Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising: The Shadow of Death – Where’s the Sexualization?

Terry Moore's Rachel Rising

Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising

Admittedly, I was late to get to the church, only recently discovering that Terry Moore is one talented creator. I guess we just did not read in the same circles. But I had heard of Strangers in Paradise as a popular book in the somewhat underground. So, a couple of weeks ago, I noticed one of the Design-conscious Rachel Rising covers on the shelves of my local store, picked it up, started looking through and quickly realized that it was definitely something I wanted to know more about. Did some research and found out that it was indeed the guy behind Strangers in Paradise, a book I’d been meaning to pick up. On top of that, it was a book about a not-overly-sexualized woman, something that always grabs my interest. So, I put the first trade on my pull list and here we are.

Upon reading Rachel Rising, I was inspired, it was a very smooth read with very few outstanding problems. There were a few editorial changes, I’d have made as a storyteller – where to place eye-catching panels and other stuff like that but they were small, sometimes personal-aesthetic things like that. Overall, the book was a very quick and gripping read. It has wonderful, human characters in a strange situation with a smart, appropriate and skilled art style. One thing that really stood out to me though, is something I prefer to see in good books, women handled as individuals, as real people and not as background or eye-candy. This book had it. Not once did I feel like I was given an image for the sake of female-idolatry. It was great, there was no sexualization for the sake of sales.

But then I started doing additional research on Rachel Rising and Terry Moore – new favorites in my world. And I found the sexualization. Moore definitely seems to have a niche in writing female characters and I’m all for that. But tacked onto that seems to be a lot of flesh on covers for the sake of catching eyes – even Moore’s own website has a scantily clad nearly bare ass with a tattoo as a way to keep readers. The cover of Rachel Rising #7 also seems to be showing a good deal more leg than is probably necessary to entice readers.

Now, I know that I am certain to get my fair share of detractors that might call me a prude or say, “Women are beautiful and we should acknowledge that.”  I do not disagree – I love women.  But there is more to a beautiful woman than her shape or look and that’s all I’m really saying.  Rachel Rising did not get me to pick the book up because it had a beautiful woman on the cover and I won’t be coming back because there was excessive flesh on or between the covers (pun intended), I will marry this book because of the writing, because the characters in the book are predominantly female and because they are smart, interesting women.  I will continue reading Rachel Rising and I suggest you at least try the first trade to see if it’s a book you can court.

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One Comment

  1. Posted July 1, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    great! i can’t get comics in the hlilsvikce i live in, got the series sip and waiting to finish echo on ebay; first time i was actually interested in comics since i was a kid.. wasn’tcrazy about runaways and paradise too; but i’ve re read sip numerous times, andi would like to know where i can subscribe to rachel rising keep it up terry!

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