Sunday, November 24, 2013

Action Girl!

Hi, there! Dave-El here and welcome to my blog, I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, where the odds of finding witty and inspiring musings are never in your favor.

In case you were wondering, no, my entire weekend was NOT dedicated to the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.

This weekend also saw the El family venture forth from its fortress to see Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games. I'll give credit where it is due and say it was my daughter (who ardently devoured all three of the books by Suzanne Collins) who led me to see the first film and its sequel. Still, I like to think I would have found my way to seeing these movies anyway as I found them to be both enjoyable and thought provoking, an important one-two punch for any entertainment to engage my attention.

They also have... ACTION GIRL!

Of the total attendance for Catching Fire's opening weekend, the demographics broke down as 59 percent women and 41 percent men. Women like action films too and even better if there's someone on screen who looks like them. And men should not be threatened by them. Me, I think its cool to see Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen kicking ass and taking names.

One of the concerns in the recent influx of comic book characters into movies has been the lack of female representation at the starring level. So far, the closest we've come to a comic book super heroine on screen is Black Widow in The Avengers. The strongest, most likely candidate for a super heroine starring in a movie is Wonder Woman. But Wonder Woman has been a notoriously hard nut to crack, it seems, to bring to the big screen.  But the big obstacle to her or any other female super heroes from the world of comics being turned into a movie franchise is the idea of men not wanting to see a movie starring a female super hero.

41% of the audience of Catching Fire this weekend might disagree with that assertion. I know I would.


Speaking of Action Girl, I came across a heretofore unknown to me character known as Jill Trent: Science Sleuth (click on the link for the full write up on this character).

As noted in the article, while there's a lot of "science and shooting and punching the living shit out of villains", there are various stereotypes of female behavior, damsel
in distress situations and many, MANY examples of very questionable science. But this was the 1940s and that there was a comic strip at all that had women using "science" to solve crimes...well, you gotta start somewhere.

What drew my attention to this unknown gem of comic book history was this page posted on Twitter this weekend.


Now my first reaction was fairly positive. In addition to Action Girl, I also appreciate Well Dressed Woman and I'm getting both here as Jill and her friends lay down the beat down on two thugs wearing skirts and heels. And from the title of the feature, I know that somehow science is involved, right? So beauty AND brains AND brawn! Cool!

But then on further inspection, I realize something really important.

Jill Trent is weirding me out!

Take a closer look at Jill in action.

Jill's head is going in the completely opposite direction of her torso. Her head is completely facing to the left, her legs are positioned facing forward and her body is completely moved to the right.  It seems that Jill Trent supplements her science sleuthing stuff with a part time gig as a contortionist.

And don't get me started on the arc of the swing.

How is Jill Trent's body doing all of that?


But who am I to judge the artistic talents of others when my art looks like this:

I had a pencil, a sheet of paper and some time to kill while bereft of the usual distractive tools of 21st century life so I did a couple of sketch-drawing type things.  I always go with Batman because you can cover up so much with that cape.

I will reluctantly admit that Black Canary does not look too bad. I really do have trouble with (drawing) the female body.

OK, that's that for me. Tomorrow, MORE Doctor Who. Or rather, Doctor Who AGAIN as the El family plans to attend a 3-D showing. It's going to be awesome!

Until next time, be good to one another. 

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