Friday, October 17, 2014

Nope: Why I Refuse to Buy the Supergirl Abomination

Look, I know that I have plenty of action figures that are problematic. Some are just plain ugly, others are so over-the-top sexualized it's ridiculous. I have a small Supergirl figure from the animated series. She's cute. Small, but cute. Adorable, even.

I would like to have a larger figure more on the same scale as the other figures, but this New 52 Supergirl... ugh.

I hate it. I hate everything about it. Others have commented that the cape is ok, but honestly... that red bit over her crotch... it's like a sign: Hey! Look at my pubes! Who thought that was a good idea?? The boots are asinine too. Why are there cutouts at the knee? You can see them better in the product shot:


So, nope. Won't be buying it, DC. I hate the redesign, think the red pubic triangle looks idiotic; you can keep your plastic and I'll keep my $25. Give me something that doesn't look so freakin' stupid, and we'll talk.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Divas, Dames & Daredevils: Book Review

Divas, Dames & Daredevils: Lost Heroines of Golden Age Comics
©2013 by Mike Madrid
Forward by Maria Elena Buszek, Ph.D.
ISBN: 978-1-935259-23-7 (print)
978-1-935259-24-4 (ebook)
Exterminating Angel Press

Madrid's first book, The Supergirls (reviewed here) is a wonderful overview of the women of comics. This book takes a closer look at some of the heroines time has mostly forgotten from the Golden Age*, and includes complete black and white† reprinted stories from some of them.

In the introduction, Madrid confesses his own geeky and nostalgic love of Golden Age comics, and how reader response to The Supergirls made him feel like he'd inspired readers of his book the way some of the '70s nostalgia writers had inspired him as a kid. I know it inspired me to want to learn more about those lesser-known heroines! 

He also gives a brief history of Golden Age comics, but here's a bit that nearly jumped off the page for me:
In these very early days of comic books, there weren't as many established rules about how women characters should or shouldn't act. As a result, many of these Golden Age heroines feel bold and modern as we read them today. They are presented as fearless and unapologetic about their strength. 
(If that doesn't fill your heart with excitement about Golden Age heroines, I don't understand why you're even here, because this is the wrong blog for you...) When comics were young, the art and stories were simpler, but they weren't strictly for kids. This was inexpensive entertainment in a troubled world, and "a time when comics were fun."
  • In the section Women at War, Madrid paints a vivid picture of how American comic book heroes and heroines entered WWII before Pearl Harbor; they backed the war effort before the U.S. entered the war! 
  • In Mystery Women, he talks about the concept of the masked vigilante, something we're quite used to today, but cautions "these women are tough."
  • Daring Dames introduces us a different kind of heroine, ones who didn't wear masks but fought bad guys just the same. 
  • The section 20th Century Goddesses contains superheroines more like we're accustomed to now, super-powered humans who can do extraordinary things.
  • The final section is Warriors & Queens, and according to Madrid, "[t]he heroes of comic book fantasy tales were often women." It's probably just as well this is the last section, because it's just getting depressing to consider all these awesome heroines that just... slipped away, vanishing into history.
I have encountered few people who write with the passion and enthusiasm for these characters as Mike Madrid does. His notes and commentary on the characters he's selected (some of them had 5 or fewer appearance in comics), the history, and the artists are pure gold. The brief biographies he provides for each of the heroines just whets the appetite for more, encouraging his readers once more to seek them out. Plus, of course you should buy this book for the amazing comics inside. But if you're expecting camp, you're in for a surprise. These Divas, Dames & Daredevils don't mess around!

This is more than just an homage to "lost heroines," it's a time capsule§. Crack it open and look inside at what heroines used to be like. Then go look at what they're doing today and tell me he's wrong when he says "how far comics of today still need to go."

I'm really excited and pleased to note that there's a companion book to this one due out very soon. Vixens, Vamps & Vipers: Lost Villainesses of the Golden Age is due out in October 2014! Since I love bad girls more than anything, I can't wait! Edited: I didn't have to; I received an ARC and reviewed it for the Geek Girl Con blog - find my review here.

