#ComicBookHour Q&A Episode 3 "MASCULINITY IN COMICS" (2018)


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Here are the questions from EPISODE 3:

Q1: What are your first thoughts when you hear masculinity in comics?

Q2: What effect does exaggerated masculinity have in comics?

Q3: Which male character currently stands out in comics to you, and why?

Q4: What are some masculine female characters done well?

Q5: What makes a positive masculine character in comics?

Get your CBH rank up by answering questions from previous weeks:



4-Stripe White Belt
Q1: When I think of mainstream comics, I think of the hyper-masculine male fantasy superheros that saturate the medium. When I think of indie comics, I think of the more low-key, but still irritating male fantasy where the main guy is a "shy" nerd who can do no wrong, shows up all the jocks and bullies, and gets the girl (this doesn't happen all the time in indie comics, but since there's no editing process, it opens a doorway for a LOT of obvious self-insert) My favorite kind of masculinity in comics is any queer-written comics (no matter if the characters are queer or not, and no matter if queer-ness takes a prominent role in the story) these writers tend to come at masculinity from a different point of view, so that even when there is a traditionally masculine character, the portrayal often feels more honest and open, and less pandering

Q2: When it's supposed to be taken comedically: I think it's helpful, especially if it's supposed to illustrate how going to extremes is ultimately harmful, or at least not helpful. (Ex: Gravity Fall's "Dipper vs Masculinity" (it's not a comic, but it's a good example of what I'm talking about)
When it's supposed to be taken seriously: It's annoying at best, and super harmful at worst. I have a 9 year old cousin who loves comics, and I hate the thought of his mind being flooded with the idea that men are supposed to be unfeeling, not show weakness, and never ask for help, because that's a pretty crippling mentality.

Q3: Basically all the male characters in Monsterkind. All of them are believable, well-rounded characters, and show a wide range of how men can be, from stoic and closed off to super affectionate and excitable. None of them are viewed as "lesser" or "better" than any of the others, just as different people bringing different strengths to the table.

Q4: Grenda, from Gravity Falls (again, not comics, but I consider all storytelling to be on the same plane) She unironically loves masculine things and feminine things, not shunning either side for being "lesser", but just taking in everything she enjoys. In any other show, she would be a character that needs to be "fixed" and made more feminine, but her friends don't treat her that way. They treat her like someone who is awesome and beautiful just how she is.

Q5: Treating them as a person instead of a symbol, for one thing. Giving them believable strengths and weaknesses. Showing that they have a good moral center, and that doing what's right is more important than pride is another thing. Having them embrace whatever they like, and not caring where it falls on the "masculine" and "feminine" spectrum (which is a pretty BS spectrum anyway and changes wildly from century to century and culture to culture)