Bro Quotes

“I just write the stories I want to read, with women like the ones that I know. The people who pass for females in traditional comics look like men with watermelons strapped to their chests, carrying big guns and posting like they’re in a porno magazine. I’ve never met any women like that, so I won’t put them in my books.”
-Coraline creator Neil Gaiman in Bust

Join the Conversation

  • BROWN TRASH PUNK!

    Yes, yes, yes, so true. I read Marvel all the time (X-Men, Elektra, Black Panther/Storm) and sometimes it bothers me when I see HUGE BOOBS in their super-tight latex costumes. I’d rather not see their huge boobs…
    I think Wonder Woman is well done, though (with a female writer on-board, you know). I disagree with Gaiman about their faces looking masculine, though. Female X-Men superheros wear make-up and have very girly facial features, but my most favourite of all was Dazzler, the punk rock version with a look inspired by Brody Dale of the Distillers. She had tattoos, spiky hair, piercings, and wore combat boots (before they turned her into a blonde, pop princess bimbo).

  • susanstohelit

    I

  • susanstohelit

    Uh, let’s try this again… I adore Neil Gaiman and I think he’s done a great job writing kickass female characters. It was awesome to see Coraline having adventures that had jack-shit to do with being a princess or a love interest, which is the way these things usually go in kids’ movies.

  • LadyG

    LOVE!!!!. I was definitely a comic fan growing up, but the way that the women looked in them annoys me now. Even watching the movie Watchmen, I was so irritated that the women of the group almost perfectly resembled the comics- pretty busty, skintight clothing, etc.
    AAGGH. Even book covers of vampire novels usually have a half-naked woman (perfect body) on the cover, with artistically placed tattoos and long flowing hair.
    Oh goodness. Don’t get me started on this topic. Just props to Neil Gaiman. Badass does not mean that a woman automatically gets a perfect sexy body and big-ass boobs. Badass is a state of mind.

  • elektra

    Thank you, Neil, for calling out that oh-so-wonderful diet pills, Pilates, & implants look.

  • Heina

    How refreshing. Now there’s an author I can support and love guiltlessly. After the whole Orson Scott Card incident, it’s nice to see a favorite author of mine being awesome instead of inane.

  • woolf’s orland

    Gaiman’s Sandman Series has such a brilliant spectrum of representations of women! Love him.

  • Eresbel

    That’s the thing though, in Western comics characters are generally hyper masculine, despite gender. In Eastern comics, however, everyone tends to be more feminine, even the boys. Many times in Eastern comics, a boy will be mistaken as a girl and it’s a good thing, an attractive thing.
    But what I think Gaimen is referring to are the aquiline noses, the heavy, square jaws, and the pounds and pounds of body-builder muscles that most women physically cannot have because the female body is less inclined to muscle building. None of these things that automatically define one sex or another, but I would be so bold as to say they are attributes more readily found in males.

  • kylljoi

    Neil has always been utterly brill when it comes down to creating a female hero. Especially in The Sandmand’s “A Game of You” story line.
    It’s great to see him get some attention. With the film versions of two of his books, I’m positive he’s finally broken into the mainstream or media entertainment.

  • BROWN TRASH PUNK!

    yeah, the whole half naked vampire thing has always bothered me a lot, too. I find it so demeaning and I happen to be a huge horror/vampire fan… ugh.

  • missniss

    Agreed! Coraline is one of my favorite books for this reason. However, I must say that I was disappointed in the movie adaptation’s creation of Wybie. I understand Gaiman’s argument that Coraline needs someone to converse with on the screen … but I think the cat, as well as the children’s ghosts, could have served this narrative purpose. Not only did Wybie’s character take a little bit of the magic out of the story, it also detracted from Coraline’s independence. In the novel, she was certainly capable of defeating the Other Mother with the existing characters and without a little boy’s help.
    Was anybody also irked by this (as a feminist or a faithful reader)?

  • katemoore

    Neil Gaiman is awesome and I was thrilled that Coraline did so well.

  • dormouse

    I loved Neil Gaiman’s novels Neverwhere and Anansi Boys

  • susanstohelit

    Yep! I love that he wrote a transgendered MtF character and features lesbians, all in a totally nonjudgemental or titillating way. Also, Death is amazing.

  • LalaReina

    I got into comics becasue I love Shayera on JLU and the females on The Avatar were great. I love Black Panther/Storm, and Buffy isn’t bad, I the humanness of Jessica Jones, and I really like Jess Drew , Carol Danvers and Kate Bishop.

  • La Fabuliste

    Oh my goodness, YES. In the book, she needed no one to save her. In the film adaptation, Wybie was the one to actually “kill” the Other Mother once and for all with the whole well thing. In the book, it is all Coraline, all her idea, all her doing.
    Gaiman is wonderful. I wish more children’s authors had as much faith in little girls as heroes.

  • v.georgiades

    not related to the discussion, but have you seen Let the Right One In, yet? I loved that movie so very very much.

  • lefthandedpenguin

    Neil Gaiman is still as awesome as ever.

