Round two: Favourite Stories Starring Women

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IT BEGINS. Round two of Women Write About Comics starts now! (Actually, it started yesterday but your editor was held up by toilet paper couture, a fake Irish family dinner, and the finale of The Walking Dead). We bid you welcome, you lovely people who write and read about comics.

All this week, your fellow comics fans will be posting about our second topic, Favourite Stories Starring Women.

In fact, two early birds already have posts up. You might remember LJ Johnson/didyoueverstoptothink from this short, incisive post from last round. She writes about her love for Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways. Ashley Clayson is new to WWAC, but she’s planning to write multiple posts this week. This time out she takes a look at Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Lost at Sea.

Runaways (a love letter), by LH Johnson.

When the quirky girl discovered she could fly, when the youngest kid found out she was a super-strong mutant , the witch got her powers when she got cut (or had her period) and when the fat chick got her dinosaur, I knew I had my series. Simple as.

You never forget your first love.

This is what made comics brilliant to me. Your story, such a simple one, such an elegant hook of ‘parents truly are evil’, had me. (“They f*ck you up, your mum and dad / They may not mean it but they do / They fill you with the faults they had / And add some extra, just for you” – Larkin).

Runaways had me at Pet Dinosaur. Runaways had me at “Try Not To Die”. Runaways had me, to be somewhat cliched, at hello.

Favourite Stories Starring Women: Lost At Sea, by Ashley Clayson.

Though fragmented, non-chronological narrative is by no means unique, it is still something that, as far as I can tell, is much less common than more traditional narrative structures. O’Malley uses this structure not to spring plot twists on his readers or in service of a mystery, which I think are the main uses of fragmented narratives, but to actually develop his character. From this structure, we get an impression of Raleigh as a young woman who is lost in her own head, in her own sea of thoughts. The abrupt transitions from scene to scene, from Raleigh’s memories and musings to the “current” events of the story jerk us around in a way that feels true to life; who hasn’t been absorbed in her own thoughts only to be suddenly, crudely jerked back to an unfortunate reality? O’Malley’s narrative structure does this for his readers, and I mean that in the best way possible.

That’s it for today, but we’re looking forward to so much more comics love this week!

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Reminder: Round two runs from the 18th to the 24th. Use #womenoncomics to discuss on the carnival on Twitter or Tumblr. We track the tag and will pick up posts from it. You can get in touch through @womenoncomics or by email through themegsbenedict@gmail.com.

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Megan Purdy

Megan likes pie, space vampires, science, and the artwork of Gustav Klimt. She gives dubious advice on request.

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