Comics FOR Women. (Non-Superhero Preferred)

compound

Well-Known Member
Okay, let's try this again. This is a continuation of ONE sub-topic I brought up, in the "Women In Comics" thread, which has since been locked.

Please note the title of this thread. I created it to discuss a very particular, specific topic:

Which comics do you think will appeal to women, especially newcomers? Just naming comics (or particular creators' runs) will be fine. However, it would be really cool if you discuss *why* you think it might appeal to them.

Here are some guidelines to consider:

* I won't be so foolish as to believe that women of all ages and backgrounds have the same kind of taste. So when I say "appeals to women", I mean, (1) won't insult their intelligence", and (2) something they can potentially relate to, regardless of their gender

* I am especially interested in non-superhero titles .

* They don't necessarily have to be independent comics...

* or titles "aimed at" female readers (the way Spider-Man :heart: Mary Jane attempts to be, for example).

* Avoid mentioning manga, if possible (not because they're not interesting; it's just that my purpose is to highlight titles that women might not yet be reading, in spite of their merits, and it seems like women of all ages are already consuming a hefty share of manga titles -- at least the more well-known ones).

Understood? Cool. So let's begin...
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
* I won't be so foolish as to believe that women of all ages and backgrounds have the same kind of taste. So when I say "appeals to women", I mean, (1) won't insult their intelligence", and (2) something they can potentially relate to, regardless of their gender

Good criteria.

In this case, I would say Fell. I told my wife that I wanted her to try Fell...I told her it's the perfect comic for the person who doesn't like or care about comics.
 

Jaggyd

The member formerly known as skotti-chan
Honestly, I admit I'm odd. I was 6 when my uncle introduced me to comics. I read and fell in love with books like Ghost Rider, Dr Strange, and Weird War Tales. I grew up reading my uncle's silver age stuff, then I started getting my own (Mostly the X-Men due to it's more socially aware storylines, and yes, melodrama). Now, fast forward 25 years, I've successfully gotten my girlfriend into American comics.

When we first met, she only collected manga. After she read some of my American books, she's collecting her own books.

Her monthly pull;
Runaways, Trials of Shazam, Spiderman :heart: MJ, New X-Men, BoP, Catwoman, Wonder Woman, Justice Society and Young Avengers (if it ever returns), Teen Titans, Gen 13 and anything Gaiman.

Mine;
Countdown, Brave & Bold, All X-Titles, Y the Last Man, Outsiders, Wonder Woman, Catwoman, JLA, JSA, Avengers (Mighty and New), Authority, WildCats (whenever the hell it comes out), and about 20 other books.


When it comes to non-superhero stuff, your choices are pretty limited, I read and love Fell (but Janae hates it), Y the Last Man, and other Vertigo books. So, after my rambling, my main point is, if a woman wants to read comics, she'll find what she enjoys and will read it. So, don't force it.
 
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compound

Well-Known Member
So, after my rambling, my main point is, if a woman wants to read comics, she'll find what she enjoys and will read it. So, don't force it.
Yeah, I certainly didn't mean to generalize. I know every reader's experience is different, regardless of their gender.

But sometimes I can't help but feel that there are certain comics that go unnoticed by a wider audience (of ALL genders and sexual persuasions), because it's often difficult to look past the dominance of superheroes in the marketplace.

For example, in the "Women in Comics" thread, Seldes Katne made some great suggestions for titles that appeal to readers of all ages, although they seem to be "pitched to girls in upper elementary or middle school", for example:

  • Alison Dare (subtitled Little Miss Adventures), who is the daughter and neice of superhero crimefighters, leads her friends Dot and Wendy on a series of adventures, many of which start with the archaeological work of Alison's mother. The girls track down historical treasures, thwart thieves, and generally get into one scrape after another. The stories are written by J. Torres and J. Bone.

