Comic Book Essay Example

Comic books were once regarded as one of lower forms of mass entertainment, but today are widely considered to be potentially capable of complex and profound expression as both literary and visual art form. Comic book are reliant on their appearance and organization. Author focus on the frame, size and orientation of the panel. These characteristics of comic book conveys content and message of the writer. In past few years, writer have started sketching characters which are more relatable to readers. In the past, comic book always depicted superheroes predominant and their counterpart as weak and unimportant. The villain always attacked female character and were always needed to be rescued. However, nowadays women in comic book are gaining more respect and are portrayed as strong characters. In Brian Michael Bendis's comic Jessica Jones (2015) #1 Jessica Jones is a detective. The comic book has reverse sexism and has predominantly female characters. By analyzing Bendis's Jessica Jones, it is clear that writers are more progressive and portray women in more positive way but still falls short in racism.

Racism in Comic Books

Racism is a common issue in comic books. The plot of the comic book always revolves around white people. In Jessica Jones, all the white people are portrayed as good character while the bad people are of color. Jessica Jones, police officer and daredevil as white while Turk who is depicted bad is of color. In the article "It's Time to Get Real About Racial Diversity in Comics" Laura Hudson points out that although there were a few creators and editors were of color, the comic book industry was still dominated by white-skinned people. This raises question on what diversity means and where does it really matter (Hudson, par.3). From decades, comic book lacks ethnicity. One of the reasons for lack in racial diversity is the ethnic group writer and illustrator of the comic books belongs to. Most of comic book creators and writers are Caucasian, thus they are more prone to sketch a white character to which they can relate. The writer and illustrator if Jessica Jones comic are white. Thus, in the comic they are racial towards color and sketched whites as good people and only black as bad person. Even in 21st century, comics like this raises question on the true meaning of racial diversity. There have been a very few comic books which has true diversity and has color people as protagonist. This issue could be addressed if we include more diverse writers and the illustrator of color who can sketch characters of different race with strong character and good plot.

Gender Issue in Comic Books

On the bright side, comic depicts gender diversity. In the past, comic depicted women as submissive characters and were dominated by men. Women's character was poorly constructed and were often depicted as slaves. The villain always attacked women portraying how weak they are and needed to be rescued. In the article "Supergirls Gone Wild" the author Charlie Andres illustrates how creator of novel wanted to sketch rape of female character to make comic popular. Woman has suffered plenty of over-sexualization in the past. But as time passed things changed. Women are now dressed in full attire which preserves her dignity and portrays her good character in comic book. The number of female readers of the comic are almost equal to male readers. Thus, half of the readers did not accept women sketched as weak characters and over-sexualized. Then, the writers started to develop women superheroes. The women superheroes were more widely accepted by society. Some of the famous superheroines are Wonder woman, Black widow, Gamora, Ms. marvel and Jessica Jones. Jessica Jones have been the most famous super heroine. In the comic Jessica Jones, Bendis represents the protagonist as superheroine who fights against the villains with help of super powers. She made it clear that she does not need anyone to help her to fight her battles. The comic started to develop female characters which have super strength and can always take care of herself. It is a great achievement in world of comic for creators to sketch and write such a heroic character of Jessica Jones who can fight for herself. More comics should be printed which shows gender diversity and has equally strong female character who fights for the society. As in the comic Jessica jones, the protagonist is well dressed and is not sexualized in any way.

Female Characters in Comic Books

Another positive approach of the comic books is that it depicts women as strong and independent. Strong character is defined as character which is well developed and three dimensional. Comic with strong female characters tends to pull more readers. In the article "Who Gets to Be a Superhero", Gene Demby shares an instance where network executives said that girls do not buy toys and the reason was they sold action figures and not princesses. Here toys have been used as metaphor for comic book. The author meant that since most of comic book showed men as superhero and action figures, women were not interested in those comics. However, when modern comics like wonder woman and Jessica jones were published, the profit of comic book creators fostered. In the comic Jessica jones, Bendis depicted woman protagonist as detective who solves cases by herself. She is sketched as smart and intelligent who fights against male villains. Jessica helps the other woman to get justice which eliminates cliché of female character as helpless victim and pathetic figure. Modern comic with woman as main lead and with superpowers sketch the character well developed and three dimensional. The characters with interesting backstory help in creating strong character. Female characters who have depth, can be emotional and complex makes the comic more interesting.


In conclusion, though racism has always been a widely faced concern, there have been development in the way women are picturized in a comic book. Modern comic portrays female character more strongly who can fight for themselves as well as for betterment of society. Jessica Jones have been one of the comics with these traits. After critically analyzing the Jessica Jones comic, it is evident that the protagonist has strong backstory and is well developed but depicts racism. All the white characters are portrayed as good while all the bad people are of color. Racism issues should be addressed as soon as possible, and creators should include people of color in writer and illustrator team.


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