Women in Comics: Welcome to Riverdale

First appearing in 1941, Archie Andrews is a classic comic figure. In the years since his debut, a community has developed around him, made up of his friends and family in Riverdale as well as an array of famous figures Archie has bumped into, from the band KISS to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This long and storied history includes a huge list of authors and artists who each bring something different to the characters and settings that are iconic for Archie comics, but this month’s post will focus on a few of the talented female authors and artists who have contributed to the world of Riverdale over the years.

Archie Vol. 1Archie: Goodbye ForeverJughead

Continue reading Women in Comics: Welcome to Riverdale

Women in Comics: Science

Science has always been a subject that I gravitate towards, so it is no surprise that I love science-related comics. Many of these books are biographies of famous scientists, but there are also wonderful comics about specific scientific subfields that offer a fun way to learn about a new topic and can help to inspire readers to continue reading about previously unknown topics. Here are just a few enjoyable comics for those with an interest in science.

Legal Female Scientists Set

Charles Darwin’s On The Origin Of Species: A Graphic Adaptation by Michael Keller and Nicholle Rager Fuller – You likely have heard about Charles Darwin before and you may have even heard about his seminal work, On The Origin of Species, but did you know that a graphic adaptation of it is available? With artwork by skilled science illustrator Nicholle Rager Fuller, this book brings a whole new side to Darwin’s classic work. It is a great way to get readers who might find the original a bit dry to give this influential piece of scholarship a chance. And, the artwork is sure to clarify many of Darwin’s points. This book also goes beyond the original text to put Darwin’s work into a broader context and to provide more details on Darwin’s place in the scientific field. Continue reading Women in Comics: Science

Women in Comics: Stories of Summer

As summer begins, it is a perfect time to celebrate comics about all aspects of summer vacation, whether this means camp, family vacations, or lazy days with friends. Hopefully these books will make the ideal companion during your summer travels, reading on a beach, or at your local park.

Picture of a beach scene
Slice of Paradise by Kevin Dooley. CC By 2.0.

Continue reading Women in Comics: Stories of Summer

Women in Comics: 2016 Eisner Award Nominations

eisnerawards_logo_13It’s that time of year again! The 2016 Eisner Award nominations have been announced and the list includes a ton of great female creators. So many, in fact, that there are too many for a single post. Rather than try to talk about all of these great comics, this post focuses on the nominees that will have the greatest appeal among teens and other fans of young adult literature.

BandetteBandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover has once again earned a double nomination in both Best Digital/Webcomic and Best Continuing Series. This is an extremely fun series that follows a thief with a heart of gold on her adventures. Two volumes are currently available, Presto! (which was on YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels 2014 list) and Stealers Keepers! Also on the list for a second year in a row is Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona, which is nominated in the Best Graphic Album-Reprint. This one also qualifies for the currently ongoing 2016 Hub Challenge, so check it out now if you are participating!

Squirrel GirlAlso nominated in the Best Continuing Series category is Giant Days by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Max Sarin, a series that follows a group of friends through their lives at college. The irreverent and off-beat stories are hugely entertaining and have so far been collected in two volumes. For more college adventures, but with a superhero twist, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, which was nominated for Best New Series, follows Doreen Green as she tries to balance her life as a secret superhero with college life.

SuperMutant Magic AcademyThis year’s nominees in both the Best Publication for Kids (9-12) and the Best Publication for Teens (13-17) include a wealth of great titles by women, all of which are well worth checking out. Of particular note, Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola with art by Emily Carroll is an updated take on the Baba Yaga folk tale and is sure to appeal to those who enjoy creepy artwork and a modern take on familiar stories. Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova is also a great book that will have wide appeal. It tells the universal story of trying to fit in and make friends at a new school. Fans of This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki will also be excited to see that Jillian Tamaki’s newest work, SuperMutant Magic Academy has been nominated. These offbeat comics are all set at a boarding school that is slightly reminiscent of Hogwarts, but even more weird and hilarious.

silent_voice_1In the category of Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia, both A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima and A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori made the list. These series have both earned YALSA recognition in the past as well and should definitely be in your Manga collection. As an added bonus, A Silent Voice qualifies for the 2016 Hub Challenge, so you have no excuse not to start reading it now! Continue reading Women in Comics: 2016 Eisner Award Nominations

Women in Comics: Young Adult & New Adult Novels

If there has been one feature of every book that I have discussed in this series of posts, it is a focus on artwork. Even the one non-comic work included in these posts focused a significant amount of text on the artwork of Wonder Woman. But, this month, I am branching out from volumes focused on artwork to discuss an emerging trend – prose novels that are based on comic book characters.

cc image via Flickr user
cc image via Flickr user RyC

While this concept is hardly a new one, recently DC and Marvel have greatly expanded their offerings in this regard to include new adult (albeit not promoted by that name) and young adult novels. These novels can serve the dual purpose of introducing comic book characters and storylines to readers who aren’t comfortable with comics and graphic novels and encouraging comics fans to read works by leading young adult authors. Even more importantly, these novels are just a lot of fun! Right now, there are only a limited number available, but many more are appearing on the publishing horizon. Continue reading Women in Comics: Young Adult & New Adult Novels

Women in Comics: Spies and Assassins

Spies and assassins have been big at the movies this year. The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Spectre, Spy, Hitman, Kingsman, Mission Impossible, the year has been full of these stories. If they have sparked your interest in characters of this sort, you can continue exploring them through an array of comics ranging from classic characters to more modern offerings.

