Female-fronted indie comics
Are you tired of seeing stereotypical portrayals of women in comics?
While women in comics isn’t necessarily a new thing, more often than not readers are given token, one-dimensional female characters. To avoid this, it is very important to have a woman involved in the creative process. Each of the comics below have a woman on their creative team as well as a featured female protagonist, each of which possess different backgrounds so the burden of representation doesn’t fall upon one story.
“Snotgirl” is a series published by Image Comics and written by Bryan O’Malley, the creator of “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.” It is a notable work despite it being the first comic O’Malley hasn’t drawn for, instead, Leslie Hung’s charming use of vivid color and style is used. The comic currently has 15 issues out, totalling three completed volumes.
This comic centers around Lottie Person, a white-passing bisexual woman, while she and her circle of friends are fashion influencers. This comic, however, has more to it than what is shown on its valley girl surface. When Person gains a new friend, Caroline, who is much more than she seems, things start to take a turn. As her new allergy medications seem to be taking a toll on her life and sense of reality, this story becomes a tale of immortality, murder, blood, snot and tears.
Also published by Image Comics is “MotorCrush,” written by Brenden Fletcher and illustrated by Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr. In “MotorCrush,” Domino Swift is a motorcycle racer competing for fame and fortune by day, and by night brutally fights off rival gangs in bike wars to gain control of rare, valuable contraband: a “machine narcotic” known as Crush. This comic incorporates subtle diversity with a black lesbian lead and characters of various body types, it also features an interesting color profile, balancing blue cool undertones and neon pink highlights.
Heavy Vinyl: Riot on the Radio
Originally starting as a webcomic on Tapas.io, “Heavy Vinyl” is now published in print by Boom! Studios. The comic, written by Carly Usdin and drawn by Nina Vakueva, hones in on some nostalgia set in New Jersey back in 1998. The main character, Chris, is a young queer girl who lands her dream job working at the local record store. Little does she know, it’s a front for a teen girl vigilante fight club. Chris, with the help of her friends, will fight through the patriarchy, corporate interference and possibly find where she belongs. This coming-of-age tale is definitely one for the ages.
Jade Street Protection Services
Written by Kathy Rex and published by Black Mask Studios, the magical-girl genre gets revamped in “Jade Street Protection Services.” This comic centers around a group of five rebellious students who met in detention and consequently started skipping their classes at Matsdotter Academy, an elite boarding school for magical girls. They soon uncover that their school is more dangerously sinister than they originally thought. It features a well-rounded diversity of girls from different ethnicities, religious beliefs, neo-divergences and sexual orientations.
Marjane Satrapi tells her autobiographical tale in the french comic “Persepolis” published by Pantheon Books. It depicts her life beginning in childhood progressing to her early adult years living in Iran and Austria during the post-Islamic Revolution. Throughout the story her family is involved in the political unrest of Iran and are depicted attending numerous protests while her father dangerously takes photos of riots. To escape the dangers of home, her family decides to send her away to an academy in Vienna. Despite gaining maturity throughout the novel, she retains her rebellious streak, often getting herself into trouble.
Kim & Kim
This sci-fi comic written by Magdalene Visaggio, illustrated by Eva Cabrera and published by Black Mask Studios follows the story of two 20-something best friends — Kim Quatro and Kim Dantzler — who are in the trade of international cowboy law enforcement. They always seem to be one bounty away from getting by, but when they see the opportunity to hijack a high stakes bounty, they take it hoping to prove something to their displeased parents. However, they soon learn they are in way over their heads.