'Gyno-Centric' Comics Journal Review Increases Facepalming Across Internet

This weekend, the award-winning cartoonist Carta Monir read a recent review of Girl Town by Carolyn Nowak, published by Top Shelf/IDW and written by Comics Journal contributor Jake Murel. And wanted to share some of it…

Carta didn't name the writer or link to the original post. But there was one word that everyone would seize upon. See if you can see it…

As this suggests, Nowak's gynocentrism connects her disparate stories. Each comic–this book collects five comic shorts–focuses on a female character's experience in the world, although these are not "women's issues" narratives, whatever that label may designate. The quandaries Nowak explores are universal regardless of gender: questions of friendship, belonging, knowing one's self, and the search for meaning.

In this way, beyond ostensible gynocentrism, Girl Town is characterized by what its back cover describes as Nowak's ability to "capture the spirit of our time."

And later…

For example, how can panels, gutters, or page layouts be manipulated to further Nowak's gynocentric lens? Given this intentional lens, how might she develop an écriture féminine unique to comics? Can the panel's innate separateness by utilized to reflect the solitude expressed by Nowak's characters? Rather than explore these or similar creative endeavours, Girl Town, despite its use of multiple genres and styles, follows a largely standard comics layout.

And it was that last one which made me facepalm the most.

Basically that. But there was all sorts of reaction from all sorts of people.

And Carolyn replied as well,

So, who will be the first to put out a comic actually called Gyno-Centric? It is clearly the current zeitgeist.

Girl Town by Carolyn Nowak, published by Top Shelf/IDW.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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