There’s a new comic in town, ladies.
These aren’t your little brother’s super heroes. This isn’t your sister’s fairy tale character-filled love story. This is so much more.
It’s called Womanthology, and I have to be honest: I’m a little in love with it. Not only is the content of this anthology incredibly varied, but the entire thing was written, drawn and lettered by women. (Get it? Woman-thology?) This volume’s theme is “heroics” and all of the varied stories told on its pages tell us about how the women behind the comics see the concept of “hero” and “heroism.”
Honestly, I didn’t know about this theme when I picked up the book…
And it is gorgeous, by the way. If I had a coffee table, I’d have it on display like a piece of art because it is hard-bound, pristine and big enough that it only fits on the open top shelf of my bookcase.
Anyways, I didn’t know that it had a theme until I started to read a little bit more about it on their blog. All I knew was that it was a Kickstarter-funded labor of love, and that some of my twitter friends were contributing their talents as editors, writers and artists. I wanted one out of a combination of greed (because the people I follow on Twitter are ridiculously talented) and because I like to support things that push women to step into roles/careers/fields that they might be unfamiliar with or which society is not used to seeing them inhabit. That’s how I got involved with the nonprofit that was my last full time job, that’s how I find a lot of nonprofits I give my time to, and that’s part of what drew me to Womanthology.
That, and I went to an all-girls high school, which I’m still recovering from a decade later, and I have a kneejerk reaction to “Support the girls!” kind of projects. I just can’t help myself.
The book and comics within are fantastic. It is divided into sections that are each guest edited. Each feature is written and drawn by different women. The lettering is exquisite. The organizers of this project paired women already in the comics’ industry with less experienced writers and artists, and the results are really cool and different from anything you’ll find at your local comic shop. Some of the contributors are industry-veterans; some of the contributors are children. Each story is unique with heroines who are as diverse as a bowl of M&Ms. And throughout the volume there are profiles and interviews of the various contributors.
These superwomen are costumed in outfits that actually cover their breasts, pants and skirts that don’t give them wedgies or anyone on the street a flash of bun, and these women are strong, sassy, independent and capable.
I wanted to go out and buy a copy to send to my brother and sister-in-law for my nieces. These are the kinds of role models I want them to have while they grow up.
I think I know what their Christmas presents will be.
Even now, more than a few weeks after I first read the book, I’m still making up stories in my head – fanfiction, if you will – about a particular superhero who weaves dreams.
If you’ve been giving any thought to picking up a comic in the near future, or you have a child or sibling who wants to get into comics but doesn’t know where to start, ask your local store for a copy of this. Or order it from Amazon, but you know how I feel about that.
I am definitely carting this coffee table book with me to San Diego Comic Con this summer and collecting as many signatures as I can. I already have my first. I made the Nerdy Bird, aka Jill Pantozzi of The Mary Sue, sign my copy at dinner two days after I bought it. I plan on filling those inside pages with autographs.
Oh. Did I mention that all the profits from this project went to charity? Because they do. Womanthology’s charity of choice is the Global Giving Foundation, an organization that helps fund small charities around the world. These are definitely women who are doing good, and I aim to support all their future projects. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!