The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines

The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines

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by Mike Madrid
     
 

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The Supergirls is a long overdue tribute to the fabulous fighting females whose beauty and bravery brighten the pages of your favorite comics.”—STAN LEE

“A thoughtful, comprehensive history of women in comics . . . The Supergirls gleefully celebrates the medium itself, in all its goofy, glorious excess.”

Overview


The Supergirls is a long overdue tribute to the fabulous fighting females whose beauty and bravery brighten the pages of your favorite comics.”—STAN LEE

“A thoughtful, comprehensive history of women in comics . . . The Supergirls gleefully celebrates the medium itself, in all its goofy, glorious excess.” —NPR “Best Five Books To Share With Your Friends” citation

“Sharp and lively—and just obsessive enough about women who wear capes and boots to be cool but not creepy. [Madrid] clearly loves this stuff. And he's enough of a historian to be able to trace the ways in which the portrayal of sirens and supergirls has echoed society's ever-changing feelings about women and sex.” —Entertainment Weekly

Has Wonder Woman hit the comic book glass ceiling? Is that the one opposition that even her Amazonian strength can’t defeat? Entertaining and informative, The Supergirls explores iconic superheroines and what it means for the culture when they do everything the superhero does, only in thongs and high heels.

This much-needed alternative history of American comic book icons—from Wonder Woman to Supergirl and beyond—delves into where these crime-fighting females fit in popular culture and why, and what their stories say about the role of women in society from their creation to now, and into the future.

Mike Madrid is the author of Divas, Dames & Daredevils: Lost Heroines of Golden Age Comics (forthcoming from Exterminating Angel Press in October 2013) and The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, an NPR “Best Book To Share With Your Friends” and American Library Association Amelia Bloomer Project Notable Book. Madrid, a San Francisco native and lifelong fan of comic books and popular culture, also appears in the documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

National Public Radio “Best Book To Share With Your Friends”
American Library Association Amelia Bloomer Project Notable Book

The Supergirls is a long overdue tribute to the fabulous fighting females whose beauty and bravery brighten the pages of your favorite comics.”—STAN LEE

“A thoughtful, comprehensive history of women in comics . . . The Supergirls gleefully celebrates the medium itself, in all its goofy, glorious excess.” —NPR “Best Book To Share With Your Friends” citation

“From the super heroines of today to ‘Goddesses of Tomorrow,’ Madrid questions the position of women in the world of superhero fantasy, showing the parallels between society’s expectations and the depiction of American women in comic fiction.” —American Library Association Amelia Bloomer Project Notable Book citation

“Sharp and lively—and just obsessive enough about women who wear capes and boots to be cool but not creepy. [Madrid] clearly loves this stuff. And he's enough of a historian to be able to trace the ways in which the portrayal of sirens and supergirls has echoed society's ever-changing feelings about women and sex.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Weird and wonderful all the way through.” —Portland Mercury

“There comes a time in every comic book geek slash fashionista’s life when she must ask herself ‘What do costumes and couture have in common?’ The Supergirls sets out to answer that question. . . . A quick read that skims over the history of publishing powerhouses Marvel and DC, making it informative enough and providing sufficient cultural context for those who may have no prior comic book knowledge.” —WORN Fashion Journal (Canada)

“Any comics or graphic novel library needs The Supergirls. It provides a cultural history of comic book heroines and asks whether their fantasy world has any connection to our own, offering a fine survey of different super-women in comic history and crime fighting. Any long-time comic book reader will relish this blend of scene re-creation and social analysis.” —Midwest Book Review

“Mike Madrid’s fast-moving, encyclopedic, and often funny Supergirls shows the author’s lifelong affection for these heroines on every page. He has a great feel for the genre and its history, with evident sensitivity to issues of female power and powerlessness. The section on the She-Hulk is not to be missed!” —LARRY GONICK, author of Cartoon History of the Universe

“Entertaining and informative, Supergirls is a breezy and thoroughly accessible history of the comic book heroine. A great resource!” —MARC ANDREYKO, author of the DC Comics Manhunter series

