As a black woman who is constantly intellectually parched for a great story, badass women characters, and epic tales of badassery, (that’s a word, I’m using it), I am constantly on the look out for new creative works that help to quench this thirst. I’m also, even in the year 2015, having to search high and low, and usually off the mainstream media path, for creative works that include true representations for women who look like me, or that I can identify with.
We’re not post-racial y’all, hate to break it to ya. Shocking I know, and water is still wet. Representation matters, and it is always inspiring to read stories that actually acknowledge my existence, does not use erasure to ignore my existence, and ALSO has diversity in new and exciting ways (i.e. everyone isn’t white. A craaaazy concept, I know).
I also acknowledge that I am not a special snowflake. I like to think I’m unique- just like everybody else- but I know that if I’m looking for creative works that are close to achieving my wants stated above, then I know there are plenty in my position looking for the same. That’s why I’ve decided to begin this article series in which I highlight creative works, that plenty of people should be reading, and that also does two or more of the following things;
-Has a woman of color playing a major part/role in the creative work
-Has people of color playing major parts/roles in the creative work
-Has some badass women in it
-Shows representation not only in race, but with gender, sexuality, religion, and the like (Intersectionality y’all!)
I’m choosing to do reviews of works that come my way, that I actually have a chance to look at. If any of you fine readers have a work that you’d like to bring to my attention to check out, then you are more than welcomed to do so.
My first highlight/review goes to:
Comic/Animatic/Web series: “Matty’s Rocket: Ready For Blastoff” by Tim Fielder; Produced by BigHead Scientists Productions
Maybe you haven’t heard of Matty Watty, but you should, because she’s awesome! “Matty’s Rocket” follows the adventures of this badass space pilot, Matty Watty, and her adventures in the intergalactic universe. It is a series based off of an alternative past that creates a unique futuristic present (or close to present, as the most recent year is 1968 in the comics so far). As the summary for the series explains (from the Matty’s Rocket official website);
“Matty’s Rocket is a galaxy spanning tale about the adventures of space pilot Matty Watty. This animatic series is based in an alternative past where the pulp stylings of Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis collide with the real world events of World War 2, FDR, Nazis, the Harlem Renaissance and the oppressive Jim Crow era, watch as Matty navigates her vessel through a dangerous world filled with evil villains, heroic feats, alien oddities and down home adventure.”
It is a simple enough tale, of a character wanting to explore space and the universe, yet it re-invisions it in a new way that puts an inspiring character like Matty Watty (not exactly set on the last name, but it is memorable) who is not only a woman, but a young black woman. This series does not only take place in comic form, but also as an online web series that describes itself as a ‘hybrid of a comic book and an animate film’. What is called Animatic. A very cool concept if you ask me, that allows you to experience this story in a variety of formats.
In reading the first issue, in print, the simplicity and style is what really stands out about this comic. It is not very wordy, and it honestly doesn’t need to be. The creator, Fielder, has explained that the style is somewhat influenced by the idea of silent films. So it allows the pictures and action to do the ‘talking’ for the story. Which is fair enough, and doesn’t leave much to be desired. This is a comic that is suitable for all ages, but I would say it is probably something one should definitely gift to the younger set of new comic readers. It is a very quick read, and doesn’t leave a lot to marinate on, but if you like a fun tale about space adventures, with a tinge of historic relevance, then this is definitely something that wouldn’t hurt to be part of your collection. And, I mean, its a young black female kicking ass in outer space… What is there NOT to love about this plot line?
You can find the adventures of Matty Watty online at www.mattysrocket.com, along with the printed editions at Amazon.