“A hero is just somebody who tries to do the right thing even when it’s hard. There are more of us than you think”- Ms Marvel aka Kamala Khan
On Wednesday 8th March it will be International Women’s Day and we here at Coins of McGuffin think that’s pretty awesome. There are a lot of geeky things that owe thanks to women. Some of the most iconic characters in comics and movies were created by women and on today’s topic we want to celebrate them and thank them for a debt that can never be paid.
So without further ado, here are some of the most kick ass women of comics!
Imagine reading your favourite comic book in the 90’s and the writers do something shocking and terrible. They kill off the hero’s girlfriend. But not just kill her, they have her murdered and her body is shoved into a refrigerator for it to be found by the protagonist.
Now image having a moment of realisation that this is how females are seen in comics, as plot devices to be killed, raped, or suffer just so the “Hero” can go off and do something about it.
Well Gail Simone as well as a group of other like minded comic fans didn’t agree with it and started a website called Women in Refrigerators which dedicated itself to listing all these women used as a plot device and sought to analyse why women were disproportionately used in the way.
It could be argued that Gail and her team helped change a systemic problem in the comics industry and while unfortunately these kinds of plot devices are still occasionally used, the fact that good writers try to avoid this shows how the mindset was changed over course of a few years.
But maybe all that doesn’t impress you as being a young reader you consider all that “The Past” and can’t fully grasp how bad it really was. That’s ok, there are plenty of other reasons why Gail Simone is awesome!
Did you know she use to work on The Simpsons comic? How about the fact she wrote for Deadpool! In fact, you know the little yellow boxes that accompanies the merc’s fourth wall breaking shenanigans? You can thank Gail Simone for that.
She then jumped ship over to DC where she earned the comic Birds of Prey which featured and all female group of Oracle, Black Canary, The Huntress and Lady Blackhawk.
From there she worked on many titles and contributions till in 2007 DC announced that she would be the new regular writer of the third volume of Wonder Woman and is notable for being Wonder Woman’s longest running female writer.
That is a huge achievement, especially considering how important Wonder Woman is for female empowerment!
At age 5 most of us were still learning how to write our name, Colleen won an art competition sponsored by the Walt Disney Company, at age 12 while I was still trying to muster the courage to talk to girls, Colleen Doran already had her first comic published, an epic space opera called ‘A Distant Soil’. Since it’s republication at Image Comics is has sold more than 700,000 copies.
Colleen was head hunted to work at DC as a collaborator on The Legion of Superheroes, Justice League 3001 and many other projects. But it is her art which has helped her get critical acclaim.
She worked on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, Wonder Woman and Teen Titans. Over at Marvel she worked on Guardians of the Galaxy, Silver Surfer, and Spiderman. Most recently she was the illustrator for the autobiographical comic book of Stan Lee “Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir” and the art for another Neil Gaiman story Troll Bridge
Not many comic book artist can claim to have designed a WWE wrestler’s costume, but Jill Thompson can. It kind of goes to show how interesting a career she has had so far.
Back in the 1990’s she took on the role of artist for Wonder Woman at DC. She also worked on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series and created one of the cutest characters in the series run, Li’l Death and Li’l Morpheus. She also wrote and illustrated “Death: At Death’s Door”, a manga style book which is a spinoff of the Sandman series.
Jill has also created Dead Boy Detectives and her favorite book series Scary Goodmother which has spawned two TV Specials.
She is also not someone who hides behind a drawing board, as she has been a body model for other comic artist. He likeness has been used in The Magic Flute, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight and of course the design of Scary Godmother.
She also likes gardening…to a crazy level, holding a Master Gardener Certificate from the Chicago based Extension program. Which makes you think where does she find the time?
One final bit of trivia. You know the quote at the beginning of this article? I wanted to feature a female superhero quote that was inspiring for everyone and so I googled, and googled, AND GOOGLED! I had to search deep on the web to find it for while they may be one or two Wonder Women quotes available, there were almost NO female superhero quotes on any lists of websites. I had to search individual comics to find something. Yet if you type in “superhero quotes” there are literally thousands of articles and snippets from Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and any other male superhero you care to think of. THIS very reason is why it is important to celebrate women in comics because although we have come far, we still have a ways to go.
Be sure to leave a comment on your favourite female superhero quote or any other female writer you think we should know about