Tag: Kelly Sue DeConnick

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    You Choose The Best Comic Book of 2016

    Best comics of 2016

    A lot of amazing books have come out in 2016. With Marvel revitalizing their line, DC’s Rebirth, to so many independent and creator-owned books dominating the stands, 2016 has certainly been a comic book year to remember.

    With that in mind, the staff at TFAW took a look at sales numbers, fan buzz, and our personal favorites of the year to create a list of the 25 best comics of the year. Now we want you, our awesome customers, to vote on this list to decide definitively what the best books of 2016 are.

    Voting will take place from Jan 1st through Jan 31st, so head on over to our  Facebook page  and cast your vote. Let your voices be heard and recognize all these amazing creators and publishers for all their hard work.

    Superman Vol. 01 Son of Superman
    By: Peter J. Tomasi, Doug Mahnke, Patrick Gleason
    The New 52 Superman is dead, but hiding among us for years was the original Big Blue. Now, a world without a Superman is in desperate need for Clark to leave the good life on the farm with Lois raising their son. This story simultaneously brings Superman back to formula, but also takes him in a direction he’s never really been before.

    Bitch Planet Vol. 2: President Bitch
    By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma
    Powerful and gut-wrenching, Bitch Planet continues to explore themes of patriarchy and non-compliance. A must read for SJWs, feminists, and people who truly appreciate comics as an artistic medium.

    Wonder Woman TPB Vol. 01 The Lies
    By: Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, Matthew Clark
    Wonder Woman has been interpreted in many ways over her 75 year existence. Instead of trying to hide this, Greg Rucka’s approach is to embrace this to try and get to the real heart of who Wonder Woman is. Not just a great jumping on point for new readers, but a definitive take on the character that will hold true for years to come.

    Black Hammer Vol 1: Secret Origins
    By: Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart
    Black Hammer is another in a long line of grand ideas by one of comics brightest stars, Jeff Lemire. This book has a unique take on superheroes and the art by Dean Ormston & Dave Stewart instantly ensnares the reader.

    Rough Riders Vol. 1
    By: Adam Glass, Pat Oliffe
    History in the making! Teddy Roosevelt, Jack Johnson, Annie Oakley, Harry Houdini and Thomas Edison make up an American dream team engaged in an epic shadowy war! Monsters and Mayhem folks!

    The Mighty Thor Vol 1: Thunder in Her Veins
    By: Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman
    Marvel is changing things up by casting Dr. Jane Foster as the new Thor. The goddess of thunder shines in this series as she comes to grips with heroism and her own mortality. Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman are the perfect pairing. Also: Loki.

    Divinity II
    By: Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine, Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic
    After Abram came crashing home in Divinity vol 1. Spending his entire life in the depths of space, Divinity II tells the tale of Myshka. Still beliving in the Communist ideal. She intends to play a very real role in the return of Soviet glory

    Old Man Logan Vol 1: Berserker
    By: Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino
    What happens when an older, more gruff version of Wolverine comes to the main Marvel Universe? A whole lot of fighting. He’s on a mission to to prevent a terrible future from happening. Andrea Sorrentino’s art is breathtaking.

    Detective Comics Vol. 01 Rise of the Batmen
    By: James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Al Barrionuevo
    Batman is notorious for being a lone wolf (bat?), but he’s always had his family behind him. Now it’s time to take the Bat-Family to the next level. Lead by Batwoman, Batman puts together a team of Red Robin, Orphan (Cassandra Cain), Spoiler, and Clayface to be ready for whatever threat comes Gotham’s way.

    Vision Vol 1: Little Worse Than Man
    By: Tom King, Kevin Walsh, Mike Del Mundo
    Vision has the perfect family: a wife, two kids, and a dog. Look elsewhere for over-the-top nonstop heroics; this book proves it’s the little moments that matter. Truly impeccable dialogue and top-notch art await!

    March Book 3
    By: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
    The third and final installment in civil rights activist John Lewis’ story in the battle for civil rights in the United States. 1963 was an incredibly turbulent time in America’s history, and John Lewis was not only in the middle of it, but a leader in getting us out of it, long before becoming a congressman. March will remind you there are real heroes in this world.

