Monday, February 16, 2009

Go, Look!

Fans of feminism, bondage, and the outsider art of Henry Darger will want to check out The Hooded Utilitarian's two-part piece on Wonder Woman creator, William Moulton. In it, blogger Noah Berlatsky playfully details the ways in which Moulton's 'particular fetishes and fantasies' have made the Wonder Woman character so troublesome for comics writers in the sixty-some-odd years since.
An excerpt:
Whereas Superman, Batman, Spider-man, etc., are to some extent just interchangeable adventure heroes, Wonder Woman stories were much more like something by Tom O’Finland or R. Crumb — that is, Moulton had an idiosyncratic vision based on his fairly explicit sexual kinks (basically strong woman, bondage, control, submission — that kind of thing). [...] Moulton made his stories about those fetishes and fantasies; that’s what he wanted to talk about, and in that context WW’s appearance (girly, uncovered), her tools (the magic lasso, the bracelets), and her contradictory image (powerful, but always being dominated), all make at least a kind of sense. His weird blend of feminism/misogyny (“I love strong women — tie them up so I may love them more!”) means you can’t get the feminism without the misogyny, but also means you can’t get the misogyny without the feminism.
Seriously, this is a wonderfully funny and informative piece. If you've never read any of Moulton's Wonder Woman stories, it will have you scouring ebay, looking for cheap, used comics. And for those of you already familiar with the mind of Moulton, it will offer added insight into the super-talented super-freak and his contradictory creation.
Click here for part one and part two.
Go, look!