Tuesday, 21 March 2017

SDOAR: Kick Ass Princess

Well, that took a while! Anyway, here is the Kick-Ass Princesses spread. I was so excited to work on this page for many reasons, most of which I have detailed in past posts. Kind of sad to be done with it.

In his notes to me about this page Dave said:
"... as a comic-BOOK store manager Jack would probably have read or flipped through the COLLECTED FLASH GORDON but probably would never hear of RIP KIRBY. And, as a modern tattooed woman (make sure you keep those tats visible!) all she would have taken away from FLASH GORDON is "Kick-Ass Princesses"."
Dave has also jokingly mentioned making Jack a character feminists will love enough to demand a spin-off title.

I think the idea is pretty funny but was skeptical that any feminist would look at this illustration, see a girl lost in wistful fantasy, surrounded by sexy women in skimpy costumes, and not be offended. So, I tried a little social-media experiment.

This page was started the day after International Women's Day, and I had just figured out that people follow hashtags on Instagram, not just particular feeds. So, I decided to post image updates each day I worked on the page and to hashtag the posts with things like #girlsrule #girlpower #feminist #feminism as well as more descriptive things like #inking #comics #davesim #strangedeathofalexraymond. In the first post I made sure to say that in honor of International Women's Day the day before I had started the Bad-Ass Princesses (Forgot that Dave used "Kick-Ass Princesses." Whoops!) spread for The Strange Death of Alex Raymond. Every subsequent post I made sure to reference Bad-Ass Princesses and Strange Death of Alex Raymond.

No one has called me out for being a dude drawing sexy women, or balked at the idea that Dave Sim is involved with something about girl power. The posts received likes and follows from hardcore feminist feeds with names like girlpoweruniversity, nipplemagazine, sluttygingerbread, nyclitoris, thefutureoffeminine, wearethetulip, and a number of personal feeds with large amounts of feminist memes posted to them.

So, Dave, you are totally right, the ladies do love Kick-Ass Princesses and Jack. I think we should ditch SDOAR and start the Jack spin-off asap!

I think I am going to keep the experiment going with Kick-Ass-Comic-Shop-Manager Jack vs.The-Oppressive-Hand-Of-The-Patriarchy, since the last eight pages are pretty much my hand drawing Jack's face over and over. Maybe we can drum up some new readers?


Tony Dunlop said...

Holy Sh*t, Carson, that is amazing.

Unknown said...

Honourable member for Kitchener Centre seconds that motion, Mister Speaker!

You've definitely taken my pen-inked cosmic s**t SDOAR innovation to another level. How much of it IS pen and how much of it is brush? (since you've definitely arrived at the counterintuitive point where a properly maintained and utilized Series Seven #2 brush can actually give you more detail than a balky 102 pen nib) (that the electrical currents in your brain have been...)

Objection, Your Honour. Counsel is leading the witness.


I think we have to wait and see what's actually going on when you're done but, by all means, continue to see what you can drum up on social media in the meantime ("nyclitoris"? And they're different, how?). Just be aware that you're in the lionesses' den and when they turn, they turn simultaneously and they take no prisoners.

As to a spin-off title, how about:


Erick said...

Very good job Carson

Carson Grubaugh said...

Thanks, Tony and Erick!

It is pen for all of the be-a-dumb-ass-and-fill-in-the-black-with-hatch-marks stuff and brush anywhere there are burst or fade effects, for the most part. I wish I had your design sense for distributing value contrasts. It makes your Cosmic S**T much more dynamic. I am going to work on that in the coming pages.

So far the "Manager Jack vs. The Oppressive Hand Of The Patriarchy sequence from Strange Death of Alex Raymond" is doing well with the ladies.

Maybe You Don't Know ... Jack! could be a post-Cerebus In Hell? (If that ha a lifespan?) strip to help promote SDOAR. I can draw a number of re-usable portraits of Jack from all the shots at the shop and she can womansplain inter-sectional feminism and identity politics. Ha!

Unknown said...

CEREBUS IN HELL? is, God willing, going to last at least as long as we can keep publishing the one-shots so "not a finite lifespan...YET, anyway" would be the answer on that one.