    Star Wars: Poe Dameron Vol 1: Black Squadron
    By: Charles Soule, Phil Noto
    With crisp and clean art by Phil Noto, Poe Dameron is one of the most beautiful of Marvel’s new Star Wars comics. Charle Soule explores Dameron’s uncanny skills and matching bravado.

    Paper Girls Vol. 2
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang
    Continuing where Vol. 1 left off, the misfit group of paper girls from 1988 find themselves transported to present day. Our main characters are forced to look at who they are, and who they may…or may not become. This superstar team continues to tell one of the craziest sci-fi stories currently on the shelves, while staying focused on the heart of any good story, the characters.

    All New Wolverine Vol. 01 Four Sisters
    By: Tom Taylor, David Lopez, Bengal
    With the death of Logan, clone daughter Laura Kinney (X-23) steps up to be Wolverine and the best she is at what she does. This book is bloody, emotional, hilarious, and beautiful. This is one of those unique books that can present adult subjects in a way that people of all ages can understand. Clone or not, All-New Wolverine definitely has soul.

    Dept. H Vol. 1: Pressure
    By: Matt Kindt, Sharlene Kindt
    Not your average murder mystery! An in depth(see what I did there) story taking place on a deep sea research station. Family, lies, secrets and creatures make for a spectacular, well-paced adventure.

    Steven Universe & Crystal Gems Vol. 01
    By: Josceline Fenton, Chrystin Garland, Kat Leyh
    They are the Crystal Gems. They always save the day! If you think they can’t. Here is proof that they always find a way!

    Monstress Vol. 1
    By: Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda
    A fascinating look at an alternate 1900’s Asia where monsters of god-like power are normal. Witness the journey of one teenage girl struggling to survive while trying to tame her own MONSTER.

    Black Panther Vol. 01 Nation Under Our Feet
    By: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze
    Wakanda under the microscope. On the brink of civil war, treason and terrorist attacks ensue in T’Challa’s homeland. Witness Black Panther fight to save his country from all fronts.

    Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Vol. 01
    By: Kyle Higgins, Jorge Corona, Goni Montes
    “It’s Morphin Time!” This fantastic new series starts after the Green with Evil Saga. Takes us through a different path from the show, one that keeps it at the top of my reading every month. Perfect for fans new and old.

    Saga Vol. 6
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
    Set three years after the end of Vol. 5, our story opens with Hazel in kindergarten. For a story that’s followed a family on the run through space since issue 1, Vol 6 shows them living a domestic and stationary life for the first time…and it doesn’t go too well for them. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples continue to be a dominating power tag team.

    Sheriff Of Babylon Vol. 01 Bang Bang Bang
    By: Tom King, Mitch Gerads, John Paul Leon
    Currently known for his fantastic work on Batman, Tom King and Mitch Gerad’s The Sherriff of Babylon, is a suspenseful crime noir tale set in Bagdad circa 2003. King’s CIA experience in addition to Gerad’s life-like art style gives this series the accolades it deserves.

    Beauty Vol. 01
    By: Jason Hurley, Jeremy Haun
    The first STD that people actually WANT! In this world, The “Beauty”, transforms your body into its most beautiful version. People are literally dying to get it but the public is unaware of the side effects. Detectives Vaughn and Foster are on the case.

    Faith Vol. 01 Hollywood & Vine
    By: Jody Houser, Francis Portela, Jele Kevic-Djurdjevic
    Starting off as a side character in Harbinger back in 2014, we were given a full ongoing series of Faith Herbert this year. Written by the wonderful Jody Houser. This is a series meant for Fan-boys/girls, as Faith herself is as much of a geek as we are.

    Gotham Academy Vol. 03 Yearbook
    By: Brenden Fletcher, Moritat, Mingjue Helen Chen
    Our favorite students go back after their adventures last year, telling tales before everything went to chaos. Gotham Academy is an all-ages series perfectly suited for those wanting to move to Gotham, but are not old enough to drive there.

