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Comics and Women's History Month
To celebrate Women's History Month, EW asked 9 comic creators from LINE Webtoon, a free online digital platform dedicated to comics, about what it means to them to be a woman working in the comics industry. Here's what they had to say.
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Madeleine Rosca (Rise From Ashes)
"A good comic is like a good movie - it takes you places and puts you in another's shoes. Being able to present the opinions and actions of female characters in a manner that readers can enjoy regardless of their gender makes comics a very powerful medium for women creators."
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Monica Gallagher (Assassin Roommate)
"Being a woman in comics can be a mixed bag — sometimes you feel like a novelty, sometimes you're asked weird, invasive questions ... and sometimes you inspire other women and girls to start doing comics themselves! Just in the last 10 years I've seen a lot of growth in comics for women and minorities and LGBTQ, but we still have a long way to go. The more diverse the comics and their creators are, the better the comics are for the creators and readers alike!"
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Molly Brooks (Power Ballad)
"As an artist, I try to make comics that feel emotionally real for my readers—especially for female readers and queer readers who see themselves in media less often. I've always treasured those rare moments when I've felt understood by a work of fiction, and I feel super blessed to have the opportunity now to tell the stories that younger-me was always looking for."
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Megan Stevenson (Shard)
"As a woman, revealing that you’re a comic artist is akin to telling someone you’re a [Insert Predominantly Male Role Here]. You generally get one of two reactions – either a good old-fashioned polite 'Oh really?' and a brush to the side, or an actual genuine burst of interest with questions focusing on learning more about you, your interests and the worlds you create. I’m sure you can probably guess which ones are a bit more constructive, and most likely have a decent idea of which demographics they’re coming from. Representation in any industry is so, so important, and having women up front and center paves the way for others looking to break into the business but maybe didn’t think it was possible for them before. Women writing uncensored allows for a conflicting take on life and an influx of commentary on social issues that were never really touched by 'traditional' comics before, offering validation to readers and their experience. Not everyone can relate to OP men in spandex and, really, they shouldn’t have to try."
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Kathleen Meredith a.k.a. Lifelight (My Dear Cold Blooded King)
"Being anyone in comics is just mind-blowing, regardless of gender. I'm simply happy to be here and to be a part of this great big comic world!"
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Kaitlyn Narvaza a.k.a. instantmiso (Siren’s Lament)
"Being a woman in comics means that we can be our own heroes; that we can properly represent the true strengths and beauty women possess."
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Julia Arostegi (Big Jo)
"People like to forget that women are a huge audience! Women are avid readers, moviegoers, videogame players, guys! You know, we are roughly half of the humans, after all, right? And we are slowly but surely conquering our space in yet another field historically dominated by men. And you know what? Maybe being a woman comic artist right now is actually an advantage, because I get to tell this narrative that didn't get its share of space so far: a woman's point of view. And there's so much space out there... for everybody."
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Sara Zimmerman (Illusions of Adulting)
"Being a female comic artist has been a great experience! It allows me to relay ideas from a female’s perspective and address and comment on problems, stereotypes and misconceptions faced by women by presenting new, creative solutions with a humorous twist. As a woman, artist, wife, mother, and business owner, I am grateful to have a venue to communicate my ideas to a broad audience and hope to inspire other women to take their own courageous steps towards their dreams."
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Stephanie Quimco a.k.a. Quimchee (I Love Yoo )
"I am delighted to be able to create comics, but I honestly don't think gender really matters in this industry, even though it is dominated by men. Being male or female does not define what kind of artist you are, let alone what kind of person you are. If I am able to inspire more women to create comics, then that's wonderful!"