Marvel Announced GIRL COMICS

The comics news rolls on as today over at The Beat, Marvel revealed plans for a 3 issue anthology mini-series called GIRL COMICS.  Similar to the recent Strange Tales anthology (which featured stories by indie/alternative creators), this series will collect stories created exclusively by women.  the list of creators involved includes:

Kathryn Immonen, Marjorie Liu, Devin Grayson, Ann Nocenti, Trina Robbins, G. Willow Wilson, Stephanie Buscema, Amanda Conner, Jill Thompson, Louise Simonson, Valerie D’Orazio, Colleen Coover, Molly Crabapple, Nikki Cook, Ming Doyle, Abby Denson, and Carla Speed McNeil. Editing duties are being handled by Jeanine Schaefer.

I find it interesting the distinction being made that these are not comics FOR girls, rather they're comics BY girls.  It's an interesting angle to take on a short anthology series, but many of the talents involved like Grayson, Nocenti, Conner and Simonson are teaming up with some great new, developing talents like Nikki Cook, Colleen Coover and Stephanie Buscema.  Personally, I don't really care about the "hey look! it's comics by girls!" angle, rather I'm all for good stories by great creators, and that seems to be what we've got here.  I loved Strange Tales, so I can imagine I will enjoy Girl Comics just as much.

Here's the cover of issue #1, with art by Amanda Conner and colors by Laura Martin, which is, as you would guess, fantastic:

Marvel Girl Comics


  1. I love this idea, but I hope the day comes soon where we have more women creating "msinstream  high sellers on a regular basis and this will no longer be necessary. That is one hella stacked list, I’m Pumped. 

  2. Sweet – I love Colleen Coover and I’m glad she’s getting more marvel work.

    @DaveCarr agreed. 

  3. I kinda took this idea from Kirk Warren at ‘the Weekly Crisis’ but if they’re going to do ‘Girl Comics’ they should keep it fair and also do ‘Black Comics’ and ‘Jewish Comics’

  4. Is it still considered a novelty for women to work in the comics biz? I guess if it wasn’t then Marvel is trying to make it so again.

  5. I’m glad that Marvel is trying to address the current gender gap of the creators at their company. At the same time, grouping them all in a special anthology series feels kind of like ghettoizing the few women creators they do have on staff. I’d like to see more.

  6. I love that cover. Iron Man looks more like Deadshot to me, but that has more to do with the wicked mustache. Hope this turns out well so I can add the trade to my collection.

  7. they really couldn’t come up with a better name? honestly…

  8. You know, I think it would be great for Marvel and DC to incorporate a lot of female creators into their regular lineup overnight.  But I don’t realistically think it’s going to happen, and I optimistically choose to view this as a step in the right direction.

  9. That’s an awesome line-up – sad they need to say, "Hey! Look! Women can make comics, too!" Why can’t they just put a hell of a line-up (like this) and say, "Hey! Look! Comics!" My only hope is that the "Girl Comics" name and marketing will bring in more readers than would have picked up just an ordinary anthology. In any comic with any company, there are some amazing creators on this series, and maybe this will open their work to more readers.

  10. @patio: You’re comment is 100% on point.

  11. Did the creators who agreed to work on "Girl Comics" know what they were working on was going to be called "Girl Comics" when they signed on?

  12. I have no problem with the name "Girl Comics". It’s not perfect, but I don’t see why people have that big of an issue with it.

  13. @Jimski  Very good question.  My opinion on this name might change a lot depending on who came up with it.  In any case, I appreciate that Marvel decided to let the (female) anthology editor be the one to make the announcement. 

  14. I’m gonna pick these up for my sister(this isnt to say I wont read them). We’ve had a couple of long discussions on the role of women in the comics industry and comics in general. And I’m sure this will fan the flames for a few months.

  15. Somebody on Comicvine pointed out that "Girl Comics" is a legacy title.  Sort of like "Strange Tales".

    Which doesn’t clear up all the problems one might have with that title. But I still prefer it to "Divas.’ 


  16. LOVE the cover by Amanda Conner, super stoked to see her drawing my favorite Marvel characters!!!!

  17. Great idea and great cover.

    I was a huge fan of Strange Tales so this title is right up my alley. They should’ve came up with a better name though…

  18. Great idea but worst title ever. How is drawing attention to the gender gap problem solving the gender gap problem. Making a comic like this that exposes female creators is great but like RAB said this makes them feel like a novelty.

  19. stupid idea.

     I don’t care what you have in your pants.  I care about whether or not you can write.  This seams like more of a step backwards by separating them. 

  20. I do like that cover, but Wolverine and Cap seems to be enjoying this fight…..a bit TOO much. 🙂

  21. @champion – it almost looks like captain america is starring 😀

  22. @mansuper: It doesnt help that Logan has his hand around his belt and he’s paying off Storm….

