Prey which I’m OBVIOUSLY pushing to be aimed at women 18-34, and instead the whole part and parcel was aimed at one narrow demographic. I don’t think it’s a good idea to ignore a demographic that could be so valuable and which is largely so untapped at this point.
You should not be surprised to hear that we’re makin’ comics from horror film data this fall. Won’t you join us and chicagoartnerd, and read Rachel’s new awesome blog for scarespiration?
If I have any horror fans amongst ye consider being a part of #31Horrormovies31days in which you watch 31 horror movies in October. I’m going the extra mile with this and also compiling Ladydrawers-ish stats on them for Anne Elizabeth Moore at “The Blog is Coming From Inside the House”
Yes, we just made up the word scarespiration.
We’re delighted to have kinky couple Adam and Valerie share their DIY BDSM ingenuity with us on Oh Joy, Sex Toy this week!
Here’s a hilarious Helen Keller joke!
Do you know what no one saw or heard coming?
Helen Keller’s radical socialist activism for the rights of the poor, women, the disabled. And so people ignored and belittled her politics. They argued a deaf, blind person could not know what she was talking about. And so they reduced her to the safe story of a young girl who overcame disability, and nothing else.
Wait I mean haha she was blind! How funny.
Yay! Thanks symboliamag:
Fast fashion means cheap, cute, disposable threads on which we spend about $1,700 per year.
truthout’s Ladydrawers comic is digging into women’s international labor, a new yearlong project focused on bringing innovative comics journalism to the masses.