Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Question for You

Whether you're a lurker or a frequent commenter, I'd like your opinion.
How come there are so few female cartoonists?
Females doctors, politicians, cops, athletes and writers aren't uncommon, yet most comics and cartoons are done by men. Why do you think this is?


GhostBuild said...

Interesting observation!

It's not like there is any shortage of razor-sharp wit within either gender.

Have you stopped by a decent comic book store and see what is on the shelf that is inked/drawn/written by women?

Or were you constraining this to 1-to-3 panel sociopolitical/satirical works?

GhostBuild said...

Cute apple by the way! :-D

Namowal said...

Hi Ghostbuild,
I was mostly thinking of the one to three panel deal. Does the same thing apply to comic books?

booda baby said...

My guess is that it's the same reason why there are fewer women comics. I think cartoons(and satirical animations)depend on a strong opinion or at least a strong point of view. And then, in order to put that opinion out there, a certain amount of bravery.

We have quite a ways to go before women are genuinely brave. We've got the 'scare the hell out of them' down, but I don't think that's the same thing.

Namowal said...

Good point, boodababy.
There's the notion (probably both cultural and hard wired) that women should be "nice" and inoffensive. That may work nice when we're hosting a party, but who wants to read nicey nice cartoons?

Sally said...

I don't really know either. However, I read an interview with Lynda Barry in which she said she used to be syndicated to 70 papers, and now it was 7. Hard to be a newspaper cartoonist these days.

There were women cartoonists in early 20th century doing strip cartoons. Also Little Lulu was written and drawn by Marge.

Namowal said...

Funny how female strip artists seemed to be more common in the early 20th century. You'd think it was the other way around.
Interesting that you mention Lynda Barry- I've also noticed a lot of female cartoonists have more idiosyncratic styles, while men tend to go for a more slick, standard look. Maybe that's what wearing a tie does to you.

I'm gonna toss this question at yahoo answers. I'll post a part II of the mystery if I get any answers.

billsey said...

There aren't many women comic book artists, but there are some. Here is my very favorite of all...

I don't know why it's such a male dominated industry. So I doubly appreciate a talented woman doing her illustrations.

billsey said...

I love the snake and the apple too, btw.

Namowal said...

Thanks, Billsey.
I checked out the link you sent me. She is good. How'd you find out about her?

billsey said...

I found her sketchbooks at my local comic shop. The movement, especially in her big cats and horses really inspire and intimidate me!

Mean Jean said...

I dreamed of being a cartoonist and actually started drawing a strip. One of my art profs (who sold the odd cartoon to the New Yorker mag.) told me I needed to have 6-9 months of strips before I shopped it around. I got about 3 weeks worth and just ran out of steam.

Namowal said...

Thanks for the comment, Mean Jean. When you think about it, it's an amazing amount of work to write, sell and maintain a daily strip.
This article (item # 7) may provide a clue as to why males dominate comic strips. It suggests male creativity/productivity spikes in early adulthood and drops off. Perhaps this extra boost makes young men think nine months of daily strips? No problem!
When he outgrows this phase, he either retires the strip or hires assistants and gag writers.
I'm overgeneralizing, of course.

There can only be one PHYL said...

We need to be aware of what social stereotype dictates us and have a breakthrough in it.