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She Has No Head! – 20 Favorite Female Creators Of 2010, Part Two

Welcome to part two of my 20 favorite female comics creators of 2010.

Writing She Has No Head! is at times very stressful (and always surprisingly time consuming) but it’s brought me to a lot of great material over the last year or so, and most especially, it’s brought a lot of fantastic female creators to my attention.  There are a lot of pluses to writing this column, but I would say that, hands down, the biggest personal plus for me – has been the realization that we have such a thriving female comics community – and I feel like it’s even stronger today than it was when I started really focusing on women in comics a little over a year ago.  So below (and in “Part One” that went up last Monday, which you can read here) is my attempt to bring to you some of my absolute favorite female creators of 2010.  I hope you enjoy and maybe discover someone new as I have.

Kate Beaton's deliciously surly Wonder Woman

10. AMANDA CONNER

Significant comics work of 2010: Wonder Woman Short Story from Wonder Woman #600, Supergirl in Wednesday Comics (collected), Power Girl, Covers for Black Cat, Girl Comics, and a variety of other major books.

Why I’m loving her work right now: Amanda Conner has been a powerhouse of a cartoonist for a long time now, and as far as I’m concerned, one of the best cartoonists around – male or female, mainstream or indie.  She has a gift for expression and movement, panel layout and costume design, body language and storytelling that is matched by few, and though her Power Girl stuff didn’t ALWAYS agree with me over the past year, she gave me more good times reading than most single artists ever do in a year.  But what really impressed me and moved her so far up this list was her short story “Fuzzy Logic” in Wonder Woman #600 in which she played Wonder Woman and Power Girl off each other (and Power Girl’s cat) to great effect.  That short story (and don’t kid yourself, most of the time a short story is harder to do effectively than a long one) proved to me that Conner has serious chops not just as the stunning cartoonist and visual storyteller we’ve all known she was for yeas, but as a writer as well.  I know she’s a bit cemented, and usually to good effect, with writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, but I’d really like to see her strike out on her own now that I’ve had a little taste of it.  You can read a preview of three of the five pages of Conner’s Wonder Woman #600 short on the DCU blog here.

Upcoming work: In addition to what I’m sure will be a lot of beautiful cover work for the majors, she’s hard at work on the art for a creator owned book called Captain Brooklyn by Jimmy Palmiotti and Frank Tieri, expected to release in 2011.  I can’t wait!

09. EMILY CARROLL

Significant comics work of 2010: His Face All Red, The Death Of Jose Arcadio, Out The Door

Why I’m loving her work right now: Emily Carroll is a really new discovery for me, but she blew my mind with her evocative dark work that has a decidedly different bent than a lot of other ladies on this list.  More in the spirit of Eleanor Davis, Carroll’s work is terribly unique looking and full of wonder contradictions – it looks both flat and yet jumps off the page; there’s a darkness to it, but also a sweetness; and while most of Carroll’s stories I have read are serious “drama” pieces rather than comedies, there’s a real sense of fun in her illustration work.  The star of the pieces I read of Carroll’s this year (though all were powerful) was her piece “His Face All Red”, available in its entirety at the link.  Her piece The Death of Jose Arcadio, inspired by the book One Hundred Years of Solitude, is deceptively simple with a lot of punch.  Out The Door has a similar bent, playing with panels and layout and using the way people actually read on the web to magnificent effect.

Upcoming work: In addition to producing more excellent webcomics to amuse and confound me, Carroll confesses that she is working on a collection of new comics that she hopes to release soon.  She will also continue her illustration work – including work for a great site Draw This Dress she started with friend/fellow artist Vera Brosgol - in which they challenge each other to draw different historical fashions – it’s quite fun (and beautiful) stuff.  Carroll will also be contributing to a few anthologies including The Anthology Project Volume 2 and has recently opened an online store where she’s started selling prints if you’re a fan.

