An "X-Force" To Be Reckoned With - Marvel's Mutant Militia Turns 25
Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Ming Doyle, and the story is “Moritat” from Girl Comics #1, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated May 2010. Enjoy!
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When Girl Comics was announced on December 15th of last year I was skeptical…it’s well documented, here and elsewhere. In fact, my column the Monday following the announcement was an interview with IDW Editor Mariah Huehner about Girl Comics. I knew Huehner felt more optimistic about the project than I did and I wanted her to talk me off the ledge.
For the most part she did.
I emerged much more confident and optimistic, though still a bit wary (and nothing’s going to convince me to love the title). It wasn’t until I had the chance to read Girl Comics #1 for myself that I got fully on board. I didn’t love every story – I never do in an anthology, no matter how many geniuses are contributing – but I found a lot to love in the book, and I came to embrace the opportunity to introduce (or in many cases re-introduce) myself to some great creators, and read some delightful stories.
So it’s with great pleasure that I share with you an interview with Marvel and Girl Comics Editor Jeanine Schaefer and Marvel and Girl Comics Associate Editor Lauren Sankovitch all about the Girl Comics experience.
I have always pitied poor Abraham. Here he had the sword from his sheath, only seconds away from slitting his son’s throat, and he had to sacrific a ram in his son’s place. What a disappointment it must have been. What a damn tragedy. (Jeremy Leven, from Creator)
Girl Comics #2 (of 3). Jill Thompson (writer/artist), Colleen Coover (writer/artist), Stephanie Buscema (writer/artist), Faith Erin Hicks (writer/artist). Kathryn Immonen (writer), Abby Denson (writer), Christine Boylan (writer). Emma Vieceli (artist), Cynthia Martin (artist). Elizabeth Breitweiser (colorist), Cris Peter (colorist), Emily Warren (colorist), June Chung (colorist). Colleen Doran (pin-up artist), Ramona Fradon, Rebecca Buchman, and June Chung (pin-up artists). Marvel. 48 pages. $4.99.
So Greg Burgas and I are in almost total agreement on the second issue of Girl Comics – the gist being that it’s still a mixed bag – like any anthology is – but that overall it’s stronger than the first issue. As a bonus for me (and maybe also Greg?) there were certainly no overt objectifying land mine issues for me to step on like issue one’s ill-conceived She-Hulk pin-up.
Part two of Colleen Coover’s introduction is as beautifully illustrated as the first and seeing it here I think that it’s probably a really nice way to link and anchor the three issues together with some consistency considering the variety of creators, characters, and types and lengths of stories, etc.
The second piece, a sweet, lighthearted, and exceptionally illustrated six-page story “Dogged Pursuit” by Jill Thompson is excellent. I think Thompson’s piece is the perfect example of a successful short story for an anthology such as this because Thompson doesn’t try to do too much. Instead she takes basically a one line joke or premise – in this case “Lockjaw the giant teleporting dog doesn’t want to take a bath” and then peppers it with superheroes that fit the story and uses them in creative and fun ways to service the joke or premise.
They hated Thomas for his courage, his brief moment as a bird. Everybody has dreams about flying. Thomas flew.
One of his dreams came true for just a second, just enough to make it real. (Sherman Alexie, from “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”)
Girl Comics #1. Devin Grayson, Trina Robbins, Colleen Coover, Lucy Knisley, Robin Furth, Valerie D’Orazio, G. Willow Wilson (writers). Stephanie Buscema, Colleen Coover, Lucy Knisley, Agnes Garbowska, Nikki Cook, Ming Doyle (artists). Colleen Coover, Lucy Knisley, Cris Peter, Stephanie Buscema, Elizabeth Breitweiser, Agnes Garbowska, and Barbara Ciardo (colors). Marvel Comics. $4.99
As many of you already know, though I have been anxiously awaiting issue #1 of Girl Comics, I also have mixed feelings about the idea (and continue to hate the title). After my conversation with editor Mariah Huehner I felt optimistic that while Girl Comics wasn’t MY idea of perfect progress it was at least a real opportunity for a handful of incredibly talented women to get together on a book and bring us something we don’t get to see everyday.
I know not everyone is a fan of anthologies, but personally, and perhaps this goes back to my love of short fiction, I’m a big fan. MOME is a book I read and buy regularly, and it’s consistently one of my favorites, in part because it generally manages to feature the best and brightest independent creators in the industry. I think that Girl Comics first issue is a pretty interesting, though imperfect, mainstream version of what MOME long ago mastered.
I looked through the Gideon Bible in my motel room for tales of great destruction. ‘The sun was risen upon the Earth when Lot entered into Zo-ar,’ I read. ‘Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven; and He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.’
So it goes.
Those were vile people in both those cities, as is well known. The world was better off without them.
And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. (Kurt Vonnegut, from Slaughterhouse-5)
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