Women in Comics Week

January 7, 2010

So as I mentioned in the previous post, Diamond declares March 21-27 “Women in Comics” Week in its latest Previews catalog (page 11). It’s designed to recognize “the women who work in the industry and create the comics and the women who star in the comics we read each month.” It’s a great idea, though I have to wonder how much time publishers had to buy in, as participation seems kind of sporadic. Few of the publishers you might expect to tag their books with the “Women in Comics” logo do; the only manga publisher to use it is Del Rey. Natsume Ono’s House of Five Leaves (Viz) is profiled as a “Staff Pick” on page 198, which is nice, but it doesn’t have a “Women in Comics” designation.

There are many potential reasons for that. Turnaround time might have been too short. Publishers who do very specific page layouts for their listings (CMX, DMP, Tokyopop, Viz) might not have wanted to include the logo in their designs for logistic or aesthetic purposes, no matter how many awesome women creators they publisher or how many interesting women characters appear in their comics. Or they might have just been reasonably confident that they were already in touch with women in their audiences and that the Previews catalog might not be the venue to lure more.

The big four don’t actually do anything with it, though Previews interviews Gail Simone (writer of Secret Six and Wonder Woman for DC) contributes an interview. Marvel doesn’t identify this section of its mini-catalog as a “Women in Comics” offering, but there’s a six-page “Women of Marvel” section featuring Girl Comics, what appears to be a reprint book called Women of Marvel: Celebrating Seven Decades, and a few other books. Marvel also promises that 2010 will be “the biggest year yet for the Women of Marvel.” Dark Horse and Image both have books in Diamond’s “Recommended Reading” list which can be seen at the above link.

Here are all of the individual items that bore the logo. I’ve got to say, there’s some what I think is counterintuitive material below, but I’m not a woman, and maybe women really love Tarot. I just don’t know. If I tried to link to every individual item, I’d lose my mind, and while I love you all, I don’t love you that much. If possible, I will link to the publisher on first reference, because I don’t think I’ve linked to even a third of these before.

  • Glamourpuss #12, Dave Sim (w/a), Aardvark Vanaheim, page 188
  • Terry Moore’s Echo #20, Terry Moore (w/a), Abstract Studio, page 188
  • Strangers in Paradise Pocket Volume 1, Terry Moore (w/a), Abstract Studio, page 188
  • Terry Moore’s Echo Volume 1: Moon Lake, Terry Moore (w/a), Abstract Studio, page 188
  • Rowena: It Takes a Giantess to Raze a Village, Eric Lindberg (w), Rock Baker (a), various, AC Comics, page 188
  • Nighmares & Fairy Tales Volume 1, Serena Valentino (w), FSc (a), Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics, page 188
  • Weird Fishes, Jamaica Dyer (w/a), Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics, page 188
  • The Killer Volume 1, Matz (w), Luc Jcamon (a), Archaia Entertainment LLC, page 194
  • Archie & Friends All Stars: Veronica’s Passport, Various (w), Dan Parent (a), Archie Comics Publications, page 198
  • Archie: The Love Showdown, Various (w/a), Archie Comics Publications, page 198
  • Best of Josie and the Pussycats Volume 1, Archie Comics Publications, page 198
  • Betty & Veronica: Bad Boy Trouble, Melanie J. Morgan (w), Steven Butler (a), Archie Comics Publications, page 198
  • Katy Keene Special, Andrew Pepoy (w/a), Archie Comics Publications, page 198
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch Volume 1: Magic Revisited, Tania del Rio (w/a), Archie Comics Publications, page 198
  • Female Force #13: Ellen DeGeneres, Sandra C. Ruckdeschel (w), Pedro Ponzo (a), Bluewater Productions, page 210
  • The Legend of Isis #11, Aaron Stueve (w), Silvo dB (a), Bluewater Productions, page 210
  • Nola, Chris Garak and Pierlugi Cothran (w), Damian Couceiro (a), Chris Brummer (c), Boom! Studios, page 228
  • The Unknown Volume 2: The Devil Made Flesh, Mark Waid (w), Minck Oosterveer (a), Boom! Studios, page 228
  • Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #61, Jim Balent (w/a), Broadsword Comics, page 232
  • Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #61 Deluxe Edition, Jim Balent (w/a), Broadsword Comics, page 232
  • Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #61 Previews Exclusive 10th-Anniversary Photo Cover, Jim Balent (w/a), Broadsword Comics, page 232
  • xxxHoLic Volume 15, CLAMP (w/a), Del Rey Manga, page 246
  • Jane’s World Omnibus Volume 1, Paige Braddock (w/a), Girl Twirl Comics, page 255
  • Jane’s World Volume 9, Paige Braddock (w/a), Girl Twirl Comics, page 255
  • Magic Trixie, Jill Thompson (w/a), Harper Collins Publishers, page 258
  • Finder: Sin Eater 10th Anniversary Edition, Carla Speed McNeil (w/a), Lightspeed Press, page 274
  • Finder Volume 2: Sin Eater Part Two, Carla Speed McNeil (w/a), Lightspeed Press, page 274
  • Domino Lady: Sex as a Weapon, Lori Gentile (e), Moonstone, page 276
  • Zig and Wikki in “Something Ate My Homework,” Nadja Spiegelman (w), Trade Loeffler (a), Raw Junior LLC, page 283

