-Manuel A. Carmona
Today we celebrated Tabernacle Church's Harvest Festival 2013 and I can only described it by saying... it ROCKED! There were plenty of kids from all over Norfolk, dressed in their Halloween costumes and having a grand ol' time. There were tons of games for the kids to play, there were clowns, balloon animals, tons of candy and of course; FREE COMIC BOOKS!!! That's where we come in. Through our non-profit organization Comics For Christmas, we gave away more than 400 comic books to at least 80 kids; completely FREE of charge!
We had an absolute blast handing out those comic books and what a reward it was to see all those kids' smiles when we handed those comics to them... priceless! There were a few kids that we've come to know because they follow us from event to event, which makes us feel good for two reasons: 1.They know what were about and 2. They like comic books and in some way it's because we gave them their first comics; which makes me feel pretty darn good! As if handing out free comic books wasn't enough, we also handed out candy to the kids so everyone left our table with a big smile; and that makes me very happy.
We want to help Tabernacle Church of Norfolk for organizing such a wonderful event for the kids around the community and for allowing us to be a part of it for the second straight year, we hope to be there next year and every year after that. It was truly a blessing!
-Manuel A. Carmona
If you recall, last week I wrote a blog entry here on the website regarding the importance of strong female characters in comic books (http://www.truthfulcomics.com/1/post/2013/07/the-importance-of-strong-female-lead-characters-in-comics.html), the importance of good role models in movies and comics for young ladies and I wanted to hear feedback from as many people as possible. So far I've received good feedback on that last blog, I've seen many people sharing the link on Facebook and I've also seen a very positive reaction to the blog entry which means I might be unto something.
One of the many who gave me feedback on the blog was our
good friend Mr. Tom Harris, host of the Radio Free Asgard Podcast. He actually dedicated the first half of his latest episode to our blog and gave us his honest opinions on the matter and I couldn't be more happy about it. Here's the link to the latest Radio Free Asgard Podcast episode: http://www.comicspodcasts.com/2013/07/18/radio-free-asgard-112/
Tom had some good points regarding my article and he mentioned that at least two of the characters I mentioned as good role models (Power Girl and Witchblade) are very much in the "T&A" style of making comics. While that is a valid point, Sara Pezzini (Witchblade) was a police officer and is now a detective and a single mother; which makes her a compelling character and in my opinion, a good role model. Kara (Power Girl) has a running joke about her ginormous boobs, but besides that, she's a self-made multi-millionaire business owner/entrepreneur, she's a single woman and she's powerful, beautiful and fun; all great qualities to find in any woman. The big boobs is something that's made to attract male readers, but many women have big breasts too, so as long as the characters are well written, big boobs shouldn't come into the equation. Regardless, I'd like to thank Mr. Tom Harris for dedicating half the episode to my blog and hopefully in the future we can do another episode of Radio Free Asgard and talk about my favorite character: The Mighty Thor! FOR ASGARD!!!!!!!!!
For a long time I've been trying to find comic books that are, not only appropriate for kids, but also challenge and provide good role models for them. As I embarked on this journey I came to the realization that most cartoons and movies are directed towards boys and that young girls are in dire need of strong role models, especially in comic books, cartoons and movies. So, I made it a point to look for, study and expose young girls to these strong independent female characters that they should be following on a regular basis.
The reality is that there are far too many female characters that simply don't get the exposure or the respect they deserve as legitimate characters with an established history, and it simply boggles the mind as to why exactly this happens. I can name many strong, independent female character in comics that could be great role models for young girls but simply don't get the push from their respective publishers, or at least I don't feel they do enough to promote their books to the masses like they do their male counterparts such as Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, etc. I feel it is my duty as a comic book fan to give a little PR to those characters that I feel are deserving of the public's money and attention; especially young girls! Now, if you ask me to name a few of these strong female characters I keep talking about, off the top of my head, my list would look a little something like this... in no particular order:
I truly believe that young girls need positive role models now more than ever. Think about it, what role models do they have? Beyonce, who only performs in skimpy outfits and all she does is shake her ass for the camera? Rihanna, who grabs her crotch more than Michael Jackson used to do? Or maybe Lady Gaga? Well, you get the idea. Young girls need to read about strong, positive and independent female characters and in my opinion, there's no better character suited for that task than the beautiful Asgardian Goddes of War known in the Nine Realms as Lady Sif!
Journey Into Mystery #646 ------------------->
Lady Sif was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and her first appearance was in Journey Into Mystery #102 (March 1964). As a supporting character of Thor, Sif was featured predominately through the pages of The Mighty Thor, beginning with issue #136 (January 1967). The character went on to make guest appearances in several series including The Avengers, Fantastic Four, The New Mutants, Silver Surfer and Thunderstrike. In June 2010, Sif starred in a self titled one-shot by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Ryan Stegman. The issue deals with the aftermath of Loki having taken control of her body and her consciousness being forced into the frame of a dying elderly woman. Deconnick said, "Well, this is pretty much the story of how she deals with that. She was a bit cowed at first and, for a woman as fierce and proud as Sif, that's insult added to injury. This is the story of how she comes to own that fury and rises to her full stature once again."
Beginning with issue #646 (November 2012), Journey into Mystery by Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti shifted focus from Loki to Lady Sif. Editor Lauren Sankovitch said, "We had it Loki-centric... going forward with #646 we wanted to mix it up a little bit. Lady Sif’s been in the thick of it, she’s a born warrior, she’s got a lot of fight and verve and fire to her!." You're damn right Lady Sif's been in the thick of it Lauren, and this journey is just getting started. I have to say though, what Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti are doing with Journey into Mystery book could only be described with one word; MAGICAL!!!
With this current Journey into Mystery run, they've taken Lady Sif in a bold new direction that even I couldn't have predicted; and how sweet it is! Each story is lovingly crafted by every member of this creative team, and it absolutely shows. The new storyline involves Asgardian Berzerker warriors fighting giant mythical monsters, traveling to Midgard (Earth) through some sort of wormhole, Lady Sif being overwhelmed by blood lust after receiving Arnid's Berzerker spell, following the Berzerkers and the creatures to Midgard and encountering a familiar web crawler who happens to be curious as to why these Asgardians are destrying "his city". I mean seriously, how is this book not on everyone's pull list???
In this new Journey into Mystery run Lady Sif is portrayed as funny, courageous, independent, powerful and she's sexy without being slutty or without having to resort to any gratuitous T&A, talk about a breath of fresh air! Another thing I really enjoy about Sif is that, even though she loves Thor and she respects him as a man, she's outspoken, she demands respect and she's her own woman; something that The Mighty Thor truly admires of her.
For the record, young ladies... real men admire women who are like that. It's a great thing that you love your man (or woman for that matter), but you should love yourselves first and foremost, you should demand respect and you should do your own thing, make your own money if possible because real men love strong and independent women; just like Thor loves and respects Lady Sif!
I think young ladies could learn a great deal from a powerful female character like Lady Sif and many others throughout the comic book world, but it's our duty to introduce girls to such amazing characters and stories; our duty!!!
So, if you have a young lady in your life and you want to provide good reading material for her, good strong female role models to follow and have fun with, introduce her to Journey into Mystery #646 and up! Or maybe, you can browse your comic shop for these titles: Batgirl, Batwoman, World's Finest, Birds of Prey, Fearless Defenders, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Witchblade, Danger Girl, X-Men and many more.
If you hve any thoughts on this article please leave your comments below. Thanks for reading!
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