For Comics Alliance’s 50 influential comics and characters that have resonated with queer readers article, Andrew Wheeler asked me to write ‘a couple sentences’ about Girls With Slingshots— but I got carried away while writing and… this happened.
The wonderful thing about the characters Danielle Corsetto has created for Girls With Slingshots is not that they are physically, racially, and sexually diverse, it’s that they are delightfully flawed. Many creators are eager to be inclusive (commendable!) and fear accidentally having their minority-status characters represent their larger identity group poorly, so they wind up creating Perfect Wise Brave Minority Characters. Which is boring. Corsetto’s characters aren’t mascots for their identity groups, they’re humans who happen to also belong to an identity group.
People are messy. People fuck up and do things that offend others. They’re imperfect. Life is interesting because everyone is out there fucking up and offending and being imperfect and trying to navigate their lives around their shortcomings to be good friends, good lovers, and good family to each other at the end of the day.
I see people get offended at the GWS characters for acting in ways that do not necessarily jive with the party lines of [INSERT IDENTITY GROUP HERE], but that is what makes Corsetto’s comic so rich! These characters are not representatives, they’re people. I’ve seen people freak out about Thea, Angel, Jamie, Erin and Mimi for not behaving the way a Real Lesbian Should— which is true. They’re not acting how An Official Ambassador of All Things Lesbian should, they’re acting the way real individuals do with the complexities and contradictions of their personal sexualities.
People’s identities are complicated and sometimes they behave in ways that are contradictory or even assholish, and Corsetto isn’t afraid to go headlong into it. Which is why GWS is amazing.
He had to crop it down to just a couple sentences, but I wanted the world to see the entirety of my adoration for GWS.
Because, goddamn, you guys.
GWS is the fucking best.