  23. Tony looks like Deadshot from DC with that mustache

  24. @USPUNX  How is FAILING to call attention to a gender gap solving it? 

    @clintaa  The problem with not caring is that not caring is exactly what creates a gender gap situation.

  25. Also, my only quibble with the cover is that Logan would never have bet on She-Hulk in that fight.

  26. (oops, meant to say, Logan would never have bet AGAINST She-Hulk.)

  27. I’m looking forward to this…and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with highlighting female creators in a series like this. Note that all the people involved have worked in the industry and will continue to work in "co-ed" books.

  28. Don’t care much about women in comics simply because they don’t tend to write what I like.  But, then again, I only care about a few writers and just enjoy things written by someone else without looking twice at their name.  Call me what you will (bigoted, self-centered, small-minded…) and you will probably be right because I’m a guy that never bothered to learn my teacher’s names.

    But, about the comic, as long as it isn’t a lecture on equality, then it sounds good no matter who’s on it.

  29. Let’s hope this project doesn’t take nearly four years to reach shelves, the way Strange Tales did.  I love that Marvel is doing these anthologies.  Maybe the next one could by an anthology of stories by people named Chad, there seems to be a dearth of them in the industry these days.  Or comics drawn by vegitarians, but written by meat eaters.  I think there’s a massive dietary gap at Marvel right now.

  30. sounds estrogeny

  31. @ohcaroline: I’m not saying Marvel shouldn’t do something about the gender gap. What I’m saying is this feels like a novelty. If they really cared about women creators having more of a voice why not put one on a major Marvel title. Look at the flagship Marvel books; X-Men Legacy, Uncanny X-Men, X-Force, X-Factor, New Avengers, Dark Avengers, Mighty Avengers, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Punisher, Wolverine, Daredevil; all of Marvel’s well known character and team books are written by men. My point is if Marvel really cares about diversity then they should do SOMETHING to prove it. I plan to buy this mini because I like a bunch of those creators but this feels like Bush’s tax cuts. They look good to the media and American people but it doesn’t really do anything to solve the problem.

  32. Is there a "gender gap" because of a boys-club mentality with the publishers, or the ratio of guys-to-girls comic readers is almost comically one sided (and since probably 65-70% of comic readers are aspiring comic creators themselves…).



  33. If you read the original article, it indicates that this is simply the first of a whole series of projects that are female-centric. This is just the first, to kick it off. Seems like a good way to start.

    Hopefully we’ll see a slew of female-centric titles primarily (but not necessarily only) created by women. It would be nice to have a new, I dunno, Cloak and Dagger title written by Nocenti, or a Wolverine/Ms Marvel minidrawn by Conner.

    So perhaps people should relax?

  34. Sounds interesting. I’m now waiting for "Gay Comics" and "Disabled Comics".

  35. @deadspace-I hope those titles don’t show up before "Latino Comics". I’ve been waiting on that one for years.

  36. I think before we start applauding the release of comics aimed at women, you have to first prove that there’s a market for it. I don’t think there is, (existing anyways). I’m all for expanding the reader-base, I’m just not sure if another "comics BY women, FOR women" attempt is going to cut it.

    @USPUNX – I sincerely doubt the gender of the writer played a part in deciding who wrote what flagship title. Brubaker, Bendis, Fraction and Millar write Marvel’s Big Name Characters because they proven repeatedly with either analogous or unrelated (indie) work, that they can move units and play to fanboy expectations.

    I postulate with relative confidence that if Runaways started selling 50k a month, Kathryn Immonen would be set up to write the Avenges West Coast relaunch that happened in my hypothetical-world. It’s all about sales, reaffirming/rehashing character brand and satiating fanboy expectations.

  37. Strange Tales did nothing for me, but this looks cool and I will probably buy it. Besides, Ann Nocenti wrote Daredevil for years and it was AWESOME. 

    @ohcaroline: Quite right. Logan would never bet against Jennifer in an arm-wrestling match. Nobody sane would. 😉 And thank you for reminding me how much I miss the She-Hulk solo title.

    @incredibledave: I would totally read "Black Comics."

    @deadspace:  I would totally read "Gay Comics," though it better have more characters than Northstar and Richter in it.


  38. @otto: Agreed about meeting expectations. That does mainly play into who writes the big books. I was just saying that men clearly dominate the world or mainstream comic writing and art. It will be interesting to see if people like Marjorie Liu and Kathryn Immonen get a major Marvel title in the next year or so based on their current work. One thing I’d love to see is G. Willow Wilson writing a new Dr. Strange ongoing.

  39. @OttoBot   If you read the interview, the editor specifically says this is not about writing comics for a female audience but about highlighting female creators.  Those ideas are intertwined, but they’re not synonymous. 

    And the writers you listed are where they are today partly because a conscious effort to promote and cultivate their talent.  I look at this list of creators and see people who have proved their appeal.  Amanda Conner has a fanbase.  So does Colleen Coover.  G. Willow Wilson writes a Vertigo title.  I don’t know how it sells in comparison to, say, the way "Scalped" or "Fear Agent" sold before Jason Aaron and Rick Remender moved to Marvel, but it’s at least in the same ballpark.  Do women creators have to prove their talent *more* than men do?


  40. Would love to see Amanda Conner draw a Ms. Marvel short story.

  41. love the cover. i want amanda conner to draw all of this

  42. @caroline: Totally agree. How have people like G. Willow Wilson and Amanda Conner proven their talent less than what Bendis or Remender did before they moved to Marvel? My point is this mini doesn’t really show any kind of commitment in my mind. Its acknowledges the problem but does nothing to fix it.

  43. @ohcaroline –

    "…and play to fanboy expectations" is I think the key to my earlier statement and your query about "cultivating" their talent (though I think the hype surrounding their talent is more accurate).

    Culver is amazingly talented, but her style doesn’t lend itself to a superhero book you would typically find at the Big Two. Another example of Culver’s case would be Farel Dalrymple. I absolutely love that guy’s work, and I’m sure his books have sold a fair amount, but I’m not holding my breath that he’ll ever draw Mighty Avengers. I haven’t read Wilson’s Air, but just from the solicits it doesn’t sound like any superhero book I’ve ever read either. And if I was drawing Power Girl with Jimmy Palmiotti, I would have considered myself having "made it" to the big time. That’s just me though.

    It seems like the ones who do great work of the typical superhero flair end up making it and the ones who do work with their own unique but-less-then-easily-marketable-flair continue with their reasonably successful indie careers, just like their male counterparts. Maybe my data is flawed, but I just haven’t seen many female artists with a typical-but-stellar comic-book styles who were hurting for good-to-great gigs. I’m open to correction, of course, but just the small comic circles I foment, that has been my perspective. Nicola Scott is doing Wonder-Woman’s Blackest Night tie-in. Rebekah Isaacs is going to be amazing with Brian Wood on Dv8. Sara Pichelli is tearing it up on Runaways (I think. I dunno, I don’t read that title, but her sketch-blog is amazing lately, so I just assume that book’s art has been great too).

    All I’ve seen is the very talented women getting great work, and that there’s maybe a direct correlation between how many women read and work in comics. Again though, I’m open to learning otherwise.

  44. That must be during Starks drunkerd days.  He should know, if its green its stranger then you, atleast in Marvel land.

  45. @USPUNX  Yes, it’s only a small gesture, but that’s no reason not to support it.

    @OttoBott  If the women are talented and doing great work, then I’m afraid I don’t understand your objection to having them featured in one book out of how many thousand Marvel puts out every year.

  46. I did say I am going to buy it; I just think Marvel should do much more.

  47. @ohcaroline – I didn’t once object to this series. I’m actually pretty excited about it, and will definitely pick this up in trade if the reaction is as postive as I’m anticipating. The idea that this is doing something to bridge the gender gap is, by my appraisal, a misinterpretation what the gap is and why it came to be in the first place. That was all I was saying.


  48. @drakedangers – You know when Latino Comics comes out, it’ll just have some guy with the surname Diaz, Montoya, or Rodriguez because those are the only Latino surnames in fiction.  I’m also willing to bet that the same character will say the most simplistic English words only in Spanish.  That’s pretty annoying.  Ricky Ricardo never did that.  He only spoke Spanish when he got angry because he couldn’t express himself any other way when he was overcome by his emotions.  That’s much more believable.  I hate it when a Latino character born, raised, and educated in the States keeps falling back on Spanish quips like "chica" and "Dios."

    I also hate when Nightcrawler and Colossus use "ja" and "da" in lieu of yes.  You mean to tell me they can comprehend the complexities of everything Beast says but they still don’t know how to say yes in English.  That’s just lazy writing.

    Sorry for the tangent.

    As for the topic at hand, I’m sure Marvel is thinking about this from a business perspective.  Strange Tales wouldn’t have sold as well if it was just random creators.  Market it as an anthology by indie creators working on Marvel properties and you got a sale.  Same for Wednesday Comics.  I don’t think that would have sold as well as a regular-sized comic  with only two or three stories by the same creators.  Change the format, give each creator one giant page, and voila! you’ve got a sale.  Same for this.  Sure there are a lot of popular female creators in comics, but what if I told you there was a book with a majority of them ALL working on it?  Is that something you’d be interested in?  If yes, then it’s another sale for Marvel.  We could all discuss the political and social ramifications of Girls Comics, but I believe their secondary to what Marvel saw as business opportunity.

