Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Violence Against Women In The Comics

I think violence against women in the comics is related to violence against women in the movies. Many of the people who were working on the comics freely admitted they were influenced by the movies. And in the old movies, violence against women was common. Sometimes they acted as if it was acceptable. And sometimes they acted like it was funny.

In 1933's ASLEEP IN THE FEET, Zasu Pitts gives Thelma Todd a black eye.

But she laughs it off, so we know it's not supposed to be serious.

It was supposed to be funny when Carole Lombard got a black eye, too. Why, I don't know. But the image of Carole Lombard with a black eye was plastered all over the place to advertise the 1936 movie.

You had your choice of Black-eyed Carole in Landscape format

Or portrait format

Then there's this even more unlovely version, which switches the black eye over to the other side:

I wouldn't want to have to look at something like that across the breakfast table. Give me the good old-fashioned Carole Lombard with eyes the way they were meant to look, any day!

Period photograph shows us the view passers-by would have had of this poster.

"The Spirit"gave his girlfriend a black eye, too. I thought it was probably because of Carole Lombard, but I don't know if Will Eisner ever remarked on that business.

That was from November 3, 1940. Next week's story had him at it again:

Unlike what happened in last issue, this girl was a villian. But if he didn't like to hit a lady, what did he keep doing it for?

Here are a couple of other scenes of The Spirit in action.

An odd scene that seems typical of this character. The implication is that the girlfriend is being spanked for kissing "The Spirit".

He's at it again. Of course, the expression on his face lets us know it's all a joke. Not that that really helps. The girl isn't supposed to think it's fun.

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