The Internet was all a-buzz about it yesterday. Well, the comic book/”genre” blogs were, anyway. I read the post about it at The Beat and read a few more pieces about it, promptly got fed up and then watched another episode of Lost (granted, yes, I probably would’ve watched another episode of Lost anyway).
I am pretty pro-Girl Comics, at least at this point. The concept sounds wonderful on paper (er, screen, but you know what I mean) — there’s a great line-up of talent that covers quite a broad range, and I like the idea of having women do everything from the art to writing to lettering and more. I think that’s really cool.
But considering Marvel’s problematic attempts to appeal to women recently (the entire Marvel Divas debacle, the bad inside art of Pride & Prejudice, the whole lip gloss thing), I’m guessing this will probably be similar. Yes, giving Heidi MacDonald an exclusive interview with the editor is a good first step, but I don’t think this is going to get women who aren’t already reading comics to do so.
At the most, I think it’s just going to get indie readers to pick up this Marvel title. And I’m OK with that. I like superhero comics. In theory. I’m not speaking for all women here, but personally, the art of a lot of superhero comics turns me off. I just don’t connect with it. (I had a dream the other night that Colleen Coover was drawing Blackest Night for DC and when I woke up, I thought how awesome that would be. That would probably get me to read the book.) So I like when indie creators do superheroes. It’s fun. So I’m looking forward to that on this level.
I read a lot of disappointing-but-expected objections to this, like “why can’t we just tell stories for people” which usually means “I don’t really want to read books by women.” Because I mean, I like stories for people, regardless of who writes/draws them, and men absolutely can tell wonderful stories about women (I loved loved loved Dong Hwa Kim’s Color trilogy, which I will review eventually). But when there are pretty good lists of “entry” comics that don’t have one title by a female creator, I think there’s a problem. It’s not that women aren’t making comics — they are, and they are making good ones — I think they’re often ignored.
So I think Girl Comics is at least pointing out that hey, women are making comics.
I don’t know if there’s really an answer to “how to get women to read more comics.” I don’t know if there needs to be, personally. I think women are already reading comics, just not what Marvel and DC typically consider to be comics. But maybe this is a step in the right direction. Or a step toward something. I guess we’ll see how successful it is.