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July 28 2004

How to Get Your Girlfriend Into Comics. An article from Fanboy Radio. Contains Joss/BtVS/Firefly mentions.

Joss created Buffy because he thought it would be more fun to watch a girl kick a demonís butt than to watch her be a meal. The female audience started to pay attention and the numbers grew.

I haven't read comics since I was a kid - and they were the benign 'Archie' comics.

What's gotten me into comics as an adult is Wheadon doing 'Amazing X-Men'. I've purchased a subscription to the entire series based on Joss Wheadon's reputation with 'Buffy' and 'Angel'.

Comic loyalists might decry having those sucessful in movies and TV try a hand at comics; it's had mixed results. So far, Joss seems to be one of the successful ones.

Give me comics with a feminist/pro-female slant, make sure they have quality plot lines, and I will spend my money on comics. Also, make them easier to get to. Comics specialty shops often seem to have a 'boys only - no girls allowed' clubhouse attitude. Also, Marvel and DC comics might want to do advertising for 'girl-positive' comics in magazines like Cosmo and Teen People. I don't think anyone has done anything serious to tap the female market for comics.

Just my two cents.

Rancho Fiasco
ranchofiasco, I posted this comment at the end of that enormous Convention thread, but I'll repeat it here:

Check out "Love and Rockets", especially the earlier series now available in trade paperback, such as "Blood of Palomar", for some of the strongest and best-written female characters in comics. (BTW: L&R is written by two brothers).
Rancho Fiasco - You might wanna check out Terry Moore's "Strangers in Paradise." It's a very well-written and drawn dramatic series (with a great sense of humor), and most of the characters are female. I would imagine that it's audience leans female, though it's definitely not a "girl comic." It's been going on for quite a few years.

A few years ago, CrossGen did a comic called "Meridan" that was aimed at teenage girls, which was pretty good. It was a political drama/superhero fantasy sorta thing. They stopped publishing it when the company had money problems, but by that time I had stopped reading it, so I'm not sure how it ended.
Check out "Love and Rockets", especially the earlier series now available in trade paperback, such as "Blood of Palomar", for some of the strongest and best-written female characters in comics. (BTW: L&R is written by two brothers).

Second that recommendation! I got into L&R back in the '80's, and their rich characterizations, Latino perspective, strong female roles, amazing dialogue and layered story-telling just blew my wee, college-bedazzled mind. I had the opportunity to meet Jaime and Gilberto Hernandez once at a small store signing here in NC, and they were both as funny and personable in real life as their comic alter-egos. Jaime even took the time to create an original drawing of Izzy (with flies!) for me, and autograph it. It's one of my most treasured fangirl possessions.

I give total props to J&G's books for showing me what fine comic storytelling could be, and (more pertinently for this group) preparing me for the visual and literary complexity of Joss's efforts later on.
A comic series that my wife really liked was 'Preacher', but be warned, it's brilliant, original and amazingly gutsy, but also one of the weirdest damn stories you'll ever come across. Not for everyone.

As for Joss, he's a good comic writer because he understands and loves the medium fully. Not just a novelist or screen writer that wants to try something else. When he writes for comics he IS a comic writer.
SoddingNancyTribe:

That's really great about your wife's fangirl obsession with L&R that you posted about in the Comic Con thread. Sometimes comic nerds/geeks/dorks (apparently the term changes depending on what part of the country you're from, and I have no idea if such terms even exist internationally) look so, well, normal.

It really sucks that comics aren't marketed and thought of as a female thing. I know they didn't reach me as a child, Archie aside, which is the devil of all comics as far as I'm concerned. All parents out there, simply force them upon your children young, and regardless of gender, it will make an impression.

*hides pictures of dad dressing her up like a Klingon*
Thanks randyg. :)

In England when I was but a young boy reading the classic Claremont/Byrne X-Men, the term for such people was "losers" if I recall correctly. Hence my complete lack of dates in secondary (high) school. Before X-Men, I read 2000AD, which was bursting with creative ideas, some great, some not so good, and before that such English fare as "Whizzer and Chips", "The Dandy", and "The Beano", which could be read by either gender really. But, to be honest, I don't think I knew a single girl who read comics. Back then, comics equalled superheros wearing their underwear over their clothes, and I suppose for many they still do.

I have been relentless in having my kids watch Buffy and Angel (although some eps are verboten), and Firefly, and the better Japanimation, such as Miyazaki ("Spirited Away", "Princess Mononoke", "Kiki's Delivery Service", etc.). They seem to be thriving on that diet!

Funny, my wife, who is American, recalls visiting the UK in 1976 as a girl, and being delighted at the comics on sale for teen and pre-teen girls, such as "Jackie" and "Bunty". I guess there was no real US equivalent?
The comic to give your girl is, "Strangers in Paradise" by Terry Moore. I didn't know Terry was a guy until I met him...whoops. If she's more of a lover of the 80's or 80's music, I'd also suggest "Blue Monday" by Chynna Clugston-Major. Chynna's anime-style art doesn't hurt either.
Yay Claremont/Byrne X-Men!

There's an entire non-profit organization devoted to promoting female reading/creating of comics (it started with a dinner at Comic-Con), and their list is one of the better known for picking the quality titles. If there's a female you wanna tempt into becoming a comics reader, you could do worse than to point her at the Friends of Lulu Recommendations List.
Great link! Thanks, kli. And I'm glad to see all our recommendations made it on there.

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