Women comic book authors
April 14, 2007 6:11 AM   Subscribe

What are some good comic books written by female authors?
posted by corpse to Grab Bag (37 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Anything to narrow that down a bit -- are you only looking for current titles in print, or are older books OK? Any particular genres?
posted by Smilla's Sense of Snark at 6:23 AM on April 14, 2007

anything by Roberta Gregory, Ariel Bordeaux, or Julie Doucet,.
posted by jonmc at 6:26 AM on April 14, 2007

(Also -- there's a fairly broad list of authors and artists here, although the manga listing is quite incomplete. I've got some favorites but would rather see if you're looking for a particular focus before going into coredump mode.)
posted by Smilla's Sense of Snark at 6:26 AM on April 14, 2007

What kind of comics are you into? If you like autobio / indie type stuff, there are a lot: Debbie Dreschler ('Daddy's Girl'), Ariel Schrag ('Potential'), Julie Doucet ('Dirty Plotte'), Gabrielle Bell ('Book of...'), all do great work.
posted by rottytooth at 6:27 AM on April 14, 2007

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Anything by Linda Barry. Both of these women are technically comic artists who made their careers with weekly multipanel comics, but they've both done many books. Fun Home is a graphic autobiography. It's pretty cool. Very literary. Linda made her splash with Ernie Pook's Comeex. Which is inspired by Linda's own childhood.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:41 AM on April 14, 2007

Only mentioning the ones I actually read... Jill Thompson's Scary Godmother is very funny and original. I enjoyed Ann Nocenti's run on Daredevil but it could be hard to see why if you're not familiar with the character and the title's background. Some of the things Rachel Pollack did in Doom Patrol were quite interesting, ditto Caitlin Kiernan in The Dreaming. Also, it may be very hard to find where you are and probably only in the original Spanish, but Patricia Breccia (Argentine artist) has some wonderful stuff.
posted by Iosephus at 6:45 AM on April 14, 2007

Linda Medley's Castle Waiting is always worth a read, but I agree that we need more information on whether you're looking for a particular genre, style, whatever.
posted by leesh at 7:07 AM on April 14, 2007

Seconding Roberta Gregory. I was a huge fan of Bitchy Bitch back in the 90s. Utterly hysterical.
posted by psmealey at 7:13 AM on April 14, 2007

If you're looking for plain old "Tights and Fights" comics, look for titles by Gail Simone. Her best known is "Birds of Prey", though it was just announced she's leaving that title to write "Wonder Woman".

If you're looking for stuff outside the mainstream, I've enjoyed both "Perseopolis" books by Marjane Satrapi.
posted by browse at 7:15 AM on April 14, 2007

La Perdida by Jessica Abel (also her Art Babe stuff is good, too.)
Seconding the Alison Bechdel, Lynda Barry and Marjane Satrapi.
posted by safetyfork at 7:18 AM on April 14, 2007

Sequential Tart, and Friends of Lulu's recommendation list will give you some pointers.
posted by zamboni at 7:23 AM on April 14, 2007

How about graphic novels? Shannon Gerard
posted by perpetualstroll at 7:26 AM on April 14, 2007

Thirding Marjane Satrapi. Both Persepolis books, and I also really liked Chicken With Plums.
posted by trouserbat at 7:30 AM on April 14, 2007

I really like Renee French - her Grit Bath comics and The Ticking. Also Julie Doucet and Marjane Satrapi as mentioned above. And Dame Darcy - Meatcake.
posted by mkim at 7:47 AM on April 14, 2007

Miss Lasko-Gross
Phoebe Gloeckner (some NSFW stuff)
Lilli Carré
Rebecca Dart
Mary Fleener
Heather McAdams

There are four volumes of the Twisted Sisters anthology. I'm not a big fan of either Diane Noonan or Aline Kominsky, but don't let that keep you from ckecking out the collections they put together.
Same story with Trina Robbins, who has also put together some fine collections.

Here's an essay about women comics artists.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:17 AM on April 14, 2007

Mikhaela Reid's not a comic book creator as much as a cartoonist, but she's on quite a tear with her strips lately. (and has books)
posted by clango at 8:27 AM on April 14, 2007

For manga, I always thought Kiriko Nananan should be better known.
posted by bobo123 at 8:48 AM on April 14, 2007

2nding Renee French's Grit Bath.
posted by dobbs at 8:52 AM on April 14, 2007

I'm a fan of both Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and her Dykes to Watch Out For strip (collections are in print.)

I'm also a big fan of Nina Paley's "Nina's Adventures" comic strip (and mini-comics), reprinted in Depression is Fun and Nina's Adventures, available in used if you look for them, as well as two comic books from Dark Horse, "Nina's All-Time Greatest Collector's Item Classic Comix #1" and "Nina's New & Improved All-Time Greatest Collectors' Classic Comix #1."
posted by Zed_Lopez at 9:10 AM on April 14, 2007

Is manga okay? Right now, Fullmetal Alchemist is one of my favorite shounen (boys) titles, and it's done by a female writer/artist, Hiromu Arakawa. It's got an incredibly well-plotted story, strong characterization, and great writing and art throughout.

