Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
“Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet; cut myself on angel’s hair and baby’s breath”
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Folks, 2015 is already shaping up to be an interesting year in comics (and that’s even when I just put my fingers in my ears and go “LALALALALAA” whenever anyone mentions Secret Wars and Convergence which might very well be great but basically make my head spin right now). What with all the new creator owned stuff coming out (In a bit of Wytches-like badassery Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender is not even out yet and already optioned by Sony. Wooo!) and women doing especially awesome things in comics both big and small, let’s talk about 10 female comics creators that are seriously leveling up in 2015.
Without a doubt, you should already be (and hopefully are?) following all these ladies as none of them are unknowns. And for the record, I am planning a post for later this month that will focus on 10 “lesser known up and comers” and that will also include a massive list of women in comics that I hope you will all help me flesh out to be as complete as possible.
But for now, for THIS list, since there are SO MANY worthy women to consider, I tried to stick with ladies are currently transitioning to a bigger/larger stage…who are REALLY leveling up. Because of that, someone like say, Faith Erin Hicks wasn’t included simply because to my knowledge as of this writing she doesn’t have any major works scheduled for this year. Similarly, creators like G. Willow Wilson, Emily Carroll, and Eleanor Davis all had incredible years in 2014, the kind of stuff that I would definitely consider “leveling up” but that was LAST year…and this is the FUTURE.
I always like to do a post early in the year that looks forward to some of the books I’m most excited about on the horizon in 2015, helps me get pumped for the year and also try to make a mental note of all the projects I’m looking out for. I was ready with my list the first week of January but opted to wait to hear what news came out of Image Expo as they’ve had some truly exciting stuff in the last couple years, this year was no exception and added some great looking titles to my “must haves” list.
All that said, it was a bit hard to predict what I’m most excited about from Marvel and DC because their events (Secret Wars and Convergence, respectively) are even more potentially “line changing” and mysterious than usual. So keeping in mind that that accounts for a likely decreased number of books from both publishers on the list…let’s get going! I organized this by month and then for stuff that has nebulous release dates more a “going forward in 2015” category.
I’ll be doing a post later this month about 10 specific “NEW” books to buy in 2014 where I talk in detail about some new series coming out that I’m excited to read in 2014 (and you should be too). However, I thought I’d do a list of more generally “comics related” things I’m excited about as well since there are a good number of them this year.
There’s a lot of Marvel on this list, guys. But what I can I say? I like the cut of their jib these days aka they’re dominating like a BOSS.
No links this week, sorry!
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A few weeks ago I wrote about 6 recent superheroine redesigns that I loved. People went, expectedly, nuts, even though there was nothing particularly dramatic or mind blowing about the piece. Y’know, unless things like opinion pieces send you into a blind rage. Anyway, I had always planned to write a companion piece about 6 superheroine costumes that are in desperate need of an overhaul. Then Iron Man 3 came out and Pepper Potts rocked the hell out of things, so I wanted to write about that. Then Robot 6 linked to the redesign post, which stirred things up again, and now here we are, a couple weeks later, ready to possibly break the damn internet again with me talking about something as simple as some costumes that suck and need to be redesigned (for a variety of reasons).
The only caveat for the post is I’ve tried to stick to costumes that are currently being used, independent of when they were designed.
So, prepare to get pissed about all the completely non-anger inducing thoughts of one person’s opinion about some superheroine costumes. I’ll be honest; the only thing tough about this list was keeping it to 6 (which I sort of didn’t do).
However, we took it one step further this week! Because I am an incredibly fortunate person who knows a bunch of badass professional artists, the fantastic Kris Anka and Meredith McClaren generously volunteered to spend some of their free time redesigning the ladies on my list.
And because you’re here reading this, you too benefit from all that good fortune…fortune for everyone!
Inside this episode! A review of Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney’s Fearless Defenders #4. We also talk about superheroine costume redesign, which we’ve all learned over the last few weeks is apparently ALL CAPS DRAMATIC! All that said, if you want to see some amazing function redesigns (including the best Zatanna redesign I’ve ever seen) check out these designs by Meredith McClaren – and if you like what you see – support McClaren’s Kickstarter!) Last, but certainly not least is an interview with Amy Reeder. We talk about her Rocket Girl Kickstarter with writer Brandon Montclare and what it’s like to work for yourself, versus working for big companies, and much much more.
