Previously on Comics: Garfield is a Man, Apparently

Have you watched Logan? Are you caught up on Riverdale? (It’s been renewed for a second season.) What? I’m supposed to tell you about comic news? Well, those are pretty close. Anyway! I tore myself away from the screens to collect the news you need!

Marvel has been getting some super cool writers to pen comic books over the last few years. I’d given up on reading Marvel books for a bit, but was pulled back in when it was announced that Ta-Nehisi Coates would write Black Panther, then further excited when they announced Roxane Gay would also write a book for Marvel, but, wait, there’s more! Poet Yona Harvey also joined the World of Wakanda team. In this interview with Ebony she admits that writing comics is incredibly difficult, but she jumped at the chance to be the first Black woman to write Storm’s character.

Zines! Have you heard of them? They’re great, and there’s some cool news: Do What You Want written by Ruby Tandoh and Leah Pritchard is a zine about mental health and self-care. It’s super cute, and has contributions from big names like Sara Quin, Tajal Rao, Mara Wilson, Bridget Minamore and Ruby Snapes. It’s available for pre-order; proceeds benefit various mental health organizations.

There’s also a zine that allows you to relive the first few days of Trump, but I think I need a few decades before I want that.

It’s International Women’s Month, or so I’m told, which of course means there’s all sorts of foolishness happening in regards to gender, but also some cool stuff, I guess. First of all, this absurd argument over the gender of Garfield…the cat. Look at this ridiculous internet:

Still, starting with a change by Texas, last week Wikipedia users edited Garfield’s gender back-and-forth to the point that the site was temporarily forced to put the official Garfield page on lockdown. Through it all, the wider internet was faced with valuable, thought-provoking questions about gender fluidity and the role and power of fictional characters in our everyday lives. After all, does Garfield’s gender even matter as long as Mondays continue to be unbearable and lasagna continues to be delicious? Of course, the internet being the internet, the conversation spiraled into a debate (and in many cases trolling) about everything from pronoun use to trans rights — forcing Davis to respond to The Washington Post on Tuesday.

“Garfield is male. He has a girlfriend, Arlene,” the 71-year-old Davis said in a statement to The Post.

Only males have girlfriends. I’m not even going to get into this anymore than that. In better news, LINE Webtoon is spotlighting female webcomics creators for the month. “March’s launch week titles, which dropped this week, highlight a range of genres and comic point of views: My Giant Nerd Boyfriend, Rise from Ashes, Shard, and My Dear Cold Blooded King.” Then there’s the “debate” over Stan Lee’s post about the “holiday.” He posted a photo of the Marvel superladies and many people were less than impressed with the lack of diversity (particularly, it seems, of body type).

Then more good stuff! Comics are being used to raise awareness about human trafficking in India’s state of Assam. “The comic in the Assamese language aims to raise awareness among children about trafficking rings that lure young girls and boys from villages into India’s booming cities with the promise of good jobs.”

There’s also an Indonesian comic book aimed at young boys about menstruation. It seems to equate menstruating with being female, but it’s a first step. “But this is not a boys-only comic….Hold it one way and it’s a 10-page guide for boys. Turn it upside down and it’s a guide for girls, talking about everything from what menstruation is to how to put on a pad.” UNICEF funded the first 3,500, the Indonesian government plans to print another 35,000.

Also, Mark Wahlberg wants to get into the comic-making business, so that he can just spread his ideas all over the place (I’m not a fan). More importantly, Cyanide & Happiness is coming out with an emoji creator!

Al Rosenberg

Al Rosenberg

Gay weirdo. Talk to her about tiny games, big books, trash, and all things illness.