Excerpt from His Face All Red

Excerpt from His Face All Red

08. KATHRYN IMMONEN

Significant comics work of 2010: Heralds mini-series, Moving Pictures, Girl Comics, Pixie mini-series

Why I’m loving her work right now: Moving Pictures alone would have been enough to warrant Immonen a spot on my list as it’s a fantastic little spy story, but Immonen also managed to do some great mainstream superhero work, and like Van Meter, I like seeing as many powerful female writers getting mainstream work as possible as I feel it’s the best way to gently shift the industry to being more female friendly in all aspects.  It didn’t hurt that Immonen’s Heralds mini-series – starring She-Hulk, Emma Frost, Monica Rambeau, She-Hulk, Abigail Brand, and Valkyrie – was so much fun that I could hardly stand it.  Fun is most times what I find missing in comics of late and there was nothing not fun about Heralds, and about Immonen’s writing in general, which is sharp and fast and will not wait for you if you do not get her jokes – seriously.  Immonen’s work hasn’t always wowed me, though it has always interested me, but the more I read, the more I’m liking it and can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. 

Upcoming work: In addition to continued work with Marvel on a variety of projects Immonen and husband Stuart Immonen are working on another joint project called Russian Olive to Red King which is described by Immonen in a books.torontoist.com interview as “two parallel narratives detailing the final days of a relationship. Red King is the man left at home struggling unsuccessfully with an overdue deadline and the unexplained disappearance of his partner, Russian Olive, who may or may not have survived a plane crash in the northern bush. It’s also got petroglyphs and Chekhov. Sounds like a scorcher, right?”

Excerpt from Heralds #1

Excerpt from Heralds #2

07. FAITH ERIN HICKS

Significant comics work of 2010: Girl Comics, Brain Camp, The Adventures of Superhero Girl, Wolverine Short

Why I’m loving her work right now: Let’s forget for a moment that Hicks created maybe the single greatest short work I read this year – and for free no less – but we’ll circle back around to that.  Hicks was responsible for writing and art on one of the best shorts from Girl Comics #2 – starring Boom Boom and Elsa Bloodstone (yay Nextwave!), and my favorite character in any story, a sandwich.  She also introduced us (fairly recently) to her excellent ongoing comic strip The Adventures of Superhero Girl which is sweet, fun, and stunningly illustrated (and again, free!).  Hicks also did some beautiful illustration work on the First Second book Brain Camp, although truth be told I did not care for the story itself, Hicks part in it was still top of the line.  And now we come back to that “single greatest short work” that I mentioned – it was this adorable Wolverine short Hicks did and posted on her website this year.  It’s adorable.  It’s a fucking crime that Marvel didn’t publish it in either Girl Comics or Marvel’s Strange Tales II…and I would have loved to have seen it fully colored and “finished”…but on its own…and as is, it would have been the standout story of either Girl Comics or Marvel‘s Strange Tales II – and especially in regard to the latter – which has been very strong overall – that’s high praise.  Hicks is doing everything right now and I can’t wait to see what’s next. 

Upcoming work: Hicks has been hard at work on Friends With Boys, her latest graphic novel which will be published by First Second, and is due sometime in 2011.  Hicks did the writing and art on Friends With Boys, as she did with Zombies Calling and The War At Ellsmere and you can read more about Friends With Boys, as well as about her experience getting published, here.

Excerpt from Hicks' Wolverine Short

Strip from Hicks' Adventures of Superhero Girl

Strip from Hicks' Adventures of Superhero Girl

06. GAIL SIMONE

Significant comics work of 2010: Secret Six, Wonder Woman, Welcome To Tranquility, Birds of Prey

