Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Literature Review Three - ''DC COMICS COVERGIRLS'...by Louise Simonson

This book is one of my absolute cherished ones that I own, and like the question, ' what came first the chicken or the egg?'... comes my own struggle, ' what came first, my love for comics or my love for comic art?'
For anyone that loves the dramatic graphics, bold colours and intense artwork will find this book as pleasing as I do. It's laid out in chapters, looking at all the various DC comics and the women whose presence made it what it is. For example one chapter is labelled as, 'Gotham Girls' and shows graphic cover
work featuring the likes of  'Cat Woman', Harley-quinn', 'Posion Ivy', 'Batgirl' and a special of 'Robin the girl wonder'. One cover especially has it's own Duchamp Surrealist feel which too pokes fun at the famous 'Mona Lisa'..
Another chapter features comics that may not have proved as popular as the 'Wonder Woman' generation or that of 'Supergirl' who starred alongside 'Superman'...but show Gothic and sinister graphics that appeal more to the dark side of comic books and their maturity which were known as, 'Vertigo'.  Such marvels are that of, 'Black Orchid' whom was  a hybrid-plant woman linked to 'Poison Ivy', that was brutally murdered, leaving her siblings to carry on her work. Another collection seen is that of 'Lucifer' which sees an ego-centric fallen angel that is bored with ruling hell and so retires to the piano bar 'Lux' in Los Angeles in which he deals with whims by mortals and immortals alike.
One cover from this series I find remarkably beautiful with a slight disturbing presence that portrays the mystical beauty of the dead underworld which can be seen on the left. It was created by Michael J.Kaluta who was known for creating 'moody' art. It shows the comics character Lilith, who sacrifices her own children in her search for vengeance. On the cover you're able to see this portrayed through Lucifer being dangled from her right earlobe.
Even if you aren't aware of all the DC comics that have ever been created, the art-work is so incredible that you don't need to be familiar with all the stories to really appreciate it. Along with the art is some text explaining the comics and the reasons for the women and their cause behind it, which could probe you to become interested in those that you have never heard about. 

In most comic stories it is usually always the men that hold the shining light, with women being used as a love-interest to further probe the hero's own Psyche or the females are used as villains or mindless distractions. For all the feminists out there, this time women are given their chance to signify what they're capable of. Obviously the well known 'Wonder Woman' had her time in the spotlight but considering how many male counterparts are out there it is surprising how only one leading lady has ever had her own role. 'DC COMICS COVERGIRLS' goes further into the complex personalities of the trivial women that have graced their pages throughout the decades. The sinister Cat Woman, the mentally powerful Lois Lane, the cheeky villian-esses  and the growing adolescence of the 'Teen Titans'. 
  Even if some of these characters haven't been the leading role in their place in comic history, we see their reasoning explained in great depth which makes you feel that without their presence, the comics wouldn't have been as popular as they were.

'Preacher' is another gem that features art by Glenn Fabry, and shows a size able female face that when seen as actual cover art is breathtaking at how realistic it seems to be.

I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone that loves the art work that comics have delivered year after year. From vintage covers, to the slightly less famous, to the highly recognizable hero's.. this book has them all. Created by dozens of different artists, each one is loud and hardcore..delivering the true intensity that comic followers have come to appreciate and love.

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