Sexuality in Novels and Comics

Sexualityin Novels and Comics

Fora long time, comic books have been a popular entertainment media.Presently, comics are classified as cultural artifacts. They can helpto differentiate between the important and insignificant things in agiven culture, as well as, to whom the given characterizationmatters. Subsequently, the media is a noteworthy platform ofinfluencing sexuality portrayal of women in the contemporary society.The representation of women has remained controversial due tostereotyping of gender roles, sexuality, their position in thecommunity and their individual capability. Many comics portray womenas weak creatures that have to rely on a male superhero for survival(Murray 56). Similarly, they are also represented as sex objects andunintelligent creatures that cannot survive without male assistance. Secondly, the comics have also been used as a medium for stereotypingbody types. In an unexpected turn of events, the graphic novels andcomic books have become platforms for lobbying LGBT rights (Murray57). The objective of this study is analyzing the various ways comicbooks and graphic novels misrepresent women sexuality in the modernand complex civilization as well as help to push forwardcontroversial sexuality topics in the society such as the gay rights.

Theresearch will be important because comic books and graphic novels areconsidered as content for children. However, they tend to communicatedeep themes that are suitable for both children and adults (Jarrell).Subsequently, the study intends to investigate the role novels andcomics in communication controversial sexuality topics in thecontemporary society (Browna79).


  1. “Comic Book Sales for 2008.” The Comics Chronicles: A Resource for Comics Research. 2008. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

Thesource is a collection of graphic novels and comics. It will bevaluable to the research as it provides a variety of informationranging from the average sales of the comics to the popularity trendsof various media. Besides, the source will be valuable in theresearch as it gives factual information. However, the reviews arebased on the ratings and opinion of individual reviews, so theconclusions drawn might be biased. In my view, the resource will beessential in the research, as it offers a convenient platform tocomparing the sexuality viewpoint of different comical cooks andnovels.

  1. Browna,Jeffrey A. “Supermoms? Maternity and the Monstrous-Feminine in Superhero Comics.” Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 2.1 (2011): 77-87. Print. DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2011.576885

Thesource describes the various male and female sexual depictions thatare often used in the mainstream comics. In particular, the sourcedescribes the portrayal of pregnant super heroines in comics andnovels. The article will be valuable in the study as itdifferentiates between the misconceptions and the fact of femaleportrayal in the comics.

  1. Frank, Kathryn. “Drawn In, Drawn Out: Graphic Novels as a Site for Alternative Representation.” Stanford University. 26 May 2009. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

Thesource analyzes the possibility of the graphic novels and comicalbooks portraying Asian and Latina women different from regularimages. The source is important to the research as it helps to bringout sexuality misconceptions regarding Latina and Asian women thatare evident in comical books

  1. Jarrell, Amanda. “Sexuality in American Superhero Comics.” The Artifice. 18 Oct. 2015. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

Thesource is a summary of comical books in the United States. Itevaluates the various ways comics and graphic novels have evolvedinto from mere entertainment sources into activism platform. Forinstance, the LGBT community uses comical books and novels to pushtheir equality agenda successfully, and without getting intoconfrontation with the oppositionists.

  1. Meskin, Aaron. “Defining Comics?” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65.4 (2007): 369- 379.

Theobjective of this resource is describing the purpose andaccomplishments of the comics in the modern society. The source willbe suitable for this research since it explains the misconceptionsthat comics have helped to propagate, such as, beautiful women aresupposed to be slim. In my view, the objective approach the resourcehas taken regarding the sexuality portrayal in comical and novelsbooks being stereotypical is true.


  1. What role do novels and comics play in the misrepresentation of women sexuality in the present society?

  2. Have the novel and comic representation of female gender enhanced female gender stereotyping?

  3. To what extent have the novels and comic books enhanced the agenda of lobbying equal rights for the LGBT community?


Theresearch will use qualitative data analysis method. The approach willinvolve reviewing the findings of various research articles that arebased on the topic of sexuality of the comics and novels. Firstly,the researcher will collect various articles based on the articles,and that has been published within the last 20 years. Thepeer-reviewed will be given priority since they contain verifiedinformation. However, any article that contains reliable data thatcan be verified will be considered in the study. References for allthe sources of information will be referenced appropriately to avoidunintentional plagiarism. Besides, the study will contact theresearch owners to avoid infringement of their rights.


Thestudy will help to demystify common myths that are propagated by bothcomic books and novels. For example, a beautiful girl is displayed asslim while stout women are considered unattractive (Comic Book Salesfor 2008). Furthermore, the research will investigate the extent thatcomics and novels have been used to further controversial sexualitytopics such as the LGBT rights. Finally, it will determine whetherthe communication platforms have been used to spread unrealisticpresentation of women, for instance, making them appear as dependenton men by featuring them as minor characters that have to beprotected by a male figure (Meskin 371).


Theresearch will expand over a period of one month. The duration will beadequate to analyze a huge quantity of informational articles.


Thestudy will determine the misconceptions portrayed in graphical comicsand novels. For example, it will analyze the misconceptionspropagated by the comics and novel such as the suitable body types.Secondly, it will evaluate the extent that the media platform hascontributed in lobbying for controversial topics such as LGBT rights.


Themain limitation of this study is that it will explore the topic froma narrow perspective of lobbying for the rights and the sexualitymisconceptions that comics and novels have made a reality (Frank 17).Secondly, the sources of the research are limited because most of theadults who can provide the information often assume that the comicsare intended for children. Subsequently, finding comments and theperspective of adults concerning the comics and graphic novels isquite a challenge (Schmitt 156).


“ComicBook Sales for 2008.” The Comics Chronicles: A Resource for ComicsResearch. 2008. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

Browna,JeffreyA. “Supermoms? Maternity and the Monstrous-Feminine in SuperheroComics.” Journalof Graphic Novels and Comics2.1 (2011): 77-87. Print. DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2011.576885

Frank,Kathryn. “Drawn In, Drawn Out: Graphic Novels as a Site forAlternative Representation.” Stanford University. 26 May 2009. Web.14 Nov. 2015.

Jarrell,Amanda. “Sexuality in American Superhero Comics.” TheArtifice.18 Oct. 2015. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

Meskin,Aaron. “Defining Comics?” Journal of Aesthetics and ArtCriticism65.4 (2007): 369- 379.

Murray,Ross.“The Feminine Mystique: Feminism, Sexuality,Motherhood.”Journalof Graphic Novels and Comics2.1(2011): 55-66. Print. DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2011.576881

Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2001. Print

Schmitt,Ronald. “Deconstructive Comics.” Journalof Popular Culture25.4(1992): 153-161.

Sturcken,Marita, and Lisa Cartwright.Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture.

Wolk,Douglas. ReadingComics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean.Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2007. Print.