* The Golden Age is generally considered to have been from the late 1930s through the mid 1950s. The debut of Superman in Action Comic #1 is what most enthusiasts and historians see as the catalyst that started this "golden age" of comics.
† Yes, black and white, no whining. The book would have been at least twice the cost if it had been printed in full color. Seek out color Golden Age comics at the Digital Comics Museum.
§ A note on the comics themselves: they do contain some pretty bad ethnic stereotypes. The comics of the 1940s were not known for their kindness to Asian people especially, so keep that in mind while you’re reading. It was a different time and place. The world was at war, and xenophobia was rampant. (Not that it has entirely vanished today…)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Brilliant Idea (Or, "Why I Hate My Brain")

A while back, I read about someone who had artwork of a superheroine that she loved that she took and asked for various creators to autograph not because they created the work but because their work had meaning to her, too. *wince* I'm recalling this poorly, I know, and I wish I could remember where I'd seen it, so I could link to it properly. (If you have any idea what I'm talking about, please let me know in the comments so I can have that properly referenced -- thanks!)

In any event, I had a similar idea, but naturally one that makes me hate my brain that much more, because it means more work. Way more work. But it's so perfect (for me) that I don't think there's any way I can't follow through with it. What I'd love to do is create an altered book, one that includes quotes and biographies and images of amazing women. And then I'd like to leave it up to the various creators where they'd like to sign their names inside. It will be loud and colorful and full of the most amazing women... and then it will be even more full. Bursting with inspiration and touched by genius, quite literally.

At least, that's what I see in my head, the reality is something else. Great ideas require the right materials. The base book will be something that I'll "know it when I see it." The other things will have to be gathered over time, and won't be completed quickly, even though I'd like to have it done in time for the next convention I attend. Especially considering I still have a costume to fabricate...

...And that is why I hate my brain, because I needed another project like I need a hole in my head.

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Love/Hate Relationship with Collecting

Collections require some care and maintenance or else they're just hoards. If they aren't organized in such a way that they can be enjoyed or pieces found easily, you're in danger of being one of Those People they turn into zoo attractions on reality television. In our old house, we were pretty cramped but still had stuff, so it was pretty borderline there for a while. Now that we have the space to organize and display the things we love, there's the responsibility to maintain it. Since I'm the one who's home all day, and I'm the one who's a little obsessively completist, that task falls to me.

For the action figures, I maintain an inventory at DASH, which is more than just a database, there's also the ability to buy/sell/trade (I haven't done any of that myself, however). Sometimes I have to add a figure myself if no one else has yet, like the Justice League War Wonder Woman I got yesterday, so there are a few figures in my collection that aren't in the inventory database because I haven't added them yet. It's imperfect, but it's the best thing I've found so far.

For the libraries (main and children's*), I keep track of our collection with LibraryThing, which is an online database. It took a few months for me to get all the books put in (over three thousand), so now a trip to the bookstore means books go to my desk for entry first.

For the comic books, I purchased Comic Collector, from, which also has an app (not a stand-alone app, you have to have purchased the program first!) that runs on my phone so I can double-check the collection when I'm rummaging in the old comics bins. They have various versions to suit your needs, it runs on Macs or Windows computers, and I love it. The same company also has inventory software for games, music, movies and books. They run sales every once in a while, and it's tempting to get some of the others, but I have covered, our movie collection that extensive, and our music is just weird... Anyway, new comics are dealt with the same way new books are dealt with: they go to my desk first and are entered into the database, and then they are read.

Once all this reading material has been dutifully entered into the computer, it gets read, or goes into a pile to-be-read. Read books often end up in piles in the library, to-be-shelved. Read comics go into a box to be bagged, then once bagged into a box to be taken downstairs to be filed with the others. Since I am the one who's home, once again I am the sensible choice for being the one to shelve and file, put away and straighten... and I hate that part.

Right now, I am procrastinating from doing the laundry. I don't actually mind the sorting/washing/drying part. I loathe the folding/putting away part. And socks. I bloody well hate socks. So laundry goes upstairs to be folded on the guest bed, where it usually sits in a wrinkled heap until I guilt myself into dealing with it... usually about the time I have to do laundry again.

