Posts Tagged ‘girls’

Girls

August 17, 2011

I was teaching bass at Girls Rock Vermont last week, and I pretty much expected to get back to the bookstore and be buried completely under all the used books people had dropped off since I’d been away. (I don’t think “drop off your used books and we’ll look at them in the order they were received” is a sustainable model, but we’ve been sustaining it as long as I’ve been there, and since way before then.) But Chris looked at a bunch of them, and Bill organized them! So it hasn’t been as bad as it could’ve been. I’ve still been buried and frustrated, though. But whatever, anyway, while I was gone I guess somebody bought in a big, pretty black hardcover with the word “Girls” printed on the cover in pretty silver lettering: it drew my eyes to the graphic novels section all day before I brought it home to flip through it.

Sadly, it kinda sucked.

I know: I am hating everything lately. I’ve been super grumpy, but also, the only things I have been reading have been annoying! Or, the only things I’ve felt like writing about have been annoying. The first chapter of Dreaming the Dark was fantastic! I’m stoked to read more of that! But mostly yeah I have been grumpy so let’s talk shit.

Here’s the thing about Girls: it’s beautiful. It’s this oversized book that may have a jacket but the edition I read didn’t, it was just this understated black hardcover with that pretty font, and when you open it up, all the pages are that shiny paper Image comics has always used (or at least, that shiny paper they used for the first hundred Spawn [Spawn: cool devil monster whose community was some homeless people in New York] comics in my memory), and all the margins are black. So it’s very… I dunno, handsome, I guess? The artwork is very clean, although there are some pretty blatant photoshop effects. But whatever. Maybe that was what they were going for.

But okay so I brought this heavy book home so I was committed to reading it but after the first couple chapters I was like “this has too many dick jokes and too many other jokes on the dick joke spectrum.” Then, almost all of the friction in the plot (which was pretty close to the plot of Stephen King’s THE WALL or whatever the fuck that book was called, which came out around the same time) came from THE HORRORS OF HETERONORMATIVITY, which would be interesting if it weren’t placed so firmly in a context of dick jokes, hundreds of naked ladies with often clearly delineated vulvae, and the occasional naked man whose leg is always strategically hiding his dick.

So like, this is a comic book full of annoying straight people in annoying straight relationships who don’t communicate about their problems and while their main problem is a giant sperm from space and these naked girls who want to fuck every dude and kill every woman (seriously) (except they don’t want to fuck the gay dude because of pheremones so they kill him)… I dunno, it felt like it could have been interesting if the writing were aware of how deep its roots went into, like, hegemonic gender role reinforcement or whatever, but instead, those gender roles and relationship roles are presented as uncomplicated norms, like this was a sitcom doing a horror season without giving up on being a sitcom. Plus the scene where the black woman is like “you white women go fight the monsters, I will stay here and take care of your children” was gross.

So yeah I read this whole thing over the course of a couple days and it was interesting enough to hold my attention but by the end when the hero was calling people “retards” I was so, so done.

[at Powell’s]