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Why Comic Books Don’t Have Heroic Female Characters

Comic book fans know the pleasure of becoming absorbed in an alternate world. One where weirdos and freaks reign supreme as superheroes and saviors. It’s the perfect escape for somebody that doesn’t feel as though they quite fit in. For Jeremy Whitley, comics were engrossing, so much so that he wanted to make his own. But then he had a daughter.

"It just struck me that there were all these male role models," he said. "And then the female role models, even the strong ones are scantily clad, running around in ridiculous outfits."

So he set out to change that. He created the comic “PrinceLess.” It follows a princess who embarks on a series of quests, content to be the hero of her own adventure.

"Princess Adrienne is a princess locked away in a tower by her evil parents...she decides that she doesn't want to wait around and be rescued, so she decides to rescue herself."

Whitley works on multiple comic book projects and even helped create an independent comic book company, Firetower Studios. He said his daughter isn’t quite old enough to appreciate “PrinceLess.” His hope is that one day, she will be, and she’ll get a positive role model out of the experience.  

Jeremy Whitley will be at Ultimate Comics in Durham Saturday.

The audio for this segment will be up by 3 p.m.

Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.