Does YOUR favorite comic pass the Bechdel Test?

Posted: May 26, 2010 in CCW Nation, CCW OpEd, Movies, Opinion, video

Hey folks, Elliott here with an interesting video I was pointed to on Twitter by Marvel’s @JenGrunwald.  It’s pretty short and I’d like to know how many comic books you’ve read this week that ‘fail’ this test.  I’d be curious to hear your answers.

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Comments
  1. Stamps says:

    I haven’t read all my comic this week, so far only 3. Out of those 3 though only 1 passed the test- Gotham City Sirens. That’s it so far.
    very interesting Elliot.

  2. Pobra says:

    wow, apparently some of my favorite movies are horribly, horribly sexist. Very interesting indeed. Thanks for the eye opener E!

  3. Mookie says:

    Many of those movies center around a male character’s actions. When you have 90 minutes to tell a story, there’s very little time for banter not relevent to the story. If you have a movie with a male protagonist or antagonist, how can you tell a good story in the allotted time and not talk about the male characters? But yeah, let’s have 2 female characters with names who have at least one scene where they talk about shit not even relevent to the film. If I have Catwoman and Batgirl in a Batman movie together and they’re on screen, what’re the chances they’re going to be talking about random girl shit as opposed to, gee, Batman.

    In terms of comics, you have Hero Team A stopping Villain B. Hero Team A has 2 females in it. They better damn well talk about stopping Villain B in those 22 pages of story.

    • AvS says:

      Mookie, I guess the point is right there in your first sentence -“Many of those movies center around a male character’s actions.”

      • Rob F says:

        Sure that’s a good point but I wouldn’t go to Sex and the City 2 expecting to hear some rousing conversations from the male characters.

        • Stamps says:

          I agree

        • AvS says:

          I agree, I wouldn’t go to Sex and the City 2 either. Zing. But seriously, I don’t think finding one exemption, assuming Sex in the City passes the test, really proves anything but that you’ve found one exemption. Even though you could probably list several others. The real question is whether the test even tells us anything, or is a straw-ah,… person. You might just be hard pressed to find a film where two people both female OR both male don’t for example talk about the opposite sex.

      • Mookie says:

        So they took movies that realistically center around a male character’s actions and complain about the fact there aren’t women in the movie not talking about the male lead or his actions? It’s ridiculous. Throughout history, men have been the heroic characters and to have it this way in movies is simply a reality of portraying historic gender roles. While stories/movies can be fantastical, I’d rather they portray characters acting realistically while in them.

        The only thing that satisfies the 3rd question in the test is to include banter between female characters that literally has no point to the story or character development. From a female perspective, where in Sex In the City is there room for 2 male characters talking about football?

        • “Throughout history, men have been the heroic characters and to have it this way in movies is simply a reality of portraying historic gender roles. While stories/movies can be fantastical, I’d rather they portray characters acting realistically while in them.”

          Are you saying that if a female character acted heroically in a film her character would not be seen as being “portrayed realistically” because only men can do that?

          I am not trying to put words in your mouth. I really want to know if that is what you are suggesting or if I misread your thought.

          J.

          • Mookie says:

            I’m not saying women can’t be just as heroic as men, but chances are if there’s a heroic story the lead will be a man. Heroes always save women and children first. Men in our society are taught, rightfully so, to protect women. I’ve studied history. The vast majority of heroic characters have been men. It’s not bias, it’s simply a fact. To show a story in print or film that has more male heroic characters and male-driven storylines is not bias but simply portraying the historic reality.

            I would challenge these Bechtel test people to analyze those movies and within the constraints of their storyline and runtime, find instances where having 2 female characters with names talk together about something that isn’t a man(ie: not the storyline or the lead male characters). Or in comics, find a place in 22 page Avengers where Spider Woman and Ms Marvel can talk about their nails or hair together for more than 1 chat bubble.

            Personally, I think this is looking for bias where there isn’t any.

            • AvS says:

              “Talk about their nails or hair together” followed by “looking for bias where there isn’t any.”

              You had me going for a bit. But you trolled too close to the sun. Nice attempt all around though.

              • He he..I think you’re right AvS. Please refer to the boxxy video I posted in the open thread yesterday.

                J.

              • Mookie says:

                No offense, but breaking my posts down to 1 sentence is really classless. I’m not trolling at all and I made a informative post. I’m sure you’re a regular on this blog and you’ll get patted on the back for sniping my posts but really, I’m not a troll.

                Let’s take a 22 page Avengers comic: The Avengers are stopping Norman Osborn’s evil schemes in this comic. Ms. Marvel and Spider Woman get a couple of panels to discuss something not related to any of the male characters. What are they talking about that is relevent to the story that needs to be told within these 22 pages? Please, answer me this. WHAT ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT? Write me those panels.

                What exactly did I say that was untrue in my post?

