On sale this week from IDW Publishing is the first issue of Womanthology: Space, a new anthology title spotlighting the work of female writers, artists, letterers, colorists and editors. A five-issue spinoff of the highly successful Kickstarter project, Womanthology: Heroic, the Space book focuses on science-fiction themes and features new work by Ming Doyle, Stephanie Hans, Jordie Bellaire and Jessica Hickman, among others. Take a first look after the cut.

Womanthology creator Renae de Liz discussed Space back in March, when the spinoff was first announced:

Womanthology: Heroic was such a big, wonderful experience, and not in my wildest dreams could I have hoped that it would go on to further adventures! I hope that Womanthology: Space is just the start of a long line of amazing books that further open doors for women in comics everywhere. I hope this will be a continued outlet to have their work showcased and appreciated, and help many take that next big step towards a career in comics. Again there will be all ages and experience levels accepted. This has always been so important to me, as I know first hand how even one show of support can offer so much confidence and motivation in your work. This not only helps aspiring creators gain valuable experiences and a platform to help further careers, but it also allows established professionals to reach out and lend their comics knowledge and know how. I am so glad that the positivity and fun of Womanthology is going further, this time into Space!

Crucially, contributors to Space will be compensated for their work, while Heroic's more than $100,000 in Kickstarter funds and sales profits went exclusively towards production costs and charitable donations.

The preview material below includes excerpts from "Waiting for Mr. Roboto" by Bonnie Burton and Jessica Hickman, which depicts the life of a bored space-waitress; "Dead Again" by Sandy King Carptenter with Tanja Wooten, which is a kind of ghost story in space; and "Scaling Heaven" by Stephanie Hans and Alison Ross, a speculative piece about a race to put the first woman on the moon. Not included here but available in the issue is an exceptionally cute story by Ming Doyle and Jordie Bellaire called "The Adventures of Princess Plutonia," which puts a fun spin on the John Carter/Adam Strange trope, as well as the first installment of "Space Girls," a recurring humor strip by Stacie Ponder that imagines an all-woman crew of Star Trekkian-style spaceship that's actually my favorite bit of this ambitious new release. All stories (except Ponder's strip) are lettered by Rachel Deering.

Womanthology: Space #1 goes on sale Wednesday in finer comics stores and digitally from comiXology.

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