    Legend of Zelda Legendary Ed GN Vol. 01 Ocarina Time
    By: Akira Himekawa
    Viz does it again. While this is a reprint, if you’ve never read the Manga adaptation of the celebrated N64 game Ocarina of Time, this is a perfect time. Collecting vol 1 and 2, You get the complete tale.

    DON’T FORGET TO VOTE BY THE 31ST

    Honorable Mentions

    2016 had so many amazing titles that it was nearly impossible for us to narrow it down to 25. With that in mind, here are some honorable mentions of books that you should definitely check out. Odds are they made your own personal top 25.

    Batman Vol. 1 I Am Gotham
    By: Tom King, David Finch
    Gotham City has two new heroes, Gotham and Gotham Girl. With these super powered saviors doing what Batman can’t, is he really what Gotham City needs anymore?

    The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 04 Kissed Squirrel Liked It
    By: Ryan North, Erica Henderson
    I an age of dark and gritty superheroes, The Unbeatable Squirrel decides to have fun with the universe it lives in instead. Be prepared to smile.

    Dark Knight: A True Batman Story
    By: Paul Dini, Eduardo Risso
    Legendary Batman writer, Paul Dini, was beaten within an inch of his life. This autobiographical tale shows just how these iconic characters like Batman can get us through the darkest of times.

    Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse
    By: Chris Roberson, Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, Wes Dzioba, Dan Dos Santos
    Set after the events of the previous series, Leaves on the Wind, No Power in the ‘Verse continues the tale of our favorite Browncoats

    I Am a Hero Omnibus Volume 1
    By: Kengo Hazawa
    A slightly crazy artist, and one of the few people in Japan that actually owns a gun, is neck deep in the zombie apocalypse.

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    NCBD – Justice League, Bitch Planet, Deadpool vs Gambit

    NCBD Justice League, Bitch Planet, Deadpool V Gambit

    New Comic Book Day is upon us once again. With Justice League’s final issue before Rebirth, Bitch Planet still continuing it’s awesome work, and Deadpool going head-to-head with Gambit. Remember these are only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Justice League comics at TFAW.com

    Justice League #52
    By: Dan Jurgens, Paul Pelletier, Tony Kordos

    The Darkseid War rocked the Justice League. Putting each of them through trials which found fresh perspectives, and illuminated some things that they did not realize were in the shadows. In recent history, we saw Superman save the world from a corrupted energy version of himself by ultimately sacrificing himself for the survival of DC’s Earth.

    Superman’s willingness to put the world before himself is one of his most enduring character elements and even Lex Luthor has to recognize that. In true Lex fashion, he pays what form of respect that he has for our hero by adopting the House of El’s shield on his redesigned battle armor. Setting out on a mission to acquire the fallen Superman’s cape to wear with it, so that he can become the new savior of Metropolis. Lex Luthor experiences his own Rebirth, and though the members of the Justice League are unsure of where Lex’s rebirth will lead, so far they aren’t out to stop him. After all, there is another, true Superman which he is unaware of. Chalk up another victory to DC’s Rebirth line for taking their comics to great new frontiers! I’m excited to see where we’re going. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Bitch Planet comics at TFAW.com

    Bitch Planet #8
    By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro

    Bitch Planet #8 hits all the notes you’d expect from the DeConnick—De Landro team. The art is on point, and the characters are every bit as endearing as ever.

    The story of Meiko’s father takes a surprising turn which manages to escalate Kamau’s search for her sister. Unbeknownst to them, we—the readers—get a shocking and (in true DeConnick fashion) uncomfortable glimpse into what Kamau is currently up to.

    The best elements of De Landro’s art are on display in this issue. At a glance, faces and backgrounds appear simplified and stripped down, but digging deeper, he reveals details that have astonishing implications for the overall story implications for the overall story. DeConnick’s writing isn’t different in that regard. Many of the conversations are designed for the astute reader to pick up on references to previous issues. On the flipside, new ideas are seeded (such as a strange cult-like meeting in the basement of a bar) as we see more and more of the horrifying world of Bitch Planet. [Tim S. At TFAW.com]

    Deadpool vs Gambit comics at TFAW.com

    Deadpool vs Gambit #1
    By: Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, Danilo Beyruth, Kevin Wada

    From the writers who brought you Thunderbolts and one of the artists behind Gwenpool, comes the all-new five issue mini-series, Deadpool V Gambit: The V is for VS.