Months ago, I organized our comics. I got all of them entered into the database, put them all in order, put out a few accidental duplicates that I found, left room in the boxes for new comics to be filed... and since then, have taken down new comic, laid them on top of the lids of those boxes, or taken them down in other boxes and just left them there, waiting to be filed. *sigh* I hate filing. I don't mind data-entry, but filing is awful.

Part of the issue (ha!) is that when I take the boxes off the bottom shelves, I'm going to cause an action figure avalanche. Then I'm going to cause another one when I put them back. Every. Time. Having the boxes on the bottom shelves of the figure display is awesome, because the bottom shelf is no good for display (plus dog temptation risk), but I suspect that once I take all the comics we have right now and file them, we're going to have full boxes, with no room for more. That means a new home is needed, and soon. But that's a task to procrastinate another day...


* We turned the formal living room into a library, but there was no room for children's books. We bought a bunch of bookcases for the guest room, adjacent to our daughter's room, and put the kids books there.

Friday, May 16, 2014

"Action Figures for Girls"

The Twitter account for Geek Girl Con shared this IAmElemental Kickstarter campaign. I didn't hesitate.

Much as I love my girls (and I really do love them, run-through-a-burning-house-to-save-them love), I completely recognize that many of them were made with the adult male collector in mind. "More hooters than heroines," indeed. So, where are the action figures for girls?

Well, Mattel gave us the marvelous She-Ra line... in 1985. Galoob had the equally wonderful "copycat" line of Golden Girls, and there were several other knock-offs at the time. Ten years later, Mattel tried again with a much more insipid line Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic, and Kenner with Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders. Japanese author/artist Naoko Takeuchi gave us Sailor Moon in 1992. The toys that went with Sailor Moon were never called action figures; they were "adventure dolls."

The paucity of adventuring toys for girls is pretty apparent. The gender gap in the toy aisles is pretty immense. If you're a girl, you get dolls -- fluffy, pretty, pink dolls. Boys get to have the adventures. Action figures reflect the art in the comics; most of it is pretty sexy, and some of it is salacious. I like sexy -- in its place. Kids don't need sexy toys or comics.

This Kickstarter campaign was already funded when I clicked through, with 26 days to go! That's exciting! It tells me, and I'm sure it tells the creators, that there is demand for this. I look forward to everything this creative team has to share.

I gripe about the sexism in comics and in toys, and I put my money where my mouth is when I can. I'm clearly not alone.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Free Comic Book Day Crawl

Last week, The Kid indicated that she wanted to go to Free Comic Book Day. She'd never indicated any desire for comics before, so I was pretty enthusiastic about taking her. We got a call that her glasses were in, so we ran to pick them up before we began our odyssey. She wore her She-Ra t-shirt, and I made her a last-minute sword to carry with it. (Painted cardboard.)

For the honor of Grayskull...
(before glasses)

Glasses obtained, we headed to Dreamland Comics for the beginning of our crawl. We hadn't picked up our pulls for the week, so we got those in addition to the free comics plus a little Sailor Moon blind box figurine and Daenerys. Dreamland is long and narrow, so new people were allowed in as others left, looping around the store.

Photo doesn't include our weekly pulls.

The Kid and I were starving and she wanted Burger King, so lunch was had before we headed to Keith's Komix, where I found a zillion figures that I didn't have, a few back issues and some new releases. (And a very savvy Girl Scout was there selling cookies. Score!)

Doesn't include the back issues/new books.

Our last stop was Modern Age Comics, and a couple more figures, and a few more free comics. I had planned to get Silver Surfer #2, but he was sold out. (Apparently, that was a popular issue, because Keith's had it when we were there, but later also sold out.)

Only a few FCBD comics, because we mostly had the ones we wanted.

We definitely spread the wealth around yesterday, which is important to do. If we want to keep comic book shops in business, they need to be supported. Confession: This was the first Free Comic Book Day I participated in because I really don't like crowds, but since our daughter indicated that she wanted to go, we went. (ANYthing that encourages her to read is a good thing.) Every shop we went to was orderly and organized. Everyone was friendly. The crowds weren't what I expected, but perhaps we had good timing. Then again, Illinois is not one of the nerdiest states in the union (at #26), more's the pity... (but at least it's not Mississippi, at #50).

