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Jeanine Schaefer Talks Marvel's 'GIRL COMICS'

Girl Comics is not just for girls...

 'Girl Comics' is not just for girls...  

 'Girl Comics' cover by Amanda Conner
There is not doubt in anyone's mind that the comic book industry is definitely changing in more ways than one. Women have begun to take on a more prominent role in comics, something that did not exist twenty years ago. Marvel Comics, which publishes some of the biggest titles in the industry is stepping forward to embrace that change with the release of 'Girl Comics,' a book written and illustrated entirely by prominent women in the comics industry. The release of the book is set to coincide with Women's History Month in March, 2010. Some of the big names on the book include Amanda Conner, Ming Doyle, Nikki Cook, Abby Denson, Valerie D'Orazio, Marjorie Liu, Jill Thompson, and Devin Grayson among others. Jeanine Schaefer, the book's editor, explained in a recent interview that while the book will be created entirely by women does not mean that it is solely targeting female readers. 

-It’s actually comics BY women—and I mean, top to bottom: written, penciled, inked, colored, lettered. The logo is by a woman, all the interior design, production, proof-reading and editing is all by women.

I feel like there is certainly enough room for both boys and girls to read comics, and I think that with the increase in the number of women entering the industry, the books have changed, in a good way. It seems that the purpose of the book is to bring awareness to all readers to show them that women are already doing big things in the industry. 

My original hope with this was to show that women in comics are already creating just as diverse a range of stories as men. I think the characters and the stories will draw in just as many men in as women, and will get people thinking that good comics aren’t about the gender of the writer or artist, it’s about where what you like to read intersects with what they like to create. 

My hope is that male readers will not feel isolated with the release of this book and that they will feel just as inclined as female readers to pick this book up. Schaefer expressed similar sentiments, citing that while many of the creators that signed on to work on the book chose some of their favorite female characters, the book will not be focusing solely on Marvel women, but all Marvel characters. 

Although some creators have gravitated towards their favorite female super hero, it’s not specifically focused on our female characters, and I’m not trying to generate content that I think will appeal to more women. I don’t want to give away all the stories, but we’re really running the gamut of Marvel characters, from Punisher to the FF to Mary Jane. We’re making great comics by great women, period—when given the opportunity to create a story about whatever they wanted, the pitches I got back from everyone have been hugely diverse in tone and characters. 
That said, I definitely think women and girls will pick this up but not because we’ve hit upon the combination that will make all women like comics. I’m hoping it’ll be encouraging to see so many women who are making their livings in comics, that the idea will be reinforced that comics can be (and already are) as much for them as they are for men.


 This is not the first time that Marvel has tried to branch out to reach female audiences. Recently, they had released 'Models,' a book that seemed to clearly target a female audience, which primarily featured female characters. A book, might I add, that was not very good. Having said that, I think it is really great that they are bringing a book like 'Girl Comics' out and getting some of the biggest talents in the industry to create it. I am really looking forward to this book, and I would love to hear from both guys as well as girls about their respective sentiments regarding this book. What do you guys think? Does it appeal to you more knowing that the book will be created entirely by women, or does it not make a difference to you one way or another?     
45 Comments
Posted by FLStyle

Why is there a truck driver in the Iron Man suit?

Posted by E.I.S.A.M.

I love Amanda Conner's work. I'm actually curious about this, and looking forward to it.

Posted by The_Martian

Who would bet against She-Hulk?

Posted by aztek_the_lost

why isn't She-Hulk flat-chested and zipped up? I thought the whole complaint about the industry being dominated by male artists, writers, editors, production, etc. was they are the reason all the heroines have massive busts?
 
I'm not complaining...just found it...ironic

Moderator
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir
@aztek the lost said:
"why isn't She-Hulk flat-chested and zipped up? I thought the whole complaint about the industry being dominated by male artists, writers, editors, production, etc. was they are the reason all the heroines have massive busts?  I'm not complaining...just found it...ironic "

Say "Thank You, Amanda Conner"!
Posted by Illyana Rasputin

I can't wait! I love the cover. Pay up, Logan!

