Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: Chicks Dig Comics

Very rarely do my reviews here crossover with my other big love and endeavor, Girls Read Comics Too. Anything having to do with comic reading gets put over there, but I wanted to add this review here as well, because this book needs to be seen in as many places as it possibly can.

Chicks Dig Comics
Editors: Lynne M. Thomas & Sigrid Ellis
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮
Release: April 10th, 2012
A copy was provided for review by the publisher.

In Chicks Dig Comics, editors Lynne M. Thomas (Hugo-Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords) and Sigrid Ellis bring together essays by award-winning writers and artists who celebrate the comics medium and its creators, and who examine the characters and series that they love.
Gail Simone (Birds of Prey) and Carla Speed McNeil (Finder) describe how they entered the comics industry. Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil) reveals her superhero crush, while Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother) confesses to being a comics junkie. Jen Van Meter (Hopeless Savages) sings the praises of 1970s horror comics, and Seanan McGuire (the October Daye series) takes sides in the Jean Grey vs. Emma Frost battle.

Other contributors include Marjorie Liu (Dark Wolverine), Rachel Edidin (Dark Horse Comics), Jill Pantozzi (Newsarama), Kelly Thompson (Comic Book Resources), and SF/F authors Sara Ryan, Delia Sherman, Sarah Monette, and Elizabeth Bear. Also featured: an introduction by Mark Waid (Kingdom Come) and exclusive interviews with Amanda Conner (Power Girl), Louise Simonson (Power Pack), Greg Rucka (Queen & Country), and Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise).

First off, a huge congratulations to Lynne M. Thomas and Sigrid Ellis, who managed to not just get together an impressive list of names, but also put each piece where it seemed to belong. There’s an amazing range of talent here, and there’s no denying that this book is what someone like me has needed for so long. I don’t even enjoy non-fiction that much, and I read this in one sitting.

There’s a great range of interests and pieces here. From interviews with Amanda Conner and Greg Rucka (yes, there are male contributors, and they are awesome) to wonderful pieces on creating comics, a journey into cosplay and everything in between, it feels like there’s something for every comic book lover here. These women not only create and work with comics, but they love them, and you can see it with every word they write.

My favorite piece is Tammy Garrison’s I’m Batman, where she doesn’t apologize for how much of a dick Bruce Wayne is, but explains how he can be inspiring in other ways. Anika Dane Milik’s Captain America’s Next Top Model, which talks about the art of stealth cosplay, is a favorite of mine. So is Jill Pantozzi’s dissection of the Green Lantern corps and how it relates to comic fans, Sara Ryan’s poignant comic panel vignettes, and Marjorie Liu’s love for stories.

Every single piece is worth the read, and I’m so glad Chicks Dig Comics exists.

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