CBR's Guide to Free Comic Book Day 2016
“That which is written without effort is generally read without pleasure.” (Samuel Johnson)
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“Conjuring devils, angels and demons, only the children see shape to his tone”
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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.
So, on last week’s piece about comics to buy on a $50/month budget, I put one of my base requirements that the books be “female friendly” since that is sorta what I do here, in this column about “women in comics.”
I had a couple people in the comments claim to not know what “female friendly” meant. I don’t know if they were trolls or if the confusion was genuine but I’ve decided to the err on the side of their confusion being genuine and talk about it a little bit this week.
Before we start, let’s be clear, my definition is surely not everyone’s, but this is where I come from when I look at comics (and other media but I’ll try to stick to comics). At the same time, I make no argument that ALL material SHOULD/HAS TO BE female friendly. The world is vast and there’s room for all kinds, including stuff that isn’t female friendly (True Detective would be a great example of something I love that I wouldn’t necessarily call female friendly). And there’s ALSO room for stuff that I hate and find offensive. Censoring creators doesn’t really get us anywhere, it’s not a good way forward to say what can and cannot or should or should not be done when it comes to art. But I can still advocate for, promote, and recommend the stuff that I feel is worthy, and especially given the comics climate we live in now — one in which there is a lot of great female friendly stuff to promote and one in which we still need much much more female friendly stuff to promote — this is a big and maybe even important job, one we can all help to get done right.
Inside this episode!
We begin with a review of Emily Carroll’s most excellent graphic novel Through The Woods, a collection of terrifying beautiful tales by Margaret K. McElderry Books! We’ve also got a review of Marguerite Bennett, Jorge Coelho, and Noelle Stevenson’s Boom! series Sleepy Hollow. Next up we have an interview this week with the lovely and charming Ming Doyle. Ming talks all about her upcoming series from Vertigo The Kitchen with writer Ollie Masters, her experiences in the industry, her process, and what she’s up to next. Sue and I also talk about all the cool news that came out of NYCC, and about how much better The Flash tv show is than Gotham. We had some small echoing problems this week, but hopefully it’s not too bad. I am choosing to think of it as “texture” and “effects” for our “spooktacular episode.”
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 Caanan Grall for our incredible 3 Chicks Logo and to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.
A couple weeks ago, Girls Gone Geek was running a hashtag on twitter called #DreamComics asking people to pitch their character and creative team that would make up their dream comics at DC and Marvel. There were some great suggestions. Because I was a bit busy I simply gave them a link to my Marvel “Dreamy Lady Team Ups” column from late 2013 instead of coming up with new ideas, but it got me thinking about DC books, which I never did a similar piece for. In truth, I never did a “Dreamy Lady Team Ups” piece (or similar) for DC because it’s just a rough place for me right now. There are so many characters I love there, but – as many of you are well aware – it’s just not a very welcoming place to me right now. I find the treatment of female characters to be pretty appalling and even beyond that the tone is incredibly dark and gritty throughout the universe, and honestly, I don’t understand the universe very well anymore – the ages of characters, what was retconned and what was kept, it’s kind of a mess in my head. However, as I was thinking about it, DC not being a great/welcoming places these days is the best possible reason to come up with a list of what I’d love to see. And so here we are.
“The novel I would most like to read at this moment,” Ludmilla explains, “should have as its driving force only the desire to narrate, to pile stories upon stories, without trying to impose a philosophy of life on you, simply allowing you to observe its own growth, like a tree, an entangling, as if of branches and leaves …” (Italo Calvino, from If on a winter’s night a traveler)
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There’s been a lot of controversy going around with women and comics, driven in large part by a piece former DC Editor Janelle Asselin wrote about the new Teen Titans cover on CBR. It’s sparked a lot of good discussion and as usual, a ton of nightmarish behavior. I thought a lot about writing about it, but I gotta be honest, it’s just not in me right now. Maybe it’s not true for everyone, but for me, to take on these big pieces that you know are likely to be controversial takes not only a lot of literal time but also a ton of mental energy and I just don’t have it in me right now for either of those things. Maybe that will change in the coming weeks and I’ll have something of merit to add to the discussion, but for now, read Asselin’s piece and also this most excellent piece on Comics Alliance by Andy Khouri.
Here we’re just going to talk about the absolute awesomeness that is LUMBERJANES. The kind of comic every young girl should get the opportunity to read – and hell, young boys too. It may be designed with “hardcore lady-types” in mind, but it’s wonderful reading for anyone, in fact, perhaps it should be required reading to broaden minds and generally spread happiness and goodness to the world.
Last week, Noelle Stevenson, Nimona comics creator, among other things – including art student grad, social media maven, and traditionally published comics creator – published a fantastic short comic about her terrible experience in a comic book shop. I urge you to go there and read it in full as it is both hilarious and sad and filled with painful, pitiful truth.
The result was, naturally, internet explosion – of both the good and bad variety – last I looked it had been re-blogged or noted over 73,000 times. A ton of people related to this comic, understood it instantly, and even if they hadn’t experienced it themselves, understood that this happens ALL THE TIME. Of course there was also a ton of sexism, harassment, concern trolling, silencing techniques, victim blaming, and plain old mansplainin’.
In an effort to piss off Greg Burgas (because what else in life is fun?!) I’m posting my best and worsts of 2012 before the year ends. As always, my feeling is that if I haven’t read it by the end of December (and there are MANY I have not read) then I’m not going to be able to get to it in time for it to make my bests and worsts lists anyway…so it’s all the same in the end.
Also as always, I didn’t get to nearly enough books this year. I especially failed on the Graphic Novel front, reading far too few on the whole and not getting to a ton that I’m really interested in – seriously, I’ve got a list as long as my arm to get to (and I have pretty long arms).
What’s going to be on the list? Well you can bet it’s going to be Hawkeye-Saga-rific! That’s of course not in an effort to piss off Burgas, but you know…BONUS! Seriously, I’ve never had a list so dominated by two titles…but what can I say? I really loved these books they did everything right and made me happy every time I read them.
Let’s get to it, shall we? And sound off in the comments about some of your favorites for the year.
I sometimes marvel of what the hell I ever did it without it. The latest delight it’s brought me is Noelle Stevenson (aka Gingerhaze) ‘s brilliantly adorable, hilariously self-aware Nimona web comic. And prepare to have your mind blown when I tell you that Stevenson is still a student and this is her SENIOR THESIS.
Stevenson’s work reminds me of Kate Beaton, but with a dash of Eleanor Davis, a sprinkle of Emily Carroll, and bit of Faith Erin Hicks all combined together into some delicious magic concoction. The comic feels as if she has read all the best stuff and then forged her own way with their inspiration to guide her.
Inside this episode! We have an advance review of Nick Spencer and Riley Rossmo’s Bedlam #1 and Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto’s Ghost #1. We then have Maddy back for good old times! We mostly talk about the Justice League movie announcement and other film and television properties…we call it “Who needs a Hot Topic category when you can just do a HODGEPODGE category!” Maddy gives us a well deserved Chick of The Week in the form of Noelle Stevenson aka Gingerhaze…if you haven’t read her free webcomic NIMONA yet, you are f***ing up!
Here are the breaks:
Bedlam #1 – 00:50
Ghost #1 – 09:05
Maddy is back, Again! – 29:25
Chick of The Week – 82:40
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!
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