Posted by aztek_the_lost
@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:
" @aztek the lost said:
"why isn't She-Hulk flat-chested and zipped up? I thought the whole complaint about the industry being dominated by male artists, writers, editors, production, etc. was they are the reason all the heroines have massive busts?  I'm not complaining...just found it...ironic "
Say "Thank You, Amanda Conner"! "
maybe she's just so used to drawing Power Girl? :P
 
anyways, as a guy I probably shouldn't have any opinion on this, and I realize the article said males shouldn't feel isolated but isn't that exactly what's its doing?
Moderator
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir
@aztek the lost said:
" @Emperor Gonzo Noir said:
" @aztek the lost said:
"why isn't She-Hulk flat-chested and zipped up? I thought the whole complaint about the industry being dominated by male artists, writers, editors, production, etc. was they are the reason all the heroines have massive busts?  I'm not complaining...just found it...ironic "
Say "Thank You, Amanda Conner"! "
maybe she's just so used to drawing Power Girl? :P  anyways, as a guy I probably shouldn't have any opinion on this, and I realize the article said males shouldn't feel isolated but isn't that exactly what's its doing? "

Feminism inside, Desperate bid to get male readers that will more than likely turn off female ones on the outside
Posted by HouseOfEl
@FLStyle said:
" Why is there a truck driver in the Iron Man suit? "
I was thinking the same thing lol
Edited by Vortex13

This sounds good, I will be getting them. Hopefully I will be able to tell my sisters about prominent women in the industry that will show women in a more confident roles that they (my sisters) will appreciate.

Posted by No_Name_
@aztek the lost said:
" why isn't She-Hulk flat-chested and zipped up? I thought the whole complaint about the industry being dominated by male artists, writers, editors, production, etc. was they are the reason all the heroines have massive busts?  I'm not complaining...just found it...ironic "
I think that feminism in comics is less about bust size and more about the portrayal of female characters. A lot of it is driven by the writing. Take Amamnda Conner's POWERGIRL, for example. PG keeps her bust size, but she's written in a way that does not oversex her character, when it is something that could easily be done. There is a difference between PG drawn by Amanda Conner, and PG drawn by J. Scott Campbell. 
Posted by Decept-O

20 years ago, Ann Nocenti on Daredevil is the only female I can recall being involved with comics.  I LOVE that art by Amanda Conner, its frikkin' S-UH-WEET!!  
 
Stark's 'stache is more Village People instead of  a goatee.
Posted by Media_Master

wow Iron man needs to get rid of that stache.

Posted by Son_of_Magnus

Spider-Man gambling!?!?!?!?! *shocked and disappointed expression*

Edited by xerox_kitty
  @Decept-O said: 
" 20 years ago, Ann Nocenti on Daredevil is the only female I can recall being involved with comics."
From that era, I can only think of Louise Simonson & Glynis Oliver/Wein. 
 
@Illyana Rasputin said:

" I can't wait! I love the cover. Pay up, Logan! "

Yeah, I love seeing all the guys losing their bets :D 
 
This looks like a great idea.  About time too, Marvel.  I can't see it drawing many comparisons to Models Inc or Marvel Divas... For a start, it isn't by men for women.  Instead it's by women for everyone.  My only real problem with it is the title.  I mean, is that really the best that Marvel could come up with??  And I suspect that it'll put a lot of people off.  Not me though... I'm looking forward to this :) 
Moderator
Posted by SUPER-MAN 23
@Son_of_Magnus said:
" Spider-Man gambling!?!?!?!?! *shocked and disappointed expression* "
Yeah me too, but not all heroes stay on the good side. Lol. 
 
I'm going to get this comic it looks cool
Posted by Ravn
@Nobody said:
" Who would bet against She-Hulk? "
Spiderman, apparently! LOL 
 
@Decept-O
said:
"Stark's 'stache is more Village People instead of  a goatee. "
yeah, its a little too "Freddy Mercury"! 
 
@Babs said:
" @aztek the lost said:
" why isn't She-Hulk flat-chested and zipped up? I thought the whole complaint about the industry being dominated by male artists, writers, editors, production, etc. was they are the reason all the heroines have massive busts?  I'm not complaining...just found it...ironic "
I think that feminism in comics is less about bust size and more about the portrayal of female characters. A lot of it is driven by the writing. Take Amamnda Conner's POWERGIRL, for example. PG keeps her bust size, but she's written in a way that does not oversex her character, when it is something that could easily be done. There is a difference between PG drawn by Amanda Conner, and PG drawn by J. Scott Campbell.  "
I'll be honest, I started reading POWERGIRL because I've always liked her look and I've loved Amanda Conner's art since reading The Pro., but I've continued to read it because i have enjoyed the writing and in a way, I do like how "undersexed" it is. I've also read the new Batgirl series, and I've been reading Ms. Marvel for a while now, and I've noticed that (with the exception of Batgirl's appearance), they're portrayed in a more "busty" matter, but they're not really written to be "Sex Symbols".  
 
