Monday, 12 April 2010

Lydia and The Little People

Another interesting title in the Bunty Summer Special is Lydia and the Little People, which, again, re-enforces not only gender roles, but social stereotyping as well. The story is a sort of bastardisation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, with Lydia being captured by leprechauns and made to be their slave, cooking and cleaning for them. Despite being called “Little People” there’s no sign of women in this patriarchal society and Lydia is driven to be their skivvy, while constantly trying to find away to escape their world. The leprechauns all speak in a faux “Oirish” accent telling Lydia, “It never rains down here, so we always hold our parties in the street, so we do.” Before forcing here to scrub the street clean.

The Little People spend their days getting drunk and partying in the streets, while Lydia caters to their every whim. Begorrah! Now, where’s me shillelagh? That woman’s askin’ fer a beatin'. It’s not in the least bit racist or sexist, to be sure.

"Wake up" - Rage Against the Machine


Gavin Burrows said...

Weirdly, I blogged about that one too!

TimTrue said...

Gah! That'll teach me to miss a few of your postings! Well, as they say "great minds think alike" or is that "fools rarely differ"?

TimTrue said...

At least I've solved the mystery of where my Dad got the comic from! It's a reprint supplement from last year's Guardian. I was really annoyed I missed that run!

Michael Chevy Castranova said...

Re: Your comment on my post on your book, The Essential Guide to World Comics — You are welcome. It’s a cool guide. And an updated version is a great idea. -- Michael Chevy Castranova,

Briony Coote said...

My first encounter with Lydia and the Little People was a Bunty annual where she is on friendly terms with them and helping them out of a tight spot.

So I was surprised to find another annual where Lydia is the Little People's slave. Sadly, her escape attempt fails in that story.

I wonder if there was a turning point somewhere, and Lydia went from slave to friend with the Little People?

TimTrue said...

Hi Briony,

That's really interesting that Lydia started as a friend and ended up as a slave. This was my first experience of the strip as I never read girls' comics as a little boy (funny that)!

Usually these sort of plot changes are ushered in by a new writer or editor looking for a new direction to take the story, or to create more conflict. However, one worries that perhaps there was some misogynistic writer that was just venting his spleen!

I'll have to ask Pat Mills, THE girls' comics expert and evangelist!