    I have always been keen on the writers who take on Deadpool, and Ben Acker and Ben Blacker definitely know what they are doing with the Merc with a Mouth. If you don’t know much about Gambit, that’s okay! This issue gives you a good feel of what he’s like and what powers he possesses.

    Now on to the fight! We love seeing this Mercenary fight with anyone that will bring him the big bucks! However, this issue will surprise you as it’s not your traditional VS (or is it V now?) mini-series. Gambit the Cajun magician and Deadpool the Merc who needs money, bring you this amazing, hilarious issue. I am actually really intrigued where this issue is going… I give it five tacos and five chimichangas! [Darcey M. at Universal Citywalk]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    The Best Comics of 2015 – Part 4 of 5 – Image Comics

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

    Now that we’re firmly in the new year, and the effects from the champagne have worn off, we want to stop and remember the great books that were released last year. What follows is the fourth in a series of five Best Comics of 2015 pieces we’ll be posting through January 6. Missed the earlier installments? Check out Part 1Part 2, and Part 3. Starting January 7, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    Superheroes are all well and good, but if you want to dig your teeth into something with a little more meat, creator-owned series are where it’s at. With series for virtually any taste, Image Comics really pushed hard in 2015 to draw us in and captivate us.

    The Best of Image Comics (in no particular order):

    Rat Queens
    By: Kurtis J. Wiebe, Stjepan Šejić, Roc Upchurch

    Looking for a fantasy comic that is different than all the others? Like, WAY different? Good. Pick up Rat Queens. This book has all the classic high-adventure elements you would expect and so much more. Led by a cast of strong female characters, each issue is violent and vulgar but also has more heart than most series on the stands. Similarly, each of the four Rat Queens are fully realized, complex characters. They feel like real people, which is something many series seem to struggle with.

    But who are the Rat Queens? Hannah, Violet, Dee, and Betty are a raucous, drunken, crass group of mercenaries and your new best friends. They are the Dungeons and Dragons party you wish you had. This book is a fantastic ride that you should hop on as soon as possible to see for yourself! So many people have thanked us for bringing them on board this series. [Jeff B. at Portland TFAW]

    Birthright
    By: Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan

    After their youngest boy Mikey goes missing in the woods, the Rhodes family is torn apart. A year passes and someone shows up that looks like Conan knowing a little too much about the disappearance of little Mikey.

    If you haven’t picked up Birthright by Joshua Williamson (Ghosted, Nailbiter, Illuminati) you are sorely missing out. One of Image’s best series continues this past year as we figure out about what happened to Mikey, and what could happen to our world.

    I don’t read a ton of fantasy comics, but this one got me hooked from issue one. I’ve introduced this book to people who don’t typically read comics and comics fans who don’t really like fantasy series, and they’ve all come back and told me that they can’t stop reading this book. It’s wholly engrossing and transcends genres.

    The first two volumes are available for order, and I can tell you the series has only gotten better with time. I can’t wait to see where Joshua Williamson takes us next. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Bitch Planet comics at TFAW.com Bitch Planet
    By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Robert Wilson IV, Cris Peter, Clayton Cowles, Rian Hughes, Lauren McCubbin

    Taking a page from the sexploitation flicks of the ’60s and ’70s and borrowing from the best that the sci-fi genre has to offer, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet is one of the best comic book series on the shelves right now. DeConick knows how to tell a violent, gripping story with gravitas, and is particularly talented when it comes to writing complex characters.

    This series is all about power. The power we give up to others. The internal strength that one can tap in to. Societal power that forces us into different roles. Bitch Planet more than a comic book at this point. The team has expertly created a movement of Non-Compliance, and I can’t wait to see where they lead us. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Fables comics at TFAW.com

    Saga
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

    What more can be said of perhaps the best series out there? If the shelf full of awards Saga has won, it’s constant presence bestseller lists, or the series’ amazing reviews hasn’t convinced you to check it, out this blog won’t either. But seriously, go read Saga. Like, right now. We’ll wait… finished it yet? All caught up? Good. It’s awesome right?!

