For the last few weeks I've been dragging around a big bag of comics, which we've been reading and drawing resources from, all the books came from the Multnomah County Library and is a great place to check out new stuff without spending all your allowance. A number of the books either featured women heroes or were written or drawn by women. I thought it would be handy to feature some of the books here, click on the link to find out where you can pick up a copy... Let me know what you think of the books and the links, I'll post a few more reviews and some of our art before the summer break. DC Teen Titans Spotlight on Wonder Girl If you like mainstream action/adventure comic, this is a great place to start, traditional super heroes fighting crime and mythical heroes with golden lassos.
Since we've been looking a lot at how to draw characters, Superhero ABC is definitely worth looking into. There are great faces and poses to choose from and each letter has a clever "super" personification. If you're looking for story ideas, you might want to write some histories for these guys, where does Goo Girl get her gumption, why is Volcano so gross? Creator Bob McLeod has a fun website with downloads which a fun place to spend some time.
Baby Mouse is really Fab! And I think on Ramona's greatest hits list. Not only are there great stories, but the page layout is something young authors and illustrators can learn a lot from. Some pages have lots of panels, on others there are none. The pages are three color- black, white and pink, except this summer, when Baby Mouse comes out in Orange. Creator, Jennifer Holm, has a fantastic website with educator guides for teachers and parents, a resource I'll be looking into for next fall.
Biker Girl is written by Misako Rocks and is the story of Aki "schoolgirl by day and bike hero by night". The illustrations are rooted in traditional manga style, but the story is about a very empowered young woman. It's a great book to study from if you are trying to develop your manga style or have a love for girls with goggles. (Who doesn't?) Misakos other books look great too, they all feature young women in off the wall adventures. Detective Jermain Vol. One looks especially good, and I hope to track it down this summer.
Speaking of fancy pants girl detectives- the Nancy Drew Graphic Novels, by Paper Cutz are worth a once over. The ink and coloring is especially nice and the characters have a very fresh feel. The stories are updated though and fans of the "real" Nancy will come away disappointed. Carolyn Keene's writing may be a challenge for younger readers, but she had an excellent sense of pacing and dialog, many of these literary treats dissappear in the comic versions.
If your are in the mood for some GREAT writing, GREAT characters and OUTSTANDING comic illustration- I can't recommend Chiggers enough. The book is an Eisner award winner, the highest accolade in the comics world, and is not your average read. It's a coming of age story set at summer camp where a group of young girls are on the emotional highway to self discovery. It's definitely a graphic novel for our 5th and 6th grade readers and could be thought of as Jr. Chick Lit, though that would be selling it short. Hope Larson's website is lovely and has nice downloads, visit it here...
While some books don't make the leap to graphic novels well, Raina Telgermeir's version of The Baby-Sitter's Club is actually a huge improvement on the original. Her illustrations radiate emotional energy with emotively drawn characters. She keeps her backgrounds simple and moves the story forward through lively discussions. Raina was a guest at the Stumptown Comic fest last year and was lovely to visit with as some of you were lucky to find out. Raina is married to Dave Roman, who also does comics incluing Agnes Quill and the superfun Astronaut Elementary which is online and updated every Friday.