Monday, July 13, 2009

The Nibbles & Nostalgia

Batwoman in Detective Comics has been attacking me via the nibbles. The imagery seems to pop up everywhere I surf online. Gorgeous art, and Batwoman with the bright red flowing hair. There are several personal reasons for me to be drawn to Batwoman.

Yeah, I'm a lesbian. Big whoop.

Yeah, I'm a Bat fangirl. Straight up hardcore.

But my first non baby doll, was Batwoman. My mother refused to buy me a Barbie. My father refused too. Between the two of them, even though they were separated at the time, Barbie was just not in my future as a child (I didn't get one until was 9 or 10. And that was because my mother saw a black Barbie and black Ken on a visit to the States and that tipped the scales. We won't get into the week of adjustment for my heart not to be broken over the fact she wasn't blonde.

But Batwoman (possibly more Batgirl), with her motorcycle, and secret lair and bright red wig. I loved the show as a child. And I couldn't help falling in love with my action figure, once I got over the fact that she too was not a taller, thiner, blonde Barbie doll. She was definitely cooler, her limbs were more articulated and she and Supergirl could kick doll tail all over the place. I distinctly remember once having them battle the carpet sweeper in my Dad's office. Once I got over not having a Barbie doll to play dress up clothes with and who'd hang around a pool - I think I embraced super hero doll playing whole heartedly.

Batwoman calls out to that little girl, to nostalgia, in ways I can't begin to explain. And as I mention Rucka's take on Wonder Woman all the time, it makes it easy to believe I won't be disappointed. But Rucka's only human. And he's a man, and white - extra spin on human fallacy. So I'll wait. My inner little girl doesn't want things this hard as a regular occurrence. So I'm paying attention. But it is frustrating to realize that DC could very well get my money in a couple months, despite my over all dissatisfaction with them.

PS: I am currently fantasizing about an alternative for the trade paperback, with a comic floopy size backing of art, with a disc placed on it, disc art matching the backing. With single issues as pdfs or cbrs. And possibly some extra art. (yeah, even my fantasies don't think it'd go as wondrously far as behind the scenes/interview with artists etc)

[Comments Allowed]


  1. Well, barring BitTorrent type sites, the only way I can see for you to get the series without giving money to DC is to buy it from third-hand markets. Either waiting for the hopeful eventual trade or getting back-issues from places like Mile High Comics. Or maybe check eBay or the like for people unloading individual issues?

  2. I love that your first non-baby doll was Batwoman. I was a tomboy and mostly had Transformers and Thundercats action figures at the age when girls generally get into Barbie. I had a Sindy phase at eight, but I was only attracted because Jet Away Sindy and Paint-a-Picture Sindy (though adult me finds it too bad they didn't dignify her as Artist Sindy) looked sufficiently modern and relatable, unlike the traditional frilly princess Sindys and Barbies.

    I do remember writing indignantly to Tyco/Toy-Biz when I was twelve and the first wave of X-Men figures (released to capitalise on the Fox show of the early 90s) didn't include Storm, Rogue or Jubilee (I think I evangelised on behalf of the Professor too), and getting a placatory letter back about how they were coming up in future waves (which of course were never available in regular toyshops here).

    From your experience, it sounds as though there was a much earlier understanding in America that, even if girls were not perceived as an existing market for superhero-oriented cartoons and action figures, there was no reason that they couldn't be encouraged to join in with heroine-led shows and the associated toys.

    Sidenote: there were some really, really odd toys for little girls in my childhood. Google 'Fashion Star Fillies' and wonder just who wrote the card-backs for these things...

  3. Pandorasblog:

    I don't want to give America the credit. I was in the Caribbean as a child and the islands had a strong relationship with Korea and Japan. They still did up to fifteen years ago; particularly in autobobile trade. And girly heroes with toys wouldn't be unusual, to me at least, in Asia.

    But it probably was American production for Batgirl. I believe it to be Batgirl based on this site that shows the dark haired/ short haired civilian pose with the red wig Batgirl pose.

    And this image here shows a doll with BRILLIANT red hair and the right colours for my old doll. Her hair was amazingly red, that sticks with me very clearly.

  4. Lurker:

    I hadn't even thought of buying second hand as a way not to give my money to DC or Marvel. But third hand markets? That phrase is new.

    And buying it from B&N or somewhere like that, I figure the trade money goes back to them. But used, there's a brilliant thought. Of course that assumes someone dislikes it enough to sell it.