    What other series blends fantasy and science fiction so seamlessly? What other series has such visionary art? What other series possesses the sheer charm of Saga? Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples come together and make a truly unique universe. It’s a crazy one, filled with robot royalty, magic using satyr people, dragons, living spaceships and GHUS! Oh and intergalactic space wrestling. Can’t forget that.

    With all this insanity it’s easy to forget the best part of the series — the characters. This creative team’s real success is how endearing these characters are, even the “villains”. Nearly every issue has an incredibly compelling cliffhanger that has us readers on an emotional rollercoaster. And just like the intergalactic space wrestling, we live and die with these characters every issue. [Dustin K. at Universal TFAW]

    The Wicked and the Divine comics at TFAW.com The Wicked & The Divine
    By: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, ‎Matt Wilson

    Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie sucked me in, and I’ve been waiting with baited breath for each and every issue of The Wicked and The Divine, or WicDiv for short. There’s a huge cast of characters to follow, and Gillen’s world-building ability rivals J.R.R. Tolkein and George R.R. Martin.The series centers around two themes: Death and Fame.

    The twelve (or possibly 13?) Gods are reincarnated on Earth every 90 years to to fight the world’s darkness, but the kicker is that they only have two years–after that, they’re dead. Fame is also a strong theme in the series. These Gods are both famous and infamous. Adored and revered. Hated and envied.Fantastic story aside, I swoon every time I crack open the newest issue.

    McKelvie is a wickedly talented storyteller in his own right, with panel construction and linework that consistently has me taking a moment to think about what I’ve just seen. This series is also evidence that Matt Wilson is one of the best colorists in the industry. I can’t get enough of this series. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Honorable Mentions:

    Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog in the coming days as we’ll be posting our final Best Comics of 2015 lists. At the end, YOU will decide which one will be crowned as the Best Comic of 2015!

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

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    Avengers Assemble Signing 2/13 With Kelly Sue DeConnick & Pete Woods

    Avengers Assemble signing with Kelly Sue DeConnick and Pete WoodsSuperhero fans, assemble–at our Mighty Marvel signing with Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel) and Pete Woods (Superman: New Krypton) for Avengers Assemble #12. RSVP on Facebook now!

    BREAKING! Local Portland television station KGW will be covering this awesome signing for their Live at 7 news segment. Make sure to get to the Portland TFAW by 6:45 p.m. at the very latest to be a part of it–and possibly get on TV!

    Come to the Portland TFAW February 13 from 7 to 10 p.m. to meet these amazing creators and enjoy free food and beer (21+ with valid ID). Plus, check out breathtaking original art by Pete Woods. Copies of Avengers Assemble #12 will be available for purchase for $3.99.

    SIGNING POLICY: Get anything purchased at TFAW (with receipt) signed! Outside items (not purchased at TFAW) limited to three per customer.

    Avengers Assemble #12 is the first of a two-part story arc titled “The Widow’s Ledger”: The sins of Black Widow’s past have resurfaced and threaten the safety of not only the Avengers, but also the entire world! Widow, Spider-Woman, and Hawkeye must travel to Siberia to search for a missing girl with ties to an old Soviet assassination. But the truth behind this girl’s disappearance may be more than the Avengers are prepared to handle!

    Kelly Sue DeConnick is one of comics’ rising stars, with her acclaimed work on Osborn, Captain Marvel, and Ghost. Harvey Award-nominated Pete Woods came to prominence in the pages of Deadpool, before a long run at DC Comics on such popular titles as Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Secret Six. Come meet them February 13 at our shop!

    RSVP TO OUR AVENGERS ASSEMBLE SIGNING 2/13

    BROWSE AVENGERS ASSEMBLE COMICS

    Have you been reading Avengers Assemble? Post your comments below!

