Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Marvel Announces Girl Comics


The Beat has the exclusive on Marvel's newest anthology title, Girl Comics.  The premise is simple - it's a comic created by the best and brightest female creators in the comic industry.

The cast of creators includes the likes of Kathryn Immonen (Hellcat, Runaways), Marjorie Liu (NYX: No Way Home, Dark Wolverine), Devin Grayson (Nightwing), Ann Nocenti (Daredevil), Amanda Conner (Power Girl), Jill Thompson (Sandman, Invisibles), and so many more.  The entire project is being written, drawn, inked, and edited by female creators.

Note, however, that, title aside, it is not a "girl" comic nor is it specifically about female characters or any other preconceived notions the title may imply. It's an anthology much in the same vein as the fantastic Strange Tales that Marvel put out a few months back and this will be no different.  There is no mandate that every story be about a female character nor is it on an agenda of any kind.  All you can expect is some great stories.  Hit the jump for more of my thoughts on the project and anthologies in general.




Girl Comics

I love the concept behind this.  No, not a bunch of female creators working on a comic together.  The concept I am talking about is a bunch of talented creators working on a comic together.  Many of the creators I named in the intro, along with the rest named in original announcement, are fantastic creators who's work I enjoy.

You may remember Ann Nocenti from the recent Daredevil #500 where her backup story overshadowed everything else in the landmark issueAmanda Conner is the current artist behind Power Girl and I've loved much of her work over the years.  Kathryn Immonen wrote the charming Hellcat miniseries last year.  Jill Thompson was one of many great artists involved with Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, one of the greatest single pieces of comic book work ever created.

Each and every creator mentioned has something noteworthy to their name and it should make for an inspired anthology book when it releases.


The Name

However, the name is my problem.  I absolutely hate defining works of any kind by the people involved, whether it be their gender, race, affiliations or what have you.  Yes, promote this as an all-female creative effort, but Girl Comics?  Seriously?  They didn't call Strange Tales, an indie creator filled anthology, "Indie Comics".  They wouldn't call an all African American created comic "Black Comics".

Why the need to call this Girl Comics?  It will more than likely turn off many of the male readers that dominate the market with the knee jerk reaction of "Oh, that comic's for girls, guess I won't buy it" when it simply isn't.  It's a comic with female creators for EVERYONE, just like every comic should be.  This is like Marvel Divas naming all over again and shooting themselves in the foot.


More Anthologies

Matt discussed the anthology dilemma in a recent article, but is the onset of titles like Strange Tales, Wednesday Comics and Girl Comics a sign that they may be making a come back or, at the least, the comics industry is attempting to expand its markets and reach new readers?  I know I love anthologies when they are created with a purpose and give talent free rein to tell some fun, creative stories, much like how Wednesday Comics and Strange Tales ended up being.  I'm hoping Girl Comics will be more of the same in that regard.

However, I'd love if this meant we'd see more and more of these types of ventures.  They make great showcases for characters and creators and can act as gateway comics for many people.  If Marvel or DC continue the trend, I'd be all for supporting such ventures.  I'd love to see another Batman: Black & White-like anthology, either with Batman, who lends himself well to black and white, or with other characters.

A manga or European creator spotlight would be fantastic, too.  No, not a return of the Marvel Mangaverse or other nonsense, but an actual spotlight of creators from different cultures putting their spin on comics or offering up unique stories and characters of their own.  With Marvel's partnership with Soleil, it would be an easy venture to commission some of their European creators for a small project like Strange Tales. 


Thoughts?

What do you think?  Are you interested in Girl Comics?  Like the name?  What about anthologies in general?  Would you like to see more of them in the future?  Is the recent successes of these ventuers a sign that people are interested in new and unique offerings again?  What kind of anthology would you like to see tackled next?  Let us know in the comments below!


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27 comments:

Ramon Villalobos said...

I thought it was tactful that the same day Marvel announces Girl Comics, comics made by all female artists and writers, they also announce Greatest Comics all of which are written and drawn by men. I'm not saying Marvel are a bunch of chauvinists but clearly they hate women and think men are far superior to women at least when it comes to comics. Clearly.

But seriously, you are right on about the title being so ass backwards, no female non-comic fan is going to go, "Hey look! It's Girl Comics! That's why I have been staying away from comics so long!" And female comic fans that do exist now... how can they not be turned off by this exploitation? How does this appeal to male comic fans? It's just mind boggling that anyone thought this was a good idea, then again Disney does do well selling the idea of Disney Princesses so maybe this is a good idea.

Rich said...

Frankly, the name is awful. As a dude, I'd see "Girl Comics" on the shelf and immediately assume the intended audience was females rather than the creators. As it is, I think I'd (perhaps stupidly) feel self-conscious buying something called Girl Comics at the shop and I'm no chest-thumping caveman type. Reminds me of passing on so many Catwoman issues with Adam Hughes covers because buying them made me feel like a goon.

Buying cheesecake comics makes me feel icky, but buying something called Girl Comics would make me feel neutered. Where's the happy medium?

Anonymous said...

