In my very important and learned opinion, it’s just as important to have women represented behind the scenes as it is to see them on the pages of the comics we love. After all, none of us will ever be a comic book character, but some of us may help to create them one day, in one form or another.
Keep in mind that MANY of the comics mentioned in Part I of this three-part lady-comics-fest have amazing female writers, artists, and colorists. This list is highlighting the ladies behind the scenes of comics that may not feature ladies IN the scenes (and some of them totally do. Lists can’t be eternal).
1. Edward Scissorhands (Kate Leth - Writer): The people behind Edward Scissorhands - including the awesome Kate Leth, founder of the Valkyries (a group for women who work in comic book stores) and mind behind the webcomic Kate Or Die! - have really been killing it with this new series. They’re only three issues in, but I’m already hooked on the art and the storyline - which takes place after the movie. It’s super ‘80s-goth-fabulous and really great.
2. Manhattan Projects (Jordie Bellaire - Colorist): If you like comics, you’ve probably heard the name Jordie Bellaire before. Not only did she win an Eisner this past year for her coloring work, she is working on just about every awesome series that’s running right now. I picked Manhattan Projects to represent her work because, despite the decided lack of ladies (unless you count Laika, the space dog, which I totally do because YEAH LAIKA), I love this comic. It’s funny and fascinating.
3. Saga (Fiona Staples - Artist): Saga is probably the most popular Image series running at the moment. Fiona Staples’ art has played no small part in how successful Saga has been, since the characters are rendered so beautifully. It is a serious feat that she makes me wish I was half as sexy as her character that is half-woman/half-spider.
4. Red Sonja (Gail Simone - Writer): Gail Simone’s reboot of Red Sonja, showing the badass barbarian’s bumpy beginning, is fantastic. How do you make a terrifying barbarian assassin relatable? I don’t know, ask Gail Simone, she’s the one who’s doing it.
5. Plume (K. Lynn Smith): I’m a sucker for a good western fantasy, and Plume is a great one. It started as a webcomic and was released as a five-issue miniseries in 2012. K. Lynn Smith has written her main character, Vesper, in such a way that she’s funny, gritty, and dry, like a female Captain Mal. Also, magical things!
6. Captain Marvel (Kelly Sue DeConnick): The new Captain Marvel reboot has been somewhat overshadowed by its sister series, Ms. Marvel, but it is equally as well-written and wonderfully rendered. Kelly Sue DeConnick is another person whose work is wonderful and prolific. She also writes for both Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly, so let’s just say I think she’s pretty awesome.
7. Fish (Bianca Bagnarelli): Fish is a fantastic one-off comic from Nobrow Press written and illustrated by the awesomely-talented Bianca Bagnarelli. It’s heartbreaking and beautifully illustrated in an orangey-pink scale, like the whole comic takes place in a sunset.
8. Batgirl (Babs Tarr - Artist): I’ll be honest, I’m not as besotted with the new reboot of Batgirl as I could be. I do, however, love the new look that illustrator Babs Tarr has created for Barbara Gordon. Her costume is awesome and utilitarian (just like, you know, Batman), and her yellow Doc Martens are frustratingly cool. Mostly, I’m just impressed that an 18-year-old superhero actually looks 18! On the CW, she’d be played by someone who was 26.
9. Hawkeye (Annie Wu - Artist): Annie Wu only illustrated a few issues of Matt Fraction’s reboot of Hawkeye (all the even-numbered issues contained in the third trade paperback volume), but in my opinion, they’re the best ones. She focused her art on Lady Hawkeye while co-lead artist David Aja worked on Hawkeye, and all Hawkeye readers know, Lady Hawkeye is one of the best parts of that entire series.
10. Harley Quinn (Amanda Conner – Co-Writer): So, Harley Quinn got pretty intense in her recent New 52 reboot. A little too intense for a lot of fans. In this new series, co-written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, things are toned down a bit. In fact, Dr. Harleen Quinzel has to become a responsible adult! Well, kind of. This series is a funny, well-written turn for the Harley Quinn story, and yes, even when she’s being nice, she’s just as insane and awesome as she always has been.