  • Previews review January 2010

    January 7, 2010

    I generally don’t read the text pieces in Diamond’s Previews catalog, but the latest issue reveals that the distributor has declared March 21-27 “Women in Comics Week.” I’ll need to collate my thoughts on how Diamond has chosen to celebrate this particular event, so that’s really just a note to me at the moment. Let’s move on to the highlights of this installment, shall we?

    The best news of the month is that Simon & Schuster is releasing a volume of new terrific comics by Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules! Tweenage Guide to Not Being Popular (page 290): “In Jimmy Gownley’s first original volume in two years, Amelia and company rise and fall through the ranks of nerd, geek – and cheerleader? – in a daring attempt to not be unpopular.”

    Should I be excited about Yumi Unita’s Bunny Drop from Yen Press (page 306)? It’s josei, so I feel like I should be. It’s about an immature bachelor who adopts his grandfather’s illegitimate little daughter. In a shônen context, that would probably be super gross, but I think we’re on much safer ground with a josei approach. It was originally published by Shodensha in Feel Young, and it’s been published in French by Delcourt.

    There’s no question as to whether or not I should be excited about the arrival of the first print volume of Natsume Ono’s House of Five Leaves (Page 301), one of the inaugural series from Viz’s SigIKKI initiative. It’s a wonderfully odd story of a down-on-his-luck samurai who finds himself mixed up with a gang of seedy but alluring kidnappers. You can sample it online here. If I’m going to be totally honest, the other SigIKKI launch, Seimu Yoshizaki’s Kingyo Used Books, lands somewhere in the middle of the pack in my list of SigIKKI favorites. It’s a strong pack, though, so that’s not really a criticism. It’s a funny, sentimental, episodic look at why and how people love comics. You can sample it online here. (Page 301.)

    And now for a quick sampling of new volumes of some terrific series:

  • 20th Century Boys vol. 8, written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa, Viz, page 301
  • Black Jack vol. 10, written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka, Vertical, page 306
  • Fire Investigator Nanase vol. 4, written by Izo Hashimoto, illustrated by Tomoshige Ichikawa, CMX, page 131
  • Itazura na Kiss vol. 2, written and illustrated by Kaoru Tada, DMP, page 250
  • The Name of the Flower vol. 4, written and illustrated by Ken Saito, CMX, page 131
  • Ôoku: The Inner Chambers vol. 3, written and illustrated by Fumi Yoshinaga, Viz, page 301
  • Time and Again vol. 2, written and illustrated by JiUn Yun, Yen Press, page 307

  • Go, vote: new manhwa, new global

    January 7, 2010

    The polls keep coming at About.Com. First up is the always hotly contested Best New International Manga, and my vote went to…

    Next is Best New Korean Manhwa, and my ballot was cast for…

    That doesn’t mean I’m not very fond of Time and Again (Yen Press), written and illustrated by JiUn Yun, which came in second and probably would have won my vote in a year when Mijeong hadn’t been published.