Last week, I suggested that if the superhero comics industry actually wants women readers, it should advertise to them, do promotional work to get characters and storylines in magazines oriented to women, and engage in other sensible forms of marketing outreach. A great example of what one such a campaign might look like turns out to be underway in Mozambique, where superheroines are illustrating breast cancer self-examination techniques in a sensible, non-prurient manner. The illustrations, which are quite attractive and have the heroines set up to be reasonably proportional (though I wish they’d shown their faces), have the tagline, “When we talk about breast cancer, there’s no women or superwomen. Everybody has to do the self-examination monthly. Fight with us against this enemy, and when in doubt, talk with your doctor.”
io9 suspects that the ads might not have official Marvel and DC approval, but the campaign is sponsored by Vodacom and Mozambique Fashion Week, both of which I’m assuming have some sense of copyright, so I’m hoping they actually got official signoffs. If that’s the case, maybe Susan G. Komen for the Cure or another women’s health organization should see if Marvel and DC would be willing to collaborate on similar campaign in the United States. It seems like there could be some real mutual messaging there: women as supeheroines, superheroines as accessible women.