I love anthologies. I pick up every one Marvel will offer me. I would love to see an anthology that simply peers into the forgotten corners of the MU and broaches other genres like Horror, Mystery, and Crime. As for Girl Comics, I'll pick it up. I'm always interested in checking out new (and new to me) comic talent. I don't find the name off-putting, and I think it conveys that the comics within are by "girls" (even though they are not specifically "for girls"). And it might inspire some female readers to pick it up as they pass by Marvel's books on their way to pick up the newest Fables.

Kevin said...

The premise is very interesting with some great talent working together. The only problem I have is the name. I will check this out but you did a great job summing up what I think on this Kirk. Great post.

Ryan Schrodt said...

The name of this is pretty stupid, but that is an amazing cast of creators, plus that Amanda Conner cover is simply awesome. I'm really looking forward to this.

Plus, its pretty awesome to see Devin Grayson back in comics after her Nightwing run was basically ruined by DC Editorial.

Ramon Villalobos said...

Woah now, Devin Grayson's Nightwing run was ruined by DC Editorial? I think Devin Grayson's Nightwing run was ruined by Devin Grayson. She was on it for years before they yanked it from her and even then only the last issue was mildly interesting.

Klep said...

The name is pretty bad, but it's a good way to promote female creators in a field where women are underrepresented. I can't wait to see what Amanda Conner does.

Also, I'm pretty sure Wolverine would bet on Jen, not Tony.

Ryan Schrodt said...

Aside from the rape-angle, I loved Grayson's run on Nightwing. The last year, though, was filled with editorial mandates, cut-off storylines, and major limitations. It was basically the same situation that McDuffie fast during his run on Justice League.

That being said, her last issue was pretty incredible and I'm proud to say that I actually own the final page (Dick proposing to Babs). Its one my favorite peices in my collection.

Chris said...

Amanda Conner drawing my favorite Marvel characters? YES PLEASE!

Radlum said...

Despite the awful name (when I read I thought it was going to be something like Marvel Adventures but for little girls instead of little boys), this sounds like a great idea; I don't know most of the writers, but reading new stories by Ann Nocenti is going to be nice, since I really liked her work with Daredevil back then and in the 500 issue.

brandon said...

No Ivory Madison? That stinks.

Nick Marino said...

agreed. good idea, stupid name.

Matt Ampersand said...

Wow, I never realized that "Devin" was a girl's name. I hope I'm not the only one...

Other than that, the talent behind this is ridiculously appealing to me. Stupid name? Yes, but I'll be definitely reading this.

And reading some of the comments in that original trhread has made my head hurt.

Matt Ampersand said...

Actually, I think I am going to take my "Stupid name" comment back. I can't certainly think of a better one, so I'll take it.

Marc said...

Great concept, horrible name. That probably won't be a hindrance to my buying it, but I fear it will be for a lot of people. Consider this: if a high-quality anthology comic with the title "Marvel Comics Presents" can't sell well enough to keep afloat, how horribly is "Girl Comics" going to sell, no matter how good it actually is?

Ryan K Lindsay said...

Another Anthology from Marvel, this certainly gives me some hope for my Family Anthology titles!

Flip The Page said...

devin is a girl's name?

ah well this looks like HOLY SHIT SHE-HULK DRAWN BY AMANDA CONNER, WEEK IS MADE!

Aaron K. said...

PR stunts like this are notoriously double-edged swords. The talent mentioned is pretty dang impressive, but what exactly is the concept? We just want to show the comics world that women have a rightful place in it? Ok, but is there any connection with these stories? Are these stories ABOUT anything? I never really liked anthology comics since all the stories are so tiny and I prefer a heartier meal. I'll probably end up skipping this book like I do all anthologies.

And the name is practically begging me to avoid it. I'm not a girl, therefore this comic is not for me. That's certainly what it sounds like. "Marvel Divas" was more unisex-friendly as a title goes. "Girl Comics" sounds to me like "Chick Flick", and I've never thought the latter was a film made, produced, acted, etc., exclusively by women with no comment on its content.

Obviously, all the talent hasn't been announced, but I'll be very disappointed if Adriana Melo and Sana Takeda don't appear. They've both produced some beautiful art on "Ms. Marvel" and Melo had some nice stuff in "WoK: Warriors" too. With "Ms. Marvel" getting cancelled, it would be nice to see these wonderful artists showing up elsewhere in Marvel. I'd probably buy the book to see their work again.

Anonymous said...

How did Deadshot even get a suit of Iron Man armor?

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, I didn't realize Marjorie Liu was a woman.

Daryll B. said...

Ok Hands up if you are now craving a Power Girl / She-Hulk crossover by Palmotti / Slott / Conner during the next intercompany collaberation because of that picture?

Yeah, unfortunate name for this but damn it is about time...

Now I wonder which heroes are going to be involved?

DoctorMarmalade said...

Great article...
but goddamn that handlebar mustache.
Look at it...

Anonymous said...

You guys do know that Marvel/timely had an anthology book released in the olden days called Girl Comics right? It's just like Strange tales, a legacy anthology book

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