Body of work: how a graphic novel became an outlet for the release of female shame
This art form has allowed many female illustrators to point out inconsistencies in how they see their bodies and the bodies of men around them. Author: Abrams Books A Picture from Trips by Erin Williams Author: Kristen Radtke In the book Commute : An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame ”(Travel to Work: An Illustrated Autobiography of Female Shame) Erin Williams paints herself dozens of times. Frank and realistic images of her body move through the pages of her autobiography, and in the role of a person suffering banality, and in the role of the object of sexual harassment, recovering from an injury. In the recollections of one day with long digressions for thought, a chronicle is kept, both of everyday activities and of larger ones: from secret sexual encounters to sobriety and motherhood. This means a fair amount of difficult, sometimes complete shame, material: “Every morning I woke up and couldn’t remember if I had sex at night, I touched myself with my finger, check if it hurts me,” Williams writes under the picture depicting a hand under her crumpled shorts. She considers how her body is used both privately and publicly – a question that is especially interesting in this form when an artist paints himself again and again. She constructs an equation in which the desired is equated with the visible, and struggles with the choice of only two options, whether she prefers to be an object or ignored. Until 1989, the Comic Code forbade the depiction of “unlawful sexual relations” in the main comics (referring to a graphic novel or comic book sold by the publisher / distributor), and because of this restriction, the comics became an underground liberation space. Artists began to work without worrying about commercial profitability, because it was not there. It was the spirit in which Alin Kominski-Kramb began to paint ridiculous bodies, Phoebe Glockner released comics filled with ultra-realistic drawings of sexual abuse of teenagers, and Alison Beschdel began her long comic book series “Dykes to Watch Out For” . Feeling of shame extends far beyond sexual behavior and body. But from the most ancient stories – Eve eats an apple and grabs everything at hand to cover herself – shame, especially female shame, is often associated with physicality or desire. The body is a space from which it is impossible to escape, so this is the place from which we project ourselves into the world and to which we receive close attention in return. “The visual presentation itself is often perceived as“ excessive, ”writes Hillary Shut in Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics, meaning that female memories are sometimes viewed with suspicion . Female shame is often associated with trauma, sex, and conviction. As Erin Williams writes in Journeys: “shame is an instrument of oppression,” and in all the comics, the artists exhibit colorful self-portraits, painting their bodies, injuries and desires. “Shame was the subject of a large part of female works and comics in particular. [Because] comics are a form of intimacy. This is a way to make the inner world of a person visible, ”says Hillary Shute. Illustration provides an opportunity not only to depict a real physical body, but also to show how a person sees himself. “[Comics] are drawn and written from an internal point of view,” says Schüth. Visual representations of female bodies using caricatured and sometimes grotesquely exaggerated forms can act quite differently from live performances on television, in movies or even fiction. Television is limited, at least to some extent, by the capabilities of real bodies, in particular visually attractive. In prose, it is difficult and too cumbersome to describe how the hand trembles and folds form on the stomach every time our hero bends, but in the comic we are reminded of the body every time it is portrayed – often in each section or page. For example, “Will Someone Please Have Sex With Me” (Gina Vinbrandt) describes the loneliness and unsatisfied sexual desires of a young woman in awkward details and neon outlines. The expressions of her face are constantly exaggerated – the tongue protrudes from the mouth, the body is represented by exaggerated bulges. A glaring example of physical caricature can be found in the popular book and Internet comic book “Hyperbole and a Half” (Elli Broch). Broch’s subject is often her anxiety and depression, and the body that she paints to represent herself is not at all a body, at least in the sense of a realistic representation: it is a pasta in the form of a pasta with sticks of arms and legs, and a yellow cone depicting a horse tail over the frog’s face. “This character has evolved and does not look like me, but in a way he portrays me. It’s an absurd, rude little thing, but it’s really what I have inside.