Giving Back Some Happy Lesbians: Talking to the Creators of ‘Honey and Venom’
Imagine, if you will, being a goddess of ancient Rome. You've got power, supplicants, luxurious raiment, a devout young priestess you've fallen in love with. Suddenly it's 2,000 years later, and while you're still doing your thing --- with the horns and the robes and the lack of understanding of electricity --- the rest of the world is all gas station minimarts and doric columns on the sides of 'We Are Happy To Serve You' coffee mugs. You do, at least, find your priestess, resplendent as ever in the denim shorts and crop top she's traded in her toga for. But...she doesn't know who you are. She doesn't understand why you're dressed they way you are. She's lost her memory of what you meant to each other entirely. Such is the tale of the goddess Axiothea and her priestess Caelia, the subject of Payton Francis and Megan C.'s recently-launched webcomic, Honey And Venom. Eager to get the details on this charming new read, ComicsAlliance sat down with them to talk collaboration, Euripedes, and Dionysian cults.
The Enduring Woman: An Anniversary Tribute to Wonder Woman
It’s easy to complain about Wonder Woman, who made her first appearance in a story in All-Star Comics #8 by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter published on October 25 1941. Many deride her as an empty symbol; something to emblazon T-shirts with rather than a character to read about. She’s been bloated by the past century’s worst attitudes towards women. Her outfit is often embarrassing and exploitative. She’s not a warrior, a peacemaker, a queen, or a diplomat, but something indefinable and eternally in-between. If complaining is the comic community’s greatest pastime, picking apart Wonder Woman is our baseball. So why does she still exist?
Thumbnail: How ‘No Mercy’ Gets the High School Experience Right
I took six AP classes over the course of my high school career. I was president of the Readers’ Club. I won awards for poetry and public speaking. But because I was not uniformly incredible at everything I attempted, and because I did not go to what my school considered an impressive college, I was regarded as a “problem student.” This was not atypical. Academic competition defined those four years, for me and for all 3,000 of my classmates. Yet for all the world’s media devoted to Teens Having Feelings, I rarely see this experience reflected. Jocks, nerds, burnouts, hotties — whatever. We’re all very familiar with tales of cafeteria warfare and bravery in the face of cystic acne. But where are the movies devoted to GPA mania? Clubs created for the sole purpose of claiming presidency on one’s transcript? The pitying looks a mere 4 on an AP exam elicits, rather than the vaunted 5? Nowhere, really, unless something Glee-ish decides to do a Very Special Episode on Adderall abuse. Until Alex de Campi, Carla Speed McNeil, and Jenn Manley Lee’s No Mercy.
Thumbnail: What ‘Steven Universe’ Can Teach Us About Living Between Two Worlds
Being mixed race is an endless, exhausting lesson in liminality. There are days you’re unshakably confident in who you are and your place in the world, followed by days you are wrecked by the ambiguity of your existence. Genetic caprice digs gulfs of experience between cousins, siblings, even twins. “Authenticity” is a bullseye you never quite seem to hit. And when immigration enters into it — well. You can be certain of disappointing everyone back in the old country just as often as you disappoint the community that surrounds you. Perhaps the worst part of it is the silence. Maybe you have a few friends to discuss this with. Maybe your siblings get it. Maybe you’ve found one treasured piece of media that speaks to the shade of grey in which you live. But in total, there isn’t much that portrays this experience — and even less of it accessible to a wider audience. Enter Steven Universe.
Surround Yourself With Things That Make You Happy: Michelle Czajkowski on ‘Ava’s Demon’
Michelle Czajkowski’s webcomic, Ava’s Demon, has become a beacon of independent success. Financially, it’s garnered over half a million dollars in Kickstarter backing over the course of two campaigns. Culturally, fans are popping up in highly-saturated body paint wherever cosplay is exhibited. Artistically, it’s become one of the most luminously lovely comics currently produced. Yet its origins are simple: a story about a girl possessed by the ghost of an alien queen, created in the scant few hours Czajkowski had to herself between the end of her formal workday and sleep. ComicsAlliance sat with Czajkowski to learn more about her influences, her career transformation, and the future of webcomics as she sees it.
Gallery: Best ‘Steven Universe’ Fan Art Ever
Steven Universe is a show about a lot of things, including sharing donuts with friends and learning to dance and falling in love with someone you were never supposed to fall in love with. It’s warm and wonderful and it is a joy to watch unfold. To celebrate the show, we've compiled this gallery — a small, but significant sample of the fan community’s passion for the silly little hero who, with the help of his friends and a cheeseburger backpack, might just save the universe.
At What Cost? Mairghread Scott Talks Magic, Macbeth, And ‘The Third Witch’ [Interview]
What comes to mind when you think of Shakespeare's Macbeth? There's a good chance the three witches are high on your list, with alll their double, double, toil and trouble. Beyond their brewing, however, they're a relatively anonymous bunch — until now. Mairghread Scott, with Kelly and Nichole Matthews on art, plans to bring the mysterious three to brilliant new life in The Third Witch, on sale September 2nd from Boom's Archaia imprint. Riata, Cait, and Smertae have been the unseen force behind Scotland's kings for countless years. When a disagreement erupts between the sisters, however, their fell powers threaten to change the course of history. ComicsAlliance sat down with Scott to talk Shakespeare, magic, and music to write witches to.
Thumbnail: Emma Frost’s Wardrobe is Malfunctioning
Emma Frost is stylish. Allegedly. I mean, that’s what I’ve been told, over and over again, by the dudes who write and draw her. She’s a scion of the Boston brahmins! She attends the swankest parties, given by the crustiest of the upper crust! She loves to feel sexy — in ways that just happen to coincide with the most thuddingly obvious fanboy desires! So classy! So urbane! Truly, what modern woman doesn’t consider what appears to be a $29.99 plastic corset from a strip mall sex shop the height of empowered glamour? Emma Frost has a wardrobe problem.
Smart, Nice and Sassy: ‘Good Girl’ Role Models Make Boring Heroes
Girls need role models. This is an old canard, though it’s tempting to see its genesis in 1990s girl power — it’s just that it hasn’t always meant warmed-over Gloria Steinem quotes and the Spice Girls. June Cleaver was a Good Role Model for Girls. The Virgin Mary is a Good Role Model for Girls. Their ranks have swelled with Buffys, Lara Crofts, and Wonder Women, but they stand, toned of arm and glossed of lip, beneath the same banner. In response to a dearth of women, mainstream comics now turns to the Good Role Model for Girls as a panacea. Spider-Gwen! Spider Woman! Batgirl! Hawkeye! Black Widow! All the women in X-Men! She-Hulk! Even Suzie in Sex Criminals! And oh, how the little girl marooned in 90s comic dungeons within me sang! It’s a new age, I thought; a turning point. The first issues fly by, and I purchase every single one. And I am bored.
Tynion and Stevenson’s ‘Wonder World’ Sets a New Standard for Wonder Woman Stories
Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman published one of the character’s greatest stories ever last month: “Wonder World,” written by James Tynion IV and illustrated by Noelle Stevenson, told over the course of digital chapters 23 and 24, and published in print this week in Sensation Comics #8.