From the cover of Wimmen's Comix #4 (1974; art by Shelby Sampson)
By 1970, the underground comix field had come into its own as a creators' alternative to Comics Code restrictions on language, art and subject matter. This freer, "anything goes" environment was a positive development for comic books overall (otherwise I wouldn't be making all these posts about it). But it also had a darker side: an increased emphasis on content that was brutally degrading to women, and the exclusion of women creators from the most popular comix titles.
( Feminist cartoonists to the rescue! (Trigger warning for sexism/misogyny) )
So a while back I found out about the comic Deathwish, part of the Milestone imprint for DC comics headed up by the late Dwayne McDuffie... the point of the imprint was to give a voice to people to tell their own experiences, particularly minority writers. As such it birthed many great PoC characters created by writers of the same background; it also gave birth to one of the only transgender Lesbian characters I know of Marissa Rahm.
The comic was created by Maddie Blaustein (credited here under her assigned name Adam Blaustein), an intersex woman who transitioned socially from male to female and championed Transgender rights. She is more well known for her voice work then her comics (I only found out about her comics from one that made a review on Atop the Fourth Wall which is how I managed to look up Deathwish), where she voiced many male and female characters notably Meowth for a good chunk of the Pokemon dub before her death. Blaustein`s writing is accompanied by early art of the amazing JH Williams III.
The story of Deathwish focuses on on Marissa a police officer who is investigating a series of serial killings of Trans women and drag queens in the city of Dakota, where the victims are made to pose in "artistic poses". Over the course of her investigation she transitioned socially, and fell in love with the only known survivor of one of the killer's, Boots', attacks. Also involved is Deathwish a vigilante who is basically Punisher: SVU, it is now four years later and things are quickly reaching their climax.
I`ve only included the pages that deal with Marissa and Dini`s relationship specifically but there`s huge spoilers involved for the story. As a note if you want to track this one down be aware that it is quite graphic and may be triggery.
( Trigger warning for misogynistic slurs, Holocaust references, and cis-sexism (on the part of characters not on the part of the writer) )
My scanner's finally back up, so it's public domain time! Specifically, another story from Joe College Comics Winter 1950.
The story is "Toss-Out" Terry by Dick Briefer and contains 1950s style sexism at its finest.
( Take me out to the ball game, but don't tell the boss. )
Next time...you know, I haven't posted anything from Marvel in ages. I'm going to see if I can dig something up.
Your thoughts and comments?