Here are the breaks:
Review of Fearless Defenders #4 – 01:00
Interview with Amy Reeder – 11:32
Comics Talk – Superheroine Redesign – 66:59
3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson from She Has No Head! Tune in to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics and discuss hot topics of the week. In addition to the blogs above, you can also follow us all on twitter as well: Kelly and Sue. Special thanks to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.
*As always beware of spoilers if you haven’t read the books in question! Advance reviews are always spoiler-free!
I’ve been thinking about superhero redesigns, in part thanks to our awesome interview with Kris Anka on 3 Chicks Review Comics. We talked a lot about the difference between good artists and good designers, and how important getting an artist that knows about design and fashion is to having a modern and functional looking costume. Any time you change a costume, no matter how necessary the change is, or how great the new design might be, it tends to ruffle fan feathers as there is surprising emotional attachment to things like this. And when you change design as fundamental as a superhero costume you’re changing brand identity and recognition. It’s kind of a huge deal, and not something that should be undertaken all willy-nilly.
For this column I decided to focus on 6 recent redesigns that are actual canon (i.e. you can actually see them in comics – or will – and they have been embraced by the publisher) but because I hate actually sticking to the limits I set for myself, I added a couple brilliant redesigns that are “unofficial” or considered “fan art”, because honestly, there is A LOT of great design being done on the fringes. Skilled artists that know a lot about design and fashion and perhaps more importantly, care about characters, and the resigns for said characters are killing it out there. Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy!
Turning a corner deep in thought I don’t notice anything until I see a shadow fall across my path and I almost smack right into her.
Apparently she hasn’t forgotten what I’d done to her and has been paying attention to when I would be released. She looks rough. Like the months since she left the home have been hard on her. I notice her hand that I crushed is still damaged. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that an orphan’s hand wasn’t properly repaired. My guilt doubles. Triples. She hides the hand underneath crossed arms when she sees me looking at it. I look up into her face and open my mouth to say I’m sorry but I can see it will mean nothing to her and turn away, determined not to get into another physical altercation with her.
And if you like what you read, don’t forget to visit the Kickstarter and pledge – only 13 days left to get the limited edition hardcover.
ALSO! If you’re headed to SDCC this weekend keep a look out for Meredith McClaren – who in addition to generally being awesome and having cool stuff for you to buy will have free THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING postcards (like the above) to give away on Friday and Saturday.
Tw0 years ago my birthday fell on a Monday and so I decided to make 12 Birthday Wishes…and now every year Sue asks me if I’m doing it again. This year, especially since I REALLY want some things I decided to do it again even though my birthday isn’t until Thursday.
I thought it might be fun first however (and since I’ve become an obsessive fan of Mark Oshiro’s Mark Watches) to look at what came true from last time (newsflash – not a lot).
1. Cliff Chiang drawing Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey.
Well, obviously I didn’t even get close here because of the new DC52. HOWEVER, I did get Cliff Chiang drawing Wonder Woman, which is awesome and similar to what I wished. So I’m giving myself 1/4 point.
2. Monthly ongoing Heralds (or similar with an all female cast from Marvel).
Nope. Not even close. But we did get Duane Swieszernski’s Birds of Prey, so that was nice. Still, 0 points.
3. Moratorium on the un-zipped superheroine suit.
No, not even close, but I will say that 2011-2012 were WAY better than 2010, especially when it came to comic covers. 1/4 point.
4. Batwoman #1 to rock my goddamn socks off.
I’m giving this partial credit. The second arc of the series has not wildly impressed me with the writing, but the first issue came pretty close to rocking my socks off. 1/2 point.
5. I wanted my Stumptown #4.
Yes, it’s time for the Mother of All Con Reports! No panel coverage, no breaking news, no fascinating interviews – just stories from the convention trenches! See: Superheroes struggle to text! Read about: The man with no sunglasses! Behold: Your humble author’s clothing! Nothing is sacred, not even the reputation of our newly-minted Eisner-award-winning Grand Poobah!
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