The Real Women of Marvel – Girl Comics #1
Wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this book - I knew it would be women writers and artists collaborating on short stories. Didn’t quite anticipate that it was going to be such a showcase, and was therefore hoping for perhaps at least one or two really engrossing stories. Instead, it was a hodge-podge of several different writing and artistic styles, only a few of which really sparked my interest.
Several other reviews depicted this as a gimmicky book with little to no mass appeal. I agree somewhat with that description – and am also a little disheartened that Marvel feels the need to trot it’s females out of the dark shadows they are mostly shrouded in during the rest of the year – giving them a little bit of sunshine to warm themselves in before they are retired again.
The most compelling elements of this book happened at the end – when the writer and artist bios appeared. Discovered Marvel is housing a lot of great female talent – especially the art of Emma Rios and the cover art done by Amanda Conner and Laura Martin who’ve both worked on books I’ve read.
What I learned from looking these bios over is that Marvel is decidedly female-writer lite. And only ONE of the featured authors has written for a mainstream superhero book – Valerie D’Orazio. She edited for DC for several years and is now helming Punisher Max: Butterfly, as well as X-Men Origins: Emma Frost. Wish I could read either of those, as I love her blog, but neither character interests me on any level.
The comics industry really doesn’t have too much of a leg up on the film industry when it comes to inclusion. And it seems a lot of these attempts to include and recognize women ARE gimmicky, from both camps. Despite all women have achieved in the last 100 years, there are still only a handful of them working in high profile positions in the entertainment industry.
It would have been better to showcase some of the storylines currently being written and drawn by women – like a book full of teasers or interesting bits from their current series, rather than these brief snippets that really don’t tell you much about the style of the writer (more so about the artist).
Also what would be compelling to me as a female reader is Marvel’s bid to include more women writers on their bigger selling books – Iron Man, Spiderman, Hulk or X-Men.
Another controversial feature is the title of the book: Girl Comics. *sigh* I’m not really buying the “Lady Editors” attempt at establishing a credible reason for naming anything “Girl” these days. I’m delighted by their enthusiasm for the project, and that because of them women in comics are being recognized, but she buys way too heavily into the idea that the name of something doesn’t have importance.
Uh, yeah. It does.
This is in conjunction with several other pro-women releases Marvel intends to unveil this year for Women’s History month - but it really feels incredibly hollow. I yearn for a world in which it’s not exceptional that a woman writes comics, but instead is a rather ordinary occurence.
Especially since a stronger and stronger contingency of readers are women. We don’t need special Girl Comics – we just need more females represented in our favorite books in all aspects.
Reviews read for this article: