Review: Chicks Dig Comics

Chicks Dig Comics: A Celebration of Comic Books By the Women Who Love Them

In Chicks Dig Comics, editors Lynne M. Thomas (Hugo-Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords) and Sigrid Ellis bring together essays by award-winning writers and artists who celebrate the comics medium and its creators, and who examine the characters and series that they love.

Gail Simone (Birds of Prey) and Carla Speed McNeil (Finder) describe how they entered the comics industry. Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil) reveals her superhero crush, while Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother) confesses to being a comics junkie. Jen Van Meter (Hopeless Savages) sings the praises of 1970s horror comics, and Seanan McGuire (the October Daye series) takes sides in the Jean Grey vs. Emma Frost battle.

Other contributors include Marjorie Liu (Dark Wolverine), Rachel Edidin (Dark Horse Comics), Jill Pantozzi (Newsarama), Kelly Thompson (Comic Book Resources), and SF/F authors Sara Ryan, Delia Sherman, Sarah Monette, and Elizabeth Bear. Also featured: an introduction by Mark Waid (Kingdom Come) and exclusive interviews with Amanda Conner (Power Girl), Louise Simonson (Power Pack), Greg Rucka (Queen & Country), and Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise).

Full list of essays are here. Chicks Dig Comics will be on sale April 10, 2012.

We know what you’re thinking: obviously women at a site called Girls Read Comics Too are predisposed to liking the hell out of an anthology about comics and the women who love them. And you’d be right. That doesn’t change the fact that this is what we’ve needed for a long time, despite how common sense the title is, and that there are a great selection of essays and interviews from some of the most awesome women in the business right now.

Mad Norwegian Press were awesome enough to send us review copies of the book, so read on after the jump!

Chantaal: First off, a huge congratulations to Lynne M. Thomas and Sigrid Ellis, who managed to not just get together an impressive list of names, but also put each piece where it seemed to belong. There’s an amazing range of talent here, and there’s no denying that this book is what someone like me has needed for so long. I don’t even enjoy non-fiction that much, and I read this in one sitting.

There’s a great range of interests and pieces here. From interviews with Amanda Conner and Greg Rucka (yes, there are male contributors, and they are awesome) to wonderful pieces on creating comics, a journey into cosplay and everything in between, it feels like there’s something for every comic book lover here. These women not only create and work with comics, but they love them, and you can see it with every word they write.

My favorite piece is Tammy Garrison’s I’m Batman, where she doesn’t apologize for how much of a dick Bruce Wayne is, but explains how he can be inspiring in other ways. Anika Dane Milik’s Captain America’s Next Top Model, which talks about the art of stealth cosplay, is a favorite of mine. So is Jill Pantozzi’s dissection of the Green Lantern corps and how it relates to comic fans, Sara Ryan’s poignant comic panel vignettes, and Marjorie Liu’s love for stories.

Every single piece is worth the read, and I’m so glad Chicks Dig Comics exists.

Dee: To say I was excited about being able to review this book would be an understatement. As a massive Who fan, I’d read Chicks Dig Timelords and really loved what had been put together. For girls reading comics to get the same treatment? Heck yes.

One of the book’s strengths is the sheer variety in contributors. From Colleen Doran to Jan Van Meter to Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass, all the contributors have a strong love of comics and play a very different role in the comic world. My favourites were Jill Pantozzi’s essay about the Green Lantern Corps, Kitty Queer by Sigrid Ellis and Seanan McGuire’s piece on the age-old Emma Frost vs Jean Grey debate (I’m team Emma). That being said all of these pieces are worth a read, and the way they discuss the industry, fandom, cosplay, and personal experience makes them all interesting and opened my eyes to a few things.

I’d recommend this book, and not just to women who love comics. Good job, guys, good job.

Angel: I absolutely love this book. I made the mistake of finally picking it up late at night when I had to be at work the next day, so needless to say that very next day was spent impossibly tired because I was up later than I should have been, reading this collection of essays. And considering I have a growing pile of to-read comics and about four other books that I’m currently in the middle of, that’s saying a lot.

One of my favorite things about this book is just the overall way it’s put together. It never feels like it’s dragging, because not only is there a different voice in each essay, but the format often changes. You get wonderful pieces on cosplaying, then an interview, then a piece analyzing the Green Lantern Corps. Like Chantaal, I don’t often pick up non-fiction books, but this one in particular is engaging even beyond the source material.

But that’s not to say the source material isn’t something I relate to completely, because that kind of goes without saying. I found myself agreeing as so many of these articles, remembering myself in the same situations as those being covered by the essay writers— the first time I ever even tried a LITTLE cosplay, it was Battlestar Galactica related, and at SDCC, but I remember being nervous even at the tiny bit of attention it would get me— and I could see myself in so many of the articles.

Caroline Pruett’s My Secret Identity and Marjorie Liu’s Mutants are probably my favorites of the bunch, but I love this entire book. I love how passionate every single piece is, whether it’s from a reader, or a writer, or an editor or an artist. I love that this book exists.

About Chantaal

A Philosophy major who wants to be Rashida Jones when I grow up.
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2 Responses to Review: Chicks Dig Comics

  1. Pingback: Chicks Dig Comics Available Now! « Thinking Too Much

  2. Emmet says:

    Ok I’m a huge Mira Grant fan, so for the Emma vs Jean essay alone I’m picking this.

    ….I would’ve done anyway, but yay for extra incentive!

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