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women in comics

Great Writing Advice: Learn To Write Women Like They’re Human Beings

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A lot of writers, when asked for advice on how to write better women characters, respond "treat them like people." While that's good advice, and sadly not obvious to everyone, it also misses some of the nuances that make up individuals. Writers who just write any character like they were a man miss a big part of the point. We live in an age where works with female leads are increasingly financially lucrative and thus attractive to publishers, so it's important that writers learn how to write a gender-diverse cast, even if their motive is profit rather than progress.

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Filed Under: , Category: Culture, News, Opinion

A Vision for a Better World: An Interview With Cartoonist Maria-Elisa Heg [Hire This Woman]

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Hire This Woman is a recurring feature on ComicsAlliance that shines a spotlight on female comics pros, whether they're relative newcomers or experienced pros who are ready to break out. In an overwhelmingly male business, we want to draw your attention to these creators --- and to raise their profile with editors and industry gatekeepers.

Cartoonist Maria-Elisa Heg does a bit of everything including writing, drawing, coloring, lettering, and singing. She's primarily worked on anthologies, educational comics, and auto-bio comics. She's also co-head of Zinefest Houston. Just like last week's featured person, C.M. Bratton, you can see her in person at the Hire This Woman panel at STAPLE! in Austin, Texas, on March 7th.

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Bookscan: Women and Children Were The Big Comics Moneymakers in 2014

Sisters, Raina Telgemeier
Sisters, Raina Telgemeier

Brian Hibbs has put up his great yearly analysis of the Bookscan numbers over at Comic Book Resources, and they reflect a change that's slowly dawning on many people in comics right now: books for women and children are where the money is. Nine of the top twenty books sold and tracked by Bookscan last year were by women, and twelve of the top twenty were books for kids.

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Making the Reader Root for the Villain: An Interview with Writer C.M. Bratton [Hire This Woman]

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Hire This Woman is a recurring feature on ComicsAlliance that shines a spotlight on female comics pros, whether they're relative newcomers or experienced pros who are ready to break out. In an overwhelmingly male business, we want to draw your attention to these creators --- and to raise their profile with editors and industry gatekeepers.

Writer CM Bratton has a long resume, including eight novels, multiple screenplays, and, of course, comics. Her next comics work is based on her novels and is titled Me Zombie, You Food. You can see her in person at the Hire This Woman panel at STAPLE! in Austin, Texas, on March 7th.

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Educating and Protecting Artists: Comics Lawyer Caitlin DiMotta [Interview]

caitlin dimotta

Caitlin DiMotta goes by @ComicsLawyer on Twitter and she is exactly that. As an attorney and partner at Impact Law Group, she works with many comics creators as their lawyer. Her clients include Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ed Brubaker, Rick Remender, Chip Zdarsky, and Jeff Lemire. Her top priorities are protecting the rights of artists and educating them about their legal rights. ComicsAlliance sat down with her to learn more about the work she does.

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Push Comics Forward: Talking About The Future With Boom EIC Matt Gagnon

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Boom Studios has a reputation in the comics industry for publishing an increasingly diverse group of books and creators. This commitment to diversity in genre and people is reflected in an all-new initiative the publisher announced today in Previews with a letter from founder Ross Richie. While 2015 is the 10th anniversary of Boom, the publisher wants to talk about what's next rather than what's come before. They call this discussion of the future Push Comics Forward and they don't want it to be only about Boom.

Push Comics Forward is Boom's way of focusing on the ongoing conversation about diversity and the future of the industry. To learn more about this initiative and what to expect from Boom for the next ten years and beyond, we spoke with Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon.

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Books That Feel Real: Spike Trotman On ‘Poorcraft 2′ And Building An Indie Comics Empire [Interview]

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Comic book publishing is a difficult world to survive in, particularly for small and independent publishers. C. Spike Trotman and her Iron Circus Comics, however, has found a way to thrive. When we spoke with Trotman earlier this year for Hire This Woman, we spoke primarily about her role as a creator. Today, this is only a small part of the role Trotman plays in comics, as the slate of books from Iron Circus continues to increase.

As a publisher, Iron Circus places a high value on inclusivity and publishing books that are too often ignored in mainstream comics. To wit, the publisher has a currently-running Kickstarter for Poorcraft: Wish You Were Here written by Ryan Estrada and drawn by Diana Nock. The 130-page black and white book is the the followup to Trotmans original Poorcraft, and is available in a variety of formats at eminently sensible price/reward tiers.

With less than one week left to pledge to the Kickstarter, we reconnected with Trotman to talk about webcomics, publishing, smut, and paying the bills.

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Liz Prince Talks ‘Tomboy’, Internet Fame And The State Of Autobio Comics

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In her new memoir Tomboy, Liz Prince explores the thorny world of gender expression, puberty, and girlhood, as experienced by someone who bucked every norm of it. It’s not always an easy read, but it is one of the most necessary comics published this year.
Prince’s work is tender, wry, and above all, honest. It is this honesty that so illuminates her work, from the single travails of Alone Forever to her chronicles of the punk scene. As Tomboy makes the rounds of Best of 2014 lists, ComicsAlliance spoke with her about autobiography, internet fame, and being “not like other girls.”

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Do Powers Make The Woman? ‘Strong Female Protagonist’ Creators On Superheroes And LARPing

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Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag, creators of the webcomic Strong Female Protagonist, are passion incarnate. They love their readers. They are ecstatic that Top Shelf has decided to distribute the successfully-Kickstarted first print volume of SFP. They are exasperated by the state of women in comics today. And they’re out to do something about it.

Through Alison Green, the eponymous strong female protagonist, Mulligan and Ostertag explore a world of stark imbalance—a world where our heroine, once a superhero, is now a disillusioned college student searching for truth in a complex world. Do powers make the woman? Does strength only come in one form?

ComicsAlliance sat down with Mulligan and Ostertag to discuss these questions, memories of LARP camp, making sure each and every henchman gets a backstory, and more.

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Gail Simone: The Comics Alliance Interview, Part One – Batgirl, Birds Of Prey, And Women In Refrigerators

Gail Simone Part 1

Gail Simone, longtime comic book writer for DC Comics (and snarky Twitterer), is in the midst of a career evolution at the moment. Simone's comics work started with the Women in Refrigerators website, which was a commentary on how female characters are all-too-often mistreated in comics (named after the 1990s story in which Green Lantern Kyle Rayner discovers his girlfriend's body stuffed in his refrigerator). WIR became an important part of the discussion of how female characters are treated in superhero comics - a discussion that continues today. Simone's work on WIR led to a column at Comic Book Resources titled "You'll All Be Sorry" and the humor in that column in turn led to Simone working on Simpsons comics.

It was her entry into superhero comics, however, that permanently shifted Simeone's career. Although she worked for Marvel a bit, including a run on Deadpool and then Agent X, Simone has primarily made her home at DC over the last decade. Popular books like Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and others solidified Simone as super hero writer with an outspoken fan base.

Now Simone is in a brand new position: that of a non-exclusive freelancer. For many creators, this can be a difficult hustle, as the shift from guaranteed work minimums to having to look for gigs can be a struggle. Simone seems to be thriving, however. Between working on various Red Sonja projects at Dynamite and writing a Tomb Raider series at Dark Horse, Simone is also still working at DC, with a Vertigo series called Clean Room on the way and preparing to relaunch of fan-favorite Secret Six, which is in stores on December 3.

In part one of this in-depth two-part interview, Simone spoke with ComicsAlliance about Women in Refrigerators, women in comics, and her occasionally tense time at DC.

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