Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mythic Noncompliance

Illustration: Valentine De Landro
I've written a profile of author Kelly Sue DeConnick, best known for her comics Captain Marvel, Pretty Deadly and the new Bitch Planet. It began as an interview for my regular Island column, then became a longer essay for Kill Your Darlings

In 'Mythic Noncompliance', I discuss DeConnick's feminism, her interest in plausible, diverse characters, and her relation to creativity and solitude. A sample:
In 2014’s Captain Marvel #1, DeConnick wrote of a little girl who runs too fast and trips, but for an instant ‘she’s outrun every doubt and fear she’s ever had about herself and she flies.’ This not only evoked the heroine’s ambitions, but spoke to generations of female readers. Mainstream superhero comics have a horrible reputation for misogynistic or sexist writing, which reduce women to decoration or plot devices. 
DeConnick is forthright about her own literary feminism. ‘When we limit ourselves to stories about men,’ she says, ‘and assume a readership that reflects the protagonist, we send the message to everyone else that they are other, that there is some kind of default human being, and they are not it.’ DeConnick believes writing that depicts a broader array of experiences is good for male readers, too, as they can then imagine themselves into other lives, instead of being ‘deprived by cultural depictions that only show Narcissus’ visage’.

No comments: