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Is this an original Ramona Fradon sketch of Power Girl? YES IT IS! (Taken with Instagram)

Is this an original Ramona Fradon sketch of Power Girl? YES IT IS! (Taken with Instagram)

See you all at New York Comic Con!

See you all at New York Comic Con!

CBR TV: Marjorie Liu on X-Fandom, Comics and Writing Novels

This interview was conducted prior to the word that Liu’s Marvel series, “X-23,” has been cancelled.

Writer Marjorie Liu made an appearance on CBR TV during NYCC to discuss why a successful novelist chooses to write a monthly comic book series, the warm response she has experienced from X-Men fandom, the enjoyment she gets from working on Marvel characters and the possibility of creator-owned comics in her future.

Liu discussed her prose work, explaining to CBR audiences the concepts behind her “Hunter Kiss” and “Dirk and Steele” series, what it’s like to split her time living both in the States and China, her thoughts on Chinese comics and more.

Newsarama talks to some of the main ladies behind Womanthology, including Renae De Liz, Ma’at Crook, Laura Morley, Kimberly De Liz, Joamette Gil, Jody Houser, and Jenna Busch.

(Warning: Will autoplay on front page— reblog at your own risk!)

Multiversity Comics recently posted an NYCC interview with Becky Cloonan where they discussed her upcoming projects, her musical influences, and her long-running professional relationship with Brian Wood.

They also talk about the now-suspended Teen Doom project, and it sounds like it would have been incredible :(

With thanks to Gay-Nerds.com, I present the full audio for the NYCC “XX: Women in Queer Comics” panel, featuring Paige Braddock, Jennifer Camper, Joan Hilty, Kris Dresen, Abby Denson, Rica Takashima, and Erica Friedman.

61 plays

Artist Sara Pichelli has made a huge splash on the comic book scene, currently working on the newly reimagined Ultimate Spiderman, Miles Morales. Taking a quick break from activites at NYCC 2011 she spoke about her experiences in comics, her tools of the trade and her view of her own work. (by The Comic Archive)

Contest Winner Heather Kenealy to Write Stan Lee’s Webcomic “The Seekers”

Somehow this slipped through my NYCC cracks until just now!

As some of you may know, Stan Lee recently teamed with  MTVGeek to develop a graphic novel, The Seekers, to be serialized on their site, and they held a contest to find the creative team who would bring Stan’s ideas to life, and screenwriter Heather Kenealy won the writing gig!

According to her bio on MTVGeek:

Heather Kenealy of Studio City, CA is the Screenwriter of DevaShard with Vanquish Motion Pictures, a movie project in development. She’s already begun her second screenplay based on an very popular video game. Look for her short tale, “The Story of Late” to be feature in Leap Books’ “Spirited,” an anthology of 13 ghostly tales with all proceeds going to 826 National to promote literacy. In her spare time, she works at a comic shop, is a monster at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, and plays on an X-Men rpg. Yeah, she’s a geek.

Heather’s friend and Brooklyn Comic Books Examiner Alex Widen covered their panel.  Kenealy and artist Stephen Green are both under a $10,000 contract with MTV and will release ten pages a week in 2012.

Kenealy also obliquely discussed what we’ve long known about the connection between getting female writers into the business and getting better female characters:

Kenealy specified that she wasn’t going to depict Jennifer Hart in as objectified a way as many female characters are in comics, without making it a “feminist” book - her goal is the two stars as “equal partners”…

…Hart, meanwhile, is a reporter who has long been assigned fluff pieces due to being pretty, but is eager to show that she has brains and latch onto a real story.

Kenealy also talked about how she’s wanted to create comics since she was 6 and that she intends to draw on her love of “historical oddities” to flesh out The Seekers.  In her pitch, she called her story “Indiana Jones meets Fringe”.  But it won’t be derivative— she spoke candidly about the tropes and cliches she wanted to avoid and subvert.

If you want to find out more about the project, here are two pages from her pitch from MTVGeek:

I for one cannot wait to see where this goes!

Newsarama interviewed novelist, advice columnist, and producer Kristin Alexandre at NYCC about her first graphic novel Nuncio and the Gypsy Girl, art by Tom Loepp.

More information can be found at their website.

NYCC ’ 11: Women of Marvel Panel

In various corners of the Internet, on the subject of the amount of women working for the Big Two, it was often pointed out that Marvel and DC had about the same percentage of women working for them; why then should they be given the reprieve they have so far enjoyed during the DCnU talent controversy.

My answer can be found in the fact that a Women of Marvel panel exists.  Which is to say, they have enough women on the creative side that they regularly employ that they can hold a panel featuring a lot of them and yet still not be able to fit them all.

The panel was moderated by editor Jeanine Schaefer, and featured creators Colleen Coover, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Sara Pichelli, Emma Rios, Marjorie Liu and editors Lauren Sankovitch, Sana Amanat and Ellie Pyle.

Before the panel began, DeConnick asked all the aspiring female creators in the audience to stand up and for the audience to applaud them.  Given what the Womanthology panel discussed about female creators often undervaluing their own talent, I can only imagine what that seemingly minor gesture will do for the self-esteem of those creators.  Fingers crossed!

Moving straight to Q&A, the panel almost immediately got into a debate about the “glass ceiling” and whether they believe one exists in comics.  Coover came down strongly against the idea of one existing, but DeConnick believes that the historical development of the superhero genre has led to an inherent (though not malicious) bias.  As she pointed out, “There is nothing inherently masculine about heroism.”  Coover countered that diversity of genre would itself help draw more women into comics in general.  I personally agree with both points, and indeed think that heroism can be expressed in more ways than just capes and tights— after all, Homer portrayed Penelope as no less heroic than Odysseus staying home and maintaining as much order and control over her household overrun by suitors as her societal circumstances would allow.

I would also like to address the concept of the “glass ceiling” as it comes up a lot in this ongoing discussion, and may people seem to misunderstand what it means.  Namely, they seem to think it means “glass front door”.  The glass ceiling metaphor applies not to women trying to break into an industry, but women trying to excel in it.  Across most industries, it is found that the higher up in rank you go, the greater the gender disparity.  The problem of the glass ceiling is a matter of much debate in every industry, but I personally think it is naive to suggest that the comics industry is somehow immune.

Meanwhile, Amanat hit upon an oft-overlooked point when discussing the breaking-in and networking process: “It’s intimidating to walk into a big room of guys.”

And while I was hoping that Marvel would have posted their liveblog of the panel by now (not much of a liveblog now is it?), there was a promising tidbit from the Cup o’ Joe panel, where Marvel brass were asked a similar question as DC was at SDCC (and then blundered so badly they had to put out a press release the next day):

Any female creators coming?: Yes, Cebulski promises. Very soon.

Would that have really been so hard, DC?

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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