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    Kelly Sue DeConnick Talks Shop with Us

    Kelly Sue DeConnickKelly Sue DeConnick is blowing up. The second issue of her new series, Captain Marvel hits stands today (it’s really, really good, BTW), and she and artist Dexter Soy have received a lot of praise for the book. We had the chance to sit down for an interview with Kelly Sue about her first writing gig, the best part of making comics, and her advice to aspiring creators.

    TFAW.com: What are your earliest memories of comics? What was the first comic you read?

    Kelly Sue DeConnick: You know, it breaks my heart that I don’t remember that. That’s a question I get a lot and I know many people can remember their first comics; I can’t. They were just always around. I grew up in large part on military bases. My father was in the Air Force and comics are a big part of (or at least were in the ’70s) base culture. Everyone read them, everyone trades them at swap meets. It’s just a thing.

    There are a few early ones that I remember particularly well. There was one — a Christian comic of some sort, I think it was Al Green — that my grandmother picked up for me at a gas station on a road trip. I remember that one particularly well because that summer with my grandmother, I didn’t have access to very many, I just had a couple comics. So I read that one over and over again, and I started taking it apart — literally cutting the panels apart, sort of rearranging things . . . I tried to copy panels as well. Although I’m not, how you say, a good artist.

    TFAW.com: What inspired you to become a writer, and when did you first begin to explore that creative outlet?

    DeConnick: Spite, probably? I have a theater degree and was trained as an actor. I have a single ugly breakup in my lifetime, and that was with a writer, and I suspect on some subconscious level I decided, “Oh yeah? I’ll show you.”

    TFAW.com: How did you break into the comics industry?

    DeConnick's first multi-issue writing gig with Steve Niles in 30 Days of Night: Eben and Stella.DeConnick: Have I broken into the comics industry? This is one of those things . . . I feel like I’ve broken in over and over again. I feel like every gig is a new “breaking in” story.

    My first work in comics was writing reviews of comics with Warren Ellis on ARTBOMB.net, and then I moved on to writing the English adaptations of Japanese and Korean comics for TokyoPop and Viz, and I did that for a number of years. And then Steve Niles gave me the opportunity to co-write 30 Days of Night: Eben & Stella with him, so that was my first multi-issue original comic.

    I got to work for Marvel as part of the “Women of Marvel” initiative of 2010.

    With the exception of anthologies, it has been entirely work-for-hire thus far. I’ll have my first creator-owned book out from Image next year. Everything is a new breaking-into-comics experience.

    TFAW.com: Last month, you launched Captain Marvel with Carol Danvers as the eponymous hero. Can you tell us a little about that experience?

    Captain Marvel #2 comes out today!DeConnick: The story of that book is really a story of the fan base for Carol Danvers, I think. That has been my good fortune. I got very lucky. I started talking to Steve Wacker at Marvel (my editor on Osborne: Evil Incarcerated) about a Ms. Marvel series back in . . . well, I opened a file for Ms. Marvel in 2010, so we’d been talking for quite some time. The timing wasn’t right for it, but Steve really championed that book — and me. He is a large part of the success of that book. We’re only one issue in, but I’ve been told our launch numbers were better than expected and the outpouring of support from the fan base is absolutely the reason for that. Really, if we had to stop now, I would feel like it was a victory — that someone else would pick up Carol’s torch for her in short order.

    TFAW.com: How has your experience been as a female creator in the comics industry?

    DeConnick: That is a really hard question for me to answer, because I couldn’t tell you what the experience has been for me as a male in the industry. (laughs) You know what I mean? I often make light of that question. It suggests that somehow I’m typing with my girl parts.

    I think that we’re all very lucky to have this job. I think it’s a very hard job to get, and a harder job to keep. I think that as an industry I would like to see us treat our female characters better and I would like to see more women professionals working steadily. I think we’re on our way.

    I don’t think it’s easy for anyone. Where I tend to get my dander up is when people suggest that women don’t want to (or shouldn’t want to) read superhero comics — or read comics at all! — or that women who want to work in the industry are statistical anomalies. People who should know better have suggested that the only reason there aren’t more women working on comics is because there aren’t very many women who *want* to work in comics. I call bullshit on that one.

