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Illustrating identity : feminist resistance in webcomics
Abrecht, Kristi Lynn
Cayleff, Susan E.
x, 89 p. : ill.
This thesis is an exploration of women, webcomics, and feminist means of cultural representation. Webcomics are comics that are produced and distributed digitally through the conduit of the Internet. I examine the authorship and depiction of women in webcomics with an intersectional approach focusing on representations of gender, race, class, and sexuality, and my intent is to uncover feminist themes in the creative works of the artists and authors. This research is a unique contribution to feminist scholarship by examining the historical progression of comics to the Internet and the implications of this technological shift for creators and consumers/readers in light of gender, race, class, and sexuality. My research focuses on fictional comic narratives as opposed to autobiographical works in the medium. This concentration on fictional works is to examine cultural representation of characters who embody marginalized experiences based on gender, race, class, and sexuality. My research considers the author's identity and how this contributes to the representation of women and those who identify outside of the gender binary. For my study, I focus on the two comics: Octopus Pie, by Meredith Gran (written 2007-present) and Riot Nrrd, by RJ Edwards (written 2009-present). I made the decision to focus solely on comics that are not written by men because I wish to showcase the works of women and those who may identify as trans, as RJ Edwards does. This decision is rooted in an acknowledgment of a history where artists have been marginalized, particularly based on gender, race, and sexuality. Throughout this work, I outline the progression of women's contributions to comics as a medium for activism. The origins of the comic as an art form are often contested, but the evidence supports women being involved from an early time period. I present how comics have been changed by the technological invention of the Internet, and how the Internet reaches marginalized comic readers. I conclude this thesis by noting how these comic artists are theorizing about cultural representation, embodiment, and the necessity of feminist politics through their work.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 72-77)
Arts and Letters
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2012
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