I mean, I know its probably a little different in those individual titles, as opposed to titles like Avengers or JSA, but I don't think female characters are being as objectified now as they were say, even 5 years ago! And i think part of that is due to these characters getting their own titles, and not just being supporting players to heroes like Iron Man or The Hulk, or even Superman. 
 
I can remember reading the Emma Frost series, and even though she was in her White Queen outfit on almost EVERY cover, in the 20 or so issues I read, she NEVER wore that! But they used it because one; Sex sells, and I'm sure they were banking on young guys like me, seeing that comic, and thinking "Wow, she's hot! I'm gonna check this out!" And two; It's the iconography of the character. Everyone associates these characters with the way they look. Yes, there is more to Powergirl than the blonde hair, blue eyes, and big chest, all stuffed into that white leotard with the hole over the cleavage, or to Ms. Marvel than the blonde hair, blue eyes, and big chest, all stuffed into that BLACK leotard with the lightning bolt, but that's how we identify them. I mean if you make Powergirl a red-head, with a small bust and green outfit, nobody is gonna read that comic, cause that's not the Powergirl everyone recognizes.
 
....but back to the subject at hand! As a guy, I'm neither impressed, nor intimidated, purely by the idea of this book. I think what Jeanine Schaefer is doing with the book and her intent is wonderful, but that really has no baring on whether or not I'll pick it up. if the content is good, I'll check it out!
Posted by FoxxFireArt

They could of gone with a better image. SheHulk beating Ironman isn't the least bit surprising. I think DC has been more ahead in comics that appeal more toward a female audience.
 
If they didn't want to give the impression that they were only targeting a female reading audience. They sort of failed with the cover title. A guy will probably take one look at that title and pass if they didn't already know the meaning of the project.
 
If they do a good job it shouldn't matter if it's all men or all women. It's the talent and story that should matter, but I do think that women comic creators do deserve more of a spotlight.
 
@Son_of_Magnus said:

" Spider-Man gambling!?!?!?!?! *shocked and disappointed expression* "
Yeah, what's next? Making deals with the devil.............ohhhhh.
Posted by Yung ANcient One
@Media_Master said:

" wow Iron man needs to get rid of that stache. "

i heard ya on that... but he cant... its like Logan losing that horrible but Unique HAir cut Style...
 
 
@aztek the lost: Doode i think Heroines all have Huge Busts(thats what u called it right) because its attractive... Most Heroes are the best of Human can be or sometimes beyond that... Thats why every GUy is Shizzled like a Perfect Statue... 
 
@Babs Said

What do you guys think? Does it appeal to you more knowing that the book will be created entirely by women, or does it not make a difference to you one way or another?

Since U asked....I think that i wont be reading this. Why honestly because i personally dislike things like this. Where Someone Has to make it a point that Women Are Equal and or Better than Men... like in the Photo... ALL the Women win and all the Guys Lose the Bet... i mean common... All the Guys thought Iron Man would Beat SheHULK on a Arm Wrestling Contest... SheHULK? U put ur bets on Tony? What?... But back to my reason for not being interested... I jus dont like (not dislike) That their making a big deal out of Women making a Comic Book all by themselves with No Mans help... i jus dont get it... Like... OK? Good For U? I guess... if they probably didnt make it a big deal then it probably wouldnt make a difference to me one way or the other, but with the Whole WOMEN ARE EQUAL thing their Kinda(kinda) promoting/expressing... it jus makes me not interested...
 
PS to Reader... Please dont be mad at me. I Love Women. I jus dont really care much for things that are promoted (IMO) as Women singing "Anything U can DO i can DO BETTER." Its jus not necessary for me.
Posted by TheBug


Oh wow. As a female and aspiring comic book writer, this really gets me jazzed.

My hope is that one day we look back on writers and artists like Amanda Connor, Nicola Scott,Gail Simone, or Hope Lars and remember them like we remember John Byrne, Dennis O'Neil, or even Dave Gibbons. 
 