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Semi-Annual Chicago Toy Show

Once again, this show ran concurrently with C2E2, but unlike last year, I decided not to go downtown to the con. There were panels I'm really sorry I missed, but the crowds are just unendurable for me.

This year is the 41st for the Chicago Toy Show, taking place at the Kane County Fairgrounds, in St. Charles, IL. It took me three hours to get though the buildings I wanted to (I skipped the "doll" building, partly because it's a little creepy). I still haven't found the Borg Queen, but I did come home with:
  • Classic Silk Spectre (The Watchmen)
  • Aspen Matthews (Fathom)
  • Kim Arashikage (GI Joe, AKA Jinx; according to the seller, Hasbro lost her name copyright)
  • Dr. Elsa Schneider (Last Crusade)
  • Black Queen (Marvel Legends, TRU exclusive)
  • Jade (Golden Girl and the Guardians of the Gemstones)
  • Plaster of Paris (from The Spirit)
  • Arsia (Green Lantern)
  • Boodikka (Green Lantern) 
So a good haul, really! And three hours all to myself, even if it was a little crowded. (People were queuing up to get in a half-hour before the gate even opened.) I got a little warm-up the day before, finding the Aliens: Resurrection Ripley and Walking Dead's Maggie Greene at Half Price Books, so my weekend total was eleven new figs.

The next show is October 26th, so mark your calendars!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Call (Alien: Resurrection) and Crime Syndicate Superwoman

I recently found Call, portrayed by Winona Rider in Alien: Resurrection (1997), at a Half Price Books store. Made by Hasbro (still with the Kenner brand on the box -- Hasbro bought Kenner and its licenses in 1991), this was from Hasbro's "Signature Series." Unfortunately, they didn't also have Ripley, so the only Lt. Ripley I have is the small 1992 Kenner figure that looks nothing like Sigourney Weaver. Rider's likeness in this figure isn't bad, and I much prefer the larger size. The box is pretty beat up, but since she won't be in it for long, who cares?

I'll be on the lookout for the Ripley figure from this series that has a much better likeness to Weaver (and is taller).

Last Wednesday, I also picked up Crime Syndicate Superwoman at my local comics shop. This DC Collectibles figure is quite an attractive sculpt and paint. The face in particular is awesome. Her blue eyes are rather piercing, and they and her mouth were painted with a glossy paint so they have a wet shine. She's also wearing high-heeled boots, so it should be interesting to see how well she stands up out of the box. Which poses the question: as (essentially) Wonder Woman's evil twin from an alternate dimension, does she go on the Wonder Woman shelf, or with the other DC figures? Leaning strongly toward "other."

There's another female figure in with the Super-Villains Crime Syndicate set. Atomica, a small unarticulated figure, comes with Johnny Quick, but I am not paying $25 for Quick when all I want is the little 2-inch Atomica.

Monday, April 14, 2014

ComiXology Is Now Part of Amazon

Jeff Gomez at Business Insider has written an article about Amazon's acquisition of ComiXology. In it, he says
Women 17 – 26 have risen to comprise over 20% of ComiXology’s users, and that’s certain to rise after Amazon’s acquisition. The books will now be exposed to millions of newcomers, so it will behoove major publishers to make their stories more female-friendly, streamlined, and accessible. [Link is to a Comic Book Resources article from October, '13.]
"Make their stories more female-friendly" is going to be the contentious point, I think. Someone accused Gail Simone of turning Red Sonja into a feminazi yesterday, so making stories "female-friendly" is going to be met with significant resistance.

And then she pretty much made fun of the idea all day. :D

Don't get me wrong, I think the comics publishers should pay attention to reality and acknowledge the fact that WOMEN READ COMICS, and I stand to benefit from stories that are less about men's fetishes and more about actual plot, but I think there's going to be a lot of very ugly pushback. It's already there, as evidenced from Hungry_man above. Would he have been complaining to the writer if the writer had been male, or would he have accepted the story-so-far without accusing the character of being a feminazi?

