Smashing the Ideals of Docile Femininity

Humoristic Strategies of Feminist Resistance in Finnish Women's Comics Magazines of the 1990s and 2000s

in European Comic Art
Leena Romu Postdoctoral Researcher, Tampere University, Finland

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In the 1990s and 2000s, three Finnish comics magazines were established for comics made by women. Drawing from a multidisciplinary framework of studies on feminism, gender and humour, this article argues that the magazines used the comics form to discuss feminist issues and to disrupt essentialist conceptions and expectations about gender. The common denominator for the magazines was the use of humour as a tool, although humoristic strategies and understandings of gender varied. This article gives an overview of the development of Finnish feminist comics by situating the magazines within the discussion of women's comics that was ongoing in Finland in the early 1990s and 2000s, and by reflecting on the magazines’ impact on present-day feminist comics in Finland.

Contributor Notes

Leena Romu is a postdoctoral researcher at Tampere University in Finland. Her research interests cover Finnish comics, formal and narrative aspects of comics storytelling, feminist issues, humour, and the history of comics. Most recently, she has co-edited the anthology Comic Art and Feminism in the Baltic Sea Region: Transnational Perspectives (Routledge, 2021) and written articles about representations of sexual violence in comics and spatiality in dystopian comics. ORCID: 0000-0001-5489-5223. /

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