Given the heavily feminine concept of the Ranger series, the leading roles are largely driven by empowered women of various ethnicity, shapes & sizes, and orientations, comprising over 60% of the cast.
As a creative with wide-ranging interests from civil rights & politics to science & health to bboying & fashion, Ranger is a dense world. The series is as focused on social commentary & history as it is speculative technology and action.
As a feminist, something I wanted to address was an issue that has always particularly perturbed me – the “stripperific” portrayal of women in popular, mainstream media and comic books. For those unfamiliar with the term, the concept is well-defined by the guys and gals over at tvtropes.org.
I mean to balance utilitarian and fashion-forward fare and create a setting where near-future functionality and radical silhouettes are as important as the historical accuracy of the side-arms and the cool-ness of the robot suits– I am not interested in unnecessary over-sexualization. The female commandos from my US military series Ranger: FORSEC are not an inexplicably garbed stripper squad, they dress in appropriate military clothing and the robes and armor of the samouryu are based on real-life designs.
On The Grey Flag
The old lady was staring at her. She knew it.
Four months ago, Julia had married the love of her life. Her husband, Mike had just been named head curator at the art museum where he was working in. She was three months pregnant with a boy they would call Joey and after Joey is born she would quit that stressful writing job of hers to be a full-time housewife. Nothing could go wrong in her perfect life.
The day it arrived, Julia and Mike were busy unpacking their luggage from their trip to Venice when the doorbell rang. Julia ran out to get the door and when she opened it and looked down, there it was.
The package was encased by a bubble wrap, with an additional layer of plastic over it. At first glance it was about two feet tall and one foot wide. Julia carried it into the living room and unwrapped it. The rectangular wooden frame in the package was old, but kept in good condition. Flakes of the golden paint that coated it were coming off but it was still a beautiful frame, with very fine carvings of flowers at its corners. But Julia didn’t notice that, her eyes were fixed on the painting in the frame.
It was a portrait of an old lady who looked almost in her eighties. She had a sharp chin and high cheekbones and her pale skin was weathered and covered in wrinkles. The old lady’s graying hair was tied up in a bun and over it she wore a white bonnet. She had a hooked nose, almost too big for her face, with a sharp tip like the beak of a hawk. Below that nose she had very thin and dry lips. The edges of her mouth slanted slightly upward, giving her a smile that looked more like a smirk to Julia.