This lady Likes Spandex

On August 24, 2011, in Art Nerd, Comic Books, Galen Dara, by Galen Dara
Amanda Conner's Power Girl

Amanda Conner's Power Girl

I’ve been interested in DC’s recent response to criticism that their New 52 relaunch reduced their number of female creators from %12 to %1.   (Er… well, it’s complicated.)  As a woman who enjoys comics and has aspirations in the field myself, I feel I have a bit of skin (hehe) in the game.  So I’ll take this opportunity to spotlight a few of the ladies behind some spandex clad (or not) characters.

But first, if you are interested, Tim Haley is collecting and publishing Women In Comic Statistics every month this year. Here are July’s stats for DC and for Marvel.

Also, a couple of anthologies devoted entirely to women comic creators: in 2006 Dark Horse put out Sexy Chix. In 2010 Marvel put out Girl Comics one, two, and three.  Furthermore this past June Womanthology announced that IDW agreed to publish their ‘Massive All Female Comic Anthology’ (an undertaking that garnered tremendous support.)

And now, a small random sampling of some amazing artists. (I’ll save writers and editors for another post :))

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Amanda Conner is the first female artist to crack Wizard Magazine’s Top Artist list. She has done comic work for Marvel and DC as well as worked on characters like Painkiller Jane and Vampirella.  You gotta love this collection of her pin-up work, plus a video of her in action.

Amanda Conner's cover of Girl Comics 1

Amanda Conner's cover of Girl Comics 1

Renae De Liz is the driving force behind Womanthology. She has done pencils for Marvel and DC, and worked with her husband Ray Dillon to create the comic book adaptation of The Last Unicorn.

Renea de LIz, X-men

Renea de LIz, X-men

Jill Thompson has worked extensively in the comic field doing art for DC, Marvel, Darkhorse, and others. She illustrated Niel Gaiman’s Sandman story arch Brief Lives, created her own Scary Godmother series, and has won the Eisner award several times. Check out her recent interview at Wired and follow her on twitter @thejillthompson.

Jill Thompson's Black Cat and Spiderman

Jill Thompson's Black Cat and Spiderman

Camilla d’Errico kicked her day job to the curb for a career in comics after she attended her first San Diego Comic Con in ‘98.  She got her start working on Committed Comics Threads, then doing pencils for Zevon 7.  She did the art for Make 5 Wishes with Avril Lavigne and created her own personal project, Burn.  She is nominated for the 2011 Eisner Award and you can find her on twitter @Helmetgirl.

Camilla d''Errico's Burn

Camilla d''Errico's Burn

Colleen Doran broke into comics at the age of 12 with her graphic novel A Distant Soil.  Neil Gaiman apparently based his Sandman character Thessaly off of Doran and in turn, she did the pencils for issues #20 and #34 of that series.  Loved this interview where she talks about the trade with Patrick Ross.

Colleen Doran's Book of Lost souls

Colleen Doran's Book of Lost souls

Amy Reeder got her start in manga before moving on to be the lead artist in the Madame Xanadu series.  She works on the covers of Supergirl and more recently was tapped to take over the Batwoman story arc (though we won’t get to see the interiors until 2012).  Watch the interview with her and follow her on twitter @amyreeder.

Amy Reeder's Supergirl

Amy Reeder's Supergirl

Jo Chen worked extensively with Asian manga companies before getting her first US job doing covers for the Speedracer series.  That led to Marvel hiring her to do the covers of Runnaways and Joss Whedon picking her to do cover art for comic adaptations of Buffy and Serenity.

Jo Chen's cover for Girl Comics 3

Jo Chen's cover for Girl Comics 3

Nicola Scott has done work on Birds of Prey, Secret Six, the Wonder Woman tie-in Blackest Night, and currently she is the lead artist in Teen Titans.

Nicola Scott's Teen Titans

Nicola Scott's Teen Titans

Emma Vieceli worked with Sweatdrop Studios and through them published her own personal Project, Dragon Heir.  She illustrated the comic adaptations of Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing, is in the Tori Amos Comic Book Tattoo anthology, and illustrated the graphic novel adaptation of Vampire Academy.  Follow her on twitter @Emmavieceli.

Emma Vieceli's Precious Things

Emma Vieceli's Precious Things

Ming Doyle got her start with Project Rooftop, does pencils and inks for Marvel and is a co-creator behind The Loneliest Astronauts webcomic.  Here’s a bit about how she works and you can follow her on twitter @mingdoyle

Ming Doyle's Third Robin

Ming Doyle's Third Robin

Elena Casagrande, aka laura west, has been working the past 5 years at IDW, in particular on the comic adaptation of Joss Whedon’s Angel (Here she discusses working on that project.) Currently Marvel has tapped her to work on Hulk #37.

elena Casagrande Illyria cover

elena Casagrande Illyria cover

Jan Duursema is best know for her extensive work on the Dark Horse Star Wars comic adaptations.  But she has also worked for DC, Marvel and others, drawing Batman, Spiderman, X-men, and the comic book adaptation of Michael Moorcock’s Elric.

Jan Duursema Jedi Cover

Jan Duursema Jedi Cover

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The list goes on and on. More importantly, the list is growing.  If you’re interested in some brilliant women who make it their business to talk shop about comics, there’s Kelly Thompson who hosts 3 Chicks Review Comics (follow her on twitter at @79SemiFinalist) and Jill Pantozzi of Has Boobs Reads Comics (follow her on twitter at @TheNerdyBird).  Also one can’t forget to mention the upcoming Geek Girl Con (on twitter at @geekgirlcon).

Now I’ll wrap up with DC’s recent statement:

“We’ll have exciting news about new projects with women creators in the coming months and will be making those announcements closer to publication. Many of the above creators will be working on new projects, as we continue to tell the ongoing adventures of our characters. We know there are dozens of other women creators and we welcome the opportunity to work with them.”

I am looking forward to that.  Meanwhile, who did I miss? Got a favorite artist not mentioned here?

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4 Responses to This lady Likes Spandex

  1. That Amanda Conner cover is priceless. Poor Tony. You can tell he had no clue he was going to get pwned.

  2. Tee Morris says:

    I had the pleasure of being Jo Chen’s neighbor at Anime USA in Washington D.C. Not only is she a super nice person, but her portfolio is nothing short of AWE with a side of SOME. I have a reprint of her Chun Li in my “Captain’s Quarters” and I’m not even that big of a fan of Street Fighter. I just _really_ liked the artwork.

    “Complicated” or not, I fail to see why DC is scaling back their female creators. It’s not only a loss on their side but also a frightening throwback to the days of the Good Ol’ Boys Club of Science Fiction and Fantasy. (I’m a writer so I know the stories, and it’s terrifying.) This is the 21st Century. If you’re going to reboot a comic book dynasty, you might want to do it for modern audiences with modern sensibilities, and not think this is a return to the “Mad Men” days.

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll probably not get anything done at work today.

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