Friday, May 16, 2014

"Action Figures for Girls"

The Twitter account for Geek Girl Con shared this IAmElemental Kickstarter campaign. I didn't hesitate.

Much as I love my girls (and I really do love them, run-through-a-burning-house-to-save-them love), I completely recognize that many of them were made with the adult male collector in mind. "More hooters than heroines," indeed. So, where are the action figures for girls?

Well, Mattel gave us the marvelous She-Ra line... in 1985. Galoob had the equally wonderful "copycat" line of Golden Girls, and there were several other knock-offs at the time. Ten years later, Mattel tried again with a much more insipid line Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic, and Kenner with Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders. Japanese author/artist Naoko Takeuchi gave us Sailor Moon in 1992. The toys that went with Sailor Moon were never called action figures; they were "adventure dolls."

The paucity of adventuring toys for girls is pretty apparent. The gender gap in the toy aisles is pretty immense. If you're a girl, you get dolls -- fluffy, pretty, pink dolls. Boys get to have the adventures. Action figures reflect the art in the comics; most of it is pretty sexy, and some of it is salacious. I like sexy -- in its place. Kids don't need sexy toys or comics.

This Kickstarter campaign was already funded when I clicked through, with 26 days to go! That's exciting! It tells me, and I'm sure it tells the creators, that there is demand for this. I look forward to everything this creative team has to share.

I gripe about the sexism in comics and in toys, and I put my money where my mouth is when I can. I'm clearly not alone.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Free Comic Book Day Crawl

Last week, The Kid indicated that she wanted to go to Free Comic Book Day. She'd never indicated any desire for comics before, so I was pretty enthusiastic about taking her. We got a call that her glasses were in, so we ran to pick them up before we began our odyssey. She wore her She-Ra t-shirt, and I made her a last-minute sword to carry with it. (Painted cardboard.)

For the honor of Grayskull...
(before glasses)

Glasses obtained, we headed to Dreamland Comics for the beginning of our crawl. We hadn't picked up our pulls for the week, so we got those in addition to the free comics plus a little Sailor Moon blind box figurine and Daenerys. Dreamland is long and narrow, so new people were allowed in as others left, looping around the store.

Photo doesn't include our weekly pulls.

The Kid and I were starving and she wanted Burger King, so lunch was had before we headed to Keith's Komix, where I found a zillion figures that I didn't have, a few back issues and some new releases. (And a very savvy Girl Scout was there selling cookies. Score!)

Doesn't include the back issues/new books.

Our last stop was Modern Age Comics, and a couple more figures, and a few more free comics. I had planned to get Silver Surfer #2, but he was sold out. (Apparently, that was a popular issue, because Keith's had it when we were there, but later also sold out.)

Only a few FCBD comics, because we mostly had the ones we wanted.

We definitely spread the wealth around yesterday, which is important to do. If we want to keep comic book shops in business, they need to be supported. Confession: This was the first Free Comic Book Day I participated in because I really don't like crowds, but since our daughter indicated that she wanted to go, we went. (ANYthing that encourages her to read is a good thing.) Every shop we went to was orderly and organized. Everyone was friendly. The crowds weren't what I expected, but perhaps we had good timing. Then again, Illinois is not one of the nerdiest states in the union (at #26), more's the pity... (but at least it's not Mississippi, at #50).