Why I’m loving her work right now: As I wrote in extreme detail earlier this year, it was Simone that finally got me to fall in love with Wonder Woman…and I confess to being a bit heartbroken when DC took her off the book…and really, even more so now considering what I ended up having to trade her for…i.e. a J. Michael Straczynski run that’s gone nowhere, a terrible costume re-design, and eventually the “new creator” being pulled anyway.  But I still had (and have) Secret Six and that book has remained consistently one of the best books that I read every month – which is no small feat.  Simone always keeps things moving and always keeps me laughing and there are no end of surprises to what she’ll do with her characters.  It’s a huge credit to Simone that despite not personally being a big fan of Califore’s art, I’ve never even considered dropping the book…and that brings us to Birds of Prey…which is complicated.  Nobody (well, almost nobody) was more excited about Simone bringing back Birds of Prey than I was…but so far the book has not worked for me, mostly because I cannot get on board with the art, but partially because I feel perhaps in her enthusiasm that Simone has been trying to do too much with the book too quickly (perhaps she is worried – and perhaps rightly so – that it might be taken away again).  However, a new art team started this past week and with the end of an arc, perhaps Simone will take a breath and be able to get back to what she does best – amazing character work that blows me away every month.  Plus the jokes.  Nobody makes me chuckle more consistently than Simone.   

Upcoming work: Continuing her work on the Secret Six series as well as Birds of Prey.  Additionally, Gail is very active on the web – her twitter and her tumblr – Ape In A Cape – are both a constant source of information (and amusement).

Excerpt From Simone's Wonder Woman Run

05. JILL THOMPSON

Significant comics work of 2010: Beasts of Burden mini-series, Hellboy/Beasts of Burden one-shot, Girl Comics

Why I’m loving her work right now: Everything Jill Thompson touches turns to gold…but not in that shitty pain in the ass Midas Touch-y kind of way, more in the “I can’t get enough way”.  She wowed me with her simply beautiful story in Girl Comics #2. And then just BLEW MY FREAKING MIND with her work on Beasts of Burden this year.  First there were the issues from the mini-series, then the stunning hardcover that also nicely collected other great Beasts of Burden stories that I never got to pick up along the way, then Thompson and Dorkin had to top it all off with a hilarious Beasts of Burden Hellboy team up?  STOP. MY MIND IS GOING TO EXPLODE WITH THE AWESOME.  Seriously, if you’re not reading Dorkin and Thompson’s Beasts of Burden work you’re missing out on some of the best and most fun comics around.

Upcoming work: Thompson’s much anticipated Little Endless Storybook – Delirium’s Party comes out in early 2011.  Also on tap for 2011 is a Night of The Living Dead storybook for IDW, potentially a few little stories for DC with James Robinson and Geoff Johns, some more Scary Godmother books, and hopefully more Beasts of Burden!

Excerpt from Thompson's Beasts of Burden

Panel from Thompson's Hellboy/Beasts of Burden One-shot

04. AMY REEDER

Significant comics work of 2010: Batwoman #0, Madame Xanadu, Supergirl Covers

Why I’m loving her work right now: I really can’t believe that Reeder was not on my radar this time last year – it just goes to show how quickly things can change when you’ve got real talent.  Reeder’s Madame Xanadu work is layered and beautiful stuff and like many women on this list, Reeder draws beautiful women but in a realistic and interesting way that never feels objectifying.  Seeing the difference between Reeder’s Xanadu work and her Batwoman work thus far really just further illustrates the talent Reeder has at her disposal – the ability to change up her style depending on the character.  For example Reeder’s Batwoman and her Madame Xanadu are so different in looks and personality and movement and clothing that they ALMOST look as if they’re drawn by different artists.  It’s some exceptional work and I’m really excited to see her working with J.H. Williams III on Batwoman, one of my favorite characters created in the last decade.

Upcoming work: Though it’s with sadness that we all say goodbye to Madame Xanadu, it’s also out there with much anticipation that Reeder is working on the second arc of DC’s Batwoman, starting with issue #6, which we got a beautiful preview of in Batwoman #0 this past November.  J.H. Williams III is a tough act to follow…but if anyone can do it, it’s Amy Reeder. Reeder will also continue doing Supergirl covers and I’m sure a variety of other things for DC.

