Ms. Comix was started for the purpose of encouraging female comic writers, artists, and readers One way of reaching this mission is to provide handy resources and tools, collected on one convenient blog. The review + rating posts will hopefully 1. expose blog viewers to a variety of comics 2. warn viewers of absolutely horrendous comics 3. help viewers find a comic they’d like to read. Here’s how the ratings will work:
% Panels Devoted to Women
A pretty straight-forward statistic; percentage of panels in the comic featuring a woman speaking or engaging in an important action.
Women in Action
★ Women don’t participate in plot-moving action.
★ ★ Women occasionally participate in plot-moving action.
★ ★ ★ Women often participate in plot-moving action
Women as Leaders
★ Women are followers, not leaders.
★ ★ Women depicted occasionally as leaders.
★ ★ ★ Women often lead the other characters.
Women as Sex Objects
★ All or most women are overtly sexualized; their feminine features are over-emphasized and their main role in the comic is to provide eye candy for characters and readers.
★ ★ Women’s features are over-emphasized. Their sex separates them from male characters, but they do engage in plot-moving action.
★ ★ ★ Women are depicted as sexy (or their sex is not emphasized at all), but their allure does not define their purpose as a prominent, plot-moving character in the comic.
Men Deviating from Male Stereotypes
★ Men never express their emotions; they engage is mostly physical action. They are depicted as logical and apathetic.
★ ★ Men sometimes deviate from the male stereotypes of a logical mind, rationality, lack of expression and empathy.
★ ★ ★ Men deviate dramatically from the male stereotype. They express their emotions, use creativity, and think of others.
A Caveat about Ratings
These ratings are not to determine the ideal comic (Although they do seem to suggest that “the best” comic receives three stars all around and a high percentage of panels devoted to women—but that’s why I’m writing this disclaimer, right?) because it would effectively devalue any comic with a male protagonist and few female characters. The ratings are coupled with a review, which touches upon other redeeming (or not) qualities of the comic.
The purpose of the ratings is to simply provide a quick reference to help you choose the best comic to suit your current desires. For example, if you’re sick and tired of reading comics with booby women who have no real plot-moving purpose in the comic, avoid a comic with a one star rating for “Women as Sex Objects.” Or if you’re looking for a comic with a strong female lead, read a comic with three stars for “Women as Leaders.” And if you just don’t want to read about men anymore, pick up a comic with a high percentage of panels devoted to women. As the reviews and ratings begin, I might (and probably will) change the rating descriptions or add new ratings accordingly. Advice and suggestions are welcome.
Coming soon…review and ratings of Marvel’s Captain America: The Chosen