Editor Alison Bechdel
I’ve noticed a couple of people have been outraged at what they call “genre snobbery” in the introductions because super heroes are dismissed for various reasons. This has always gone on.
People putting together books have told me I was rejected “because you do super hero comics” -ignoring the fact that I also do slice-of-life, horror and the decidedly weird. It’s ignorance because, when you look at it, comics survived in the United States because of the super hero genre, then horror, then Westerns and then back with super heroes.
The snappy response to such snobbery is always “Well, super heroes is a multi media genre that has made millions more than any Independent comic. Word to you mother.”
Personally, I don’t give a flying nun on a rocket powered tricycle riding around the rings of Saturn what Jessica Abel or Alison Bechdel (whose great work I noted many years ago online) write in these books. I always think that what speaks volumes are the contents.
Firstly, this is a lovely packaged book, nice hard cover and reproduction inside in both black and white and colour is excellent.
Gabby Schulz (aka. Ken Dahl) has an excerpt from Monsters which made me smile. Joe Sacco’s Nov. 3, 1956, on the other hand was pretty ****** grim and not designed to make you smile. I did have a problem, because of the style of lettering used, to understand the strip by Robert Sergel -it’s Up Up Down Down. That said, the crisp black and white art work was really good.
Out of the colour strips Michael Deforge’s Queen stands out. Almost Brendan McCarthy-esque. Then there is Angie Wang’s very stylish Flower Mecha –very stylish.
Now, when I was publishing Zine Zone International and then when I moved onto the web, I was criticized for being “female creator biased”. So? I think that with Girl Comic, Jess Bradley’s very popular work, Sonia Leong, Emma Viecelli, Nuala Murphy as well as the continuing success of Donna Barr, the fact that women can draw comics and popular comics to boot has been proven. Apologies to Roberta Gregory for almost leaving her out there!
This current volume contains no contribution from any of those latterly named creators (NO Donna Barr or Roberta Gregory???) but does have contributions from Gabrielle Bell, Sabrina Jones, Jillian Tamaki, Julia Gefrorer and, as mentioned, Angie Wang. Now, some may be tempted to say that female creators need a book of their own. I used to at one time until I realised it gave the impression that female creators could not compete with male creators. Of course they can -this book proves it.
Personally, I still find it almost dumbfounding that Roberta Gregory and Donna Barr have never had contributions included.
This book would make a wonderful gift to introduce someone to the world of Independent comics and it may also inspire a few people out there standing on the lines the push they need to get creating. Various styles and story types.
And in case you think I might be a bit biased there is a review on Comic Girl:
and the BAC 2011 page: