For the past couple of weeks I've been noodling around with a short comic script starring Lois Lane. Just an 8 or 10 page thing of the type you'd find in a Superman 80-Page Giant. In it, she confronts a classic Superman villain (not Lex) for an interview with some very personal consequences for our intrepid reporter. I consider it a portfolio piece, something to test the waters in a medium I'm hoping to do some laps in some day soon. I chose Lois because she's a character I admire. A household name who's sort of criminally underexposed in today's comics. Simply put, she's a character I'd like to read about on a more consistent, prominent basis. And since I can't, I've endeavored to write her.
Scrolling through Tumblr today I stumbled on some information I found frustrating as both a reader and a writer. Credit for bringing this to my attention goes to DC Women Kicking Ass and artist Doc Shaner.
Project Rooftop editor Dean Trippe and artist Daniel Krall developed a thoughtful and downright elegant concept for a series of illustrated YA novels starring Lois Lane: Girl Reporter. Trippe posted a detailed portion of the pitch, including character descriptions and plot breakdowns, a prose excerpt and some of Krall's wonderful illustrations, to his blog. Why so forthcoming? Because DC rejected the project, and it will likely never come to fruition.
Here's Trippe's premise:
"Lois Lane, Girl Reporter follows the adventures of young Lois Lane. At eleven years old, Lois has discovered her calling: investigative journalism. She sets out to right wrongs and help out her friends. This series explores Lois’s character, reveals her surprising early influence on the future Man of Steel, and introduces fun new elements into this enduring character’s back story.
"In each book, Lois will tackle a problem or mystery affecting the members of the community she finds herself in as she travels around the country. The investigations in this series will not be mystical or supernatural (though some characters may suspect such sources), but real world problems that Lois works to set right."
And it's not like this is all about Lois solving mysteries with a basset hound. Young Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne are in there too. How do you walk away from this product?"
I'm not remotely the target audience for this book, but I would've picked them all up anyway. Not just to support the creators or the idea of a smartly produced series for teen girls. But because I love the "girl with flashlight" genre. From my mom's old mildewed Nancy Drew hardcovers, to Veronica Mars, to Batgirl: Year One and the unsinkable Stephanie Brown. I've grown up around smart, bold women and I've been falling for them my entire life. It's why I dig Lois Lane and it's why I'm so disappointed that DC walked away from such a promising concept. YA books are a hot prospect right now, and denying this character her rightful prominence is honestly pretty lame.
Does it make me want to drag my Lois Lane script into the Trash folder? Not in the least. If anything, I'm even more serious about getting it right. Even if it's just for the people who know me.
Read more about Dean Trippe's Lois Lane: Girl Reporter.