  49. @kodaiji I don’t think it’s lazy writing. I knew a few students from Germany in college and they would say "da" and a lot of other little words in German just because they liked to. It was like comfort food they could hear.

  50. The title GIRL COMICS is sexist.

  51. @ nathan: Thats what I was saying from the beginning. Its a good idea, but a terrible title. I know its a ‘legacy’ title or whatever but the original Girl Comics go back to the 1950’s. Are we really looking to the 50’s for how to treat women?

  52. . . .yet how many superheroes still have ‘girl’ in their names?

  53. GRRL POWER comics!


     Warning: Contains neither grrl or power.

  54. How many super heroes have ‘boy’ in their name. Is that less sexist?

  55. I’m just making the point that it’s weird to complain about "Girl" in the title being sexist, when it’s all over the comics. 

  56. Sounds… sexy? Girls are sexy right?

  57. I’m not sure it is all over Marvel comics. DC has a lot more super heroines with ‘girl’ in their name. Plus sometimes the characters are called ‘girl’ because they are in fact girls. Spider-girl and thor girl are both teenagers, how would calling a high school student a woman be accurate? Look at Jean Grey. When first introduced is is very young and goes by the name Marvel Girl. When she gets older in the comics she simply goes by Jean Grey or Phoenix. They stop calling her ‘girl’ when she is old enough to be called a woman. Same thing happened to Marvel Boy. When introduced 10 years ago he was a young immature kid. Now that he has grown up he is the new Captain Marvel. There is nothing sexist about that. The term ‘girl’ is not inherintely sexist, it is how it is used that makes it sexist. Referring to a young female character as a ‘girl’ is simply accurate; referring to a comic min series written and drawn by women as ‘Girl Comics’ is sexist.

  58. A couple years ago Dark Horse tried to do something similar to this. I think it was called Sexy Chix it was to be a series trade anthologies by indie women creators. Only one came out i think.

  59. No Jo Chen? thats a surprise considering her relationship with marvel.

  60. @USPUNX  I think whether it’s sexist depends on context.  As I said upthread it makes a difference to me who picked the title.  I know a lot of female fans online, most of us in our 30s, who use "girl" as part of their ID; "fangirl" is in the name of a blog I work on.  We picked that name to represent us.  If we considered it degrading we wouldn’t use it.  If the female editor talked to some or all of the contributors and said, "We want to use this name, how do you feel about it?" I’m totally cool with that.  If in fact, the title was slapped on by Joe Quesada without consulting anybody, and if, as Jim wondered upthread, the people who signed up for the anthology didn’t know what they were getting involved with, it’s a different story.  For now I’m going to assume that the creators who say that they’re enthused about it are being sincere.  Is it my favorite title ever?  No.  But it depends on the contxt. (Now if you had an African-American male superhero being referred to as ___ Boy, I don’t think THAT would be excusable at all.  But language is tricky).

  61. I don’t see why gender or anything else other than writing and artistic talent should be a factor in considering who takes part in an anthology. Putting talented women in regular anthologies and comics is a much better and simpler way to go about things. Some people were introduced to Amanda Conner’s work in Wednesday Comics for example. That makes more sense to me. Why gather lots of women and then stick them in a box? Do people *really* need to be made aware of the fact that – omg women can write and draw too? I’m no more or less interested in this than I would be an anthology with no "creator-theme" – ie, if it looks good and the stories look like something that will interest me then I’ll get it. The fact that it is created all by women makes no impact at all on whether I will buy this. And the title is lazy and bullshit.

  62. @caroline: Yeah I agree with pretty much everything you said there. If the creators were aware and had no problem with the title then no one else really should either.

  63. I think it is sexist because the stereotype is that men usually do comics so the gimick or novelty of this title is that it’s made by girls exclusively. The thing that makes this unique is that girls do it. So what if girls do it? If it’s good, it’s good. I don’t think what Marvel is planning on this is sexist. It seems sexist to me.

  64. Sexist? No.

    I think it’s awesome. I think of it as Lilith Fair…. but with comic creators.

    And I am pretty sure the contributing creators are thrilled that they are gonna be able to flex their collective comic book muscle, and show the ‘old boys club’ how much that they kick ass.

    Calling attention to it, to me, just expresses pride.


  65. @Unoob: Completely agree your sentiment about pride being a factor. Not too crazy about the name of the series (it’s a little cheesy) but I suppose it will draw attention to it, and women or not, all the creators involved are excellent and deserve the extra profile this anthology will give them.

    I’m currently reading Immonen’s run on Runaways and throughly enjoying it. If anyone left it after Moore’s lackluster run you should definitely give it a lookover.

  66. Why would they have to express pride if women in comics is so common? The title separates these books frm others because it is supposedly made by girls for girls. It’s calling special attention because it is made by girls (defying stereotype) which for me is subliminally pathetic. Just me.