This week in awesome, Black Girl Dangerous commissioned artist Julio Salgado to draw childhood cartoon characters as social justice organizers. Mia McKenzie explains the genesis of the project:
So, a couple of weeks ago, there was this link going around that depicts certain 90s cartoon characters “taking on” New York fashion week in trendy outfits. Among them are Lisa Simpson and Daria. When I saw this, the first thing I thought was, Ugh. Lisa Simpson, proud feminist with so much to say about gender roles, body shaming and capitalism, drawn in this hyper-thin, rich girl way? Why, baby Jesus? Why? My friends had the same question, plus not-so-thrilled reactions to Daria. You know Daria, who once said, …”edgy” occurs when middle-brow, middle-aged profiteers are looking to suck the energy–not to mention spending money–out of the “youth culture”? Yep, that Daria is depicted in overpriced clothes, standing in front of a Mercedes dealership. Yuck.
BGD decided to respond with their own updated and radicalized versions of cartoon characters, hence Salgado’s kick ass illustrations. Here’s a couple of drawings from the project, with accompanying character bios:
Lisa Simpson and Daria Morgendorffer met by way of an alumni group through their mutual alma mater: Smith College. Once, after the Feminism & Media conference, they had one too many cocktails and ended up kissing in a Marriott Hotel hallway, but no weirdness ensued. Their shared love of dismantling patriarchy, smashing mainstream beauty standards, and using their middleclass, cisgender, heterosexual, white girl privilege to fuck shit up from inside was strong enough to push past the awkward aftermath. Morgendorffer works as a writing instructor with San Francisco’s 826 Valencia and Simpson is a women’s studies professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In their free time, they collaborate on their zine Cat Fancy. Both women are still processing what they learned from #solidarityisforwhitewomen.
Susie knew she was queer in 1993 when she watched the first episode of Living Single and saw Queen Latifah wearing that vest. She didn’t come out until her twenties, though, when she fell in love with another black femme (Jackie from Cyberchase) and moved with her to Oakland, where the two of them run an urban farm. She had a falling out with Angelica Pickles over her inability to recognize her white privilege and they didn’t talk for a couple of years. Eventually, Angelica got her shit together, started reading Black Girl Dangerous, apologized for her behavior, and they’re cool now. Susie spends most of her time preparing the farm to be a safe haven for QTPOC when capitalism finally falls and motherfuckers go berserk, and volunteering for People’s Community Medics. She documents her progress with both on her tumblr.
Jos Truitt Executive Directs Feministing and watches My Little Pony on Netflix.