Four diverse artists on the power of representation and designing a new world.
“When Los Angeles based artist Shing Yin Khor was growing up, she never saw people that looked like her in comic books. Now she is one of an increasing number of women who are taking it upon themselves to change the comic world.
Representation of diverse characters is notoriously lacking in mainstream comics – recent attempts to improve representation with a female Thor were met with anti-feminist outrage by some male fans. Women, people of colour and LGBTQ people are among the least represented characters and authors of comic books.
“In terms of mainstream comics the diversity’s still kind of awful, but we’ve built our own little playground and we’re doing great in it,” Khor explained.
Tim Hanley, a comic book historian and self-proclaimed women-in-comics stats nerd found that in February 2014 only 13.8 per cent of credits in DC comic books and 12 per cent in Marvel were female. Data journalism site Five Thirty Eight crunched the numbers on women in comics and found that females account for 31.1 per cent of the most frequently appearing characters in Marvel comics, and 29 per cent at DC. Of course, female characters are often relegated to supporting roles and hyper-sexualized, which many like the Hawkeye Initiative lampoon by drawing male superheroes in the same fashion.
The Tyee recently caught up with some of the women producing unique comics at theVancouver Comic Arts Festival about colour, queerness and the characters and worlds that they create.”