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Ladies Kicking Ass at Kickstarter Comics!

Finding women in the comic book world is kind of like shucking oysters and suddenly finding a pearl. In a world of murky sexist content you might find 1 in 15 artists working on comics are female, and “female writers and artists are sporadic at best” says Tim Hanley, a comic book blogger.

Breaking into the world of mainstream comics like DC or Marvel as a woman is difficult and hard to tolerate considering the rampant sexism and misogyny associated with these companies. That’s why female artists and writers often create their own content and find outside ways of funding.

Here’s a list of three comics created by ladies who successfully funded their books on kickstarter, you go girls!

1)   Heroic, A Womanthology, by Renae De Liz.

This little diddy is a throwback to August of 2011 but definitely worth checking out. This massive all girl comic anthology reached over four times its pledged goal and raked in $109,301. The Womanthology was meant to showcase the work of over 140 women of all experience levels working in comics.

2)   Oh Joy, Sex Toy, The Book, by Erika Moen.

If you’re not familiar with Erika’s popular blog “Oh Joy, Sex Toy” then get ready for a dose of NSFW awesome. Erika has been running the web comic about sex education and sex toy product reviews for over a year now, so her blog is chock-full of awesome illustrations and informational tidbits. Now Erika wants to make a book about the content on her blog. Erika reached her pledged goal in her first day of the kickstarter, plus $7,000 and we still have 28 days to go.

       3)Strong Female Protagonist: Book One, by Molly Osterag.

Molly Osterag has been working on the webcomic “Strong Female Protagonist” The story of a regular girl with super-strength, invincibility, and “crippling sense of social injustice” and is ready to move from web to page. Written by Brennan Lee Mulligan and drawn by Molly, the web comic has received critical acclaim. The kickstarter has reached more than four times it’s pledged goal of $8,000 and is now resting at $20,145.

These ladies are proving that women are an important attribute to comics and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. We need women content creators, we want content created for women, and we’re not going to stop until we’ve got it. 

I went to Nerd Heaven, aka Wizard World - Comic Con

I was very lucky to attend the Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans this past weekend, a.k.a nerd heaven. If you're not familiar, Comic Con is a popular culture and comic convention held annually around the country. It features a variety of different celebrities, artists, merchants, and most importantly FANS! Thousands of people fond of sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, comic books, anime, and cosplay gathered together at the convention center to hang out, meet some of their heroes, and buy cool stuff. Some of the guests of honor this year were Matt Smith (of Doctor Who), Pam Grier (!!!!), Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Cassandra Peterson (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead, The Boondock Saints), Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), animator Phil Ortiz, and the comic legend Stan Lee.

My cosplay was San from Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke. This was when I finally found the sailor scouts! 

            Nola feels like a pretty magical place on any old day, so it was extra awesome to be surrounded by superheroes, trekkies, zombies, steampunks, and some of my favorite video game characters. There was so much to look at; from collectors’ action figures, light sabers and cosplay crafts, to striking and innovative professional-fan art. Nen, Greg Horn, and Sara Richard were a few of my favorites. The con creates such an open environment for all things geeky, so by just mingling with folks you’re bound to meet someone who’s into the same stuff as you. I chilled with storm troopers, an extremely realistic lookin wookie, Thor, Bat Woman, and the Mario Brothers to name a few. And speaking of wookies, if you will be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus is holding their annual parade and after-party this Saturday! Who doesn't love a drunk Chewbacca? It’ll be a blast, hope to see you there.- Olive Henzel

Absolute Promethea 2: A Review

The last time I wrote about Promethea here I'd just gotten my hands on the first Absolute volume, and it had blown my mind.

"It's less a narrative than a trip, fables layered on top of stories and characters' identities shifting into dreams. If Watchmen is Moore's Ulysses, then Promethea is Finnegans Wake and it demands the same experience--stop trying to make it make sense and just let it wash over you and enjoy the ride."

The second volume arrived last week, and I'm just as thrilled with it. I drowned myself in it yesterday, spending hours with its glossy, gorgeous pages, and at the end of it found myself just as inspired as the last time.

Part two is part adventure narrative/vision quest, but mostly an explanation of a mythology--if it falters at all it's the transition between expository characters whose voice-over is a little too clearly the voice of Moore explaining just what's going on here. He's pulled together a myth-world that's based in systems that already exist--the Kabbalah, various pantheons of gods and goddesses--and sent his characters off on it, including a foul-mouthed teenage guardian angel and a green-haired college student turned superheroine (or, tellingly, Moore calls them "science heroines").

Promethea is, aside from an explanation of a magical worldview, also an argument for the seriousness of comics. J.H. Williams' art doesn't so much toy with panel structure as explode it entirely, and as the journey goes on he shifts art styles so entirely, mimicking classics and classic comics so perfectly that the James Joyce analogy seems appropriate again--just as Ulysses went tripping through the entire history of literature, Promethea skips through the history of visual art and by doing so places itself squarely in the tradition, daring you to argue.

Moore's expert at using the medium to play with space and time, and he understands the difference between comics and any other visual or narrative art better than anyone working in it. And there is a narrative here, though you'd be excused for just gaping at the visuals, a narrative and characters worth knowing and loving and following, and more than the first one this volume left me breathless for what comes next.

"I guess that telling stories with pictures is the first kind of written language," one of the Prometheas notes, and it's true. As Harvey Pekar said, comics are words and pictures and you can do anything with words and pictures, from Pekar's working-class warts-and-all lifestyle to the lushly gorgeous dream-world of gods and goddesses and the blurred boundaries between mortal and divine that Moore and Williams set out here.

Sparkling Foxes, Feathers & Genie Lamps. I Heart Mandy Shadforth!

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Mandy Shadforth is an AMAZING award-winning contemporary artist from Queensland. This Aussie babe paints in a super realistic style, drawing her viewer into intimate details that would usually be overlooked.  Mandy paints with such control and depth.  She is able to manipulate her pop culture/natural images into mysterious kaleidoscopes of daydreams and bewilderment.  She just released her 2010 collection a few months ago and I am smitten.  Aren't you??  Mandy is currently showing her annual exhibition at the South Yarra Arthouse in Melbourne.

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Ps. She has an awesome blog.

 

 

 

photo credits: http://www.mandys.com.au/