It seems like any time people (non-cis-white-male people) suggest that comics could be more inclusive, have better representation, be less male gaze-y, those cis white guys just get pissed off and circle the wagons around their precious male fantasies of power and big boobs. Because if their comic book females don't look like porn stars, who wants 'em??

When the stories are better, everyone benefits. When women in those stories are more than seductive window dressing, take an active role in the story, it's a good thing. No, it's frickin' great thing, because it means women and girls will have the benefit of having heroes that look like them to emulate and be inspired by, just like boys have had for decades. Many of the men who read comics now, started out watching superhero cartoons and reading comic books. They love their heroes: Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, the Hulk... but what do you notice about that quick list? They're all straight white guys (except when Hulk is all angry and green). Who have women had, consistently, to look up to? Wonder Woman. That's it! She's the only really significant female character who's been with us since the early superhero comics, and she's been sadly underrepresented. DC has hemmed and hawed over why we can't have a stand-alone WW film, but pretty much everyone has called bullshit on their excuses. The fact of the matter is, DC in particular simply doesn't want to acknowledge that their old-guard way of doing things isn't going to cut it anymore.

Which brings me back around to the original point: ComiXology now being part of Amazon is going to change things.

Women are already a strong demographic in comics readership. One reason for women to be a rising demographic for ComiXology is the safety of it. Comic book shops are not always welcoming to female customers. Shopping online, no one can harass you or make you feel bad about what you read or don't know. Oh they'll still get you on Twitter or in various forums if you dare to voice an opinion, but at least you can shop in peace.

With the juggernaut that is Amazon, that will only accelerate. More women will flock to digital comics, because they may not even have known about ComiXology in the first place. Now that Amazon has the property, it's going to be all over their front page, promoted and marketed. Amazon has changed book publishing. Can anyone think that they won't force comics publishers to do the same?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Big Bang Theory Mystery Minis Display

The Funco toys and figurines are everywhere these days. You can't go in a comic book shop and not see something from them. For xmas, my husband put a "Mystery Mini" Big Bang Theory* in my stocking; it turned out to be Sheldon in the blue Superman shirt. Over the next few months, on a whim or availability, I picked up 3 more boxes and chanced onto Penny, Bernadette and Howard. Knowing the probability of getting Raj, Amy and Leonard (and not more Sheldons) was low please don't ask me to do the math, I picked up the last three to complete the cast on ebay.

I had them sitting on a shelf on my desk, but Penny especially is really unstable the way she's sculpted (her hair puts too much weight on the dorsal side of the figure). Bernadette is too, but not as bad. I had to build a frame for another project, and happened on some unfinished shadow box frames that I thought would do the trick. I'm going to paint it to resemble the colors used in the opening sequence
but not a perfect replication of it, and without the lettering. I want to highlight the figures without distracting from them. (And to help with the Penny Problem, I got wax adhesive.)

I sprayed a light coat of primer on the bare wood to help with blending paint. I used a combination of yellow, light orange, red-violet and blue to get the colors where I wanted them. I sprayed a coat of sealant on it, which also give it a nice gloss, once the paint was dry.

This may be the best photo of how I blended the colors.

I need to switch Raj and Howard around. Bernadette looks like she's
gazing adoringly at Raj, and that's no good.
 Not sure where I'm going to hang this, but at least I have another project completed.

* I have read a few criticisms of BBT that suggest it's "nerd blackface." First of all, to make that comparison is a little racially insensitive, and secondly, it's just wrong. It is NOT blackface, and here's why: it's a sitcom, and sitcoms parody and exaggerate real people to make jokes. Is the King of Queens blue collar blackface? (No.) The people screaming the loudest about this are the nerds who think they're being made fun of, after years of that in school. But BBT isn't ridiculing the characters -- yes, laughing at them because they're funny, but not in the mean high school way.