Posted by aztek_the_lost
@Yung ANcient One said:
" @aztek the lost: Doode i think Heroines all have Huge Busts(thats what u called it right) because its attractive... Most Heroes are the best of Human can be or sometimes beyond that... Thats why every GUy is Shizzled like a Perfect Statue... 

but that's exactly my point...isn't feminism all about women not conforming to what we (males) think is hot and still feeling great about themselves? you aren't really changing things at all when even women portray the "women to strive to be" as being the one with the biggest chest are you?
 
anyways, that's my thoughts...I'm not with this idea because it doesn't really seem to be anything special, sure the entire staff is women but first impressions tell me the comic will be no different from the rest...but I love Amanda Connor's art, she's drawn some of my favorite stuff so I'm not complaining about the cover, I'm just remembering that I will never be able to understand women
Moderator
Posted by No_Name_
@Yung ANcient One said:
" I jus dont really care much for things that are promoted (IMO) as Women singing "Anything U can DO i can DO BETTER." Its jus not necessary for me. "
I think it was more "Anything you can write, I can write just as well." 
Posted by Blindside002

As long as I can see more She-hulk and Ms. Marvel I will read it.
Edited by Ravn
@FoxxFireArt said:

"@Son_of_Magnus said:

" Spider-Man gambling!?!?!?!?! *shocked and disappointed expression* "
Yeah, what's next? Making deals with the devil.............ohhhhh. "
Haaaaaa......
Posted by Nighthunter

seriously? No gail simone?

Posted by Illyana Rasputin
@xerox-kitty said:
"   @Decept-O said: 
" 20 years ago, Ann Nocenti on Daredevil is the only female I can recall being involved with comics."
From that era, I can only think of Louise Simonson & Glynis Oliver/Wein. 
 
@Illyana Rasputin said:

" I can't wait! I love the cover. Pay up, Logan! "

Yeah, I love seeing all the guys losing their bets :D 
 
This looks like a great idea.  About time too, Marvel.  I can't see it drawing many comparisons to Models Inc or Marvel Divas... For a start, it isn't by men for women.  Instead it's by women for everyone.  My only real problem with it is the title.  I mean, is that really the best that Marvel could come up with??  And I suspect that it'll put a lot of people off.  Not me though... I'm looking forward to this :)  "
I TOTALLY agree! Anything with "girl" or "women" in the title seems to be a deathwish for some comic books.
Edited by No_Name_
@Nighthunter said:

" seriously? No gail simone? "

Well she's under contract with DC, so maybe she couldn't, but I was surprised too. 
Posted by Blackestnight

The only guy there close to she hulk in strength is spiderman... plus he can stick his elbow to the table and probably be fast enough use his other arm.  
 
Anyway, I remember getting a Spiderman Thor cross over (Oct 2008) where Thor refused to fight some woman and so the Enchantress summoned all these female heros from earth via an enchantress shampoo she sent to each of them, and they were mostly plucked right out of the shower. The plan was to take with mind controlled earth heroines.  Thor down since he wouldn't fight back. But MJ and her model friends ended up their too with some power house female heros like Clea (of Dr. Strange) who was not mind controlled and set free the other women form the spell. So they had this large girl vs girl battle in Asgard. She Hulk got the final shot on the enchantress. Hell cat gets a god's cell number for a date. For once Spiderman returns at the end of the day to ask MJ how her night was. It was pretty much an all girl issue aside from the first couple pages.

Posted by Nighthunter
@Babs said:
" @Nighthunter said:

" seriously? No gail simone? "

Well she's under contract with DC, so maybe she couldn't, but I was surprised too.  "
thought about that, as far as I know Amanda Conner is too but maybe I'm wrong. There's also the possibility that between Wonder Woman, Secret Six and her unamed project with Van Sciver she already has too much to do.
Edited by Omega The Supreme Being

sh!t as long as i get my favorite comic books and they have good stories im fine i don't care who writes them male or female

Posted by Time Walker

Interesting, I'm gonna recommend this to my sister.

Posted by drawme

Could be great.

