The spotlight on women in the comic book industry has been dialed up recently, but with the upcoming documentary She Makes Comics, the Sequart Research and Literacy Organization, along with Respect!Films, intends to show that women have always been around, telling many of the amazing stories we’ve grown up with. Did you know that Ramona Fradon drew Batman and Superman in the ‘70s and co-created Aqualad? Joyce Farmer was also active in the ‘70s, participating in the underground comix movement and co-creating the feminist anthology, Tits and Clits. In the ‘90s, Karen Berger earned three Eisner Awards for Best Editor as the DC’s Executive Editor for their Vertigo imprint. These are just a few of the people that will get to tell their own story in this celebration of eighty years of women in the comic book industry. She Makes Comics will reveal just how much influence females have always had, and turn previously overlooked artists, creators and contributors into household names.
Despite the presence of many prominent individuals such as Amanda Conner, Kelly Sue Deconnick, and Gail Simone, sexism still prevails in the industry, and female readers still have to earn their status as legitimate fans. Comic books are still a boys club and there is a ways to go before that changes. However, She Makes Comics isn’t focusing on the negatives that women have to face. Instead, this documentary will be a celebration of the positives that already exist, and the women who continue to shape the industry.
“There are a lot of women in this club, and there is always room for more,” says She Makes Comics’ Co-Producer / Creative Consultant, Karen Green.
The documentary will feature interviews with both men and women who, in their own words, will create an oral history of the industry. It will also feature commentary from other people in and around the business, such as scholars, fans, filmmakers, actors, and more.
Some of the contributors that Sequart has already interviewed include:
…with plans for many more to come.
When I first started collecting comics in the ‘80s, the only woman I knew of was Marvel’s editor, Ann Nocenti. Later, I’d have the opportunity to interview former Witchblade writer, Christina Z. have lunch with Top Cow’s former editor, Renae Geerlings and even hang out with artist Amanda Conner. It’s thrilling to see just how many more women have been a huge part of this so-called boys club, and how much of an influence they have always had within an industry that has shaped my life, and I’m excited to learn more about them through this documentary.
Sequart “is devoted to promoting comic books as a legitimate art form and to the study of popular culture.” This documentary marks Sequart’s fourth and most ambitious Kickstarter. Their first crowd-funded documentary, Diagram for Delinquents, follows Fredric Wertham’s crusade against comics. They followed this up with their Comics in Focus series, with features on how Chris Claremont revolutionized the X-Men and how Image Comics has revolutionized the comic book industry.
Backers for She Makes Comics will enjoy many perks, including DVD and digital copies of the documentary itself, and unique opportunities to have themselves or their loved ones immortalized by leading industry artists. With only a week to go, this project has not quite reached its goal of $41,500, but the team is already in the production phase, working hard on research and interviews.