    Kelly Sue resurrects Dark Horse's Ghost in a new series starting next month.TFAW.com: What’s your favorite part of telling stories in the sequential arts?

    DeConnick: When I’m done! (laughs) Again, this is a great job, and I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, but it’s hard work. I go through a rollercoaster of insecurities during the process: “I’m terrible, I’m a hack, I’m never going to get better. I’m so slow, I’m out of time . . . ” All those things pop up. And then you make it through, and then you think, “It’s not so bad.” And you get to the point where you have to turn it in and you say, “I’ll have to do better next time.” And then someone writes you and tells you they liked your book and it made them cry and you think, “Yeah! I can’t wait to do the next one,” and it’s lather, rinse and repeat.

    TFAW.com: Your husband is also in the comic book industry. What’s that like?

    DeConnick: I’m fond of my husband, as it happens. I think I’ll keep him. As far as our being colleagues — I bounce stuff off of him all the time. They’re usually craft questions rather than story questions, because we’re interested in different stories — we tell different stories. But I could not be a bigger fan of his work. He’s so gifted, and sometimes it makes me horribly, horribly jealous. I know how hard he works, how much stress he’s under, and what level he produces at — and yet he makes it look utterly effortless.

    I just recently read a Mark Waid script, it was the first of his I’ve read. I was struck too, with him, at how effortless he makes it seem. And I envy that so much. It’s so amazing. It’s such a testament to their level of their talent and craftsmanship. I look forward to one day (laughs) getting somewhere near that.

    TFAW.com: What are three things you think comic book publishers should be doing to attract female readers?

    The manga boom is still alive and kicking. Click here to see the hottest upcoming manga at TFAW.DeConnick: I don’t think the female readership is a monolith. I have some ideas about how, as an industry, we can try to make things friendlier to new readers in general — and I do think we have a huge potential audience of new female readers. (The manga boom ought to have dispelled the myth that women won’t read comic/buy comics. They’ll do it, and they’ll pay $10 a pop!) I think that we have a tendency to dismiss not just the female readers, but new readers in general and market only to people who are already reading comics, and I think that when we do that, it’s not really self-sustaining. We’re leaving money on the table. One thing I think helps is more obvious jumping-on points.

    TFAW.com: What aspect of comics have you struggled with, as a creator?

    DeConnick: The schedule. I think that is the bane of my existence right now. Because we’re a serial format — the train leaves the station every thirty days. The way things tend to get up and running, the turn-around time is breakneck.

    Neil Gaiman said something recently about when he’s writing a book, he starts with the first word and puts one after another until he gets to the end of the story, and that’s the first draft. Then he goes back and reworks it so it looks like he knew what he was doing the whole time. That’s the same idea as one of my favorite E.L. Doctorow quotes (and I’m paraphrasing here):

    Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you can make a whole trip that way.

    That’s a much more natural process for me — to just kind of dive in and write and see where I end up. Then go back and say, “Oh, if I’m going to need this gun in the third act, I need to make sure it’s there in the first act.” But because of the way that the comic book industry works, you don’t get that much time, and you need to be able to write from an outline and structure it from the beginning. Ideally, I’d be able to write a whole story out, figure it out as I go, and then go back and rework it before any issues ever came out. But that’s just not possible in serial fiction.

    TFAW.com: What advice can you give aspiring comic book creators?

    DeConnick: Work hard. Make comics. This absolutely attainable. If this is the thing that you want to do, you can absolutely do this. It is not easy, but nothing worthwhile is. Don’t be a jerk to your editors — that’s always a good idea. Work hard, care about what you’re making.

    TFAW.com: Who’s work had an influence in your writing?

    Kelly Sue and Brian Michael Bendis collaborate on the critically acclaimed Castle graphic novels.DeConnick: Brian Bendis — for his dialogue, in particular. It’s just some of the best in the industry. He’s also not afraid to write very vulnerable books, if that makes sense to anyone. Warren Ellis is just a master in every sense of the word. He understands this craft better on his worst day than I ever will. He’s also hilarious. I think that’s the great secret about him — that he’s a comedy writer. He makes me think while he’s making me laugh.

    TFAW.com: Who’s one woman in comics that you admire?

