Women in Comics, Through the Eyes of Five Creators
There continues to be strong debate about the equality (or lack thereof) between female and male comic book creators, and a recent online panel discussion shines much light on the situation.
Hudson Phillips — screenwriter, designer, fellow Atlantan and all-around good guy — hosted the discussion on his blog. He spoke with artists Rebekah Isaacs (Hack/Slash, Drafted) & Amy Reeder Hadley (Fool’s Gold, Madame Xanadu), journalists Johanna Draper Carlson (Comics Worth Reading) & Angela Paman (Comic Addiction), and Web-comics creator Julia Wertz (The Fart Party).
It’s a wide-ranging chat, with a wide variety of viewpoints that give a lot of perspective to the many issues facing women in comics:
IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU THINK CREATORS & PUBLISHERS CAN BE MORE “FEMALE-FRIENDLY” WITH THEIR BOOKS?
Angela: I think if they came out with more books similar to the format like the Minx line but had topics or stories catered to not just one specific age group but for different age groups. Comics got me to loving reading again and I think to myself, “if comics got me into reading at my age, what more someone younger than me”. Publishing more books for the younger audience would also help as well.
Johanna: The biggest gap still remaining is work that adult women can find interesting and appealing. Manga is mostly teen-targeted, and many “indy/alternative” books still reflect a male perspective.
Rebekah: I truly believe that so much of what’s being published today IS female-friendly, but is not being marketed towards females in any way. I don’t believe that simply adding strong, “empowered” female characters to a book makes any difference, since women with enough good taste to appreciate a well-written story will equally love books with both male and female-dominated casts. So doing such can come across as condescending. Publishers just have to find a way to get their ads and press out there to a more diverse audience. And comics readers, suggest your favorite titles to ALL of your friends, not just the ones who also read comics.