This most recent segment in the academic interview features Professor Rachel Martin of Northern Virginia Community College as we discuss gender in Bill Willingham’s Fables. Musical feature is Guided by Voices!
Rachel Martin is an Assistant Professor in the English Department and the coordinator of the Academic Center for Reading & Writing at Northern Virginia Community College. She is a self-proclaimed comic book geek and took her entire family in costumes to Free Comic Book day. Her teaching interests encompass English and American literature, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and cultural studies. Rachel published a chapter in Feminism in the Worlds of Neil Gaiman: Essays on the Comics, Poetry and Prose entitled “Speaking the Cacophony of Angels: Gaiman’s Women and the Fracturing of Phallocentric Discourse,” and has another chapter under review on the play of gender in modern adaptations of fairy tales in comics, especially Bill Willingham’s comic Fables. Rachel’s current research focuses on representations of women in contemporary comics that transcend the traditionally stereotypical gender norms, and the potentially positive portrayal of women in contemporary comics. Her greatest achievements are that her daughter wants to be a “superhero-princess with all the superpowers” when she grows up and her son wants to be a “superhero-astronaut-comic book artist.”