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Gender and Sexuality in Graphic Novels _ Manga


									                                                                Alpha Flight: Northstar
                                                                Marvel Comics
   Gender and Sexuality in                                        q   Created in 1979, revealed to be
                                                                      gay in 1992
  Graphic Novels & Manga                                          q   In Ultimate X-Men, Colossus
                                                                      and Northstar are a couple

                       Robin Brenner
                        Brookline Public Library

                      Snow Wildsmith
           Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

The Authority: Midnighter & Apollo                              The Rawhide Kid
Wildstorm/DC Comics                                             Marvel Comics
  q   Introduced in 1998, revealed                                q   Created in 1955
      in 1999                                                     q   Various incarnations in
  q   Nod to Batman and                                               Silver Age
      Superman                                                    q   Revealed to be gay in
  q   Now married and raising a                                       controversial 2002 one-shot
      child                                                           Slap Leather

GBLTQ Issues                                                    Runaways Karolina & Xavin
  q   Green Lantern: Brother’s Keeper                           Marvel Comics
      by Judd Winick                                              q   One of the first lesbian characters in a series aimed at
  q   Gotham Central by Greg Rucka                                    teens
  q   Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughan                              q   Girlfriend Xavin a Skrull, shapeshifter
Young Avengers Hulkling & Wiccan                    DC Universe
Marvel Comics                                         q   Renee Montoya, starred in
    q   Teen gay couple                                   Gotham Central, now The
                                                      q   Batwoman (Katy Kane)
                                                          debuted in 2006 in 52

DC Universe                                         Mainstream Comics
    q   Justice League line up                      Western Comics
        announced March 2008                          q   Homosexuality still not prevalent in mainstream
    q   Batwoman (Katy Kane)                          q   First characters were often defined by their sexuality
    q   Starman (Mikaal Thomas)                       q   Visibility is happening more, but quality of representation
                                                          becomes an issue
                                                      q   Very little actual romance

Manga-Popularity                                    Manga-Cultural differences
n   Comics & Manga Sales                            Japanese cultural mores differ from US
    q   In 2001                                       q   Not originally a Christian country, so some things
        n   $75 million total sales                       are not taboo or not as taboo
            q   $32 million in bookstores             q   Femininity = Weakness is more a Western
            q   $43 million in comic stores               concept
                                                      q   Homosexuality more accepted in past, but still
    q   In 2006                                           have to marry and produce heirs
        n   $220 million in bookstores                q   Group versus individual paramount

    $170 million–$200 million manga sales in 2006
Manga-Terms to Know                                                       Manga-Terms to Know
    Male/Male Romances
                                                                          Female/Female Romances
     n Those written for women by women
            q   Boys’ Love or Shonen-ai                                       q   Girls’ Love or Shojo-ai
                Usually less explicit, more commonly used term in Japan           Usually less explicit
            q   Yaoi                                                          q   Yuri
                Usually more explicit, more commonly used term in US              Usually more explicit, more commonly used term in US
        n   Those written for men
            Bara                                                                  Not as widely published in US as yaoi
            q   Usually very explicit
            q   Not yet published in US

Manga-Survey of Yaoi/Yuri Readers                                         Manga-Survey of Yaoi/Yuri Readers
                                                                          n   Why do you like yaoi/yuri?
n   223 responses, 165 self-identified as GLBTQ
                                                                              q   It's romantic!
                                                                              q   Visibility, with lead gay characters (no token
n   Of that 165, 70% women, 30% men                                               characters here!)
                                                                              q   It relates to my life
                                                                              q   It's sexy!
n   Most had been reading manga for 5-10 years
                                                                              q   Positive endings -- fewer "Brokeback Mountain"
    on average                                                                    scenarios
                                                                              q   A change from the usual heterosexual romance and
n   60% read yaoi, 60% read yuri                                                  stereotypes
                                                                              q   Can choose which character to relate to at any time

Manga-Survey of Yaoi/Yuri Readers                                         Boys’ Love and Yaoi
n   What turns you off in reading yaoi/yuri?                              Characteristics of yaoi
    q   Tragic endings                                                        q   Seme “top”
    q   Too much fan service, too little plot                                     Often larger, taller, older, more mature
    q   Taboo elements: incest, young characters,                             q   Uke “bottom”
        nonconsensual sex                                                         Often smaller, more feminine, younger, more inexperienced
    q   Rigid gender/sex roles                                            Realism vs. Fantasy
    q   Overdone clichés (boarding schools, "sisters"                         q   Romances
        instead of lovers)
                                                                              q   Don’t necessarily show realism of gay life
    q   Not written by/for me
                                                                                  n   GLBTQ issues
                                                                                  n   “I’m only gay for you”
Boys’ Love and Yaoi                                          Boys’ Love and Yaoi
          Differences between yaoi and bara                                     Genres within Yaoi
Yaoi—Bishonen (pretty boys)             Bara—more muscular
                                                             n Japanese businessman
                                                             n Examples:
                                                               q   Close the Last Door by
                                                                   Yugi Yamada (Juné)
                                                               q   Loveholic by Toko Kawai

         “Orlando Bloom”                   “Hugh Jackman”