                • They can talk about sports, they can talk about what being a hero means to them, they can talk about how today’s politics effects them and what there views are, they can talk about the DOW Jones, they can talk about being in the market for a new car, they can talk about ANYTHING that normal people talk about. For fuck’s sake…

                  J.

                • AvS says:

                  I wasn’t condensing your post, I was simply pointing out two points that set off my trollometer. I apologize if you’re not a troll. Although there are worse things than being a troll. You apparently gave your honest opinion. I’m not gonna claim it’s false, it’s an opinion. But I will disagree with your methods and conclusions. For example, you based a point in your argument on a turn of the 20th century maritime saying… But overall my main criticism is that you’re basing your criteria for modern film on what I consider to be an antiquated and unfair assignment of gender roles. But if you find someone that’s into that sort of thing then all the power to you.

                  In the future, will there be more or less female ‘heroes’ in the real world than there were in 1942? Just a rhetorical question.

                  On the panels, maybe they can talk about football. I look forward to my royalty check.

            • “I’m a man. Man built the wheel, of steel and brawn. You’re a woman with a brain a third the size of mine. Sorry, that’s just science.”

              Ron Burgandy (paraphrased)

              That’s what your comment sounded like to me, Mookie.

              Elliott

              • Mookie says:

                I used hair/nails as a stereotypical conversation just as I said male characters would talk about football in Sex and the City.

                Really, you guys are fishing for sexism where they isn’t any. Storytellers have an alotted time to tell their story in modern media. They cut out unnecessary banter. Elliot, I’m sure you know this as a comic book writer. The same goes for movies.

                I believe Tomb Raider was in that list of supposedly sexist movies. Even though it has a very strong female lead who realistically outsmarts and outduels male adversaries, sexism-seekers still piss and moan that its a sexist film in some way. Enough is enough. Stop trying to divide people by looking for discrimination where they simply isn’t any.

                • At no point in the video does the woman call the movies ‘sexist.’ It is not saying that the films are bad. (Hell Raiders of the Lost Ark and TOY STORY are in the montage, and those movies sure as hell ARE NOT SEXIST.)

                  At no point does she say that the films degrade women. All the ‘test’ says is that women aren’t represented in the same quantity/manner as men. That they are grossly outnumbered.

                  That is all that she’s saying with the video.

                  And yes, as a writer, I am quite sensitive to this issue, but that’s not even the point. The point is to enlighten folks to this topic, to point out a trend. NOT to point fingers. NOT to ‘divide people by looking for discrimination.’

                  Cuz’ you see, generally, the folks who HATE having it pointed out are the ones who are doing it.

                  But I know we’re all above that on these boards. 😉

                  Thanks for commenting,

                  Elliott

        • AvS says:

          So there have been no heroic women throughout history? I’m gonna assume you meant to throw the word a lot or maybe even most in there somewhere. Or perhaps your conception of history might be slanted by gender roles portrayed in modern film? In any case, analysis of film like this is helpful if only in that it might pull out some bias that we as viewers in turn might have picked up. I’m saying this not even convinced that the Bechdel test is a good test.

        • Rob F says:

          But in looking at that from the other side, sometimes male oriented movies choose to ignore realism by not including women. The movie that struck me from that list was Lord of the Rings…sure there are two women characters but it seems like the whole female race is thrown out the window. Would the story have suffered if one or more of the hobbits had been female?

          And to your other point, I don’t think they want the banter to be meaningless. The point of the video was that women usually have no active power outside of talking about men. They could talk about their own feelings to flesh them out. Having men talk about football in Sex and the City might be odd but then again presenting real characters makes more sense than bland stereotypes.

          • Mookie says:

            Yes, it would have suffered with female leads. I believe Tolkien wrote the books around WW2. Thousands upon thousands of young men were dying on the battlefields of Europe. This was the reality. Women worked at home and filled the roles left by men such as factory work, mechanics, engineers, etc. They didn’t go out and fight because our society would never have asked them to do so. Having Tolkien write about a female hobbit going out and killing orcs with Frodo and Sam would make little sense to the people of the time.

            Yes, the women could talk about their feelings and have their characters fleshed out, but isn’t reality. Storytellers have 90 minutes more often than not to create a film and comic book makers have 22 pages to tell their story. There’s no room for non-essential character development.

            • Rob F says:

              They couldn’t handle women fighting in that story but his contemporary C.S. Lewis could write a story with children (two were girls) fighting in a mythical land?

              I understand your point towards comics, 22 pages isn’t much time. I think movies are different, I’m not saying that you have to create fully fleshed out 3-d characters but in some of those movies the women aren’t even 2-D. The point isn’t that the conversation has to detract from the movie, sometimes the characters don’t have to drive the plot but can provide either insight or background to the total narrative.

              • L. Frank Baum wrote his Oz books BEFORE Tolkien’s Rings. In that story we are shown a world where the most powerful being is a woman, Glinda. Dorthy is the savior of the land and through her actions she vanquishes evil, and dethrownes the inept (male) fraud.