A page from Reeder's Madame Xanadu

Reeder's Supergirl #58 Cover

03. BECKY CLOONAN

Significant comics work of 2010: Demo Volume 2, Northlanders, and Nation X

Why I’m loving her work right now: Before getting into Demo Volume 2 last spring I re-read Demo Volume 1…and I was so glad I did, because not only was it intensely enjoyable, as always, but it really helped spotlight how far Cloonan has come as an artist.  Her Demo Volume 1 work is lovely and effective, but she has much greater control and precision in Volume 2 and as a result it’s all the more powerful and moving.  Cloonan wowed me with every single one of her covers for Demo Volume 2 (and more than one ended up on my favorite covers list) but her body movement, character design, inking skills, panel choices, facial expressions…all of it mark her as so much more than a beautiful cover artist, they mark her as an exceptional visual storyteller, which is what comics is really all about at the end of the day.  You can see a preview of some of Cloonan’s Demo Volume 2 work here.  Cloonan’s arc on Northlanders (part 1 came out in December) is proving to be totally different work than I’ve ever seen her do before with these massive landscapes that feel both open and claustrophobic at the same time.  It’s impressive stuff that you should check out.

Upcoming work: Beyond Cloonan’s work on part two of the Northlanders “Girl In The Ice” (Northlanders #36), I don’t know what else Cloonan is up to – but if you’re reading Ms. Cloonan, stop by the comments and let us know!  Updated: Thanks to commenter Erin for adding that Cloonan will be working on True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, Gerard Way’s new comi co-written with Shaun Simon.

A page from Cloonan's Demo Volume 2, Issue #3

A page from Cloonan's Demo Volume 2, Issue #3

02. REBEKAH ISAACS

Significant comics work of 2010: DV8: Gods & Monsters mini-series, Magus

Why I’m loving her work right now: I’ve sung Rebekah Isaacs praises loudly on this column over the last year, and it wasn’t praise easily given, she earned it with every panel she drew this year and her massive part in my favorite mini-series of the entire year – DV8: Gods & Monsters.  Isaacs has a cinematic way of drawing that beyond being shockingly powerful, particularly fit Brian Wood’s story of anti-heroes trapped on a foreign planet.  But now she’s dealing with magic seeping through into the real world with some breathtaking work on a new series called Magus.  It’s a totally different look from her work on DV8 but it’s still wonderfully powerful and it feels chameleon-like that she can change her style so much to fit a new world and characters.  

Upcoming work: Isaacs will be continuing her artwork (which includes pencils and inks) for the new Magus series from 12 Gauge Comics as well as working on a few mini-series and one-shots for Marvel in the upcoming year.

A page from Isaacs' DV8: Gods & Monsters Issue #1

A page from Isaacs' DV8: Gods & Monsters Issue #8

01. KATE BEATON

Significant comics work of 2010: Hark A Vagrant, Marvel’s Strange Tales II

Why I’m loving her work right now: Nobody has made me happier this year in comics than Kate Beaton, who can make me chuckle like no other.  Following her on twitter and getting comic and sketch updates from her is like religion for me at this point…and in the middle of a bad day, seeing that she’s posted some delicious hilarity is the ultimate bright spot.  One of the things that has appealed to me about Beaton’s work is that with a background rooted in history, rather than comics, many times her comics have nothing to do with superheroes…and I find that refreshing.  HOWEVER, when she does tackle superheroes, she has a very specific point of view that’s a bit outside the realm of the “usual comics stuff” and as such that is somehow crazy refreshing as well.  I really didn’t think she could do better than her Wonder Woman, X-Men, and Aquaman (especially her Aquaman) strips she did this year…but her work on Marvel’s Strange Tales II proves me wrong as her Spider-man/Kraven story was pure AWESOME and her Thor/Avengers story (with plot/writing by Nick Gurewitch) and her Rogue story were just as excellent and hilarious.  Her Rogue story in particular takes the character in two simple pages in a fascinating direction that I wonder if any comics writer has actually ever thought of before.  Like I said, refreshing!  More Kate Beaton!  I want to find her work guerrilla style plastered on buses and done up in graffiti throughout New York…but I also want to find her in the New Yorker…she belongs everywhere…world domination is mere steps away!

Upcoming work: Marvel’s Strange Tales II #3 releases this month, but beyond that Beaton is back to delighting us on a weekly basis with more Hark A Vagrant – and Beaton reports that she HOPES a new book will be coming out in 2011 – which means all is right with the world as far as I’m concerned.  Although,  given her success with Strange Tales II, I confess I’d love to see more of that as well…I’m greedy like that!  Check out Beaton’s online store too if you want to buy all sorts of awesome Beaton stuff…I’m personally hoping that someone I know has a baby so I can buy the fat pony onesie she’s got for sale.

