Image is a comics publisher that puts out creator-owned stories—you’ve probably heard of The Walking Dead, Wanted, or Spawn, and maybe you’ve read Saga, the space adventure that’s been selling like hotcakes at comic shops. But Image is also notable for publishing comics that don’t shy away from featuring women as their protagonists, putting them in pretty stark contrast to the big publishers with whom they compete.
Image recently launched three brand-new titles that promise to bring a little more gender diversity to the world of comics, from a band of debaucherous lady adventurers to a time-travelling teenage cop. I read through these three titles and also talked with writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and illustrator Emma Ríos about their series, Pretty Deadly, which is a classic Western with an unusual lead: Death’s daughter.
Intrepid artist Erika Moen explores a different aspect of sex each week in her comic Oh Joy Sex Toy. This week, Moen illustrates her experiences with her favorite form of birth control: the copper IUD.
This past week, cartoonist Tess Fowler has shone a spotlight on a troubling aspect of sexism in her professional comics community: sexual harassment. Fowler tweeted about being harassed at a comics convention, at first not naming the guy who did the harassing. But after receiving notes from three other women saying they’d had an unsettling experience with the same guy, Fowler revealed the alleged harasser to be Brian Wood, who writes Marvel’s best-selling all-women X-Men series.
In the past week, both Marvel and DC announced that they will roll out new female superheroes. And not just token characters, but complex heroes who are both teenage women of color. The announcement of these two new characters gives me some hope that maybe something is getting through to the mainstream comics bigwigs from comics creators and fans who want more diverse and engaging characters.
Each week on Oh Joy Sex Toy, intrepid artists explore some aspect of sex through comics. This week is a guest strip from R. Stevens and Actual Sex Educator Emily Nagoski who is a super cool lady writing a bunch about the science of sex and all this other stuff about sex.
Birth control advocate Margaret Sanger is often held up in political debates as a simple symbol: She must be either revered as a fearless crusader for reproductive rights or dismissed as a racist, extremist abortion-monger. Sanger has become such and politically loaded figure in American history that it’s easy to forget she was actually a flesh-and-blood person.
Artist Peter Bagge’s new comics biography of Sanger, Woman Rebel, out from Drawn and Quarterly this fall presents the iconoclast as we’ve never seen her: a kooky comic hero, full of bad ideas, wild adventures, big ambitions, and a fiery spirit.
Photo: Marjorie Liu co-wrote Astonishing X-Men #51, which featured the same-sex wedding of superhero Northstar.
Comics publishing giant DC stirred up some trouble last month for a number of bad decisions, including refusing to depict an impending same-sex marriage integral the plot their Batwoman title and asking aspiring artists to apply for a DC gig by drawing the character Harley Quinn attempting suicide.
One of the many comicsfans who called out DC online is Marjorie Liu, who happens to write several titles for DC’s biggest competitor in the comics industry: Marvel
Each week, intrepid artist Erika Moen delves into some aspect of sex for Oh Joy Sex Toy series and brings us an illustrated review. This week, after covering all sorts of out-there sex toys, Erika is going for a classic: her favorite dildo.