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Sulmicki, Maciej. "‘And All Right, We Need a Woman’: Victimised heroines and heroic victims in alan moore's quasi-victorian graphic novels." Cultural Excavation and Formal Expression in the Graphic Novel. Eds. Jonathan C. Evans and Thomas Giddens. At the Interface, Probing the Boundaries. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Pr. 2013. 173–83. 
Added by: joachim (10/20/21, 11:12 AM)   
Resource type: Book Chapter
Language: en: English
DOI: 10.1163/9781848881990_018
BibTeX citation key: Sulmicki2013
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Categories: General
Keywords: "From Hell", "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", Campbell. Eddie, Gender, Moore. Alan, O’Neill. Kevin
Creators: Evans, Giddens, Sulmicki
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary Pr. (Oxford)
Collection: Cultural Excavation and Formal Expression in the Graphic Novel
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Alan Moore has distanced himself in an interview from the use of women characters in comics ‘as an adornment’ or ‘just pretty girls for the artist to draw.’ However, the presentation of sexuality in an egalitarian manner is a task no easier than weaving female characters into sensational plots taking place in the nineteenth century without presenting them as helpless victims or decorations. Promoting equal rights becomes all the harder when an artist attaches importance to respecting the original cultural/historical texts from which the characters are borrowed. The comic book version of Mina Harker in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen epitomises the female victim turned heroine. However, she is largely an isolated example, with the majority of females in the series remaining victims. As Jason Jones underlines, ‘every volume of The League includes either rape, or the threat of rape, or some other violent sexual practice.’ And this is the less drastic example, as the second series to be analysed, From Hell, revolves around the story of Jack the Ripper, i.e. prostitution (explicitly presented) and women being murdered. Monika Pietrzak-Franger points to ‘Moore and Campbell’s self-conscious erasure and silencing of the female victims’ in the series. However, women are also shown to be able to act on their own, with prostitutes attempting to fend off the threats facing them. I will demonstrate the dualistic approach adopted by Moore in the presentation of Victorian females in The League and From Hell. In both series, women are to some extent presented as both victims (of men, of their times, of other women) and heroic characters. It is disputable, however, to what degree they remain primarily an adornment.
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