Yes, I ended up thinking the same thing last night when I got home. How difficult would that be? Not very with the inventory of Jack faces and figures you've got now. Of course, a comic-store manager's life is notoriously "time bereft". Would she be interested, do you think, if we could somehow shorten the time factor?

a couple of possibilities there:

1) her dictating anecdotes into voice-recognition software (which A-V would pay for) so they can be relayed as text pieces that I could rewrite as a sequence of word balloons and then mock-up into pages with your images of her. And which she could either tweak or approve as is. Basically what I'm doing with CEREBUS IN HELL? already with you subbing for Gustave Dore and Jack for Cerebus]

2) you talking to her on the phone complaining about her job until she comes up with usable anecdotes and then you relaying them to me.

All we'd really need is 16 pages or so and, as you say, dress it up with SDOAR teasers and see if IDW is interested in using it.

And a warning that -- despite unidentified similarities -- This Is NOT The Real Jack -- just a promotional facsimile the Oppressive Hand Of The Patriarchy has developed to further its own nefarious purposes. Caveat emptor.

Carson Grubaugh said...


LOL at the last caveat. I think that is the fairest, and most humorous way to go about it. Poke fun at her actual views by having facsimile-her poke fun at us imposing our views by poking fun at her views. Muddy the waters of interpretation. The Calvin-ballers eat that stuff up!

I will talk to Jack and see what she thinks. Obviously I would never put out a strip like that without her permission since it would inevitably involve political positions she is diametrically opposed to.

Carson Grubaugh said...

Jack is 110% on board. I will talk to her more about specifics in the next few days but I am already overloading with funny collage ideas and gags where Jack is trying to banter with off panel Dave and Carson. Absolutely need to do some CIH? style cover parodies of things like the Milo Manara Spiderwoman and the MockingBird Ask Me About My Feminist Agenda covers.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

I am not certain how good an idea this is, given Dave's lack of accuracy in paraphrasing feminist arguments. I'll reserve judgement until (if) I see it, but I think the likeliest result is that Dave and Carson make themselves look ridiculous. If such a comic is Plan B after CiH runs its course, let's hope CiH enjoys a lengthy run.

-- Damian

Unknown said...

Hello, Damian! - EXCELLENT point! Carson, leave us not forget the innate humourlessness of the societal environment ("This is a FEMINIST bookstore, sir, we don't HAVE a humour section").

It's very helpful to have Barry and Damian around since they both out-feminist pretty much ANY female feminist I've ever met or heard tell of.

Remember! Just because Jack a) thinks an anecdote is funny and b) is a woman comic-store manager, that doesn't mean that Jack's woman comic-store manager stories are going to pass muster with Barry and Damian. I think we can all agree, that both have set -- and consistently maintain -- astronomically high feminist standards.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave: Mm. No. That's not quite what I was saying. I am less concerned about such a project passing muster as feminist and more concerned about it passing muster as logical, coherent, honest, and factual.

My point was that Dave has proven himself to be inept at paraphrasing feminist arguments. Consider my conclusive (if accidental) refutation of Point 3 of Dave's "15 Impossible Things" (a refutation that Dave completely ignored the three times I mentioned it, while responding to other things I said in the same thread). Dave bloviates, "A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus."

This one's easy to refute: feminists don't believe that. Feminists believe that the decision to abort a foetus belongs to the woman alone; the doctor certainly has no part in that decision. It's the same as if I went around saying, "Dave Sim believes in the innate superiority of the female sex." It's just not so. Dave is factually incorrect. He made up something out of his head because it comported with his prejudices, attributed it to his enemies (i.e. everybody in the planet except for fewer than 2,000 petition-signers), treated that as a fact, and tilts at the windmill of his imagination. Longtime readers will recognize this as a frequent Simean rhetorical tactic.

Dave's third paragraph demonstrates another frequent Simean rhetorical tactic: moving the goalposts. (I haven't made up my mind whether he does this deliberately as an underhanded rhetorical tactic, or if he does it accidentally as another manifestation of his general inability to think. But he does do it; I can provide further examples upon request.) The subject was not Jack's anecdotes as a woman comic-store manager; it was "poking fun at her actual views".

I think if one were to examine my comments, one would find less feminist propaganda and more objections to Dave's fallacies, falsehoods, and stupidity.

Today's joke: "How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?" "That's not funny!"

-- Damian

Carson Grubaugh said...

I think we will be fine. Jack has veto/revision rights as far as I am concerned. So you will have Dave on his end, Jack on hers, and me as a skeptic of both sides.