Posted by NeoMantis
@aztek the lost said:
" @Yung ANcient One said:
" @aztek the lost: Doode i think Heroines all have Huge Busts(thats what u called it right) because its attractive... Most Heroes are the best of Human can be or sometimes beyond that... Thats why every GUy is Shizzled like a Perfect Statue... 

but that's exactly my point...isn't feminism all about women not conforming to what we (males) think is hot and still feeling great about themselves? you aren't really changing things at all when even women portray the "women to strive to be" as being the one with the biggest chest are you?  anyways, that's my thoughts...I'm not with this idea because it doesn't really seem to be anything special, sure the entire staff is women but first impressions tell me the comic will be no different from the rest...but I love Amanda Connor's art, she's drawn some of my favorite stuff so I'm not complaining about the cover, I'm just remembering that I will never be able to understand women "
But that's not really what feminism is about. Feminism isn't about who gets to decide what's sexy, its about women's rights, liberties and place in society. It isn't about sex, it's about gender. Having large breasts or a low-cut outfit doesn't rob you of your ability to be a feminist. There's really no conflict here.
 
As for the comic itself, all I care about is good writing and good art. The creator's gender doesn't enter into my opinion of a comic. If it wasn't for the name "Girl Comics" I probably wouldn't even have noticed, but then again maybe that was the point.
Posted by Ikkybooger
@FLStyle said:
" Why is there a truck driver in the Iron Man suit? "
Haha, yeah. That's exactly what I was  thinking. He looks like the guy from "My Name is Earl". Not quite the dignified Stark we all know.  
 
But  I like the concept and am curious to see where this goes. :)
Posted by grimreaper1980

i'm just wondering when they will do a she-hulk movie, ms. marvel would also be cool

Posted by greenenvy

Love the first cover with she hulk beating Iron man. I will check it out to see she hulk and the cover hopefully.

Edited by CATMANEXE

im glad to see Marvel has taken the brass to do this. there is also to be many other things around Marvel to tie into the celebration as i understand, much along the lines of variant covers, a calender, and another series as well titled Women of Marvel.
 http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2009/11/18/women-claim-marvel-comics-in-2010/
 
http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/DisneyandMarvel/news/?a=13111 
 
http://www.megacalendars.com/2010-Calendars-1/Fantasy-Art/Women-of-Marvel-2010-Calendar-DDD670-2810

Posted by xerox_kitty

As well as issue 2 of Girls Comics (with a cute Jill Thompson image), there's the new Marvel Her-oes. 
 

Marvel Her-oes #1


Girl Comics #2
Moderator
Posted by Nova`Prime`

Here's what I don't like about this, the whole by women for everyone.. I mean isn't that what comics are all about, they are for everyone. If someone made a comic and said its by men for everyone, people would be irrate, feminists would be up in arms. Its a double standard that's ridiculous. I understand they want to reach out to an untapped audience, but lets face it the number of women that read comics is small in comparison. I mean good for these ladies in making it big time, I applaud them and I love Amanda Conners art, but there is nothing special about them, with the exception of them succeeding in a man's world (well originally it was).
 
I mean haven't we progressed past the whole "Men and Women are Equals" thing?

Posted by OhTru
@Son_of_Magnus said:
" Spider-Man gambling!?!?!?!?! *shocked and disappointed expression* "
spidey's personality got a retcon
Edited by CATMANEXE
@Nobody said:

" Who would bet against She-Hulk? "

looks like Wolverine did. lol.
  
@Son_of_Magnus said:

" Spider-Man gambling!?!?!?!?! *shocked and disappointed expression* "

Floating Super-Hero Poker Game

Posted by OhTru

haha! great pic

Posted by 244

Those who read some of Chris Claremont's works from the 80's, he depicts women as strong individuals, and I admire Dani Moonstar of the New Mutants for being "her own girl" who sees herself as an individual type of character.

Posted by thebatman1

i hate to say it..but marvel has HORRIBLE women characters, sure you might have a break through like Wasp or Storm but for the most part they try to make their women be independent and strong willed but it makes them come across as ..well...bitches, i mean look at Mockingbird, Emma Frost, Spider-Woman, Maria Hill, Victoria Hand, etc they try to be funny and have "girl power" by tearing down those around them, but you look at Dc's women and they are a different story, they manage to mix brains and humor and independence without being rude in the process the Birds of Prey, ww, supergirl,batgirl etc

Posted by gravitypress

The only problem I see is that women like men need to judge on merit not gender. This is just a maketing ploy. Seriously, all that knowing that an All women creative team made this does is helps people overlook mistakes in the comic. The quality of the work is the only thing that matters. Quit screwing around with Bendis and get us some decent writers. Why not ASK women what they want instead of what appears to be a "Girls night out" storyline.