                Yes, L. Frank Baum was an avid supporter of Women’s Rights but to say that the Lord of the Rings couldn’t have benefeited from a female is just wrong.

                Two female roles do not have to be talking of “hair and make-up” that’s sexist. It can be about problems faced in the story, just not about a love interest.

          • Morlock50 says:

            The only issue I have with the video clip is the part about two female characters talking about men. It’s a little too broad. I mean, in Birds of Prey, you can have Ladly Shiva and Black Canary talking about their dying mentor in issue 62. Technically, that’s two women talking about a man, but that’s essential to the plot of the issue. And that’s different than if they were talking about whether they thought Batman was cute. I think the point here should be, do two women in a movie/comic get to discuss something that moves the plot forward in a genre picture, or are they put in the movie to discuss a love interest with the male lead.

  4. AvS says:

    That is interesting. Haven’t read my comics this week but I’d imagine not many would pass. The last ‘Brave and the Bold’ comes to mind though as one that passed. But I didn’t catch this lone woman’s name as she talked about men in cinema. What’s her name? Just saying.

  5. Locusmortis says:

    I guess this chick hasn’t been dragged to any date movies then….yeesh.

    Also most of the films they showed were fucking brilliant, so I guess the moral of this is that to make a great film you should leave women out or only have them as minor characters!

    • Stamps says:

      ha ha They were really great movies. When she was going through them I was just sitting there thinking “shit these are some of my favorite movies.”

  6. Smallmaniac says:

    No one story can satisfy everyone. If you get men and women covered then you have ethnicity, geography, religion, politics, and a whole myriad of other groups and sub-groups. Basically you can’t not offend people.

    On a similar note to the video, do you think women can relate to male characters in stories, and vice versa? I’m willing to bet more women can relate to men than men can relate to women, which may be a part of the problem presented in this video. It doesn’t always have to be an English speaking white male to be relate-able, this coming from an English speaking white male.

  7. phil says:

    Maybe its just a gut feeling, but I get the feeling that you already have an idea what you believe the outcome is going to be. I believe your “curiosity” is a front so that later on at some point you can point a finger out those of us that don’t live up to a certain standard. My apologies if thats not your purpose, E. I’m just seeing red flags on this one.

  8. phil says:

    This oddly also brings to mind when certain t v shows dress women up in fat suits just to find out if guys behave differently in general situations with what is considered to be an attractive woman as opposed to

    • phil says:

      ….a woman who is obese and these “reporters act shocked when the men behave as they do, which is differently. Is it right? No. It is however what it is Well thats just my 2cents
      Pardon this for being broken up into 2 parts, I guess I became distracted.

  9. IronMuskrat says:

    Kind of a Strawman argument if you ask me.

    Make an argument that Hollywood movies are sexist. (I don’t disagree with this up to a point)

    Then make three rather odd, very generalized rules to prove this point. (Actually these rules seem to have been made to focus on certain genres of movies, action and comedies films)

    Then apply those rules to action and comedies made over the past thirty years. (The rules being bias against such movies generates a long list to prove your point)

    Conclude there is something wrong that needs to be fixed. (Without ever proving that anything was wrong in the first place)

    The three rules seem rather flawed in presenting a empirical argument supporting the authors claims.

    1) Two or more female characters, with names. So any movie that does not have female characters fails this test, even movies that take place in an environment where no female would logically be there, such as military, prison or any historical movies where there actually was no women present. Then tack on the requirement that the women have to have names, would that be names in the script or do the names actually have to be spoken out loud in the movie. Many times characters in movies have names, but there is no reason for them to be spoken or revealed to the audience.

    2) Do the women speak to each other. Not really sure where the author was headed on this one. So if the movie has two or more named women in it and they don’t actually speak to each other during the course of the movie, the film fails the test? Why is it so important that the women speak to each other? And why is it sexist if they do not? What if the movies script has the women doing unrealted things, in different locations in the movies? This rules seems too vague to prove anything to me.

    3) The women have to speak about something other than a man. Another rules that seem awfully vague. What counts as talking about something other than a man. Does the mention of a man in a conversation that not primarily about men still disqualify it? How long does the conversation have to be? Does two women passing one another on the street and saying ‘hello’ qualify?

    I couldn’t help but notice that most of the movies she presented as not passing this test were action or comedies films. Action films especially don’t have many women in them by their nature, but that’s just the way it is in action films. Would Predator been a better movie if it had two women in it named Mary Smith and Sally Worth having a conversation about child rearing in it?

    Movies are very specific in catering to certain target audiences, there are plenty of movies out there about women, hell there are cable channels just for women now. If the author’s argument is that Action movies tend to ignore women, I would agree with that, but I would not agree that is necessarily a bad thing. Some movies genres just don’t lend themselves to female characters.

