WOMEN HAVE BEEN creating comic books and strips for as long as those media have existed. And yet, when the average person hears the words Women in Comics they are more likely to think of Wonder Woman or Brenda Starr than they are the many female artists and writers who’ve been bringing such characters to life for over a century. In fact, Brenda Starr was created in 1940 by a woman, Dale Messick, who went on to do the popular newspaper strip for some 40 years.
Women have contributed to every genre of graphic storytelling—from horror and romance to manga and superheroes—and yet, for any number of reasons, the industry continues to be primarily associated with men. But that’s changing now, and I’d like to direct your attention to 13 women who prove it.
On the PREVIEWSworld website right now you’ll find a collection of interviews with creators who have worked on everything from indies to the highest-profile titles. Included in the mix are writer Amy Chu (Red Sonja); cover artist and penciler Livia Pastore (Extinction Seed); artist Kata Kane (Ana and the Cosmic Race #1); and Kelly Thompson, who’s currently writing Hawkeye for Marvel.
Thompson believes that while there’s been progress in terms of the representation of females in stories, there’s still a ways to go with regard to the women behind them. “We have so much more in terms of books with female characters as the leads, as well as more diversity when it comes to how they’re represented,” she says. “When it comes to female creators being represented, we’re still struggling, I think. We could be doing a lot better there. The end goal here, of course, is that we don’t see gender at all. That we’d get to start talking about comics creators (and characters) without having to quantify them as being male or female.”
The interviews also offer insight on the experiences of women in a male-dominated field, along with lots of good advice for anyone who dreams of working in the field. “Your stories matter,” says writer and editor Mariah McCourt, who’s created work for Vertigo, IDW, Dark Horse, and other publishers. “No matter what stories you want to tell, they matter and you should create them. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t or what kind of story you “should” tell. Make them, share them, and support others who make stories, too!”
You can show your support for these talented professionals by reading their interviews at PREVIEWSworld.com.