Beaton's Aquaman

Beaton's Gatsby

A page from Beaton and Gurewitch's Thor

Honorable Mention:  GABRIELLE BELL

Originally I had not planned to put Gabrielle Bell on the list, despite my massive love for her (read more about that here and here) because I didn’t feel like she’d produced enough work in 2010 (at least that I’d seen) to warrant it, however reading a brutally honest, chuckle inducing strip she posted just last week about the business of comics reminded me how many great strips she’s done for her blog this year – up to and including her fascinating retelling of her trip to SDCC this year – which absolutely makes her deserving of a place on this list.  If you’re not familiar with Bell’s work please check out her awesome blog with tons of fantastic webcomics and if you like what you see, pick up Lucky, my favorite of her books.  It didn’t come out in 2010, but it’s fabulous just the same.

Excerpt from Bell's latest strip

So that’s it for 2010.  An amazing group of ladies…and yet I had to cut so many I would have liked to talk about…when you stop to examine it, it’s really shocking how much talent is out there producing comics.  A colleague asked me recently why I was so interested in women breaking through more widely in superhero comics and while my knee jerk reaction was “because that’s where most of the industry sits, and where most of the fans and the money are” I think maybe the deeper answer is because independent comics, where a lot of these women ARE working and producing, is already doing everything pretty right.  I happily support their indie efforts with my dollars and spotlight them and talk about them and promote them…but I don’t need to beg them to do anything different or be more inclusive or break down boundaries because they’re already doing that.  I guess I’m just anxious for the mainstream comics world to catch up to them a little bit.  Being a little bit more independent, inclusive, and friendly to wider audiences would make my mainstream comics so much more excellent on a daily basis that I can’t help but advocate for it…and hope for it.

Thanks to all of you ladies for an amazing year of comics.  I can’t wait to see what you bring me in 2011!

*FYI – She Has No Head! is actively accepting review copies of “female friendly comics and graphic novels” for future columns on CSBG.  Please get in touch via email (using the CSBG “contact us” button above) to discuss.*

32 Comments

I haven’t gotten a chance to read this entire post, but kudos for pointing out so much talent here. It’s unfortunate, but unless there’s some massive love for some female creators that I’m unaware of, the top 50 artists and writers have only Gail Simone to represent the females. So it’s a good thing you’re here to point out all this awesomeness.

Somehow, even though you did the code right when you voted, I got the email update that had your top 10 lists, and it was an interesting group of people. I’d asked Brian about seeing if he could get you regular posters to put up your lists, so maybe he let the comment go to my email. I’m wanting to see Burgas’s list, too.

I liked Faith Erin Hicks stuff on Brain Camp, it was creepy in a good way (it was supposed to be for the story, and really improved it).

With this list I have a bunch of stuff to look for at the LCSs that have sales here at year end and the next month. (Like I NEED more comics on my want list :) )

Cool list; Carroll is the only one I haven’t heard of, but I really like the work you show here. I’m always keen to see more good creators out there doing their thing!

As far as more of these women in mainstream superhero stuff, the vast majority of superhero readers has no interest in seeing this kind of style in a superhero book. Superhero artists tend to have a somewhat specific style, and artists who don’t fit into that style don’t last (men and women alike). Isaacs and Reeder (and of course Conner) certainly have that style, and I’d love for them to get more mainstream work, but as much as you or I or a small group of others might love Hicks, for instance, most superhero readers would not want to see her on Superman or the Avengers. It’s not just a female thing, although that might be a factor. There are plenty of male artists who aren’t going to get the call from Marvel and DC to draw a superhero comic. There’s no way DC would let Jeff Lemire draw Superboy as well as write it, for instance.

If the mainstream world hasn’t caught up after 40-50 years, I doubt if they will now. But that just means we get a lot of cool stuf from these women that isn’t bogged down by corporate creativity-crushing!

