Here is Australia we have a great comic scene. There are labels based out of here like Gestalt, there are artists and writers here that are producing great books both independently and for the big labels. A while ago a group called OzComics started doing a weekly art challenge. The challenge has been great and has tackled some great subjects. From Doctor Who and Aeon Flux to Hellboy and Red Lanterns. There is a great variety of art submitted by both amateurs and professionals and it’s always great to look through the range, and see the interpretations on the characters.
Until this week. This week’s subject was Batgirl, and something I was looking forward to. Rightfully so, as some of the entries were just stunning. Amazing work, and amazing interpretations. But out of 42 responses 8 just hit me the wrong way. 8 that don’t capture the spirit or spunk of Batgirl, but rather are over-sexualised for no reason other than… Batgirl is female?
I honestly can’t think of why the stripping, naked, exacerbated nipples, bizarrely over sized boobs or even the one renamed ‘bustgirl’ seemed like a good idea to the artist. To me Batgirl has been about fighting, intelligence, independence and everything these images are not. These are simply women on display, and that’s not Batgirl.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being either a porn star or a stripper. Batgirl, however, is neither of these things.
Looking at the 21 weeks of challenges before this, I can’t find any other example of this. It makes me wonder what kind of mentality we have as comic fans that makes us think the female characters should be treated this way? What makes us look at Batgirl and see her as an object to be ogled?
But, I don’t want to leave this post on that. OzComics do a great thing, and instead I want to show you a few of my favourite entries.