Tagged: Black Girl Nerds

Ed Catto: Fight Like a Girl

It’s a good time to fight like a girl. The new Wonder Woman movie is a big hit. Everyone from Billy Tucci to my mom seems to like it. Fox News managed to complain about the level of patriotism in the movie, but whatever; every party needs a pooper.

I thought it was great fun, and yesterday’s Biographic strip in sundry newspapers taught me something I didn’t remember. It turns out Wonder Woman’s first animated appearance was on an episode of The Brady Kids. It predated Superfriends by one year! This show was a spin-off of the Brady Bunch series. Even as a young fan, I remember watching this cartoon was pretty painful. At that time, I preferred Marcia Brady to Wonder Woman… but, hey, it’s still cool that it actually happened.

Wonder Woman is very busy in comics right now. Beyond her regular “Rebirthed” series and her DC Super Girls adventures, the Wonder Woman ’77 version of the character has been on a tear with Batman and Bionic Woman team-ups. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed the Batman ’66 crossover in particular. Jeff Parker is adding onto the TV mythology in clever and unexpected ways. Batfans shouldn’t miss these.

Beyond the Amazonian Princess, currently there’s quite a few top-notch comics where the protagonist is fighting like a girl… because she is one… including:

  • Mother Panic – This wonky DC/Young Animal series about features an unlikely, and unlikable, female protagonist. But I really enjoy it and art by Tommy Lee Edwards and Jon Paul Leon has been gorgeous and inspiring.
  • Velvet – Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s excellent 007esque series just ended, but Batwoman is a consolation as Epting has continued onto this series. His art is just superlative there too.
  • Lazarus – Greg Rucka and Michael Lark deliver a world-building drama that continues to ratchet up the tension in each issue. It’s been quite a ride and show’s no sign of stopping.
  • Invisible Republic – Produced by the super-talented, and super-likable, team of Gabriel and Corinna Bechko, this Image series is literally a world-building story. It tells the tale of Maia McBride and her involvement with and efforts on behalf of a revolutionary establishing a society. It’s great creepy fun. A mystery wrapped in an adventure wrapped in an enigma wrapped in social commentary.

While The New York Daily News carries Biographic (I really buy this paper each Sunday for the full page Prince Valiant), The New York Times offered readers a surprise this weekend too. What a treat their all-comics version of the Sunday magazine was! Hope you were able to snag a copy of that, but if not, check it out here.

Their New York Times Book Review section also reviewed The Spectacular Sisterhood Of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters from Comic Book History by Hope Nicholson.  This looks to be a fun book by a passionate author with an impressive pedigree. Published by Quirk, this is another one of those books in the mold of Craig Yoe’s Super Weird Heroes or Jon Morris’s The League of Regrettable Superheroes: Half-Baked Heroes from Comic Book History.

In fact, if vintage super heroines are your thing, I really must be sure you are aware of Mike Madrid’s The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and The History of Comic Book Heroines, Divas, Dames & Daredevils: Lost Heroines of Golden Age Comics. He even gave the “bad guy women” their due in Vixens, Vamps & Vipers: Lost Villainesses of Golden Age Comics.

And this all leads me to another Fangirls Lead the Way Panel. I’ll be moderating this one at Syracuse’s Salt City Comic Con on the first day of the show, June 24th. This is looking to be an engaging convention with wonderful guests. I’m expecting some cool discussions and insights at this panel, mainly because this one always brings out the best in the panelists and the audience.

(Oh, and in case you’re wondering – we can’t announce any panels for San Diego Comic-Con quite yet… so stay tuned.)

My panelists in Syracuse include Sally Heaven of Fangirl Shirts. This entrepreneurial apparel company will be exhibiting on the show floor, and I’m excited to have her on the panel. Sally’s a spitfire and comes to every comic-con with passion, energy…and really cool T-shirts! Connie Gibbs, of Black Girl Nerds always has good insights to share and brings so much to the party. it will be great to see her again. And we’ve got a few surprises too.

This one will be at 2:00 in the “Hall of Justice” on the Saturday of Salt City Comic-Con. I’ll let you know how it all goes.

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For more info on all the panels at the Syracuse show check out their schedule!

Ed Catto: Fangirls Lead the Way

Fangirl Shirts Rebecca and Sally

Fangirl PanelOnce again fangirls led the way at the San Diego Comic-Con. It’s not “new news” anymore, but I’m again reminded how far we’ve come from the days when a woman or girl entering a comic shop was met with a universal hush of curiosity and awe. Today, convention attendees are just about equally split between men and women. And the influence that fan girls, beyond female creators, have on Geek Culture is important.

Jamie BroadnaxOne observation is that so many fan girls who step up to the plate are essentially pioneering entrepreneurs. There’s no real guidebook or established plan about how to make it in a historically male dominated industry. Although there may be historical precedents, the intersection of fandom and social media has provided opportunities for nimble fan girls to make their voices heard both to influence the conversation and become an important part of it all. At last week’s San Diego Comic-Con, I again moderated the She Made Me Do It: Fangirls Lead the Way panel. As has been the case when I’ve led this panel at conventions in the past, our panelists consisted an impressive lineup of women.

Sam Maggs Wonder Women authorJamie Broadnax is the founder of Black Girl Nerds. She’s all about fan passion and she isn’t afraid to point out when big organizations fail to provide adequate seats at the table for a diverse line-up of creators. She’s tireless, upbeat and inspiring. Sam Maggs is a brilliant author and commentator who recently released her second book, Wonder Women. This book showcases “25 Innovators, Inventors and Trailblazers Who Changed History.” It’s a charming book that serves up bite-sized background stories of impressive women in her classic fun and irreverent way. I snagged a copy for my young nieces, but I plan to get another copy to keep in my own library.

Connie GibbsConnie Gibbs is the TV critic of Black Girl Nerds,  and she kicked off part of our discussion about what are the most fangirl friendly TV shows.  Connie brings a spark, and deep insights, to every topic and entertainment property that she passionately discusses. We talked about shows including the CW’s The 100 and the new blockbuster on SyFy, Wynonna Earp. It’s fantastic to see Wynonna Earp get its due and hitting the right notes with such a diverse range of demographics. Wynonna Earp was created by Beau Smith and has been in comics off and on for more than 20 years.

The Lootcrate style business is thriving, and entrepreneurs Rose Del Vecchio and Jenny Cheng are right in the mix. They fight the good fight with their creative FanMail enterprise, a box with a unique fangirl focus. Visit them at www.myfanmail.com. Rose is no stranger to San Diego Comic-Con as she’s helped her dad run his booth on the convention floor showroom for many years.

New this year to the SDCC Fangirls Lead the Way panel were two fantastic entrepreneurs. One lives in Canada while the other is in the Baltimore/DC area. They collaborate on Fangirl Shirts. Their startup creates T-shirt and other merchandise emblazoned with the “Fangirl” name, but the logo is modified to be evocative of the fan property it’s celebrating.  And they celebrate everything from Star Wars to Wynonna Earp.

The common, unstated theme of the panel was how each of these fangirls found their path through the entrepreneurial grit and determination that, along with a little courage, makes for the very best entrepreneurs.

I can’t wait to see where fangirls will lead us next!