Beaton trumps all. Thanks for the other suggestions, though.

I’m savoring the list, but the entry on Gail Simon caught my eye…probably because that *single* page with Diana and Donna made me cry. That is hella impressive.

Wow, that Supergirl cover is stunning! Her face is pure serenity and bliss.

I loved Amanda Conner’s Black Cat covers. The 1960s movie-poster look is very eye-catching. They were cheesecake covers, but I guess it didn’t bother you since it was the Black Cat?

I loved Kathryn Immonen’s Hellcat series, but I didn’t get to read anything she did this year. The only issue of Pixie I ever saw at the local store was #3, and I don’t remember seeing Heralds there at all. I hope this is because they sold out quickly and not because the store never ordered any.

Why does the elephant in Simone’s Wonder Woman have two trunks? (It also has an Asian elephant body and forehead, but African ears, but I think the extra trunk is the strangest part.)

Why does the elephant in Simone’s Wonder Woman have two trunks? (It also has an Asian elephant body and forehead, but African ears, but I think the extra trunk is the strangest part.)

It’s a magic flying elephant that also has three eyes, and it is awesome.

I’m so flattered to be included with these fierce and talented women that I’m pretty sure my inclusion is a massive typo of some kind.

I love having more female writers in comics, and Kathryn is one of the best new talents out there, but there’s something really delightful in seeing the crazy diverse art styles of the artists here. It’s incredibly exciting to see the lines for these women at conventions. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, the audience is ahead of the curve on this, most don’t really care if a woman is writing Secret Six, or a woman is drawing Batwoman, they just want good stories and great art.

However, my pet peeve of the moment is that I have never worked with any of the women on this week’s column, despite some near misses (no pun intended!).

Call me, all of you!

:)

Really enjoy the column as always, Kelly. Thanks again for all the support and kind, thoughtful words.

The elephant’s name is Mysia, and she was a gift to Achilles from Zeus at the time of Achilles’ re-creation.

She’s potent with magic.

And she has two trunks. That’s interesting about the mixed African/Asian biology…I suspect it was unintentional but fits the character quite poetically, Mary!

And thank you, Danielle, the art on that page is the wonderful Bernard Chang, who has a habit of drawing things JUST perfectly.

I also want to say I’m a recent discoverer of Kate Beaton and am now a devoted fan. Her stuff is ridiculous amazing.

I like Immonen, but that sample page freaks me out. I think it’s because it shows Scott Summer grinning, which has to be a sign of the apocalypse.

Summers, I mean. Dang.

RE: The Immonen comment, it sort of fits the tone of the book. also, the art is by http://lungbug.blogspot.com/

You know what I like about this list?

(1) there’s some really great cartoonists there.

(2) there are so many other great female cartoonists who could also be there (Vanessa Davis, Jillian Tamaki, Lynda Barry, Lisa Hanawalt, etc etc). Which brings me to…

(3) considering how hard it must have been to whittle this list down, it makes me realise we’re long past the days when a woman drawing comics was an event in itself and may soon be at the point where lists like this seem unnecessary. And, of course…

(4) it’s about bloody time. ;-)

Kellly’s shown that Scott/Emma page several times, and though it’s a nice scene, I don’t like the art at all.

But I like everything else here! Great list Kelly. And happy holidays to you and everyone on both sides of the CBR forums/columns..

@Dylan: Now the artwork on the bloglink you posted, that I like! Worlds apart, to my eye. :)

Dylan nailed it there, Lisa Hanawalt’s “I Want You,” Julia Wertz’s “Drinking At The Movies,” Vanessa Davis’ “Make Me A Woman,” Sarah Glidden’s “How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less,” Jilian Tamaki’s “Indoor Voice,” Meredith Gran’s “Octopus Pie,” everything Laura Park draws, ahh there is too much

[…] Kelly Thompson, the “She has no head” columnist over at Comic Book Resources, has selected her top 20 favorite female creators of 2010: PART ONE * PART TWO […]

Amy Reeder’s art is so beautiful it almost drives me crazy! I wasn’t to much into the Madame Xanadu series but I still bought every issue just to ogle her smooth, fluid lines and the way she straddles realistic and cartoony. I’m really looking forward to seeing her on Batwoman!