  • The Courageous Princess, by Rod Expinosa. Mabelrose may not be very good at dancing, court intrigue or flirting, but when she's kidnapped by a dragon, she frees herself and begins the long trek home with the help of a porcupine and a wild boar. She uses wits and courage to overcome her adversaries.

  • Jeff Smith's Bone

    All titles available via the UC Store. Click on the links to see purchasing info.
So I guess it also might help to specify what kind of reader the series is aimed at.

I'm definitely not attempting to "force" titles on anybody.

The only reason I even mentioned gender as a factor is (a) I seem to have an uncommon appreciation for certain kinds of narratives and story-telling elements that are traditionally coded as "feminine", to begin with; and (b) since traditional superheroics are largely regarded (dismissed?) as a "guy thing", for better or worse, I felt it would be useful to point out comics that end up slipping between the cracks, and perhaps not reaching the full extent of their possible audience.
 
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the watcher

Well-Known Member
Okay, let's try this again. This is a continuation of ONE sub-topic I brought up, in the "Women In Comics" thread, which has since been locked.

Please note the title of this thread. I created it to discuss a very particular, specific topic:

Which comics do you think will appeal to women, especially newcomers? Just naming comics (or particular creators' runs) will be fine. However, it would be really cool if you discuss *why* you think it might appeal to them.

Here are some guidelines to consider:

* I won't be so foolish as to believe that women of all ages and backgrounds have the same kind of taste. So when I say "appeals to women", I mean, (1) won't insult their intelligence", and (2) something they can potentially relate to, regardless of their gender

* I am especially interested in non-superhero titles .

* They don't necessarily have to be independent comics...

* or titles "aimed at" female readers (the way Spider-Man :heart: Mary Jane attempts to be, for example).

* Avoid mentioning manga, if possible (not because they're not interesting; it's just that my purpose is to highlight titles that women might not yet be reading, in spite of their merits, and it seems like women of all ages are already consuming a hefty share of manga titles -- at least the more well-known ones).

Understood? Cool. So let's begin...


I think it depends on the what type of girl your dealing with... Is she the girl that likes action, comedy, romance, horror, mystery? Gven the type of comics that are in the mainstream right now most seem to fit for the fanboys expectations. Most girls I know tend to perfer comics that are simular to stories that they have read or are based on stuff they've seen or heard of. Like The Simpsons, Futurama, Gargoyles, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (due to the movies), Family Guy, etc, etc, etc.
 

Jaggyd

The member formerly known as skotti-chan
Yeah, I certainly didn't mean to generalize. I know every reader's experience is different, regardless of their gender.

But sometimes I can't help but feel that there are certain comics that go unnoticed by a wider audience (of ALL genders and sexual persuasions), because it's often difficult to look past the dominance of superheroes in the marketplace.

For example, in the "Women in Comics" thread, Seldes Katne made some great suggestions for titles that appeal to readers of all ages, although they seem to be " pitched to girls in upper elementary or middle school", for example:

  • Alison Dare (subtitled Little Miss Adventures), who is the daughter and neice of superhero crimefighters, leads her friends Dot and Wendy on a series of adventures, many of which start with the archaeological work of Alison's mother. The girls track down historical treasures, thwart thieves, and generally get into one scrape after another. The stories are written by J. Torres and J. Bone.

  • The Courageous Princess, by Rod Expinosa. Mabelrose may not be very good at dancing, court intrigue or flirting, but when she's kidnapped by a dragon, she frees herself and begins the long trek home with the help of a porcupine and a wild boar. She uses wits and courage to overcome her adversaries.

  • Jeff Smith's Bone

    All titles available via the UC Store. Click on the links to see purchasing info.
So I guess it also might help to specify what kind of reader the series is aimed at.

I'm definitely not attmpting to "force" titles on anybody.

The only reason I even mentioned gender as a factor is (a) I seem to have an uncommon appreciation for certain kinds of narratives and story-telling elements that are traditionally coded as "feminine", to begin with; and (b) since traditional superheroics are largely regarded (dismissed?) as a "guy thing", for better or worse, I felt it would be useful to point out comics that end up slipping between the cracks, and perhaps not reaching the full extent of their possible audience.

