10 WOMEN SHAKING THINGS UP IN COMICS
Women have always been doing comics. But they haven’t always gotten the same opportunities or recognition as men have. So, while it’s still Women’s History Month, here are a few of the lady folks doing exciting stuff in the comics world!
- •Kelly Sue DeConnickStart With: Bitch Planet DeConnick is almost too obvious a choice for a list like this. The powerhouse behind the reboot of Captain Marvel (featuring Carol Danvers, former Ms. Marvel), she has also written the Avengers (Avengers Assemble), a western starring the daughter of Death (Pretty Deadly), and Bitch Planet, a satire of the genre of exploitation movies. DeConnick is a powerful personality, too, naming the “Sexy Lamp Test” (If you can replace a female character with a sexy lamp, no good.)
- •G. Willow WilsonStart With: Ms. Marvel Author of Cairo in 2007 and Air in 2010, Wilson really started to get noticed with the new Ms. Marvel series, starring Kamala, a Pakistani-American girl who gains superpowers and takes on the Ms. Marvel name in imitation of her idol, Carol Danvers. The lively comic frequently dwells on the challenge of Kamala’s negotiating her superhero adventures with school, her social life, and her family’s expectations, never veering into stereotypes.
- •Fiona StaplesStart With: Saga Fiona Staples’ art is one of the many incredible things about the Saga series, which follows the adventures of a mismatched family just attempting to be together in a galaxy wracked by war. Themes of love and family abound, and Staples’ rich colors and vivid illustrations are equally suited to expressive faces and panoramic illustration. Her art is utterly unique, and she has garnered many accolades for her work, including six Eisner awards.
- •Marguerite BennettStart With: DC Bombshells Perhaps one of the busiest writers right now, Marguerite Bennett is working on multiple titles including A-Force (Marvel), Red Sonja (Dynamite), and Butterfly (Boom! Studios), as well as the above DC Bombshells. The series is based in an alternate universe and involves versions of DC’s biggest heroines joining the war effort during World War II - but not just against familiar enemies.
- •Noelle StevensonStart With: Nimona Stevenson is a young star on the rise. Beginning with writing comics online (including the hilarious Broship of the Rings series, then reimagining Tolkien’s characters as modern day hipsters), she recently published her comic Nimona with HarperCollins. She also worked on Runaways for Marvel, and was a contributor for the Lumberjanes series, an equally fun comic for all ages that recalls the best days of summer camp -- but with more shapeshifting bears and unexpected dinos.
- •Emily CarrollStart With: Through the Woods Another writer/artist who got her start with webcomics, Emily Carroll’s collection of five creepy stories is gorgeously illustrated with dark and eerie art. Her work evokes the best of dark fairytale traditions and will give you the delightful shivers of campfire storytelling. Thus far, this is her only work released in book form, but we’re hoping to see more.
- •Marjorie LiuStart With: Black Widow: Name of the Rose While Black Widow’s profile has risen in recent years, she has an upsetting shortage of truly good comics to her name. Marjorie Liu’s remains one of the best. She writes the character sensitively and full of humanity, ruthless but compassionate, determined and loyal. She breathes life into a character frequently flattened to a trope.
- •Kate BeatonStart With: Hark! A Vagrant Kate Beaton, another webcomic artist who’s transitioned to print, continuously writes and draws hilarious comics about subjects ranging from literature to little-known historical figures. She works in a cartoon strip-like style, with humor that is both witty and absurd. If you haven’t been following Kate Beaton, now’s a good time to start.
- •Becky CloonanStart With: Southern Cross Becky Cloonan enjoyed the distinction recently of being the first woman to draw a main Batman title, but she’s been doing great work for years. Her best known work is the twelve-issue series Demo, but the more recent Southern Cross is also fantastic. A blend of mystery and weird fiction, it is about a woman trying to solve the mystery of her sister’s death on a distant moon.
- •Phoebe GloecknerStart With: Diary of a Teenage Girl Diary of a Teenage Girl, Gloeckner’s semi-autobiographical hybrid of prose and graphic novel styles was recently adapted into a movie. It is a uniquely raw and intense look into the life of a teenage girl, obsessively writing in her diary after she loses her virginity to her mother’s boyfriend. Published in 2002, Gloeckner’s work takes the interior life of its protagonist seriously, delving deep into the angst and drama of growing up female in the US.