    • Your rational thinking and well argued point have no place on the internet IM. I’m sure your can show yourself out. 😛

      J.

      • Let me ask a question here to the male majority that is commenting on the board (not to ignore you Stamps):

        If every one of the movies listed were films that starred FEMALE leads and ‘broke’ the rules when it came to MEN, would YOU watch them?

        Be honest.

        Elliott

        • cballsack says:

          Interesting video. I have to say that I disagree strongly with the people on here who said this video was a waste of time or just trying to stir something up. It’s important to step back and look at pop culture through another lens, and this video definitely highlights a trend that is prevalent in society: the idea of women as things to be looked at rather than actualized human beings.

          As for the comics I’ve read in the past week, I’ve tackled four graphic novels: the death of Captain America (just got around to reading it now), Black Blizzard (old manga by Yoshihiro Tatsumi), the fourth volume of Scott Pilgrim, and The Vietnam War: A Graphic History. Of those, only Scott Pilgrim passes the Bechdel Test.

        • edward2962 says:

          I litterally just watched “Bring It On” before I came to this site.No lie.

        • Luiz de Mello says:

          I would, probably (assuming the movie had the same quality, ofc). Except adaptations like LOTR, that would really feel forced, it wouldn’t be an adaptation in the first place, more like an original story just without the original part. Original spinoffs like Xena, in the other hand, are more than welcome.

        • phil says:

          If you have to preface a question with “be honest”, which presumes your audience is going to lie to you…. then why ask the question?

        • Morlock50 says:

          The answer is yes. That’s what happens when you grow up reading Perez era Wonder Woman, and X-men comics when Chris Claremont was in his prime.

    • Deemar says:

      You are without a doubt the Reed Richards of CCW

      I needed a thesaurus to get through this post

      😉

    • IronMuskrat says:

      I hope I didn’t come off as to long winded and snooty on this one. I actually find the premise very interesting and don’t necessarily disagree with what was being said.

      However being a life long Role-player and gamer, I love rule sets and systems of rules that govern the way things should work. I am also use to people trying to get around rules for their advantage, so I tend to look at rules in a different light than most people.

      But that’s just the nerd in me =)

      IM

    • rush says:

      I think the point is that mass media in general tends to market to male or female. There is no real reason for this. While it’s alright to sometimes market to a particular gender but this can’t possibly be a good idea to do all the time.

    • IM,

      I love you like a brother and all, but tell me why action films are geared mostly to men and don’t lend themselves to female characters?

      Cuz if that is the case, then what about Aliens, Terminator 2, Kill Bill, Death Proof and Avatar, to name just a few.

      Each of these films have shown that female characters can more than carry the weight of being the focus of the narrative.

      Just a thought.

      Elliott

      • IronMuskrat says:

        Hey Elliott!

        I agree that women have the ability to be just as brave and heroic as men in movies, when I said that women don’t lend themselves to action films that was more of a comment on traditional attitude of Hollywood action movies then a woman’s actual ability to pull off the hero stuff. Hollywood saw men as their target audience for action/adventure movies and made those movies to appeal to men by giving them strong male characters to look up to and identify with, of course this meant that women for the most part took a backseat to the men and rarely saw any meaningful role in action movies. That’s just the way it was with movies for a very long time, men were the heroes and women pay the role of victim or a love interest to the male hero.

        On the other hand Hollywood also made movies that appealed mostly to women, romance, musicales and dramas that were primarily designed to bring women into the theaters. IS Hollywood sexist? Sure, but not just against women, I would say the big wigs out there making movies are doing a disserves to both women and men by not giving either gender credit for thinking outside of the box when it comes to the movies they want to see.

        But as you point out Elliott, Hollywood is slowing coming around to the idea that it is possible to have strong female characters in movies that have been traditionally male. The examples you gave of Ripley, ‘The Bride’ and Sara Connor are great examples of women who can carry the hero role in a action movie.

        But I also think that does bring up some of the problems with the Bechdel test, it relies on specific numbers and actions to test the ‘Feminist’ qualities of the movie. In Aliens III, Ripley is the sole female character in the movie, but yet she is every bit as strong and capable as any male character could have been. Did it matter that there was no other named women around or that she didn’t have a non-male conversation with another women. Sara Connor is also a very strong solo female hero, but would the Terminator movies past the Bechdel test? The Bride in the Kill Bill movies is a classic ‘out for revenge’ hero in the mold of Clint Eastwood or Arnold Schwarzenegger, now Kill Bill does pass the Bechdel Test, but does the fact she is focused solely on revenge against a male character, Bill, make the film any less feminist?

        I think the Bechdel Test is a interesting idea for looking at the way people in Hollywood makes movies in a bias way against genders. I just feel the way the rules are set up right now are skewed against action movies and to a lesser extent comedies that have been traditionally male heavy in their casting. The Bechdel Test is sort of like shooting fish in a barrel when it comes to testing action movies, as I think most people would already acknowledge the fact these sort of films have been and continue to be sexist against women in general.

