Review: Girl Comics #1

If you’ve read my blog or, you know, looked at the title of it, you’ve probably pretty much figured out that a) I’m a girl b) I like comics and c) I like women making comics.

Given all of the above, do I really need to tell you I love this? I swear, it’s like someone went into my brain made a comic just for me.

But let’s get past all the initial giddiness and just get to how awesomely good all of this is.

First of all: Marvel, please please please make a poster of Colleen Coover‘s intro piece. It deserves to be hanging in every girl’s bedroom. I will buy five of them if you make it into a poster. And it’s not just me — I have friends who also want it as a poster. I love it.

Starting with a lyrical, nearly wordless tale written by G. Willow Wilson with art by Ming Doyle, Girl Comics #1 definitely starts off right — it’s feminine and mysterious but not stereotypically “girly” at the same time.

The next story by Trina Robbins and Stephanie Buscema is, however, but playfully so. Robbins tells the story of Venus trying to return to her job on earth as a fashion magazine editor, only to find things have changed, and not for the better. Buscema’s retro-inspired art is a delight and all of this is cute and romantic and way too much fun.

Valerie D’Orazio‘s Punisher story, with art by Nikki Cook is probably the most straightforward and traditional of all of the stories here, but these four pages do a lot with a little — an entire backstory is told through several, simple images — and the effect is very powerful.

Lucy Knisley‘s Doctor Octopus story is hilarious and adorable, and Robin Furth’s and Agnes Garbowska‘s steampunkish retelling of Hansel & Gretel, featuring the Richards kids is inspired and different.

Concluding the issue is a dreamlike take on the Jean Grey/Cyclops/Wolverine love triangle by Devin Grayson and Emma Rios.

I absolutely adored the profiles on Flo Steinberg and Marie Severin (also, Marvel, when you’re making a poster of Colleen Coover’s intro image, will you also manage to collect some of Marie Severin’s work into a book? Please?). These were unexpected and fun bonuses.

This is an awesome showcase of the diverse talent of female creators — and just comic creators, period. I can’t wait for the next one.

It’s a wonderful little anthology, but it’s more than that.

I started Comicsgirl way back when as a teenager because I knew there was more to comics than what most people saw. I knew that comics had some great things to offer women. But even now, especially in mainstream comics, I often don’t feel like I’m recognized. Sometimes, I have to struggle to see myself in the comics I read. But Girl Comics makes me feel like I’m being acknowledged. No, maybe it’s not going to be everyone’s thing, but I wish I could go back in time and give this to my 17-year-old self. I wish I knew a bunch of 15-year-old girls I could buy copies of this for. And for me, that makes this is a beautiful thing.

4 comments

  1. Rob says:

    I was happy to see your review of this. I would have one up if there wasn’t some crazy prolonged mental block against writing sitting on my brain lately.

    I thought exactly the same thing about the intro by Coover. It’s a poster waiting to happen. I know that it is a sequence of fictional characters, but I still felt an emotional response to it, like if it had been a tv commercial about real rescue workers or something.

    I don’t always read text pieces put in comics, but I thought the profiles were really good also, and actually read them. This comic does a lot of hings right, I think. It’s good to see your take on it.

  2. Rob says:

    My keyboard is stupid. sorry for the typos

  3. comicsgirl says:

    It’s not perfect but I think it’s a pretty lovely thing — I think people keep wanting to ascribe some political/social messages to the pieces here, but I think they’re just neat comic stories. That happen to be made by women.

    It worked for me, but I was pretty much on board from the beginning and after reading some of the interviews with the editors, I was even more on board. I’m fine with people not liking it, but I think a lot of the reaction is more about the what it is rather than what’s inside.

    (And don’t worry about the typos — my keyboard’s been uncooperative lately too.)

  4. Randy says:

    I really enjoy the anthology concept in general, and I thought the women-creator-focused issue was an interesting spin on putting it together. The whole package was really well done, and I enjoyed the bios on Flo and Marie as well. It’s nice to see Valerie D’Orazio making the leap to the other side of the table, so to speak, in such fine fashion, and Stephanie Buscema’s artwork fit the Venus story to a tee (or perhaps it was the other way around!). I’m very much looking forward to the remainder of this LS, and would love to see more books in this format showcasing your-not-run-of-the-mill talents.

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