I was surprised that Rebekah Isaacs was # 2, the way you’ve gushed about her in past posts. I’d figured she’d be # 1.

Have you ever had the chance to read Garth Ennis’ THE PRO? Drawn by the indomitable Amanda Conner?
You should, it’s hilarious in a crude way, and the art is terrific.

Still think Amanda Conner should have been at least in the top 5. Either way, great list. I also love Rebekah Isaacs. I discovered her as a fill-in artist on the somewhat dubious but also awesome Hack/Slash series.

I agree with what Greg said about some of these artists not having the “right style” for superhero books. I like Hicks, although I really can’t see her drawing something like Deadpool or Scalped, for the same reason that I wouldn’t want to see Gilbert Hernandez drawing either one of those. Gilbert’s one of my top three favorite creators, and I LOVE his art, but when he draws dudes holding or shooting guns it just looks stupid. Then again I didn’t like Mike Mignola when I first started reading Hellboy, but I was only a dumb sixteen year-old raised on Jim Lee, Travis Charest and J. Scott Campbell. Now Mignola fights for my number one artist spot with Frank Cho, and I could live a full life never seeing another 9-foot bodybuilder drawn by those other three guys. So maybe I could learn to like Kate Beaton, but right now I really am not a fan of her art at all. Her writing might be fantastic but it’s really hard for me to get through the art. Maybe I’m just narrow-minded, but there it is.

I was thinking about how I’d like to see Leslie Stein on that list but then I realized that I haven’t seen a new Eye of the Majestic Creature in 2010 and I got sad. Then I saw Dylan Horrocks post and realized how many stellar female cartoonists are making comics right now and got happy again.

Kelly, did you ever read Action Girl by SLG? I’d love to see you review that one.

That whole “right style” for superhero books? Yeah, that’s another reason that superhero books are crap these days. No variety whatsovever outside of stuff like Strange Tales. Do you like Skottie Young? TOO BAD! He’s far too out there to be anything other than a cover artist and maybe we’ll let him do some “kiddie” books that aren’t “important”, but where he and Shanower end up wiping the floor with nearly 98% of Marvel’s other titles in quality. And people still manage to wonder why the audience isn’t bigger when there’s a thousand channels but only one thing to watch.

Becky Cloonan will be drawing True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, Gerard Way’s new comic. It’s supposed to come out some time in 2011, and is co-written with Shaun Simon.

Very proud to have worked with so many on both of these lists.

So happy to be in such esteemed company! Yay for girls doing comics!

… yeah, this probably makes up for being a loser in high school. XD

@Julian, I think you’re being a little pessimistic. I’m not sure if you’re responding directly to me or just the idea of a “right style for superhero books,” but let me explain what I mean at least. There’s a wide range of styles that lend themselves to the kind of over-the-top action that is pretty much a requirement for most superhero books. Then there’s a range that doesn’t. But to me Skottie Young is part of the former group. Granted he hasn’t done very much “high profile” work yet, but look at Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. They both have an exaggerated, somewhat cartoony style that has some similarities to Young’s, and they’ve done Hellboy interiors as well as Ba’s work on Umbrella Academy. Granted that’s not the same as drawing Amazing Spider-Man or Batman or something like that, but I think there’s hope that more “alternative” artists can get work drawing the “big” books. However, I still stand by my original statement that artists like Gilbert Hernandez, Faith Erin Hicks and Kate Beaton really can’t draw good superhero action, at least not that we’ve seen yet. And I love both Hernandez and Hicks, and after reading quite a few Hark a vagrant strips I’m starting to like Beaton as well, if more for her brilliant and funny writing than her art. But I’m even warming up to that.

Great list and I love the choices. But It’s Justin Gray that Amanda Conner works with, not Grey. :)

@Everyone: Hey everyone, as I said over on part two, sorry I have been so MIA on comments and responding, December has been a mad crazy month and things are only now sort of getting back to normal, but please know that I read all your comments and loved them – even when I couldn’t respond.