        But things are slowly changing for the better, you are seeing more roles for women in action movies and especially on TV and Cable shows now. Thing are no were being balanced right now, but it getting there.

        Just one question for you Elliott, as a writer, but you feel any pressure to write roles for female characters in your comics? Even if the story you are writing doesn’t necessarily need a women character? If you had to follow the Bechdel Test when writing, would it help or hinder your creativity?

        Ok that was more than one question, but I am curious as to you thinking on this.

        IM

        • Ash Saves Obama failed the Bechdel Test.

          J.

        • To be perfectly honest, yes, I do feel pressure to write female roles in comics. Not because of editorial mandate, but because of my personal beliefs.

          I do believe that if I followed the Bechdel Test in writing a story, it wouldn’t hinder me at all, if anything it would give me the challenge of fully realizing TWO new characters.

          And for the purposes of full disclosure in regards to my own writing,

          Xena/Army of Darkness and Army of Darkness #18 ‘passed’ the Bechdel Test (and AOD #18 could be considered sexist due to some of the imagery) while AOD: Ash Saves Obama DID NOT pass the test because it had only ONE female character (even though I wrote her as a strong character who ends up saving everyone in the end).

          Yes, I know the criteria can be a wee bit suspect in some cases, but I wouldn’t go and dismiss it altogether.

          The next thing I would ask would be: If the questions on the Bechdel Test are skewed to find a bias, how would you change it?

          Again, the questions would need to be easy to answer and give a quantifiable result.

          Thanks for your commentary,

          Elliott

          • Mookie says:

            If you want real sexism and bias against women, read a Bendis comic or one of these Doomwars where Storm is portrayed as a wimp. Forget about this ridiculous test. How female characters are portrayed matters a lot more than whether or not they have a conversation together about something that isn’t a man.

  10. rush says:

    Ya, majority of my comics fail this test. It’s thought provoking. Comics have historically been marketed to males in general with success. I would see very very few women at comic shops and convention back in the 80s and early 90s let alone female creators in any numbers. This has changed a great deal however the portrayal of women still tends to be bit sexist. I find stronger female characters in Japanese comics more so than American comics. This from a culture who has strong opinion on gender roles, hmmmmmm.

    • “I find stronger female characters in Japanese comics more so than American comics. This from a culture who has strong opinion on gender roles.”

      Elliott and I have talked about this a couple of times in our videos. It really is a strange bit of “role reversal” culturally speaking though I do think that Japan is making progress in their “strong opinion of gender roles” while at times I feel that the U.S. is regressing in ours.

      J.

      • rush says:

        I agree Japan’s gender roles are progressing. What’s also interesting is countries like India, Pakistan, and the Philippines have had female prime ministers and we haven’t even had a female vice president.
        I’m left to wonder what the comics publisher are thinking. Do they realize that women have money and they like to spend it and maybe they need to go after this market segment more aggressively.

        • Well, DC actually did go after that market segment with their Minx and CMX manga line. Unfortunately DC ended the Minx line last year and is ending CMX in July. The CMX line has been around for a while but in my opinion never really had any standout titles. As far as Minx goes, I don’t think it was given a fair chance. It was a “new imprint” targeting a demographic that DC had never really targeted aggressively before. Minx was a line that needed a lot more time than DC gave it in order to grow into something great and more importantly to them, something profitable.

          J.

      • Deemar says:

        Hey this the same country that makes most of it’s Anime/Manga characters caucasian instead of asian, so the Japanese are all mixed up.

        • rush says:

          This was originally done because the first Japanese comics emulated American comics character design formulas. Then it just became a style unto itself.

          • Deemar says:

            Still find it strange

            Its like me doing a Shaft comic, but instead of drawing the likeness of Richard Roundtree I use Tom Hanks as a visual reference instead.

            • Today’s manga “look” was created by Osamu Tezuka who was really influenced by cartooning and Disney animated films. Just because he was Asian does he need to draw all of his characters to resemble Asians?

              J.

              • Deemar says:

                Nope just found it strange especially when Japan is such a Homogenous country, and most of the manga and anime I’ve watched is set in Japan itself.

  11. Deemar says:

    Only one comic I’ve read met the videos criteria

    Should I feel guilty?

    • Stamps says:

      I think we are all in the same boat too, so be comforted that you aren’t alone. 😛

      • Deemar says:

        Heh..I’ve never really thought about that.

        Hell if anything I’ve gone out my way to read comics with a female lead.

        • Stamps says:

          Seeing a Female lead makes me intrigued by a book more now that I think about it. It makes me look at the previews and stuff more when I hear of one because having a main female lead is so out of the norm in many comic books.

          • Deemar says:

            Same here when I see a comic with a black or latino lead, I’m more apt to check it out.

          • Have you ever tried getting into manga?

            J.