Boys’ Love and Yaoi                                          Boys’ Love and Yaoi
                     Genres within Yaoi                                         Genres within Yaoi
Schoolboys                                                   Drama
n Japanese educational system                                n High angst
    q   Uniforms                                             n Not always a happy
    q   Boarding schools                                       ending
    q   Single-sex schools
                                                             n Examples:
    q   Student/teacher
                                                               q   Embracing Love by
n   Examples:                                                      Youka Nitta (BeBeautiful)
    q   Little Butterfly by Hinako Takanaga (Juné)             q   Seduce Me After the
    q   Desire by Maki Kazumi and Yukine                           Show by Est Em (Deux)
        Honami (Juné)

Boys’ Love and Yaoi                                          Boys’ Love and Yaoi
                     Genres within Yaoi                                         Genres within Yaoi

Fantasy, Paranormal, etc.
n Elements from folklore,
                                                             n Policemen
  religion, mythology
                                                             n Yakuza (gangster)
n Examples:
    q   Earthian by Yun Kouga                                n Examples:

        (Blu Manga)                                            q   Yellow by Makoto Tateno
    q   From Up Above by                                           (Juné)
        Sakuya Kurakoshi (Juné)                                q   Yakuza in Love by
                                                                   Shiuko Kano (Deux)
Boys’ Love and Yaoi                                      Boys’ Love and Yaoi
                     Genres within Yaoi                                       Genres within Yaoi
                                                         “WTF,” “Cracky”
n Japanese history, esp.
  samurai                                                n Wacky and weird

n Other historical time                                  n Often more funny than

  periods                                                  sexy
n Examples:                                              n Examples:

    q   Red by Sanae Rukuya                                  q   All Nippon Air Line by Kei
        (Juné)                                                   Azumaya (Juné)
    q   Gerard & Jacques by Fumi                             q   Love Pistols by Tarako
        Yoshinaga (Blu Manga)                                    Kotobuki (Blu Manga)

Boys’ Love and Yaoi                                      Girls’ Love and Yuri
n   Some creators do attempt for more realistic
    portrayals of homosexuality                          n   Characteristics of yuri
    q   Fumi Yoshinaga                                       q Often about first crushes
        n The Moon and Sandals (Juné)
                                                             q Not as long lasting
        n Ichigenme: the first class is Civil Law (801
          Media)                                         n   Realism vs. Fantasy
        n Antique Bakery (Juné)—not actually yaoi            q Rarely about adults
    q   Hinako Takanaga                                      q “At least it’s not a boy”
        n Challengers (DramaQueen)

    q   Yugi Yamada
        n Glass Sky (Juné)

        n Spring Fever (Deux)

Girls’ Love and Yuri                                     Girls’ Love and Yuri
                      Genres within Yuri                                       Genres within Yuri
Schoolgirls                                              Friendship/Romance
                                                         n   Example:
n   Examples:                                                q   Voiceful by Naowako
    q   First Love Sisters by Mizuo                              (Seven Seas)
        Shinonome (Seven Seas)
    q   The Last Uniform by Mera
        Hakamada (Seven Seas)
    q   Strawberry Panic by                              n   Example:
        Sakurako Kimino (Seven                               q   Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl
        Seas)                                                    by Satoru Akahori (Seven
Girls’ Love and Yuri                              Alternate Sexuality in Manga
                             Genres within Yuri                             Gender Play
Realism                                               q   Body Swapping
n    Example:                                             n   Le Chevalier d’Eon by Kiriko Yumeji and Tou Ubukata
     q       Rica 'tte Kanji!? by Rica                    n   Your and My Secret by Ai Morinaga
             Takashima (ALC
n    Example:
     q       Kannazuki no Miko:
             Destiny of a Shrine Maiden
             by Rica Takashima

Alternate Sexuality in Manga                      Alternate Sexuality in Manga
                   Gender Play                    Homosexuality and Bisexuality
    Crossdressing                                     q   Occur less outside of yaoi and yuri, but still exist
         q    for fun                                 q   Examples:
              n   Ouran High School Host                  n   Venus in Love by Yuki Nakaji
                  Club by Bisco Hatori (VIZ
                  Media)                                  n   Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa
         q    “required”
              n   One Thousand and One
                  Nights by Jin-Seok Jeon and
                  SeungHee Han (Yen Press)
         q    for personal reasons
              n   Fruits Basket by Natsuki
                  Takaya (TokyoPop)

Alternate Sexuality in Manga                      GLBTQ Acceptance within Manga &
Transgenderism                                    Anime Fandom
Most titles not realistic
                                                  n   Fanfiction
 q After School Nightmare by Setona Mizushira
                                                      q   Slash fiction: pairs up
 q The Day of Revolution by Mikiyo Tsuda
                                                          characters from popular
 q Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa                             series, i.e. Harry/Draco
                                                      q   Doujinshi: fan comics,
                                                          often slash
                                                  n   Crossplay
                                                      Cosplaying (dressing in
                                                       costume) as a character
                                                       that is of the opposite
Outside the mainstream
  q   How Loathsome by Tristan Crane and Ted Naifeh
  q   Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki
  q   Paris by Andi Watson

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