    DeConnick: I couldn’t narrow it down to one. Diana Schutz would be huge for me — the stories that woman can tell . . . Gail Simone. I just admire Gail as a human and as a comic creator. I adore Jen Van Meeter. Jen Van Meter, Kathryn Immonen, and Marjorie Liu are all three women who have a certain grace to them that I will never possess, and I admire greatly. Kathryn is elegant on every level. Jen manages to be both fiery and gentle at the same time. She’s one of the most nurturing people I’ve ever met in my life. My shoulders fall three inches whenever I’m in her presence. Marjorie Liu is just classy, I don’t think she and I are the same species. I feel like the mushroom toad girl next to her. She handles all of this with such grace.

    TFAW.com: What was the last comic you read?

    DeConnick: Jason Aaron’s Incredible Hulk.

    Captain Marvel #6 now available for pre-order at TFAW.com!TFAW.com: What projects do you have coming up soon?

    DeConnick: I have Ghost from Dark Horse right now with Phil Noto. His work always solicits gasps — he’s amazing. Obviously Captain Marvel with Dexter Soy. He’s astonishingly talented, very epic work. I have a creator-owned book called Pretty Deadly coming out next year from Image with Emma Rios, who was my collaborator on Osborn. I love her work. Castle: Storm Season just went out to the printer, so that should be out soon too — that one is with Ema Lupacchino, who is killer.

    —————–

    We want to thank Kelly Sue for taking the time out of her busy schedule to chat comics with us, it was a great time. Very cool to hear about her first creator-owned book. You can bet that Pretty Deadly will be on our reading list.

    SEE OTHER WORK BY KELLY SUE DeCONNICK AT TFAW

    Did you pick up Captain Marvel #1? Did you love how fun the issue was? What did you think of the first Castle graphic novel? Let us know below.

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    Carol Danvers Stars as Captain Marvel in New Series This July

    Captain Marvel #1 at TFAW.comMs. Marvel has a distinguished career–she’s served as a solo hero and is a long-time member of the Avengers. This July, Carol Danvers leaves the Ms. Marvel identity behind and becomes the eponymous protagonist of the new Captain Marvel series by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Castle: Deadly Storm, Osborn) and artist Dexter Soy (Army of Two).

    She’s back! The “Mightiest” of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Ace pilot. Legendary Avenger. 100% pure bad-a$$. Carol Danvers has a new name, a new mission . . . and all the power she needs to make her life a living hell.

    “I want this to be a book about optimism, about exceeding even our own expectations, about the power of possibility and the seeming magic of flight. C’mon now, people: prove me wrong. Show me that a female-led book about the power of the human spirit [and] the many guises of heroism . . . can break six issues, won’t you?”

    -Kelly Sue DeConnick on Captain Marvel

    ORDER CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 TODAY

    Are you a Carol Danvers fan? Been looking forward to a female-led book by a female creator since X-23 disappeared from the shelves? What do you think about Kelly Sue’s new Captain Marvel series? Let us know below.

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    Meet Local Creators at Ladies Night at TFAW February 4

    Ladies Night at TFAWHey ladies! Do you make comics, read comics, or just want to get to know the comics community better? Join us for our first Ladies Night February 4 at our Portland, Oregon store for an evening of socializing, drinking, drawing, and learning! Free beer and wine (21+ with valid ID) and food provided.

    We’re kicking things off with a Q&A at 7 p.m. featuring notable local women connected to the comics industry, including Colleen Coover (Gingerbread Girl), Kelly Sue DeConnick (Supergirl), Cat Farris (Legend of Larsha 2), Alison Hallett (Portland Mercury Arts Editor), Emi Lenox (Emitown), Jen Van Meter (Avengers Solo), and Dark Horse Comics Executive Editor Diana Schutz, with a Drink & Draw to follow.

    This is a ladies-only event: please spread the word! Also, we’re offering 10% off everything in the store during this event.

    RSVP FOR LADIES NIGHT AT TFAW ON FACEBOOK

    Did you go to Drink & Draw Like a Lady last April? What do you think? Post your comments below!

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