Yeah, and I'll freely admit, we women are just as good at generalization as guys are. I can't tell you how many of my manga reading girl friends refuse to pick up an american book just because they automatically think "SPANDEX".

A good direction to point new female readers are towards books written by female writers; like Gail, Jodi Picoult, Ann Nocenti , and Jill Thompson. Point them towards female artists as well; like Amanda Connor, and...Jill Thompson.

I need to steal back my autographed Bone hardcovers back from the girlfriend.
 

compound

Well-Known Member
A good direction to point new female readers are towards books written by female writers; like Gail, Jodi Picoult, Ann Nocenti , and Jill Thompson. Point them towards female artists as well; like Amanda Connor, and...Jill Thompson.
I'm curious -- are you suggesting this as a kind of 'gateway' strategy, to get new readers to open up their minds? Or do you honestly believe that female creators are more likely to write stories that women can relate to? (Quick! Give me an intelligent response, before our favorite "gender traditionalist" finds this thread :p )

I need to steal back my autographed Bone hardcovers back from the girlfriend.
Not if I seduce her into giving them to me, first :heybaby:
 
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Jaggyd

The member formerly known as skotti-chan
I'm curious -- are you suggesting this as a kind of 'gateway' strategy, to get new readers to open up their minds? Or do you honestly believe that female creators are more likely to write stories that women can relate to? (Quick! Give me an intelligent response, before our favorite "gender traditionalist" finds this thread :p )

Not if I seduce her into giving them to me, first :heybaby:

LOL!!

I honestly feel that in the cases where women see american comics as "OMG SPANDEX!!", having a female behind the wheel helps women drop their defensiveness towards superhero comics (even tho, in all honesty, we're as good at objectifying as any man). I know it sounds amazingly sexist, but we're pretty sexist towards what're seen as "oppressive men".

Also, generally yes, women writers write characters and stories that other women could identify with and appeal to.
 

Bass

Nexus of the World
Liberty Meadows is a good 'un.

Bear, Fillerbunny, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squee, and Lenore are also funny, albeit a bizarrely black humour comics all from the same type of guys who produced Invader Zim.

Calvin & Hobbes of course, is another great comic.
 

compound

Well-Known Member
I knew I'd seen an article for this....

IGN's Top 10 Books For Your Girlfriend


With the exception of "Leave It To Chance"...I've read all the recommendations and I agree.
Likewise, I agree with every suggestion. Though I really think Love & Rockets by Gilbert and Xaime Hernandez should have been included on the list.

There are two titles I didn't personally enjoy -- Leave It to Chance, and Kabuki , and one -- the Endless/Sandman series -- that seems less appealing to me, as I get older. But I still regard them as comics worth checking out, just to decide whether or not it's your cup of tea. There's nothing poor about how they're executed; they're creative and ground-breaking, in their own right, and deserve to find a larger audience. They just didn't appeal to my own sensibilities.

As usual, every title mentioned is conveniently available from the Ultimate Central Shop. For those of you who are curious about prices:


The link for Bone is another post, earlier in this thread.
 
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Lynx

Well-Known Member
My girlfriend and another female friend of mine are big fans of Fables, which I would certainly recommend to other girls looking to get into the medium.
 

compound

Well-Known Member
Leave it to Chance is a wonderful comic book

Facist
Let me put this into context:

* Leave It to Chance is a great series to recommend to fans of Harry Potter, or Scooby Doo, or TV series like Buffy and Supernatural. It's potential appeal is unsidputably broad. The story is very accessible, without being dumb or over-simplistic. And for that, it deserves a spot on the list.

* It had an undeniable influence on a number of comics that came after it, including the Courtney Crumrin series, as well as the webcomic Agnes Quill -- I just happen to prefer the writing and visual story-telling, in both those titles a lot more than Leave It to Chance.

