This post is for Keely, whose idea it was, and without whom I would likely have let both Love Your Body Day and Fat Talk Free Week slip by without noticing.
But! Luckily for me (and you), Keely is more alert than I, and thanks to her, you get a roundup of Five Characters Who Break the Paradigm of Feminine Beauty in Comics!
1: Reagan, of Templar, Arizona, by Spike
Reagan takes no shit.
If I needed one word to describe Reagan, I’d go with ‘big.’ She dominates every panel she appears inand not just because of her ample body. I imagine her talking in a just-a-bit-louder-than-life voice and laughing the kind of belly laugh that makes me proud to be human.
2: Scar and Anzu, both of Knights of the Shroud, by Matt Bayne.
Scar also whistles.
Ainzu is regal.
I love Knights of the Shroud a whole lot. If you’ve been following this column for any length of time, you probably know that already. And now you know yet another part of why.
Reagan is gorgeous, which is part of how she fucks with our beauty standards. Anzu and Scar challenge them because they’re not pretty. They’re powerful, and regal, and damaged, and maybe even beautiful, but if there is a single impression they give, it is that they are not there to be your eye candy. They have their own livesand their own ideasto follow. You’re just along for the ride.
2.5: Another reason I love Matt Bayne is that he responded to my LJ post asking for suggestions for this column with a link to someone else’s comic. I haven’t read much of Dicebox myself, but it certainly seems to fit the bill.
3: Amanda Waller, of the D.C. Universe.
Amanda Waller can kick Batman’s ass.
There is no oneno onein the D.C. Universe more badass than Amanda Waller. She is smarter than Batman. She is tougher than Darkseid. And she is one of the most morally and humanly complex characters in fiction. She embodies a combination of deep compassion, profound ideals, and utter ruthlessness that female characters rarely get to touchand she will fuck up your binaries and paradigms better than any other character in mainstream comics.
4: Sharon Ford, from Baker Street, by Guy Davis
Sharon Ford knows your secrets.
In his introduction to Honor Among Punks: The Complete Baker Street, Guy Davis wrote, ‘I wanted the series to have a couple of things not seen much in comics at the time: a strong female lead whose focus was her character and not her breast size, and also making it a fantasy piece for the punk scene I was into.’ The series protagonist, Sharon Ford, is a middle-aged queer punk detective and one of my all-time favorite comics characters. The reverence and deliberate care with which Guy draws charactersmale and femalein all their glorious and profoundly human ugliness is one the most persistent and compelling aspects of his art.
5: The entire cast of Dykes to Watch Out For
No picture for that one, ’cause it’s late and I’m tired. But you should read the archives anyway.
These five (and change) are some of my favorites but far from the only ones. Tell me about your favorite bodies that break the mold here.