Or not. And then the failure is funny in and of itself. Nothing funnier than efforts to undermine an enemy undermining the agressor themselves. Philosophical slapstick. Trump's election was fucking hilarious in that regards. Terrifying in every other. 50 years of Deconstructionist attacks on truth, logic, language, meaning, categories, etc. and then, OH GOD, POST TRUTH, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!!! Uhhh... have you read your own foundational texts? Hilarious.

Barry Deutsch said...

"I think the idea is pretty funny but was skeptical that any feminist would look at this illustration, see a girl lost in wistful fantasy, surrounded by sexy women in skimpy costumes, and not be offended."

Carson, for what it's worth, I think the illustration is awesome, and it doesn't seem sexist to me; and apparently (per Dave) I'm the most feministy feminist ever to feminist!

(Dave, that you'd say that means either that you're joking, or that you don't know much at all about feminists. Or both.)

Carson, as I've told you before, I think the STOAR pages you and Dave have produced are wonderful. I'd also argue that there's something implicitly feminist in how you draw Jack - in that, although she's obviously very pretty, she's also coming across as an individual rather than a cookie-cutter pretty-female design.

I also suspect that your internal model of how "any feminist" thinks is full of dull stereotypes, and ignores the fact that all feminists don't agree on everything. But whatever. Obviously, I don't need to agree with someone's politics to enjoy their comics.

Barry Deutsch said...


Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Carson: How indeed? Writer and critic John Ralston Saul said of deconstructionism, "A generalized denial of civilization can't help but be a voice of evil." He also pointed out, "Deconstructionists tend to insist that the proper term is deconstruction, not deconstructionism. That is, they do not want to be treated as as ism. They hate being deconstructed."

-- Damian

Tony Dunlop said...

Carson's summary of the 2016 US presidential election is the second-best I've heard. The best is here.

Carson Grubaugh said...


I am sure my skepticism about how accepting any given feminist would be is tainted. It is hard to be a representational painter going through a BFA and MFA in today's environment without being constantly told how bad of a person you are. Shit, look at this whole mess surrounding poor Dana Schutz over the last few days. She is the sweetest person I have ever met! She was a visiting artist my first year at Cranbrook and we visited her private studio my second year. Now the center of all kinds of hatred for painting the 'wrong' subject.

My first critique session was on a series of paintings that had models who were male and female, clothed and nude, White, Black, Asian and Hispanic. The visiting critic for that semester pointed to one of a fully clothed white female, lost in day-dreamy thought, said I was playing into the "wistful ingenue" cliche (okay, yeah I was painting archetypes, so thanks?...) and if that was really my view of women he was "horrified." I know it isn't everyone's view, but after enough instances of this you develop a mental flinch reflex.

That you see Jack's individuality and humanity is the biggest compliment you could give me. Thank you! That is how I approach all of my art, my interactions with other humans, and especially my students; as individuals. My biggest gripe with Leftist identity politics is the incessant need to administrate diversity by abstracting everyone into smaller and smaller categories. I am basically forced to conceptualize my class as made up of 20% Cis Male, 76% Cis Female, 2% Trans Male, 2% Gender Fluid, and then divide all of that back up by race, and then any disabilities, and then...etc., all to ensure that we have equity of outcome. Equality of treatment be damned.

It is really sad for anyone who actually cares about other people, AS PEOPLE. Especially since my experience is consistently that not a single damned one of them is best understood by their placement in some kind of inter-sectional matrix of group identities. They are best understood by the charms hanging off of their keys, the slogans on the shirts they wear, the type of cell-phone case they have, even more so by the sketches they do in their sketch books, the fundamental way they visually perceive the world, line or area, the conversations I have with them, etc.

Deconstructing categories all together can't be a good idea, but over valuing categories and proliferating them seems to be doing even more damage. Gotta find the sweet spot best expressed in the art world as Unity in Variety. A blank canvas is boring and a white noise screen is too complex to understand. I see the identity politics as responsible for disrupting both sides of this balance at various points in its development. First, do away with all categories as oppressive, then to ensure that people aren't being oppressed by these categories we supposedly got rid of we now administrate everyone into over-defined categories and insist they must be considered in only that way. It just looks like a philosophical mess to me, which is exactly what someone like Derrida was trying to create. Again, no thanks.

Carson Grubaugh said...

Exactly. 100% agree.

Thanks. Yes that was a great bit! Alsom how in the world did you embed a link on here I have tried and failed many times.

Tony again said...

It's an "a" HTML tag.