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935259039
Publisher:
Exterminating Angel Press
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Pages:
334
Sales rank:
752,224
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
1250L (what's this?)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
National Public Radio’s “Best Five Books To Share With Your Friends”
American Library Association Amelia Bloomer Project Notable Book

The Supergirls is a long overdue tribute to the fabulous fighting females whose beauty and bravery brighten the pages of your favorite comics.”—STAN LEE

“A thoughtful, comprehensive history of women in comics . . . The Supergirls gleefully celebrates the medium itself, in all its goofy, glorious excess.” —NPR “Best Five Books To Share With Your Friends” citation

“From the super heroines of today to “Goddesses of Tomorrow,” Madrid questions the position of women in the world of superhero fantasy, showing the parallels between society’s expectations and the depiction of American women in comic fiction.” —American Library Association Amelia Bloomer Project Notable Book citation

“Sharp and lively—and just obsessive enough about women who wear capes and boots to be cool but not creepy. [Madrid] clearly loves this stuff. And he's enough of a historian to be able to trace the ways in which the portrayal of sirens and supergirls has echoed society's ever-changing feelings about women and sex.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Weird and wonderful all the way through.” —Portland Mercury

“There comes a time in every comic book geek slash fashionista’s life when she must ask herself ‘What do costumes and couture have in common?’ The Supergirls sets out to answer that question. . . . A quick read that skims over the history of publishing powerhouses Marvel and DC, making it informative enough and providing sufficient cultural context for those who may have no prior comic book knowledge.” —WORN Fashion Journal (Canada)

“Any comics or graphic novel library needs The Supergirls. It provides a cultural history of comic book heroines and asks whether their fantasy world has any connection to our own, offering a fine survey of different super-women in comic history and crime fighting. Any long-time comic book reader will relish this blend of scene re-creation and social analysis.” —Midwest Book Review

“Mike Madrid’s fast-moving, encyclopedic, and often funny Supergirls shows the author’s lifelong affection for these heroines on every page. He has a great feel for the genre and its history, with evident sensitivity to issues of female power and powerlessness. The section on the She-Hulk is not to be missed!” —LARRY GONICK, author of Cartoon History of the Universe

“Entertaining and informative, Supergirls is a breezy and thoroughly accessible history of the comic book heroine. A great resource!” —MARC ANDREYKO, author of the DC Comics Manhunter series

Meet the Author


Mike Madrid is the author of Divas, Dames & Daredevils: Lost Heroines of Golden Age Comics (forthcoming from Exterminating Angel Press in October 2013) and The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, an NPR “Best Book To Share With Your Friends” and American Library Association Amelia Bloomer Project Notable Book. Madrid, a San Francisco native and lifelong fan of comic books and popular culture, also appears in the documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.

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The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
craso More than 1 year ago
This was a short fun read. The author starts each chapter with a plot description from a super heroines comic book. Then he discusses how the heroic ladies were depicted in a specific decade and how their depiction depended on what was going on in society and sales of comic books. Female super heroes were usually written and drawn to be non-threatening to young men because they are the ones who purchased the comics. After publishers decided to only sell their comics at comic book shops, instead of magazine racks at convenience stores, female characters became more like women and less like young girls because more adults were buying the books. The way they are drawn depends on how society views women. For example; in the 1940's women were working in factories on the home front while men were at war so the lady superheroes were drawn as strong all-American gals battling the Nazi threat. The women and girls discussed in this book range from iconic characters like Wonder Woman and lesser know characters like the Phantom Lady. I read comics with strong female characters and enjoyed learning about the societal influences on the plot lines that shaped their characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Goes over history of comics focussing on superheroines and cultural impact on comics. Wish it was a little longer.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I look i really know this is just for girls with a power but i dont know how else to help this little baby boy. He is at hunters house and hunters calling it his son. But he hasnt been feeding it for three days. Its just been sitting there. Please help it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A girl walked in may i join.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*watches the girls with x-ray vision*