Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Characters and creators: female representation in comics

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posted on 2022-09-23, 03:44 authored by McIlraith, Chantal

In an industry characterised by predominantly male creators and readers, the portrayal of female characters within comics and graphic novels raises important questions of representation, sexism, and the wide-ranging impact of stereotypes in media. This thesis provides an overview of the history of women in the comics and graphic novel industry, alongside a review of a selection of female protagonists. In addition to the research component, these findings will inform the design of a female protagonist for a graphic novel, in a narrative that explores and navigates the pervasive stereotypes associated with female comic book characters.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Design Innovation

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design Innovation

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design Innovation


Horrocks, Dylan; Maxey, Sarah