First Impressions: Womanthology: Space #1
- September 20th, 2012
- Posted in Comics/Graphic Novels . First Impressions . Reviews
- By Rob
- Write comment
TITLE: Womanthology: Space #1
AUTHORS: Bonnie Burton, Sandy King Carpenter, Alison Ross, Stephanie Hans, Ming Doyle, Stacie Ponder
PENCILLERS: Hans, Ponder, Doyle, Jessica Hickman, Tanja Wooten. Cover by Renae De Liz.
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
RELEASED: September 19, 2012
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
Interestingly enough, one of the things I enjoyed most about Womanthology: Space #1 were certain things that were not in the issue. Explanation forthcoming…
Created by artist Renae De Liz, Womanthology began as a project on Kickstarter.com, a funding web site for creative endeavors. In its own words, the project is “an anthology graphic novel created entirely by women for charity. The purpose of the book is to showcase the works of female creators of every age and experience levels.” The campaign produced a widely successful graphic novel, Womanthology: Heroic, and the project has been picked up for five issues by IDW. This one is the first.
Having never been exposed to the Heroic graphic novel, what I desperately did NOT want to happen with this issue is to open it up and get beat over the head with a bunch of preaching about women’s issues. I’m not trying to downplay the importance of women’s issues at all. Truly, I’m not. But who really wants to open up one of their comics and get a lecture on anything? As worthy a cause as it might be, I’m usually not up for spending my hard earned money on that kind of material.
Thankfully, that’s not what Womanthology: Space is about. In truth, it’s exactly what I hoped it would be. It’s a showcase of a diverse selection of female talents, writing stories about characters that happen to be female. We see a story about a waitress in a space diner looking for Mr. Right, a female spirit trapped aboard a doomed spacecraft, two women caught up in a new space race circa 2040, a Flash Gordon-type melodrama starring a female hero, and a Star Trek-type story featuring all female characters. The issue conveys the underlying feminist message it wants to, but does it without preaching, lecturing or pandering.
From a writing standpoint, my favorite story was the opener, “Waiting For Mr. Roboto.” It had a nice little Star Wars cantina feel to it, some nice “robosexual” humor, and the art fit the story. But from an artistic standpoint, the nod has to go to Tanja Wooten for “Dead Again.” Her art conveyed just the right emotion and tone for a story about a specter trying to stay “alive.”
In an industry that is often hurting to diversify its talent pool, Womanthology is a refreshing reminder that the comic book medium hardly a boys club.
Front page image from comicbookresources.com. Interior image from badhaven.com.