  • MiriamCT

    yeah, he and DC comics got a TON of Shit about that MtF charater in the Sandman, I can’t remeber who it was now, but some group like Focus on the Family went all boycott on DC comics over that charater.

  • Citizen Lane

    My SO tells me that the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris thankfully break with the vampire-story-as-softcore-porn motif. I’ve never read them, but I have spoken with the author in person and she seems to be quite the sharp cookie. I can recommend them as good genre reading.

  • opheliasawake

    Neil Gaiman is an incredible writer. The Sandman series is practically untouchable as a comic if only because of the depth of its world. His character, Desire, who is androgynous, is one of the most interesting gender critiques in literature, let alone the comic world.
    His film “Mirrormask” is a really effective exploration of the coming of age of a teenage girl.
    In short, Gaiman is awesome. Long live Neil!

  • keri125

    I follow Gaiman on his blog and on Twitter, and he’s amazing. I love everything he’s ever done. He has a teenage daughter and the way he writes about her… you can feel the fatherly love!! (In a good, not creepy, way!!) I have his poem “Blueberry Girl” (now a children’s book) hanging over my desk.

  • GREGORYABUTLER

    Women who spend A LOT of time powerlifting in the gym – and who take those certain special pharmaceuticals that are prohibited by the International Olympic Committee – CAN and in many cases DO have that kind of musculature.
    Ever watched pro wrestling?
    Or women’s bodybuilding?
    If you have, then you see what I mean.
    And if those women get breast implants (as many of the women pro wrestlers do) they indeed would look like those superheroes do – former WWE pro wrestler Chyna is a good example of this.

  • MaggieF

    Haven’t read them, but I’ve watched some of the HBO series based on them (True Blood), and there’s a lot of sex, but mostly the HBO kind, rather than the stereotypical vampire kind, so I could see how the books would be better about it.

  • Ishtar

    Just wanted to tell you that Susan Sto Helit is one of my favourite Discworld characters. :-)

  • Ishtar

    I read the book and it was amazing. I read far into the night because I just couldn’t put it down. I was ecstatic when I heard there’s a movie. I’m trying to source a copy of it.

  • Ishtar

    I recently started reading the Sookie Stackhouse series and just finished the second book. On the one hand I enjoyed the books. They’re entertaining and fairly well-written. The sex scenes are fairly graphic but not vulgar and the plot is interesting.
    On the other hand, I’m not yet convinced that Sookie is any kind of feminist icon. Too often I thought “that’s a rather childish way to react”.
    I also read the three books in Charlaine Harris’s Harper Connolly series and my reaction is pretty much the same. I found the sex scenes rather jarring, as if they were put in to spice up the book, rather than being an integral part of the plot. And I say this as someone who enjoys a good sex scene…lol.
    Having said that, I’ll still continue with the Sookie Stackhouse series and Harper Connolly (whenever the new book is released). They’re an entertaining enough read and I like vampires and other supernatural beasties.

  • Vail

    I love Gaiman too, when he hooked up with my favorite Japanese artist for the book The Sandman: The Dream Hunters. I love Yoshitaka Amano’s stuff so much! His Vampire Hunter D artwork is what got me into Anime in the beginning.

  • FrumiousB

    So superheros are dopers. Awesome.

  • FrumiousB

    Warning: Threadjack ahead!
    I once took a literature class (back when dinosaurs still walked the earth) wherein the prof made a convincing argument that Dracula was essentially a softcore pron novel (my words, not his). He supported his argument by pointing out such plot elements as vampires sneaking into women’s bedrooms at night and penetrating them (his words, not mine). With a start to the genre like that, it’s no surprise to me that vampire fiction is mostly comprised of soft-core pron.

  • Logrus

    Some are indeed “dopers”. This has been discussed in the context of some less “mainstream” comics and recently covered in a storyline in Marvel’s Spider-Man comic book with a now-deceased character “Jackpot” who was using steroids and methamphetamines and “MGH” (mutant growth hormone) to live her dream of being a hero.
    The thing is that using steroids is typically viewed as somehow “immoral” in our real world because it is unhealthy and because it gives a theoretical advantage in competitive events.
    What should be considered in the context of comics is that being a hero is inherently unhealthy in the first place and that the advantage in competition here is over a villain where the situation is literally life or death not only for the hero but for the people said hero is protecting.
    I personally do not see steroids or the like as “immoral” beyond the context of their use. They are cheating in events where not all participants have equal access to them or to the incredibly high-tech methods of masking their use but beyond that it’s a personal choice. Steve Barnes and Larry Niven co-authored a decent book called “Achilles Choice” which deals with the subject very eloquently and in an entertaining manner.

  • Danyell

    I think he means that they tend to be drawn exactly like the male characters are, just with boobs added at the end. That they seem to be drawn by artists who have no idea what a woman does look like so they just make it up.
    I do agree that some women DO look like that and CAN look like that, but they are few and far between. So the idea that every women in a comic is a body builder with DD breasts is absurd. Not to mention the fact that female superheroes are usually the first ones who have to be sacrificed or die for the cause.