Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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8 Responses

  1. Russ Rogers says:

    Let’s get specific. What female comic book writers and artists (besides Martha Thomases) are being underutilized by DC?

    A few years ago, DC got Jodi Picoult to write Wonder Woman. This was an A-List author, and her run on Wonder Woman was HIGHLY touted, highly promoted and got the A-List treatment. Was that a success? I picked up Graphic Novel collection of the Wonder Woman story arc she wrote. It was hardcover. It was OK, but awkward in spots. It didn’t really capture my imagination. Do I blame Picoult? No. But, if that experiment had been an unqualified success, you would have seen more “mainstream female writers” being lured into comics. But if Picoult had wanted to continue in Comics, if it had really grabbed her fancy, I think DC would have continued with her. But she didn’t.

    I think Felicia Day and MoTancharoen have good writing skills, a fan following in the Comic Book/Genre Fiction/”Geek Crowd.” Somebody ought to give one of them the go ahead to do something big, create characters or play with some mainstream ones.

    As far as female artists go, I have to admit, I’m woefully ignorant. Off the top of my head, I think of Joanna Estep, and that’s because she worked with Martha Thomases on a clever, funny Munden’s Bar story (sort of on this subject) for ComicMix. But Estep’s solid. Her work is exciting and well worth some mainstream publisher giving her a shot.

    • Becky Cloonan is an awesome artist and writer who has worked several years for DC/Vertigo and self-published a number of things. She even won an Eisner, though I can’t recall for what.

  2. critter42 says:

    This is a recent development, yes? At least in the 80s and 90s I recall lots of women in comics – Colleen Doran, Kim Yale, Mindy Newell, Ann Nocenti, Jill Thompson, Louise Simonson, and Wendy Pini just off the top of my head.

    I think ComicMix’s own “Written By…” section on the right there is illustrative – I see maybe a dozen women, with maybe two or three more I can’t derive gender from the name. Out of 65-70 names total? That seems awfully unbalanced from the bleachers here.

    • Glenn Hauman says:

      Sadly, that list doesn\’t include number of posts, or you\’d see a lot of single posters over the 8000+ posts we\’ve had. Believe me, we\’re working on trying to expand our own rosters as well, we want a mix of points of view here.

  3. John Tebbel says:

    As it is, Martha is one of the few shape-shifting columnists. Why she would adopt the shape of Glenn Hauman remains a mystery. Makes editors nervous. I know it makes me nervous.

  4. Personally, I don’t think anyone should be hired because of their genitalia, their skin color, or anything else other than their abilities and skills. If that means the industry skews towards peeps… I’d WISH it was for the right reasons. But I don’t work for their HR dept. so it’s hard to spot if they are doing it because of talent, or sales, or because they’re bastards.

  5. Felicity says:

    My personals standards of comics art are based in the Silver and Bronze Ages, so it’s hard for me to say if today’s female artists (or “vagina people”) are offering the kind of art the readers want. If the majority of mainstream comics I see on store shelves are any indication, the readers want a cross between anime, Bruce Timm, Rob Liefeld, and webcomic art. That could be very well be exactly what female artists are producing, in which case the business is keeping them out because it’s sexist.

    If I could Quantum Leap back in time to the era I’m more familiar with and into the body of an editor with the power to hire new artists, I’d hire female artists who could draw in the square-jawed, heroic style that was the standard. I’d try to bring in more Marie Severins and Ramona Fradons. That might not do much to increase the diversity of stories being told, but it would increase the diversity of artists being hired. That’s what DC should be doing today for its superhero titles, which I assume are what is being rebooted.

    Dakota North was a good comic.