            • Deemar says:

              I tried, when I was in Korea.

              I got more into the live action movies like Storm Riders and Hard Boiled.

              Something about the overwrought design work in Anime and manga, the ridiculous weaponry, costumes and giant eyes and hair turns me off.

              It’s hard to explain, but manga offends my eyes I realize it’s all serviceable too amazing art. I simply hate the whole aesthetic.

              It’s the same with overly cute looking things I kinda have an aversion to.

              • rush says:

                Dude please try reading Monster or Pluto.

                • Deemar says:

                  Does it have big eyes, tentacles, giant should pads,weird emoticons like tear drops of embarrassment, odd jump cuts of off character designs, money saving talking monologues and posturing…?

                  I hate manga and anime I can’t do it, can’t have it, can’t do it.

                  I’ve tried over the years to like manga, hell I barely accept superheroes in costumes.

                  • Pluto, Monster and 20th Century Boys are some of the best COMICS period. It’s too bad you are missing out D. Thought you would have a little bit more of an open mind when it comes to art.

                    You shouldn’t stereotype all Japanese comics as being the same. Just my opinion though.

                    J.

                    • Deemar says:

                      Your right

                      I realize for every One Piece theirs a Ninja Scroll.

                      The manga/anime aesthetic I don’t know why I have an aversion to it. I just do.

                      Weird huh?

                    • Mike F says:

                      Yeah I agree Jose. I LOVE how some people in this world assume that if they read a Japanese comic they’ll be connected to all the bad stories you hear about Modern day Japan. Its pathetic really…

                      Good to hear you finally checked out Pluto Jose. Epic is truly is.

                  • rush says:

                    HAHA no neither of those title boast any of the things you mentioned. Next time you are at a book store flip through them I guaran-damn-tee you will be pleasnatly surprised. Monster was also made into an anime show which was really good.

                    • rush says:

                      Oh This is an older manga title but it rocks. Sanctuary.

                    • Deemar says:

                      One piece has characters with big eyes, weird ass weaponry and One Piece does the dumb thing of two characters talking for as long as possible to save on animation. same as Dragon Ball Z

                  • phil says:

                    What are you talking about, D? Big eyes? A Johnson? Giant Shoulder pads? Waitaminnit……….oh you said “tentacles” . Nevermind

                    • Deemar says:

                      I’m going to give Monster and Pluto a try.

                    • Mike F says:

                      LOL, Deemar, ONE PIECE SUCKS!

                      NOT EVEN JAPANESE think its cool, the only people who like that garbage are Otaku’s who just wanna read as much as possible.

                      READ 20th CENTURY BOYS! Monster is great, and Pluto is probably one of the best comics of the last decade, but I suggest starting with 20th century boys.

              • I was actually asking Stamps D but that’s cool.

                J.

            • Stamps says:

              No I haven’t really ever tried. I’ve never quite known where to start.
              The manga section of a bookstore seems a little overwhelming for a person who has never read one.
              what do you suggest as one to start out with?

              • rush says:

                As mention earlier Monster, Pluto, 20th Century Boys, Battle Angel Alita, Sanctuary, Buddha, Death Note.

              • Well, you were saying how American comics don’t really have a lot of strong female leads and that that is something you are interested in. Manga like Black Lagoon, Empowered (though that one is really an American manga), Silent Mobius, Maison Ikkoku, Ranma 1/2, Battle Angel Alita and Gunsmith Cats are all (mostly) centered around strong female leads. And that’s just for starters.

                If you are looking for really great manga in general (with both male and female leads) I have other books that I could also recommend.

                J.

                • Stamps says:

                  I just watched the old CCW episode after I posted last, and I liked the sounds of Black Lagoon.
                  I’m gonna have to get that one I think. Looks like me and my credit card are going buy a couple of things tonight.

                  • Please let me know what you think about what you bought.

                    J.

                    • Stamps says:

                      Absolutely. I’m hoping it’s pretty good.

                      It might take me a week or so to get to reading it, I’m going on vacation starting at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

                      Thanks for the recommendations.

                    • Insideman says:

                      Jose was just kind enough to help me out a TON on this subject! (Thanks again, Jose!)

                      I just purchased Gantz Vols 1- 10 on his recommendation… and I also bought the Vagabond Big Viz Editions Vol 1 – 7 on Mike F’s rec.

                      Unfortunately, I am finding it impossible to find full runs of some of Jose’s other picks: Eagle, Worst & Genshiken. What’s really shitty– after researching the titles, all three books look as great as Jose said they were!

                      I believe– with some (or a lot of) work– I’ll be able to get full runs of Battle Royale, Cannon God Exxaxion and Oldboy.

                      It is maddening that you can’t get full runs of such titles as Blade of the Immortal. Hey publishers! You want your back stock to sell? You want NEW readers to explore and become VESTED in your characters? Don’t have EVERY VOLUME of Monster available except Vol 3 or Vol 6!!!