And here's another thing, I am married to a Sheldon. Oh, he doesn't have the eidetic memory or some of the more annoying quirks that Dr. Cooper possesses, but it's there. (And remember, sitcom: parody!) He even has a degree in physics. When he gets into discussions with another physicist (who was the best man at our wedding), I feel a little like Penny when the math all shoots right over my head. My degree is in psychology (a softer science than neurobiology), and when we were in college, I took an incredible amount of flak from my then-boyfriend-now-husband about it being a "fuzzy science," much the way Sheldon regards Amy. Here's the Science hierarchy, according to the physics guys: Sociology < Psychology < Biology < Chemistry < Physics < Math. Sound familiar? If you think conversations like those that happen on BBT don't happen IRL, you're deluding yourselves.

I don't love everything about the show, but I think it's a more accurate depiction of nerd culture than some of the nerds want to admit. YMMV.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Renae De Liz

Renae De Liz is an artist who did an adaptation of The Last Unicorn, and later helped create the Womanthology kickstarter project, that finished with over 1500 backers, and resulted in a hardcover book published by IDW, featuring the art and words from female creators of many levels of ability. She’s also the creator of Lady Powerpunch.

This is by no means all of the influential women in comics! I tried to get a reasonable sampling across over a hundred years of women. For more information about them, and other amazing and talented women, I encourage you to visit the Women In Comics wiki. 

Additionally, lots of these women have various social media accounts that you can follow and interact with. The above wiki has some of their accounts linked, but it's not exhaustive. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

G. Willow Wilson

G. Willow Wilson is a writer, and her graphic novel Cairo, was inspired by her conversion to Islam (after being raised atheist) and being an American Muslim in a post-9/11 world. She has been a comic fan since she was a child, and she wrote the Vertigo series Air as well as Mysic and Vixen: Return of the Lion, both mini-series. Also to her credit, The Butterfly Mosque and Alif the Unseen, prose titles. She has just started a new Marvel series, reviving the Ms. Marvel character with a brand new, Muslim-American teenager in the role.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Stephanie Buscema

Stephanie Buscema is an illustrator and painter, and got her start in comics inking for her grandfather, John Buscema. She has illustrated picture books, and covers, notably for Gail Simone’s Red Sonja and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. She finds inspiration in mid-century album art, old monster movies, and vintage illustration.

Friday, March 28, 2014

SuperMOOC2, New Comics, Old Comics, and Action Figures

This month, I started SuperMOOC2 -- Social Issues Through Comic Books, taught by the impossibly awesome Christy Blanch. This class, still through Canvas, is not through Ball State as the Gender class was. (Those crazy fools weren't interested in doing another one. Idiots...) I got introduced to Buzzkill, which was an interesting and somewhat depressing look at substance use and abuse, and am looking forward to the interview with Donny Cates (who co-wrote the series) next week. We have already had an interview with the very cool and very forthright Denny O'Neil, who wrote the Legends of the Dark Knight: Venom and the Green Lantern/Green Arrow arcs we read. Modules for this class are addiction, the environment, social inequality, immigration and "media, government intervention, and information privacy." (See the full reading list here; unfortunately, I think it's too late to join the class.)

In other comics news, Ms. Marvel (written by G. Willow Wilson) is awesome and the new She-Hulk book is fun so far, but I am not loving Javier Pulido's interior art (I kind of hate it, actually). On the advice of a friend, I also picked up New Warriors and X-Force. Those may help fill in the gap that The Movement creates. [Pause for a moment of silence at the conclusion of that singular book, with issue #12.] I'm getting the Captain Marvel floppies (I had been reading the trades), and picked up Rat Queens (which is hilarious). Pretty Deadly, Secret Avengers, Red Sonja, Rod Espinosa's Steampunk one-shots (really loving those), Trinity of Sin: Pandora, Batman '66 and Brian Wood's X-Men -- I think that rounds out all my current reads.* It's gotten to the point that when we go to Dreamland, I'm getting more books than my husband is. (Which reminds me, I haven't been this week...)

I've been slowly acquiring all of the Promethea comics from Half-Price Books, and am missing only ten issues. I haven't read them, because I don't have the full run. I've read the first one, because it was 99¢ on Comixology and I thought I'd give it a shot, which is what prompted me to start getting the others. I got the action figure off ebay.

