Writer: Sam Johnson / Artists: Carlos Granda & Chunlin Zhao / AAM-Markosia
Your Identity Is Not A Character Flaw
I remember the time I realized that my awkwardness was not a character flaw. I’m grateful that “Geek Girl” won’t allow me to forget that it’s a superpower. This comic is my socially awkward Black girl anthem. While I was reading through the panels and helplessly feeling all of the emotions, I would consistently go back and shout “Me. I am Geek Girl!” In the era of Storm, Shuri, and Bumblebee, Summer touches our hearts with a slightly uncoordinated grace. You can be a robust Black woman who bashes through glass windows, saves the day, and in the same breath think “Damn is this going to cost me some coin?” I believe that the movement of our beloved hero, is something one could aspire to be.
Black Girl Magic Comes With Many Hat Tricks
Don’t we all wish to see how Black Girl magic can be fueled by quirkiness? I recommend Black women of all ranges to read dive into “Geek Girl”. Certain faults and shortcomings of your favorite femme-fatals are often slowly revealed through well crafted dramatic scenes. I found it easy to empathize with a woman whose faults are transparent. It started off with a blatant, yes, this is who I am. Usually, this is presented with “visibly strong tropes” but this is more of a “Yes, I’m awkward. Yes sometimes that could get in the way, but that does not hinder my growth any more than your own personal battles; so skrrrt”.
Your Villains Are Everyday People
What I loved about the comic, is the outright quirkiness that is sometimes hard to execute without being forced. Each situation comes across as genuine interactions, and that’s what I loved most about the characters. On one hand Geek Girl is fighting crime, and dealing with her own personal issues with being an “adequate superhero”. On the other, her own peers are going through the nuances of understanding “adequate friendship”. The consistent concern for adequacy is a metaphor hidden within the panels. Your friend is being hospitalized, what is the “adequate” response that doesn’t make people judge your intentions. You get a call to defeat a supervillain. They don’t even have real superpowers.
How much are you allowed to fail before people start to look down on your abilities? The nuances of the supervillain just being everyday anxieties is both a great metaphor for self-deprecation and the awkwardness surrounding the “Awkward Black Girl”.
Colors Come to Play
The art is bright and playful, much like our main character. I enjoyed how the colors added an extra humorous effect to scenes that I don’t think would be as funny without specific color choice. It gave me the slight joys that whelmed up in my heart when I first came across anime. The figures and brightness makes it easy to slide from panel to panel. Though I wish in moments where it seemed tender it could also reflect those moments a bit more. It can be argued that it serves as a form of optimism within each character in spite of their own shortcomings.
Pastel colors are often used to brighten up scenes that would otherwise be seen as dark and murky. These pastels serve multiple purposes and it often compliments the complexions as well as the items within the scenery. I believe if pushed a bit more, this can the items in the panels could accompany the character’s movements, instead of it seeming like separate entities.
Trouble comes in All shapes and Forms
You don’t need superpowers to realize when you’re not wanted, or when people are looking down on you for not being exactly what they expect.Drag me. Maybe the real power is recognizing who you are, and focusing on growth; so you can comfortable with the person you are going to become the future. Maybe you are just a temporary replacement for someone who can’t fulfill their job requirements at the time, and that’s painful. But at the same time, you have to realize that you must have been clutch enough for them to call you in the first place.
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