                      A guy like me (completest) don’t wanna read your stuff if you can’t be bothered to keep the full run available.

                      If you don’t care. Why should I?

                      P.S. On a crazy note– I had a long exchange with Erik Larsen on the Image boards. Seems he never reprinted the Savage Dragon issues that would have comprised Trade books #12, #13 and #14. If you go to buy that trade run, the Trades literally stop at Vol. 11 and pick back up with Vol. 15. Erik was surprisingly cool (and really nice) through the whole convo– but he gave me the distinct impression those issues were never going to reprinted in a “regular trade” format (for a variety of reasons). They might see the light of day– in the cheaper black & white format… Or if he decides to do a deluxe, Archive-like series of hardcovers, though… But the latter could be a ways off.

                    • I feel your pain on not being able to get full runs on manga Insideman. I work in a damn comic shop and I can’t even get a copy of 20th Century Boys Vol 4 because Diamond no longer stocks it. I don’t mind going to Border’s and paying full price for it because the comic is worth it but the overall situation is just ridiculous.

                      J.

            • SMARTASS8 says:

              I’ve read various manga in the past. I’ve enjoyed it for the most part, but I always feel I’m missing something in the translation(either the translated words or cultural “insider” jokes that I’m not aware of). I’d be tempted to try more but I have trouble enough as it is keeping up with the movies, TV, and American comics I want to see. Considering I’m currently unemployed and am not dating anyone(kind of a catch-22), I’ll have even less time than I currently do when those 2 status quos are altered for the better.

        • phillip says:

          lol if u realise even comics with female leads sometimes fail this test

  12. phil says:

    Has anyone read Mark Crilley’s Miki Falls manga? I’ve subbed his channel and found his drawing to be subdued and tranquil, unlike most of the garrish Dragon Ball Z-ish lookin’ stuff I normally see.

  13. mitiators says:

    My friends and I were just discussing this idea and its surprising (and kind of scary) how many porn films we were able to come up with that meet this criteria.
    1) There’s almost always 2 women.
    2) They usually have at least one line of dialogue together.
    3) And the line is usually some obligatory throw away line having nothing to do with the plot or men. (i.e. “That workout sure was rough.”)
    I agree with the sincerity of the question, but I thought this was pretty funny.

  14. Mike F says:

    I gotta say, this video really was a waste to me.

    First of all, I don’t see why its so necessary that in this day of age, 2010, women have to be introduced in a story for it ‘ok’ or appeal to women.

    Think about this, if I made a movie and not ONCE mentioned Estonia, do you think they’d see the movie and say “HEY! Our country was never mentioned once! We’re offended!” I doubt they’d say it cause really, there’s no reason to flip out about this.

    Second, to assume that its a bad thing because your only female characters talk about men, or they don’t have their names mentioned is clearly a choice for the sake of the movie. Do you guys really think that the male exec’s in Hollywood are systematically trying to get rid of women in the business?

    I’m TOTALLY for equality in all races and genders and faiths… But I don’t really agree entirely with this subject.

    • Essentially you’re saying you’re all for equality as long as the folks who feel like they aren’t being treated equal just don’t say anything about it. Eh?

      Elliott

      • Mike F says:

        I am all for equality, I just don’t see the need to baby everyone for it.

        I don’t see how people HAVE to be mentioned in a movie in order for them to be “adequately represented” in the modern world. Just how I feel tho…

        By this logic two females in a movie HAVE to talk with each other in order for it to have a “strong female role” well in Big Lebowski the Maude lady was a very smart intelligent female and yet she didn’t talk to other females about non-males…

        • IMO, what the ‘test’ is asking for are very minor elements that could easily be included if the creator of the narrative would just consider a point of view outside of just the male lead.

          And for the sake of clarity, the ‘test’ isn’t so much trying to point out ‘sexism’ as much as a trend in movies.

          Elliott

          • Mike F says:

            Yeah, I do see your point more now that I’ve sat and thought about it…

            Its in interesting thing to think about during movies too. Now I’ll be watching the female roles more closely. But, should the movie fail the test, I still there’s reason to determine if this was a choice by the writers or coincidence..

  15. SMARTASS8 says:

    I’m covered when it comes to the Bechdel Test. All I watch is lesbian porn & Grey’s Anatomy and read Cherry Poptart & Betty And Veronica Double Digest.

  16. hackslash2020 says:

    TO DIVIDE & CONQUER!! All EFFORTS TOWARDS ONENESS ARE TO BE TARNISHED

  17. mattcd42 says:

    That was a great video to lead in. I got linked to it yesterday through other means, she has a great channel.
    But yesterday when I was reading my comics I realized that only one of my comics passed that test. That was the Rucka backup in in Detective Comics (the only worthwhile pages in that book) and this was out of $40 dollars of comics. DC, Marvel, and indy. While I understand that there are points of view, disagreements ect. ect. This is why there needs to be a Birds of Prey, why Girl comics may be stupid, but just to have a female centric book, just cuz needs to be out there.

