Women in Refrigerators Women in Refrigerators


ooooh! Okay, this response is from one of my all-time favorite artists. Barry Windsor-Smith is most likely best-known for his run on "Conan the Barbarian," but since then, his art and writing have matured to a level of great complexity and beauty. He's done work in the last decade for Marvel, and produced the sadly-defunct "Barry Windsor-Smith: Storyteller" series. His web site (http://www.barrywindsor-smith.com) lists some of his upcoming projects, including a 300 page black and white graphic novel, "The Monster," for Vertigo, and a book featuring the most popular of his Young Gods series, Adastra. What I want to know is where he gets off making that "dwarf" comment. 5'2" is NOT dwarf height. Well, it ISN'T! (GS)

Thanks for writing and including me in your survey. I believe that if you were a dwarf - and I sincerely imagine that you are not - you might have compiled a list of dwarves in comics who have "had something awful or irreversible happen to them."

Whilst it's true that the comics media is loved and lorded over by a bunch of hormonally-challenged fan-boys (and that's just the editors), it is also true that each and every male character, whether villain or hero, has the same or similar list of "something awful or irreversible happen to them." From Batman (parents killed by hoodlum) to Superman (parents lost to cataclysm) to Spider-Man (parents killed... by... a hoodlum) to Captain America (orphaned: Parents... probably killed by... some... er, hoodlum, perhaps).

You might have a point, Gail. But only inasmuch as sex never enters into the male domain of "something awful and irreversible."

I cannot recall Prince Namor, or, oh, I dunno... Captain bleedin' Britain ever being "Tortured, made infertile...(Black Canary)", or the Thing ever subjected to being "Kidnapped and brainwashed into being a love-slave... (Red Guardian II)." Nor, as far as I know, was Wonder Man ever "raped, dead, brought back (Wonder Woman)."

Apparently, this is what's called a "no-brainer."

I scanned your list of heroines looking for Princess Adastra, but you (much like everybody else, so don't feel bad) evidently don't know of Her Highness, Princess Adastra of Orgasma who was a shining light in my generally unnoticed book called Storyteller.

Adastra, Addy to her friends, has her own story of seduction and rape. But unlike just about every other female character in the comics' pantheon, her "something awful and irreversible" history is and was utterly reversible as she faced her history with infinite equanimity and faced down her "lover" as the pathetic, self enshrouded little dickweed that he really was.

Adastra ruled over her assailant with more energy and self-worth than any and all of those supposed "heroines" that you filled your list up with.

Comics is woefully male-dominated, it is true. But this grievous situation can be remedied over a very long haul that can only begin once females are written and drawn as characters with sensibilities that eclipse, overpower and ultimately transcend the prehistorical traits of masculinity that, at the top and the bottom line, require males to be domineering, savage in their needs, and brutish in everything else.

But of course, this is just one man's opinion.