BG Roundtable: Hear Me Roar

by Liana

With the Sex and the City movie being released this Friday, several Bad Genious writers have been inspired to focus on the various roles of women in comics. Yesterday, Matt focused on characters he felt portrayed the best and worst qualities of a woman and Friday, Cindy will look at why comics have a hard time attracting the female audiences that will flock to Friday’s opening and Kit Kittredge: An American Girl on July 2nd. Today, BG Roundtable talks about female creators. Sadly, there weren’t many submissions this week. Wonder why that is?

Doug - I'm the kind of grumpy old fanboy who doesn't like the new artists I see nowadays. One artist that has really impressed me, though, is Nicola Scott of Birds of Prey. Her work has a classic traditional look to it, while not feeling dated or retro. Working first with Gail Simone and most recently with Sean McKeever, Nicola Scott really elevated Birds of Prey into one of my monthly faves. This is one new artist who has "future star" written all over her work!

Cindy - I'd have to say that my favorite comic creator who happens to also be a woman would be Marjane Satrapi. She has a very clear, direct graphic style that really packs and emotional punch when delivering her stories of life in Iran. Women here in America often complain about our plight as women. Maybe we don't get paid as much as men or we don't garner the same respect in the boardroom, but reading one of Satrapi's stories you realize that there are places in the world where women and most men don't have a voice at all. The stories she's telling prove that graphic storytelling can be important and relevant.

The General - While comic books have had a long history as being a haven for outsider or fringe artists, the reality is that most of those outsiders are still white males from the New York area. So, it comes as a breath of fresh air to read comics by someone who really does represent a different voice and perspective... like, say, an Iranian woman publishing comics in French, such as Marjane Satrapi. Though she's only published a handful of mostly autobiographical comics (she personally loathes the term "graphic novel") she's already become a major player on the independent comics scene. It also helps that the animated version of Persepolis was one of the most faithful and successful translations of a comic book out there. Also, personally, I had the opportunity to hear her speak and have to admit that she's one of the most engaging and entertaining people I've heard in a long while.

Which, when you add all these things together, is it why I have to pick Marjane Satrapi as my favorite female creator, even if it makes me look like I'm copying Cindy.

Matt - One of my favorite woman creators is artist Jan Duursema. I first became aware of her art when she penciled X-Factor. But I didn't pay very much attention until she became the regular artist on Dark Horse's ongoing Star Wars series. She penciled much of that run, including most of the fantastic “Clone Wars” arc. She is also responsible for creating one of my favorite Jedi in Quinlan Vos. Her current work on Star Wars Legacy is what keeps me coming back.

Vocal Minority - As a reader, I generally follow writers. Art takes second place for me most of the time and everything else in a comic's production usually passes me by. This includes Editors. I know who Tom DeFalco is thanks to the pap that is Spider-Girl, and I'm reminded that Axel Alonso exists and thinks that the Hulk kills thanks to JonQ's ongoing Incredible Hulk sanity test found elsewhere on this blog. And that's mostly it. And that's mostly a good thing: editorial interference is basically a four-letter word in modern comics.

Why is this important? Because Karen Berger is the notable exception to that rule.

Berger is an editor responsible for some of the happiest reading times of my life. Neil Gaiman pointed me at her by singling her out for praise whenever he interviews about Sandman. And that just lead into me becoming increasingly aware of how good she is - Moore's Swamp Thing run, the aforementioned Sandman and, oh yeah, creating the Vertigo Imprint. It might be that she just knows how and when to step back and let good creative teams do work and I'm sure that's part of it, but there has to be something more to it. She's been involved with too much that's been too good for it not to. And there's a lot to be said for that behind-the-scenes work. It's one thing to create a book I enjoy, but to found and helm a line of books that has given us Transmetropolitan, Y: the Last Man, Preacher, Lucifer and more?

Getting me to notice and be impressed by an editor. That's an accomplishment.


Brandon said...

It's sad, but I don't pay too much attention to the creators of the books, male or female. I have few that I generally check out, but gender seldom plays a role in that.

Vocal Minority said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vocal Minority said...

I don't think gender *should* be an issue.

But it's still interesting to think about female voices in an industry where they're under-represented, even today.

Matt said...

I forgot about Pia Guerra. I loved her work on Y The Last Man.

Liana said...

I meant to talk about Christina Strain's fantastic colors on Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, but I totally forgot to add my own bit.