Someone mentioned the Batman "Orca" arc in a discussion thread, and I was intrigued enough to snag those on ebay, too. If Christy ever wanted to do a class "Ethics Through Comic Books," those three issues would be a great addition. It's a very "ends justify the means" Robin Hood sort of story, where Orca (our new villainess) steals from a wealthy slumlord to help save a neighborhood. I totally sympathize with Orca's mission; this is a story railing against the 1%. It's also interesting to see Batman cast in the light of bad guy for being associated with the real villain of the story (the slumlord). Sadly, I don't have an Orca action figure (pretty sure there never was one).

Also found in HPB excursions, Ace and three Austin Powers figures. I initially had my husband put those three back because Austin Powers is asinine and stupid... then second-guessed myself and went back and got them later that evening. Soooo now I have Felicity Shagwell, Fembot and Vanessa Kensington -- hey, they were only $5 apiece. (Ace was not so cheap.)

Bad photos are bad, but I'm feeling too lazy to get out a real camera.
* Oops! Forgot Godzilla and Hactivist (just back from the LCS). WOO! Legends of Red Sonja! And Aw... it's the last one. :(

Jenny Frison

Jenny Frison is an illustrator and cover artist, and has contributed to Red Sonja, Angel, Spike, House of Night, Hack/Slash, and many others. She has also worked for White Wolf and Hasbro.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sarah Dyer

Sarah Dyer is a writer and artist, with roots in the ‘zines in the ‘80s and ‘90s. She created the Action Girl Newsletter, which reviewed and listed ‘zines and mini-comics by women. In ’95, she created the all-female comics anthologies Action Girl Comics, which ran for 19 issues. At one point, she also maintained an extensive list of female action figures, which became the inspiration for my own list here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jen Van Meter

Jen Van Meter is an Eisner-nominated writer for Hopeless Savages, JSA All-Stars and The Blair Witch Chronicles.

(I didn't find a lot of biographical info online about her, and I didn't want to bother her for more.) 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Devin Grayson

Devin Grayson is a writer, whose interest in comics was sparked by catching an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Since then, her work has included The Batman Chronicles, The Titans, Ghost Rider, X-Men: Evolution, and many others. She was also a contributor to the Legends of Red Sonja mini-series. She is a self-proclaimed “avid RPGer,” and has worked for writing games as well.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Kelly Sue DeConnick

Kelly Sue DeConnick is a writer whose best-known work includes Captain Marvel and the recent Pretty Deadly. She’s very outspoken about the role of women in comics and stated in an interview that “if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft. They have to be protagonists, not devices.” On the subject of women of color, she said in a panel at Geek Girl Con ’13 that she nearly made one of the pilots in her Banshee Squad African American but decided not to, because there were no black women pilots in WWII. Then she said (paraphrasing), “You know what else there weren’t any of? Aliens.” She apologized for not taking that inclusive step, stating baldly, “I fucked up.” (This led to an African American woman taking to a mic in the audience and thanking her for admitting a lost opportunity.)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gail Simone

Gail Simone is a writer who has worked on a number of series, including The Secret Six, Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Birds of Prey. A fan of comics as a child, she was disturbed by the sexism and published a list online entitled “Women in Refrigerators” (so named for the scene where Kyle Rayner found his murdered girlfriend in his fridge). It sparked a great deal of controversy and she started writing a column called “You’ll All Be Sorry!” at Comic Book Resources as a result. Her parody scripts eventually got her a job writing for The Simpsons comics, and Marvel’s Deadpool, but her first big success was on DC’s Birds of Prey. She has also recently revitalized the Red Sonja comic, and has brought in a number of immensely talented female artists for the covers.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Jill Thompson

Jill Thompson is an artist who has worked on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, as well as her own creation, a children’s book, The Scary Godmother which has been turned into tv specials and a stageplay, and will soon be a doll after a successful Kickstarter campaign. She has also worked on Wonder Woman, The Invisibles, and Black Orchid, and has won Eisner Awards for her work on The Dark Horse Book of the Dead and Book of Hauntings, both written by Evan Dorkin. She also did a mini-series with him called Beasts of Burden from characters introduced in those anthologies.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel is a cartoonist and her name is synonymous with the Bechdel Test* that she attributes to her friend Liz Wallace. It was initially meant to be applied to film, but has been used with other media as well. She wrote the strip Dykest to Watch Out For, and later the autobiographical graphic memoir Fun Home, which was nominated for several awards and won an Eisner for Best Reality-Based Work.  "The secret subversive goal of my work is to show that women, not just lesbians, are regular human beings."