    Hell even more subtly books like the Authority where Girls could talk to eachother, or even Buffy. I know that there are books that pass the test, but considering the ratios, I think it’s fair to say we need more girls in comics.

    And maybe CCW should have a segment where our good leads are replaced by knowledgeable females of comics (just one week) I vote for Pelicanstar to be one: http://www.youtube.com/user/pelicanstar

  18. oh my god that works for so many things this is genius thanks elliot

  19. Mike F says:

    Is there any hope you guys will do another “Urasawa” segment?

    I truly believe he’s the most relateable Japanese comic writer. If more people read Pluto they’d see the magic of his work…

  20. kurumais says:

    does twilight pass this test?

    kind of brings up a pet peeve of mine why do they throw a romance subplot in action movies? they dont put gun fights in chick flicks.

  21. kurumais says:

    recent american comics with strong female leads from the big 2 (you can debate the strong)
    wonder woman
    birds of prey
    batgirl
    detective
    supergirl
    powergirl
    spider woman
    black widow has like 3 recent titles and has been in cap and iron man as strong supporting role
    ms marvel
    she hulks sorry cant keep track of red or green
    spider girl is back
    rescue just got a book not sure if its one shot or mini or whatever
    zantanna just started her series
    manhunter nomad and the question all have back ups

    thats just off the top of my head im sure i missed some and i didnt even get into girl comics HER-oes etc and didnt even touch on indies if you want to read comics about super gals they arent hard to find. to say the american comic industry especially the superhero genre doesn’t have those characters out there i dont think is accurate

    • Never said they weren’t out there. Of course you have female characters in comics and a few have their own titles, that wasn’t the point.

      Be sure to vote in the CCW Poll of the Day if you haven’t already.

      Elliott

      • kurumais says:

        i havent had time to go through every post but a quick read through i saw something about manga and if you need female leads you can look over there which you can but mostly what we talk about here in CCW is super hero books put out by the big 2 and they are putting out the books. if you cant scratch your super chick itch from that list you probably aren’t super hero comic fan anyway.

        pssst someone ask E if star wars passes the test im afraid to

  22. edward2962 says:

    Very interesting subject.I was joking going to bring up softcore porn,but other ppl beat me to it.I think a very important point is that in alot of cases it may be unknowing sexism but more often it’s deliberate marketing.I believe I read back in the 50-70’s b-movie and exploitation film-makers had a theory: Younger kids will watch what older kids like but not the reverse.And girls will watch what boys like but not the reverse.Hence,aim every product at 19 year old buys.That’s the mind set of many movies and the vast majority superhero comics.

  23. Friedmiester says:

    Secret Avengers actually has two 3 female roles: Sharon Carter, Black Widow, and Valkyrie. Black Widow and Valkyrie actually start the book off as undercover agents that end up beating the crap out of some drunk Roxxon guy.

    This book is pretty damn good all in all. Miko Deodato’s is killing it on this book. The cliffhanger on the last page is very interesting also and raised a lot of questions

    • I have to agree with you Friedmiester. That book was was really good. Best (monthly) Avengers comic I have read in a while.

      J.

    • Pobra says:

      Actually, Deodato was the only thing that i didn’t really like about it. Some of his faces looked really strange. But it was better than his work on Dark Avengers. Apart from that nitpick, i really enjoyed it, perfect first issue and probably the only Avengers book I’ll be buying.

  24. Variant Girl says:

    Wow, I have always been aware that women don’t get top billing and if they do the movie is considered a chic flick, even by us women, which is wrong and I’m just as guilty of it as the dude with the balls beside me. However, if the film world is failing big time, the comic book community is off the charts.

    It’s no big surprise that the majority of comics geared for women are really…not that interesting, nor are they interesting. Why does there have to be a divide? Why can’t we all just read good well written and drawn comics period. Is it because the mentality of society has not matured and evolved when it comes to gender roles? The one kick ass awesome book that does have a strong female lead and features that character interacting with other women is Batwoman Detective Comics. And when that came out there was alot of bitching and whinging about the fact that she was gay.

    None of the comics I am currently reading pass that test which is appauling to say the least and actually quite sad. There isn’t even enough female creators out there that are given a chance. I suggest to everyone to read the Utopian novel ” Herland ” it was written like in 1965 to illustrate the potential and greatness of womankind. You may be astounded to find that alot of the views back then are still prevelant in today’s society. Anyway, hope is all there is for the future of comics, and film. Maybe if there were more fangirls who actually spoke out and voiced their opinions and thoughts things would change, who knows.

    Great video clip E.

  25. SMARTASS8 says:

    All this thread does is make me yearn for the “gool ol’ days”!!!

    http://www.businesspundit.com/10-most-sexist-print-ads-from-the-1950s/

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