Rip-Off Press 1987
Good Girls is a 1987–1991 six-issue comic book limited series. It was created by Carol Lay and published by Fantagraphics and then Rip Off Press parodying romance comics.
The comic book started with another strip, “Ms Lonelyhearts”, which progressively disappeared. The second featured Irene Van de Kamp, an heiress who grew up in an African tribe who puts face markings and a disk in her lower lip. She meets an assortment of weird characters while trying to find romance and avoid people who are only after her money. Carol Lay gives an account of how the character started in her preface to the collection.
Personally, I had a real problem with this series. If we hadn’t needed to fill a hole in Rip Off Press collection we wouldn’t have used it. First, the main character with the lip disk is repugnant. Not just ugly, but repulsive in a very visceral sense, in that she willingly did this to herself, to disfigure her face in such a disgusting way, not only was it hard to find love (which seems to be her only focus) but it would impede your ability to eat, cause myriad health problems and is such a gross mutilation, portrayed as an acceptable culture and characterizing the guys who don’t want to be with her as somehow bigoted or prejudiced because they refuse to accept her self-imposed deformity. I’m aware the author is trying to push some kind of lookism or cultural bigotry angle but I don’t see it in this context. Number two, she’s in almost every frame of her stories and I got really sick of seeing the image, which is just repellent. She looks like a bathroom sink, when I first saw her I thought she had some kind of household appliance on her face. To base 6 issues of comic on this grotesque, disgusting image is just too much. In fact, writing this, I’m going to research Rip Off to find an alternative and remove this fucking insult.
I’m not a “all cultures are valid and equal” type of believer: this type of culture is barbaric and savage. This intentional deformation of women is as bad as the justly condemned deformation of Chinese women’s feet in the ancient Oriental custom, or genital mutilation in Arab/Muslim culture. Why she didn’t examine this aspect of lookism, how women are forced to alter their appearance to adhere to Western beauty standards might have been interesting. Instead we’re forced to endure sink-face for 6 issues.
I can handle gross and disgusting and gory and horrific. But I can stomach Horny Biker Slut a lot easier than this dreck, because under all the degraded sex and extreme images there is beauty and horror and terror has its redeeming qualities, but I find none is this shit. Another thing I might do is go through and cut out all the sections with “Irene’s” story and images of her and leave the other sub-stories. I’d like to insult the artist the way I feel she has insulted her audience. I can’t believe the sales justified 6 issues, who would buy this shit? The stories aren’t even interesting or good. Shitty dialogue, poor frame composition, amateurish art and direction. Nothing good about this sewage. She should have spent some of her billions and fixed her face, but the conceit here is she sees nothing wrong with it and was only unmarried because of the reverse discrimination that although she had disfigured herself in exactly the proper African style, the males in the village wouldn’t touch a white woman.
There’s also the point that in today’s Western, especially American, culture defacing your body, be it tattoos or implanting foreign objects under the skin or through lips or eyebrows or clits or cocks is a type of mutilation of your body, at least some of those are temporary, but I find huge ear stretching disks etc. disgusting. Now of course we have people cutting off their breasts and mutilating their genitals to try to play act the opposite sex (yes, there are only 2 fuckers, deal with it) and all this ties in. This type of extreme body modification is evil and Satanic and immoral. I can’t speak enough about how much I hate the entire concept of this comic.
Anyway, this is my most hate comic I’ve ever read. I posted it with extreme reservations because of the quality of the images and we like long series. No one working with the images enjoyed the comic and there were calls to delete it, but we were adding 24 Rip Off titles at the time and it slipped through. I have quite made up my mind to either maim the series (take out all of sinkface) or remove it completely. It offends me and I have no compunction about trashing it. Be warned.