Hi. My name is Amanda and I am a closet comic fan and all around Nerd Girl.
I remember when my love of comic books began. I was in Harvard Square. The comic book store was dark and I was terrified that the cave-like interior would reject me with some type of forcefield as in: GIRL ALERT!! GIRL ALERT!!! EXIT THE STORE IMMEDIATELY!!! The middle-aged guy behind the desk barely spared me a glance. I assume he thought I was headed for Archie or something light, but I was a goner for superheroes. My dad raised me on Bruce Lee, Superman, and Batman, who kinda made me weak in the knees. Michael Keaton used to be pretty hot. Am I right?
No. Keep focused here, fanchildren. I was young, okay?
I write romances, I should probably out myself about that as well. I like to write supernatural fiction with a romantic thread.
I really liked comics I could afford so I tended to stray near the new and weird. Still, man I had a fascination with mythology, Stan Lee and a decade later… Scotland.
But dear, dear illustrated awesomeness, I love you with a fiery passion. I love legends. I love your color and action and the movie-book marriage that you manage to contain while still being a genre all your own. I love your pages and your serial stories and I really love the culture which surrounds. Comicon? Good lord. I can only dream of going… and then one day, my love of all things legendary and illustrated AND Scottish combined…
Enter Saltire. Who? Saltire. Scotland’s badass legend from the mind of John Ferguson. Did you know it is co-created by Claire Roe and Lauren Knight? Pretty rad, eh? I wondered why I had never considered my hand at illustrated hero fiction?
But here is the thing… as a mother, writer and educator the question came to my mind, and sadly I had not considered it previously, but where were all the female authors? I mean, half naked ladies with ridiculously eye-popping bosoms, mostly contained was definitely appealing to the target readers, right? Except I am a reader and I… kinda pass on all that. I don’t mind it- I mean, I have the same physical attributes, but the women seemed passive or evil and definitely they are being objectified. So… wouldn’t a female author avoid that? Or perhaps- let’s be real, folks- a female illustrator, at least? When I was so kindly invited to guest blogging stardom, I was given free rein on topics and this… this was the question that I wanted to answer. Where were the lady authors? And secondly, could they create some respectable main lady characters? What follows is what I found.
I have not been the only one wondering this question. And also… I am late to the party.
Also, just google searching produces an amazing array of female authors, colorists, illustrators, etc. and they are from all over the world. I admit also that I am a total novice and I am a bit ashamed to not have more knowledge as a self-proclaimed Comic fan. Still, according to Gendercrunch the percentage of female creators with DC Comics comes in at 19.7% overall. Oh. Wow. Same blog listsed numbers slightly less in other wonder universes. Do yourself a favor and look these creators and illustrators up.
Here is the real question- does it matter? Have we come far enough as women that we no longer need lists of females in certain fields? I suppose I can only answer that from my limited perspective as a child born in an era where Staying At Home was both admired and belittled. A time when my parents were more concerned with the boys that I might marry and less concerned about my career choices. The question of female authors matters to me because I still remember when certain professions seemed more appropriate for men than for women. And we didn’t complain. I seek out fellow female authors like I seek out inspiring female characters- particularly in the comicverse- because these women reinforce who I am. So, yes. I want to know where the women are in this world and what they do and I want to see a badass hero who is fit but not naked all the time because… I want a super mirror for my inner badass hero. Don’t call me a heroine. I just want to both identify and escape. Doesn’t make sense to you? Oh, that’s okay… you’re probably a man.
Nerd girl out!
This is a great resource:
Amanda P Minaker blends romance and history to bring strong female characters to life. Her debut novel, Nora Waite was a winner of the NaNoWriMo 2013 Challenge. Her follow-up novel, Jade Thomas is currently in the works.