You can read the first six pages at Comic Book Resources. Kevin Melrose at CBR’s Robot 6 has a few criticism, such as the speed dating bit, but he’s pretty sold on it. I am too. Despite everything — the bad pitch, the bad publicity, the terrible cover, even the contrived situations in these initial pages — it works.
I like the tone so far — these are smart, capable women who still have some realistic lapses in confidence (I think the scene where the more popular superheroines show up is fun). I think whatever melodramatic twists and turns this ends up taking, I think Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Tonci Zonjic will handle them with wit and grace.
Expect a review of the first issue next week (probably Friday, maybe Saturday. Doubtful on Wednesday, but it’s possible).
Tom Brevoort posted Tonci Zonjic’s concept sketch from Marvel Divas (called “Marvel Vixens” here — your call which is better). And I think after Joe Q.’s comments last week, this was a good move.
(And why, yes, I’d love to say I totally knew what I was doing when I picked the image for my Marvel Divas post, but I didn’t. I just got really lucky. I do, however, think that’s awesome that the very image I was attracted to was a concept for the book.)
I am kind of glad to see that this image is changing some people’s minds about the book, but I do fear it may be too little, too late. I do think Zonjic’s work will make the book something distinctive and fun, but I do think that promo cover will continue to stick in people’s minds.
Anne Billson at the Guardian wants a real cartoon heroine. She objects to Wybie in the movie adaptation of Coraline (as we all did) and evokes the great Hayao Miyazaki’s young heroines (among others). Do boys really not want to watch girls, or are they just not given the opportunity?
I was a little young for the Riot Grrrl movement so I totally missed out on Bratmobile. But I do think it’s really awesome Allison Wolfe is the English-language writer for Nana (my feelings on Partyline notwithstanding). Wolfe was selected personally for the job, which is really cool. She’s a great fit — she understands the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle as well as the feminist undercurrent of the title.
I feel quite inspired to include a Bratmobile video:
The cold hard reality of publishing and trying to sell our books to as many people as possible, so here’s an example of what happens more often than you may think here at Marvel. From time to time, we’ll be launching a title that doesn’t focus very heavily on the super heroic. From time to time I’ll get a cover sketch and it doesn’t have a costumed hero or villain on the cover, what we internally refer to as a “quiet cover.” On those occasions, more often than not, I ask my editors to direct their cover artist to give me at least a first issue cover with the characters in costume. Why? Because it will help launch a book that will most likely have trouble latching onto a large audience. We want to give every title the best possible chance to be successful. Marvel Divas is no different and that’s why you’re seeing our strong female leads in their super hero personas.
What Quesada doesn’t seem to understand that the “quiet” cover would’ve gone over much better. After all, like I pointed out, Tonci Zonjic’s art is more appealing that the cover. I understand trying to appeal to a wide range of people, but by picking that cover, Quesada gave people — especially women, who would be likely to read this title — the wrong idea about what it could be. To me, Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa’s words said one thing and the cover said the complete opposite.
I am still going to give Marvel Divas a chance and I do hope other people do too. But Quesada seems pretty clueless as to why people reacted to the way they did.
Robot6 at Comic Book Resources pointed to The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Flash-based comic “The Secret in the Cellar.” It’s maybe not the greatest — the art is sort of generic and the interface isn’t the best — but it’s still sort of fun and give a good glimpse into the archeological process behind the discovery of such things. And honestly, it fulfilled its purpose — it made me want to go see the exhibit, which I may not have been that interested in otherwise.
I would love to see more comics like this from the Smithsonian museums. It feels like a good way to reach an audience they may not otherwise. It’s a good use of new media.