CLAMP is a well-known all-female group of manga-ka; their series cover a wide variety of genres and most of them are available in English. Chobits is especially good; X, Wish, and XXXHolic are all worth a look.

Others I've enjoyed include Kodomo No Omacha by Miho Obana, Antique Bakery by Fumi Yoshinaga, and Maison Ikkoku by Rumiko Takahashi.
posted by May Kasahara at 9:12 AM on April 14, 2007

If you're into Batman, and by extension, the whole Gotham City Mythos, then you might enjoy the work of Devin Grayson. She wrote quite a few bat books during the early aughts. Gotham Knights was her main series, but I want to say she had a pretty fruitful run on Nightwing as well.
posted by EatTheWeek at 9:37 AM on April 14, 2007

My New York Diary by Juliet Doucet. Phoebe Gloeckner, Debbie Drechsler, Jessica Abel, Roberta Gregory. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. She's Persian and won awards for that one in particular. Renee French, if you can hunt down her earliest stuff, is AMAZING. Some people like Chynna Clugston-Major, but I think she's pretty much fluff.

And you can yell at me because this doesn't answer your question, but as for comics by men that do justice to portraying women, I can't help but think of Sam Kieth, Craig Thompson, Bryan Lee O'Malley, sometimes Adrian Tomine (but he's vitriolic, and only sometimes), Brian Michael Bendis, Jeffrey Brown, James Kochalka, Grant Morrison, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez (Luba!!),

If I think of more I'll post again. But those are the ones that immediately come to mind. Sorry if they're obvious!
posted by ifjuly at 9:39 AM on April 14, 2007

jonmc recommended Julie Doucet and I definitely agree! Read the early, raw stuff she published in her own magazine "Dirty Plotte", collected in "Lève ta jambe, mon poisson est mort". (Drawn and quarterly)

Also: Carol Swain, a British comics artist that doesn't draw like anybody else. She deserves to be better known. Her own magazine, "Way out strips" might be out of print. (Fantagraphics)
posted by Termite at 9:40 AM on April 14, 2007

Oh, and didn't Dame Darcy do one called Meatcake? Hm...
posted by ifjuly at 9:40 AM on April 14, 2007

nthing Marjane Satrapi, Julie Doucet, Alison Bechdel, Lilli Carré.

Also: Hope Larson

And while she doesn't do narrative comics, I can't recommend Roz Chast enough. Get her giant retrospective Theories of Everything. She's brilliantly funny.
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:02 AM on April 14, 2007

Diane DiMassa.
posted by bendy at 10:29 AM on April 14, 2007

Finder by Carla Speed McNeil is the best comic being done today by any author--male, female, or otherwise.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:33 AM on April 14, 2007

Seconding *Finder*. That series leaves me gasping for words.

Donna Barr is also a good one - I like her fantasy/war series Stinz.
posted by cadge at 11:09 AM on April 14, 2007

I'm a big fan of the manhwa (Korean) title Dokebi Bride by Marley - she is both the writer and illustrator.

Slothrop wants me to point out Clamp, a collective of female manga artists. I'm not familiar with their work, so can't speak to its quality.

Also, check out Colleen Doran's fantastic series A Distant Soil. My hubby put me onto this book, and I love it, 80's flav and all.

Which brings to mind Wendy Pini and ElfQuest.

If you're asking about female authors because you're looking for realistic bodies, those last two titles might not meet your criteria. . .but Dokebi would fit the bill.
posted by dirtmonster at 11:17 AM on April 14, 2007

There are several promising female comic artists who contribute to the Flight anthology. It's worth exploring.
posted by JDC8 at 11:39 AM on April 14, 2007

Carol Lay, peoples.
posted by furiousthought at 12:57 PM on April 14, 2007

Ditto Carol Lay -- I'd've mentioned her if I remembered.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 1:29 PM on April 14, 2007

Another vote for Alison Bechdel's "Dykes to Watch Out For."
posted by croutonsupafreak at 3:08 PM on April 14, 2007

Another vote for Bechdel's "Fun Home" - a really beautiful book, in both art and story. It's a stunning personal memoir that's more focused and more substantial, artwise, than "Dykes to Watch Out For," a serial newspaper strip.

Also voting for Phoebe Gloeckner, Julie Doucet, Carol Swain, Marjane Sartrapi and Renee French; they're the cream of the independent crop lots of folks mention above. Others like Gregory, Fleener, Lay, Dreschler and DiMassa are definitely worth checking out, and have various brilliant moments, but Gloeckner, French et al are a couple of steps above the rest.
posted by mediareport at 8:30 PM on April 14, 2007

I've seen only a few short pieces from Aline Kominsky-Crumb, but I think she's quite talented.
posted by Clay201 at 8:43 PM on April 14, 2007

STARSTRUCK written by Elaine Lee and illustrated by Michael Kaluta. You'd have to read it to understand.

Finest writing by anyone (female or male) in a science fiction comic for decades. Never topped in my opinion for art and story and lord, do I miss that series.

No offense to Colleen Doran, who's sci fi work is also excellent.
posted by squidfartz at 10:02 PM on April 14, 2007

posted by squidfartz at 10:05 PM on April 14, 2007

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