CBR lists Woman World and Hark! A Vagrant in top 10 feminist comics to read

“The Feminist Starter Pack: 10 Comics To Read” / CBR / Archita Mittra / August 7, 2019

 

The comics medium, particularly superhero comics, have long been criticized for being too male-centric. They tend to cater to male power fantasies, objectify women, espouse toxic masculinity, and lack diversity as well as nuance. That is, until recently. That is why we have terms like "fridging" and the "Bechdel Test" in common parlance now. Because comics are for everyone. Feminist comics are important because they not only address vital and contemporary issues, but they also critique and question the patriarchal traditions that have shaped the industry and the world we live in.

Feminist comics talk back to the medium, and in doing so, bring up issues of equality, representation, diversity, privilege, and political correctness. They educate, inform, and entertain by providing characters or talking about issues that everyone can relate to, and give agency to the voiceless and the marginalized. Some of these comics are focused purely on women's issues and gender inequality, while others are more inter-sectional. But they've all been lauded for being deeply relevant and thought-provoking. Which ones have you read so far?

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WOMAN WORLD BY AMINDER DHALIWAL

Another webcomic that took the world by storm, Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal is a delightful portrayal of a world without men, so women have to rally together to rebuild civilization. Although set in a rather bleak and dystopian world (climate change is still a thing), the comics aren't dark but rather funny, insightful, and hugely relevant to our times. Updated biweekly, Woman World has so far garnered over 150,000 readers and best of all, can be read online for free on the author's Instagram page. It presents various feminist concerns and debates in short slice-of-life narratives.

HARK! A VAGRANT BY KATE BEATON

Another noted webcomic, Hark! A Vagrant revisits historical events and characters from a feminist light. Artist Kate Beaton began this project while drawing comics for a student newspaper in college, where she was studying History and Anthropology. The comics are populated with both literary and historical figures, including the likes of Sherlock Holmes and the Bronte Sisters. Her caricatures are humorous, witty, and cerebral, with the drawings all fitting within the space of three to six panels. It also brings attention to several women who are often ignored in mainstream historical accounts. The comic strips were later collected and released to critical acclaim in a print collection in 2011, going on to win several awards.

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