* It's a great "transition/gateway" title to eventually move on to books like Fables, Hellblazer, Books of Magic, Zatanna, and other occult-themed series.

Having said that, I personally found the characters somewhat wooden overall, and Chance is a rather uninteristing protagonist, specifically. (A shame, really, because she *does* have the unique distinction of being one of the few female non-Caucasuian comic protagonists that I can think of, off the top of my head.)

EDIT: Oh, and I realize that Chance's dad (Lucas?) is not meant to be the world's most sympathetic character -- a good guy who makes some bad decisions, basically -- he really just strikes me as a very unlikeable guy, on an affective level (i.e. I can't justify it, rationally).

I love the setting of the comic; the world and its aracane rules is quite fascinating. And the visual motif plays well to the strength of Paul Smith's art.

But I can't bring myself to care, because the characterization just doesn't hold my attention. Believe me -- I tried.
 
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Joe Kalicki

Well-Known Member
I second Fables.

Also, don't give a girl an Ann Nocenti comic unless you never want them to read comics again for some reason.
 

Seldes Katne

Site mom
ElfQuest. Either in the color versions or the black-and-white reprints from DC (listed below). This was a successful independent comic back when no one had ever heard of independent comics. I showed my four trade volumes to the guy I was dating, and he liked them just as much as I did.

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4

The series follows the adventures of the Wolfriders, elf-like beings living on the distant World of Two Moons. The first volume takes the Wolfriders from their forest home to the desert world of the Sun Folk, where the two clans first clash, then begin to learn from each other. The women in this series are particularly well developed and play strong roles in the story. (The Wolfriders have had several Chieftesses in their history; the current healer for the Sun Folk is a woman, as is their spiritual leader, who is one of the oldest elves on the planet.) The men are no slouches, either.

The second, third and fourth volumes follow a combined group of Wolfriders and Sun Folk as they search for the "palace" that they believe brought their ancestors to this world, and discover other groups of elves along the way -- some open and friendly, some scheming and distrustful.

And although many of the characters are wearing somewhat revealing clothing, it makes sense within the context of their culture and environment. Yes, there is some sexuality in the stories, but it's done tastefully, and most of the physical action is off-stage.

Perhaps not surprisingly, ElfQuest is written by a woman, Wendy Pini. However, her husband contributes a great deal as well. The art is fantastic, the author successfully juggles at least 25 continuing characters, and the story is well-plotted. You can read the first volume as a stand-alone trade, but I recommend at least the first four books to get the full story. There are nearly a dozen volumes in the series at this point.
 

Jaggyd

The member formerly known as skotti-chan
See, I'm strange, I love Kabuki, yet I seriously cannot read Elfquest to save my life, after about 10 pages I glaze over and look for something else to read.
 

Victor Von Doom

Fist of teh Internets.
Hmmm......while I'd like to contribute to the thread....I'm not exactly sure how other than some small suggestions. But even then---I can't help but feel a little biased or sexist by placing a book into a specific genre when it might not exactly belong there.

Case in point---it'd be easy to say that "Spider-Man Loves MaryJane" is a little girl's book. But by doing that I'm segregating it from a whole demographic....which in essence is wrong because there are several males here who love the book. It's kinda like calling a certain film a "chick flick" because it's made by and stars women. But just because of that fact and tone of the film is it right to call it a chick flick even though it could appeal to several members of the opposite sex? And why is that wrong? Can't I, as red-blooded American male say that I love "Family Stone" or "Love Actually"? Crap....I kinda went off on an off-topic tangent.

Where was I? Oh yeah....

I think it's not a matter of is this comic for women so much as what does the woman fancy?

In a vain attempt of trying to contribute.....I think Gail Simone's "Welcome to Tranquility" is awesome.





Yeah.....that didn't help at all.
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
I've heard most BKV comics are hits with the ladies.

And Jeff Smith should be read by everybody, female or not.
 

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