"Best Action Heroines" tackles some comics

You know, sometimes I wonder to myself...can't I ever just sit back, relax and enjoy? I do, often. But sooner or later, I find myself pondering, musing, looking for patterns and connections. It's an annoying habit, this critical one. But it's also a sign of my ongoing obsessions. When you just can't let something go, when you have to pick it up and look at it again and again in different lights at different angles.

For years, I decorated with comic books. I framed them and hung them on my wall, separated room by room with one action heroine for a theme a piece. I had my Poison Ivy kitchen, my Batgirl living room, my Harley Quinn bedroom. If you think the Big Bang Theory guys decorate like geeks, they had nothing on me...

I've toned it down since then, mostly to accommodate more obsessions. The Haunted Mansion, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. But between my decorating and our weekly trips to Bob's Comic Castle and the movies and books on our shelves, comic books still lurk in my life at all times. I've dyed my hair, bought clothing, and undertaken entire exercise regimes that have been inspired by the world-saving characters of film and comics that I love so well. It's just another theme that I visit again and again.

These are crafty and intelligent women with traits I'd love to embody, with interests I'd love to have time to pursue. From archaeology to astronomy to world travel, they're just plain fascinating. Just plain cool. Yet, born from so much tumult, so much social chaos and McCarthyism and sexual revolution. You can read them like a map, these characters. From whatever decade they originated in to their costumes to their superpowers, they all mean something symbolically. Yet the pleasure of watching them leading these globe-trotting, take no prisoners, roof-jumping lifestyles, usually while maintaining high punk rock aesthetics and visual individuality...it's just plain easy to envy.

So if you find yourself wondering why I turn these things over and over and over again in my head, just know that I wonder too. I don't have an answer for you. I guess it's just part of being a geek deep down in your DNA. I really can't help it. Hanging Star Trek comic books in frames in my bathroom just feels like the right thing to do. Growing up with it, examining this phenomenon that's such a huge part of American pop culture, and the way that pop culture is a method to take the pulse of a nation or a generation. So just know...I think it's weird too.

That being said, here's a recent addition to my other blog, Best Action Heroines...this time I'm thinking about the action heroines of comics that I've spent so much time obsessing over and their possible implications on the ongoing movement of feminism.