*WOW* If you have read (or even just heard about) my comic DIANA ~ *PLEASE* read this New Yorker article! It explains everything that I try to express in my short intro to the comic.
I drew DIANA as an exercise, as a re-interpretation of Marston’s original comics by someone being aware of the secrets of his personal life, and the ideas that inspired the invention of the character. This article reveals that Diana’s roots are much closer to the foundation of utopian feminism, free love, and the parthenogenic mother goddess of antiquity than I had even imagined. It also reveals that the secrets of the Marston family’s private lives were kept in the closet to a much more intense degree than I had realized.
I drew DIANA to promote the idea of approaching & imagining this character in a new way, as a gesture of thanks to Charles, Elizabeth and Olive’s original intensions. A half century of artists have imagined Diana, without really knowing all these things ~ but suspicions have been proven true. Diana is a utopian feminist icon of the highest degree. Her creation is directly linked to the women who first fought for feminist ideas, and sexual freedom in modern society.
In my experiment with giving the the story a modern reading, I actually discovered that Diana’s behavior reads like the stereotype of an entitled middle class American. From the moment that her mother molds her, she wants the moon. She will stop at nothing to have things EXACTLY as she wants them, no matter what the price. No matter what Mom says, no matter how mom & grandma had to suffer in chains, Diana will stop at nothing, and will use every magical gadget that can be created to achieve her perfect freedom. It seemed kind of amazing, yet also fitting to me, that Marston’s vision of a liberated feminist would also reflect aspects of a sort spoiled postwar America that didn’t quite exist yet.
By a strange twist of fate, the specific absence of Wonder Woman’s presence from the modern stream of superhero blockbusters shines a light on the elephant in the room of pop culture. The Bechdel test. Feminism. The inherent patriarchy of modern society is still too strong to produce a popular film with a strong feminist message. It still can’t be done. Diana is the utopian superhero of the suffragists, of freedom, of love, and of the goddess. It’s time to treat her that way.
"Marston put it this way: “the only hope for civilization is the greater freedom, development and equality of women in all fields of human activity.” ~ “Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world."