* The Bechdel Test has three requirements, as they were spelled out in a strip called “The Rule”:
1. [the movie] has to have at least 2 women it it,
2. who talk to each other,
3. about something other than a man.

It has become shorthand to show whether or not something is woman-friendly.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Karen Berger

Karen Berger is an award-winning editor, best known for her work as executive editor for the DC imprint Vertigo. She was editor for Wonder Woman during George Perez’s popular run on that title. She is credited for bringing Neil Gaiman to a mass audience with The Sandman. She announced in 2013 that she was leaving Vertigo to pursue new challenges.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ann Nocenti

Ann Nocenti is a writer, journalist, editor, and filmmaker, and co-created the characters Typhoid Mary, Blackheart, Mojo, Longshot, and Spiral. She is politically outspoken, and has caused some controversy with fans. Her first superhero work was Spider-Woman #47-50, in ’82-83. In her work on Daredevil, she addressed sexism, racism and the nuclear threat. Since the ‘90s, her focus has been on journalism and filmmaking.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dann Thomas

Danette “Dann” Thomas is a comic book writer, and married to writer/editor Roy Thomas. They have collaborated on All-Star Squadron; Arak, Son of Thunder; and the Crimson Avenger. She co-wrote Wonder Woman #300, becoming the first woman to get scripting credit for that character. She’s also worked on West Coast Avengers, Doctor Strange, and many others.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mindy Newell

Mindy Newell is a writer and editor. She was the first woman to be an ongoing writer for Wonder Woman. She’s been a fan of comics for many years, and submitted to DC when they were soliciting talent. She also wrote Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld and Catwoman. She moved to Marvel to edit in 1990 but a slowdown forced layoffs and she went back to nursing in ’96. She now writes a column for ComicM!x.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Christy Marx

Christy Marx is an award-winning writer and photographer, and the creator of the animated series Jem and the Holograms, and the comic series The Sisterhood of Steel. She sold a Conan the Barbarian story to Marvel, and worked writing scripts for the Fantastic Four cartoon, and several others. She wrote for the sadly short-lived Sword of Sorcery comic book that featured Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld. She is also a game designer, with Conquests of Camelot, and has worked on other computer, console and MMO games.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Wendi Pini

Wendy Pini is an award-winning artist, and may be best known for her co-creation with husband Richard of Elfquest. She contributed covers and illustrations to Galaxy Science Fiction and Galileo magazines before Elfquest launched in ’78. She has also done graphic novels for the tv series Beauty and the Beast. More recently, she took inspiration from the Poe story Masque of Red Death and turned it into a dystopian graphic novel.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Louise Simonson

Louise Simonson is a writer and editor, and began her comic book career at Warren Publishing, working from assistant to senior editor, before leaving to work at Marvel. She was married to Jeffery Catherine Jones, and is also credited as Louise Jones in some of her work. She later married comics writer/artist Walter Simonson. In ’86, she quit editing to try writing full-time, and created the award-winning Power Pack with June Brigman. She and Jackson Guice created the character Apocalypse, and had significant influence on the X-Men books. She later wrote Superman: The Man of Steel, where she co-created the character Steel. She’s written several books for children and young adults, a Batman novel, as well as DC Comics Covergirls.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

catherine yronwode

catherine yronwode is a writer and editor who has been writing since her teens. At Ken Piece Publishing, she edited and wrote intros for books of reprinted comic strips like Modesty Blaise and The Phantom, and had a regular column in the Comics Buyer’s Guide. She freelanced for Kitchen Sink Press, writing The Art of Will Eisner in ‘81, among others. She served as editor-in-chief at Eclipse Enterprises, and she won and Inkpot Award in ’83 for work she did there. She collaborated with Trina Robbins in ’85 on Women and the Comics, which was the first book on the subject of the history of women in the industry.