Mockingbird

Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary by Chelsea Cain with art by Joelle Jones – Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, is a top agent at S.H.I.E.L.D., but a murder means that her work as an agent has to take a backseat to ensuring that justice is done. This one-shot is a great introduction to the character and is perfect for anyone who was curious about her when she popped up in Hawkeye.

Angela: Asgard's Assassin

Angela: Asgard’s Assassin by Kieron Gillen with art by Marguerite Bennett – Though she grew up in the Tenth Realm, Heven, and was trained to hate Asgard completely, Angela is secretly Thor’s sister. When she can no longer live in either realm, Angela is left to find her own path in life even while trying to determine what everyone wants from her. Fans of Thor and Loki will want to read this series to learn more about Asgard’s children. Continue reading Women in Comics: Spies and Assassins

Women in Comics: Read Some Nonfiction In November

For November, I am focusing on nonfiction graphic novels written or illustrated by women. Often an overlooked subsection of the graphic novel market, nonfiction graphic novels can be a great way to learn more about new topics, particularly if you prefer your information illustrated by amazing artists. This list includes just a few of the many nonfiction graphic novels that women have created over the years, but hopefully it will help you find a perfect new read that will teach you about a completely new subject.

Office GIF saying "You guys, I'm like really smart. You don't even know."
source

 

Pain Is Really Strange by Steve Haines with art by Sophie Standing – Written by Steve Haines, a healthcare worker who specializes in pain management, this nonfiction book brings together research on how people experience pain to create a book that not only explains how pain is felt, but also cites research on the topic. Sophie Standing’s artwork is instrumental to the success of this volume. She has a distinctive and engaging style that brings to life text that could be dull or overly technical without this visual element. This is a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in biology or medicine and it works extremely well in the graphic novel format. Continue reading Women in Comics: Read Some Nonfiction In November

Women in Comics: Back To School Edition

Frontier Classroom by Corey Leopold. CC BY 2.0.
Frontier Classroom by Corey Leopold. CC BY 2.0.

Sad as it may be for some, summer has come to a close and the new school year is upon us. In honor of this time of the year, here is a list of great comics by women that focus on back to school, whether this means starting college, transitioning to middle school or starting over at a new institution. The books range from realistic to fantastic, but they all capture the emotions of the start of a new school year.

Giant Days by John Allison with art by Lissa Treiman – Susan, Daisy, and Esther are three university students facing all of the typical problems of relationships, school work, and living away from home. Though it is set in Britain, the themes are universal and will have appeal both for those who fondly remember college and those who are looking ahead to it. This new incarnation of the webcomic by the same name follows the same three characters as John Allison’s original series, but this time with Lissa Treiman’s artwork. Designed to be a self-contained 6 issue series, it doesn’t presuppose any knowledge of the earlier series, but it will likely leave many interested in finding those earlier stories as well. Continue reading Women in Comics: Back To School Edition

Women in Comics: Steampunk

Steampunk MechSteampunk continues to be a popular genre with its combination of fantastical steam-based technology, elements of science fiction, and alternate history. With all of these elements, it is a style that can appeal to fans of a wide array of genres. It is also well suited to the graphic novel format since imaginative design is such a core component of these stories. Whether you are already a fan of steampunk or haven’t yet given it a try, these books are fun reads that will pull you into fascinating worlds.

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare and HyeKyung Baek – Fans of Cassandra Clare’s works will be excited to know that the prequels to her Mortal Instruments stories have been adapted for the graphic novel format. The series is set in Victorian England as many steampunk stories are, but in a somewhat less common twist, follows a sixteen year old girl from America who finds herself alone in the city. As she discovers the world of shadowhunters, the book has a chance to come into its own with artwork that brings to life every piece of the secretive world that Clare imagined. This is a must read for fans of the Mortal Instruments series, but will also appeal to a wider audience.
Continue reading Women in Comics: Steampunk

Women in Comics: Science Fiction

Robot by Robin Zebrowski. CC BY 2.0.
Robot by Robin Zebrowski. CC BY 2.0.

This month for my Women in Comics post, I’m focusing on science fiction graphic novels. Science fiction is generally one of my favorite genres and there are many great examples that are graphic novels. Whether you prefer near-future, dystopia, or science fiction blended with a hint of fantasy, this list will have a great book to add to your to-be-read list.

In Real LifeIn Real Life by Cory Doctorow with art by Jen Wang (2015 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Top Ten) – Anda is a dedicated player of Coarsegold Online, a massively-multiplayer online role playing game by the time she meets a gold farmer from China named Raymond. As she learns about the work that he does – which includes long hours and no benefits – she becomes outraged and tries to take action to help him. The book is transparently aimed at teaching readers about the politics and economics of gaming as well as sparking an interest in activism. It will appeal to fans of online games and of Doctorow’s other works.

Alex + AdaAlex + Ada by Sarah Vaughn with art by Jonathan Luna – When Alex receives an X5 android as a surprise birthday gift, he is pretty sure he wants nothing to do with it, but once he meets Ada he becomes deeply conflicted about the idea of returning her. This comic follows Alex and the android he names Ada as they meet and navigate a complicated world where fear of artificial intelligence runs rampant in the wake of an AI organized massacre. Alex must decide what his beliefs about the rights of androids are and how he should interact with a completely lifelike, but non-human being. This is a great series for those with an interest in robots and artificial intelligence.  Continue reading Women in Comics: Science Fiction