Onto a few specific responses:

@Travis: Thanks! I wasn’t really surprised that Gail was the only woman on the 50/50 list (though I expected Amanda Conner to be there). And that list was some of the impetus for doing this list (although I was planning on this list before voting began on the other)…women just haven’t been working as consistently, widely, or for nearly as long, so it makes sense that few are on there…but it does bum me out a bit. I know I had several women on my list. And SPEAKING of that list… I’ve actually been meaning to respond to you on why you got to see my “favorite writers/artists” list for a while now. Even though I did the code right, there has been a problem (as you may have seen Chad also mention) about comments (even CSBGers’ comments) going to spam and then we have to go in and approve them manually before they show. Just before the voting I had finally managed to fix whatever comment problem I was having, so my comments weren’t going to the “pending” file or spam file…so I think whatever I did (still haven’t figured it out) over-rode my “invisible code” and I had to go in and force my comment into the pending file. So complicated! Anyway, you got a peek that few did…savor it, because I don’t plan on sharing it more broadly anytime soon! ;)

@Gail. Thank you so much for stopping by and continuing to be such an excellent force in comics – female or otherwise! And for being so supportive of my work here as well! As a sidenote, I would LOVE to see you paired up with some of these ladies – let’s make it happen!

@Greg: I think we’ve talked about all this via email, so I won’t delve deep, but I guess I would say that I don’t expect Faith Erin Hicks (or someone like Hicks) to be drawing the ongoing Wolverine book or anything so wild, but just that I’d like to see the industry expand a bit in more ways, allowing indie creators to do more non-continuity fun stuff with established characters more regularly – like Marvel’s Strange Tales II which was flat out excellent…more stuff like that, more thinking outside the box like I felt Heralds was…etc. I think it would also be good for indie creators to be able to get a piece of the more financially solvent pie and allow them more time/money/freedom to continue doing their own stuff if they could more regularly get gigs for DC/Marvel. I also think that having more Immonens, Van Meters, Simones, DeConnicks, Lius etc. is really good for the industry in a practical way.

@Mary: If you liked Immonen’s Hellcat, I definitely think you should check out her PIxie series as the art by Sara Pichelli is good and the story has the same feel as Hellcat. I’d also urge you to check out Heralds, although if you don’t like the art (I happen to love it) it might be a bit more challenging for you.

@Dylan. You are right it was brutal to cut the list down to 20 (er, 21) there were so many great women I left off (including and well beyond the ones you mentioned). I hope to do this again next year and that there will be both old and new faces on the list.

@Danielle: I LOVE that page. One of my ultimate favs of Simone’s run. I also love the way Bernard Chang draws Diana.

@Julian: I have not read Action Girl but it’s on my list – keep an eye out in 2011!

@Tom: I have read The Pro, and I like it, but there’s just enough stuff in there that I don’t feel comfortable calling it broadly “female friendly” as I know women who would not like/appreciate it.

@Faith Erin Hicks/Kate Beaton/Brian Wood: Thanks to all of you for stopping by and for creating great comics that entertain me greatly! :)

@Erin: Thanks for the Cloonan update, I’ll update the post.

@Dee. Thanks for the correction! It’s funny – no offense to Justin but I always prefer Grey with and E to Gray with an A, and tend to forget the other way exists. ;)

I really wanted to get Heralds and Pixie, but as I said, I wasn’t able to find them. (I live in the boondocks. There is only one comic store anywhere nearby, and even it’s in another town.)

I think the fact that Marjorie M. Liu is not on this list is a travesty. True, you can never have only 20 favourite creators, but Marjorie has done great work in 2010 with Daken, X-23, A Wild Light and In the Dark of Dreams.

[…] Kelly offered a two-part article on ‘20 Favourite Female Creators of 2010′ (part 1 and part 2). Here’s Kelly’s […]

Kate Beaton not only deserves t be on this list, she would make a list of the top 10 funniest people in the media today. Reading her stuff is like watching Stephen Colbert – just when you thought there was nothign left to be done with the medium…

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