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NYCC ‘11: Womanthology Panel

Though I have been very subdued this past week since the last possibilities of going to NYCC this weekend have faded out, I can feel lucky that panel liveblogs are a thing!

The editors of Womanthology, Renae DeLiz, Mariah Huehner, Suzannah Rowntree, Nicole Falk, and Bonnie Burton gathered for a panel to talk about their whirlwind summer of conceiving of the project on Twitter, getting seasoned pros and total newbies alike signed on for it, and then becoming the #1 funded comics project on Kickstarter, before moving on to what happens next— for both the anthology and women in comics as a whole.

They discussed the challenge of wrangling 155 creators into one book, but were delighted with the level of talent that turned out.  While they were pleased with the response to the project and the amount of women eager to create comics, they noted that many women undervalued their talent and had come close to giving up hope entirely.  For more women to break into the industry, “[They] need to assert themselves more,” De Liz stated, but also opined that “the industry needs to open up more also and seek out different styles.”  The importance of networking at conventions and online also came up.

They found hope for the future in the much more equalized success of webcomics, but also in the success of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Just as Womanthology carries diverse story matter, the fact that men enjoy a cartoon aimed at young girls proves on a large scale that good stories know no gender.  In talking about the depiction of female characters, Huehner stressed the importance of “telling human stories….Female characters can be messed up too, but it needs to be because she’s crazy not because she has a uterus.”  

While the future remains uncertain about the possibility of another volume, Womanthology: Heroic will be solicited in the January Previews and will go on sale in comic shops before being released in bookstores on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2012.

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