As I’ve mentioned before, InkOutbreak is a website that has led me to many of the web comics that I enjoy today. Along with I am Arg! And Legacy Control, I also found the wonderful web comic Gyno-Star. Gyno-Star is written and illustrated by Rebecca Cohen and does not disappoint. Rebecca tells stories in arch form, while still being able to express herself comedically in every installment. What drew me to Gyno-Star was that this was the first feminist comic done with great humor. I find myself laughing as she makes light of serious topics while fluidly shedding some light on them. As I point out in the interview, it’s not just her writing, but also her artwork that I enjoy. It’s very Disney-like to me and a great display of a non-sexist looking super hero.

The OG: This world has many web comics and not too many strong female characters. What made you decide that it was finally time to create a character like Gyno-Star and Little-Sappho (my personal favorite)?

Rebecca: When I created Gyno-Star, I wasn’t necessarily setting out to redress the gender imbalance in comics or anything like that. I’m female, so I like female superheroes. And I’m much better at drawing women than men. When I was in high school I couldn’t draw a convincing male character to save my life. So the superheroes that I drew in the margins of my chemistry notes were all female. And when I got tired of drawing Rogue and Storm and Kitty Pryde, I made up Gyno-Star.
Little Sappho just sort of followed naturally. I wanted to create a sidekick. I really didn’t develop her much, beyond the joke that she would be gay and have “gay-dar” on her head. But pretty soon after she first appeared in the comic, I started making her say and do all the things Gyno-Star would never say and do. Because Gyno-Star is supposed to be an upright force for moderate feminism, but Little Sappho can be an ideological extremist and blithe hypocrite who tears people’s limbs off when she’s pissed. Yes, she’s definitely my favorite character too.

The OG: Your artwork is very Disney like and works really well when you incorporate violence. Where did you get your inspiration to draw the way you do?

Rebecca: Thanks. I have to be honest and admit that it’s not completely intentional. It’s just the way I draw. For most of my childhood and adolescence I wanted to be a Disney animator. I’ve always been obsessed with animated cartoons. So in addition to Marvel super-heroines, I used to spend a lot of time drawing Disney princesses, until that just sort of became my style of drawing.

Honestly, what I’d LIKE my comics to look like is John Byrne’s work on the X-Men titles circa 1980. That is what I had in my mind when I envisioned a Gyno-Star comic strip. But that’s not how I draw.

The OG: Your comic has strong messages while continuing to be funny at the same time.  How do you keep the balance between your social commentary and humor?

Rebecca: I guess for me they’re the same thing. My favorite kind of humor is satire, political humor, social commentary — that sort of thing. Every time I write a strip, I’m aiming to be funny, not to spread a message. My humor definitely arises out of my point-of-view, and I have strong feelings about politics and society.

The OG: What obstacles do you find in a predominantly male medium of comics and how are you trying to avoid them?

Rebecca: Right now I’m not affected by any obstacles related to male domination of the comics industry, because it’s just me sitting at home drawing silly pictures. Webcomics represent a great opportunity for female creators. I can have total creative control. I don’t have to prove myself to editors or publishers who might doubt me; I don’t have to change what I’m doing to match what somebody else perceives is good, or funny, or marketable. I have not experienced any real backlash against the feminist message of my comics. I guess if you have a serious problem with feminism you’re probably just not going to bother with my comic anyway. There’s too much other internet out there to waste your time with me.

The OG: When you die what type of legacy would you like Gyno-Star to have on the internet?

Rebecca: I don’t know about Gyno-Star, but I’m going to upload my consciousness to the cloud and enjoy infinite life and eventual world domination. Also, something to do with quantum computing.

The OG: Who would win in a fight Wolverine’s clone X-23 or The Republican Tea Party?

Rebecca: Oh, I get it. Give me X-23 because I’m a lady.

Before I answer I have to ask, do you mean like the whole Tea Party? Like every single member? Or just the leadership? I feel like X-23 could take on the leadership. We’re talking about a neutrally moderated debate on the issues, right? I mean, X-23’s not much of a talker, but when you’re up against the Tea Party that can work to your advantage. Kind of a verbal aikido — just let them keep going and eventually they’ll self-destruct. Yes, I would say that in the arena of political debate, X-23 beats the Tea Party hands down.

Head on over to the official Gyno Star site and take a look at Rebecca’s social media sites.

Website: Gyno-Star