Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. As it’s now December, I will be examining the LAST pages of random comics, so watch out for SPOILERS! Today’s page is from Echo #20, which was published by Abstract Studios and is cover dated March 2010. This scan if from Echo: The Complete Edition, which was published in 2011. Enjoy!
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People are always asking me for comic recommendations with good female portrayals. There are a lot of them of course, but I find when people ask for ongoing books, rather than collected trades, or stand alone graphic novels, or even limited series, it’s a bit harder to find as many as I’d like that fill that role. So I thought I’d spend some time pulling together a column talking about a few that I think are worth checking out as a nice “here read this!” when people ask me for recommendations. However, as I researched what I wanted to put on the list, it became obvious that we have surprising number of very new books that are looking pretty damn good. And so this list quickly morphed into “8 Great NEW Female Positive Ongoings”. The great thing about that is that all of the books on this list are very easy to jump onto now, as not one of them is currently beyond their third issue. The worrying thing about that is it’s hard to know with many of these how long they’ll be around. But if we all buy and support and talk about them, maybe we can help them become well established enough to be with us for a good long while?
This list skews pretty mainstream, which initially surprised me since I read a fair amount of independent work, and independent work on the whole tends to be more female positive to my mind, but in doing this list I realized that while it’s quite easy to find indie graphic novels, trades, and limited series that fit this criteria, ongoing are a bit of a different animal and when I limited my list to “new” it became an even smaller group. Still, only half the list is DC & Marvel, and at least two books are very independent, so I hope there’s a little something here for everyone. As always I welcome any good “female positive” (and new would be good!) recommendations of books I may have missed in the comments.
By the river. She was standing by the river. She was dancing without moving. By the river. She wasn’t beautiful exactly; she was like a shimmer in the distance. She was so white his reservation eyes suffered. (Sherman Alexie, from “All I Wanted to do Was Dance”)
Even after spending the last year plus writing She Has No Head!, a column about women and comics, I continue to have a real interest in and curiosity about women and comics, and specifically why women do and don’t read comics and what they do and don’t respond to as readers when they do read. With those thoughts and inspiration from both an old (hilarious) Laura Hudson piece and a more recent interesting Greg Burgas piece, the idea of The Ladies Comics Project was born. The premise is simple – pull together some great ladies from as many age groups and walks of life as I could reasonably manage, women both familiar and not with comics, and give them a comic book to read and have them report back.
The results, like in the first Ladies Comics Project, which you can read more about here, here, and here, are fascinating. Phase I challenged a lot of thoughts I had about women in comics, while confirming others. One of the biggest revelations was how interested ladies I knew were in reading a comic and participating in this project and that is one thing that has definitely held true for Phase II – in which 18 of the original 19 women immediately got on board for a second round along with a whole new group of ladies. In fact, I had so much interest (our ladies reading has gone from 19 to 32) that you’re going to get Ladies Comics Project Phase II in four parts, from today through the end of February. So come back every Monday to read more.