Kelly Sue DeKonnick, the author of revolutionary comics, talks about the changes that have come to the world of graphic novels.
Around the person of Kelly Sue DeKonnick, feminists and inspirers of one of the most swirling and fascinating stories in today’s comics, a truly unbridled cult has developed. Men and women, inspired by the unyielding characters of the comic book Bitch Planet, a futuristic space refrain to motivate 60-70s films about exploiting women in prisons, often send the author photos of their tattoos in the form of the “incompatible” mark – the same as the heroines of the book disagree with the existing state of affairs. And around Carol Danvers, the main character of the comic book Captain Marvel (Captain Marvel) – who, while DeKonnick was working on her, contributed to the appearance of a huge number of works about superheroes where women are not “humiliated”, – the author speaks of them, – There was a whole fan base, “Carol Corps”. These fans made so much noise and became so noticeable that the comic strip Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps appeared on them, which entered the Marvel series Secret Wars. The end of this series was the sad end of that era in Marvel, when DeKonnick spoke in the voice of a super-strong combat pilot and Star Wars fan, adding the necessary dose of realistic humanity to female characters at a time when this was a rare occurrence in comics (Carol turned out to be popular that she will become the first female superhero to be filmed for a solo movie in the Marvel Cinema Universe). And there is also a stunningly beautiful (thanks to the drawings of the co-author, Emma Rios) comic book DeKonnick Pretty Deadly, a bloody mythological western nominated for the Eisner Award, which combines elements of horror and folklore. In the sixth issue of the comic book, the young girl Sissy tries on the mantle of a grim reaper, and the Death daughter, named Ginny, helps her with a vengeful spirit, armed with a gun and a sword. For the first time, real historical events infiltrate this comic, and a character named Cyrus, who was just a child in the previous arch, will now grow up and fight in the First World War. We met with DeKonnick before the release of the sixth issue of “Deadly Beautiful” to talk about new comic book characters, overly sexy superhero costumes and how she imagines the movie version of Captain Marvel. In the sixth issue of “Deadly Beautiful,” we will meet Cyrus several years after the events of the first volume and see that he grew up, became a soldier and joined the American army in World War I. Why did you decide to add real events to the book, where before the plot developed in the folklore, mythological world? Yes, it was a frightening decision. We wanted to maintain a sense of “mythical space”, so that the myths of the American West will permeate the entire book. But we were also afraid that the real elements would be too sharp, such as “and then Ginny went to Starbucks” (laughs). So the plot of the book seems to be slightly in touch with the real story. In this arch, we will meet the “Harlem Balamutes” – a battalion of black soldiers from New York who fought with the French. But the guys in my story are not real battalion fighters. You will not see either Henry Johnson with his Military Cross, or anything like that. We did not make a comic strip about the First World War, we made a comic strip about the war (in this arch). I read that at first you were scared to describe so many female characters with an off-white skin color in “Bitch Planet”, because readers could incorrectly perceive the experience of “colored” people. “Deadly Beautiful” also talks about a black family, but it seems to me that in this case you did not feel fear. Surprisingly, I really was not scared. Probably the fact is that in “Deadly Beautiful” there is no politics at all. This is not a lightning rod, unlike the Bitch Planet. “Deadly Beautiful” is a story about immortal and mortal heroes; it describes the family of Sarah, a family of blacks, over the years. I never thought: “I’ll make a story about an African-American family!” But in “Bitch planet” I had to make an informed choice. We wanted to talk about the fact that women with non-white skin color are three times more likely to go to prisons than white ones, and that this is crazy. This is the main topic for discussion. It is no coincidence that we touched on this, and we did not try to evade it, that’s the whole point. You call this comic a lightning rod; and what kind of feedback did you receive on the first volume of the “Bitch planet”? This is a book of those to which few can relate evenly. Many adore her, and many hate her – some justifiably, and some only because they do not accept my views. I do not mind. I think this is normal. I try to think less about how she was accepted, because it is painful. You can’t win here. But I’m not stupid, I see sales ratings, I see photos of people with an NC tattoo [“non-compliant” – “incompatible”]. I know that for many this is important, and it really touches me. I just try not to fall into a stupor from this. You can completely go crazy thinking about it.