One thing that really stood out to me about the She Makes Comics Netflix documentary was really how many women were involved in the comics industry. For example, I didn’t know that Vertigo was founded by a woman, especially since so many of the comics that I read and appreciate, and since so many important ones, have come out of that label. Another things that I new a little about but didn’t realize how deeply it affected women’s involvement in comics was the comics code. Hearing the fact that before the comics code, there had been more women readership than men was pretty astounding to me, especially based on the way the comics community can sometimes present itself now. Furthermore, the sort of live action reenactment of being a woman in a comic shop really rang true to me, and that sort of unwelcomeness from men in the community is something that I have definitely experienced.
Watching this documentary did leave me with some questions, however. It seemed to me that the comics code did more that just regulate things that were deemed ‘inappropriate’ within comics, but also wound up forcing out many comics that were more geared towards women and other groups. Could this be seen as an intentional aspect to the comics code, or just an unfortunate side effect? If intentional, how did it affect underground women comic makers? With the women involved in It Ain’t Me Babe nearly getting arrested for their work, it would seem that these effects were, if not intentional, at least embraced and enforced by law enforcement. Do we see the criminalizing of radical women’s comics reverberating and carrying into today, after the comics code?