Launch of Chicks Dig Comics at C2E2
Sometimes you have to pay close attention to what’s going on at an event like C2E2, there are no shortage of panels, and launches, alleged exclusives and announcements, and so as I walked into Room 426A, I was not surprised to see that it was packed out, not surprised that the steller names connected to this launch had succeed in drawing in a crowd.
On stage, were eight people very connected to the world of comics, at one end, editor Sigrid Ellis at the podium, and in charge of the Mike, to at the far end, Gail Simone, current writer on Batgirl, a title that is finding a fantastic following under her stewardship.
All these fans and creators are gathered to launch a book of essays, entitled Chicks Dig Comics, (http://www.amazon.com/Chicks-Dig-Comics-Celebration-Comic/dp/1935234056) an insight as it were into the thoughts of a group of comic loving women. Gail Simone quickly explains, that she is ‘really proud of this book’, while next to her, Jill Thompson artist on Beasts of Burden, a favourite of mine, admits that she had a liking for ‘Jughead’ from Archie when she was younger.
I am fascinated to hear these professionals talk about their likes and dislikes, Tara O’Shea who co-edited the Hugo award winning book, Chicks Dig Timelords, tells how she is a Wonder Woman fan, but also how big an impact Amanda Waller (Checkmate, Suicide Squad) and Barbara Gordon as Oracle had on her as a comics reader.
Co-Editor Lynne M. Thomas, explains that as a special collections librarian, she curates a large collection of comics. It’s a nice crowd here, the key idea – that women have always been fans of these properties. Just cause you haven’t noticed doesn’t mean they are not there, comes across very well, and the book proves that women can be literate and articulate about comics, although with so many interesting female blogs and bloggers, I don’t need convincing, but gathering such an impressive selection of work together in one place, is impressive
Amanda Conner, who is interviewed in the book, tells of how the tooth fairy left a mad magazine and a nickel under her pillow, and so she began her interest and love of comics.
The depiction of women in Comics is discussed, and Tara O’Shea points out that if Camel Toe’s and erect nipples are OK for women, well why not an erect Superman, which some she has suggested it to find off putting, demonstrating an imbalance. Jill Thompson suggests that women are turned on by their ears and men visually, and when she mentions Kevin Conroy’s voice for The Animated Batman and Christian Bales accent for the movies, many in the crowd seem to concur that they are attractive. Gail Simone then mentions how an Adam Hughes cover from Rose and Thorn, with a sexually aggressive cover, was published only after she advocated its publication.
As for the book itself, Gail Simone and Carla Speed McNeil (Finder) describe how they entered the comics industry while Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil) reveals her superhero crush and Jill Thompson confesses to being a comics junkie. Other contributors include Marjorie Liu (Dark Wolverine), Rachel Edidin (Dark Horse Comics), Jill Pantozzi (Newsarama), Kelly Thompson (Comic Book Resources), and SF/F authors Sara Ryan, Delia Sherman, Sarah Monette, and Elizabeth Bear. Also featured: an introduction by Mark Waid (Kingdom Come) and exclusive interviews with Amanda Conner, Louise Simonson (Power Pack), Greg Rucka (Queen & Country), and Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise).
My favourite is Hugo nominated Seanan McGuire who takes sides in the Jean Grey vs. Emma Frost battle.
There is much agreement that Manga brought in an entire readership through chain shops and Libraries continue to feed the female market, but overall, its clear that the female readership is destined to grow and that the big two, may need to pay more heed, to this lucrative demographic.
Its a great session, and again shows that there are other voices to be heard in comics.