Feminism and Comics bell hooks Mike Medaglia

Let’s Talk Intersectionality: Feminism and Comics

Poster by Mike Medaglia

Last week, Turnaround paid a visit to a doubly awesome event featuring two of our favourite things: feminism AND comics!

The very brilliant Let’s Talk Intersectionality took over Gosh! Comics and the surrounding area (literally – the queue went around the corner) last Wednesday for an evening of discussion and learning about intersectional feminism and the comics industry.

Let’s Talk Intersectionality is a monthly reading group at The Feminist Library that explores feminist texts and issues from an intersectional perspective. Intersectional feminism is the idea that oppressions are interlinked and that they cannot be solved in isolation – racism and misogyny, for example.

This approach seemed to me particularly perfect for the comics industry because of how comics and graphic novels exist globally: when I think of this medium, I think of Western superheroes, Japanese manga, experimental British art from the likes of Breakdown Press and No Brow and bad-ass zines written by feminists from all kinds of cultural backgrounds.

After a brief introduction from Lauren Murphy and Lisa Woynarski on intersectional feminism and on feminism’s intersection with comics, we split into small groups and got down to talking about topics like the stereotypical image of the comics reader, barriers to to the industry for would-be makers of feminist art and how financial incentives weigh in on the representation of feminist characters.

The great thing about this event was the mix of expertise – my group featured some die-hard fans who had been buying comics since their childhood, some who had recently picked up the medium after seeing some progressive steps taken in the industry and some feminists there to learn more about the art form.

After a really inspiring and energising chat, we swapped recommendations and toddled off to purchase some merchandise from The Feminist Library – exhibit A:

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The good news is that, thanks to the huge popularity of this event, they’re putting on a Part Two on September 15! Check out the Facebook event here and make sure to put your name on the Eventbrite list before this one books out. Turnaround’s Heather (going back for round two) and Clara will be there, so do say hi!

To support The Feminist Library, donate here or buy some of their zines, totes and cards at the next Let’s Talk Intersectionality event.

Check out Turnaround’s top feminist graphic novels:

Complete Wimmen's Comix

The Complete Wimmen’s Comix (9781606998984, h/b, £75.00) is a huge collection of women cartoonists, most issues of which have long been out of print.

Love and Rockets Hernandez

Turnaround distribute the entire Love and Rockets series by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez – check out Maggie the Mechanic as a starting point.

Ms Marvel No Normal

We’ve also got lots of Ms. Marvel titles, including Kamala Khan’s series, the first Muslim character to headline her own comic book.

Captain Marvel Carol Danvers

Carol Danvers was previously known as Ms. Marvel, but she’s now assumed the mantle of Captain Marvelwhich we’re happily distributing!

Check out our whole range of graphic novels here!

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