At this point, if you read comics and you’re a living person, you know the names Gail Simone and Kelly Sue DeConnick. You know they’re talented, they’re brilliant, and that they’re ladies. You know that having more talented, brilliant, and capable ladies is a good thing, because you’re not a backwards idiot.
If you’re like me, you want more women flexing their creative muscle in the spotlight because you have one niece that draws and another that matches her princess dresses to her nunchucks, and you want them to have some kick-ass role models. So, you should be happy to know that as talented as DeConnick and Simone are, they’re the tip of the iceberg of women poised to take the comic book industry by storm. Here are ten female rising stars in comics that you should know about, follow, and support.
Afua Richardson received the Nina Simone award for artistic achievement as one of the few, Native/African American Female Comic book creators working for the largest 3 publishers of comic books in the world. That’s a hell of a way to kick off this list. Known best for her work in Top Cow’s Genius, Richardson is also a regular contributor of variant covers for Marvel and DC.
Babs Tarr recently kicked down the doors and went from popular Sailor Moon fanart to the artist of DC’s critically acclaimed new Batgirl ongoing series. There aren’t even more sentences I can add to this. It’s a great comic, and if this is how she starts her career, the sky’s the limit.
Ema Lupacchino made her first impact in the States penciling for Peter David’s X Factor. In addition to X Factor, Supergirl, and various other titles, Lupacchino is the artist on DC’s new Starfire ongoing.
Portland’s Joelle Jones is best known for her work on the supernatural viking series HelHeim, and the follow up Brides of Helheim for Oni Press. She’s also co-writing and drawing an original series for Dark Horse called Lady Killer, which was just picked up for a second series.
The first woman to write a Transformers comic, Mairghread Scott is the writer of Transformers: Windblade. She got her start as the writer’s assistant for the show Transformers: Prime, and pretty much has my ideal life. If transforming robots don’t interest you, reevaluate your life, but also check out her Macbeth adaptation Toil And Trouble.
To say that Marguerite Bennett is pretty busy these days is a massive understatement. She’s writing the all female Avengers book A-Force, and teaming with Kieron Gillen for 1602: Witch Hunter Angela, which plants Angela firmly in Neil Gaiman’s underrated Marvel sandbox. She’s also writing DC’s first digital comic Bombshells.
Ming Doyle is working hard at conquering the comics world as of late, starting with her miniseries as the artist of Mara with writer Brian Wood, right on to writing DC’s relaunch of Constantine: The Hellblazer. Her Vertigo crime book about mob wives turned mob bosses, The Kitchen, is a must read.
Noelle Stevenson is one of the creators of the can’t miss Lumberjanes, about a group of girls adventuring through the world of Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. How did that not immediately sell you? She’s also penning the relaunch of Marvel’s Runaways, and 20th Century Fox Animation recently acquired the rights to her award winning fantasy comic Nimona.
As a huge Transformers fan I’m going to have some bias, but Sarah Stone’s work on Transformers: Windblade is absolutely gorgeous. Stone started out as a storyboard editor on Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and I want her to draw robots as a living forever. Because I’m selfish.
Sophie Campbell, who came out as transgender in 2015, recently broke out as the artist of IDW’s Jem and the Holograms ongoing series. Her independent comics Wet Moon and Shadoweyes are especially worth seeking out.
Solid list? Did anyone get left out you think people should know about? There’s a lot more where these women came from, as well as a lot of cool sites like Black Girl Nerds and The Valkyries which are amazing communities for women in geekdom. So let’s praise their names in the comments!