Published on September 11th, 2015 | by Christian T. Moore
Female-Led Graphic Novels Your Library Needs
You Know Comics Aren’t Just for Boys…Right?
History shows that superheroes have been primarily white males, and the comics in which they are featured are primarily written for a male audience. Now that geek culture is becoming increasingly more acceptable, let’s admit something obvious: girls like comics too! It seems kind of silly to feel the necessity to release a statement like that, but it is possible that not everyone in your library is aware of the growing audience of comics and graphic novels.
Marvel Comics has been killing it lately. The publisher has truly strived for a diverse group of characters that are relatable and frankly, awesome. I have included a short list of a few of the female-led must-reads that are coming out of Marvel. If you start circulating these items, I’m sure girls, boys, women, and men will enjoy every bit of them.
The newest Ms. Marvel series is ground-breaking and just plain good. The lead character, Kamala Khan, is a teenage Muslim girl from Jersey City who suddenly gains extraordinary powers. If you want to read more about Kamala Khan and the Ms. Marvel series, here (http://ccgclibraries.com/why-you-should-be-reading-ms-marvel/) is a great article featured on this site.
There are already a handful of volumes of this series and I suggest that your library gets on the Ms. Marvel train!
Volume 1: No Normal
Author: G. Willow Wilson
Illustrator: Jacob Wyatt
You heard that a woman now wields the hammer, Mjolnir, right? This new series tells of how Thor Odinson is no longer worthy of wielding his hammer and how a mysterious woman is transformed into the Goddess of Thunder when she picks up the hammer. To all of you geeks out there, you know this is a pretty big deal. The Lady Thor is a great character and the plot that surrounds her mysterious identity is intriguing. Volume 1 and 2 are currently available and The Mighty Thor series will restart again this fall with the All-New, All-Different Marvel comics.
Volume 1: Goddess of Thunder
Author: Jason Aaron
Illustrator: Russell Dauterman
This is absolutely my favorite comic book right now. Doreen Green has the powers of a squirrel and a regular girl! She goes to college, hangs out with friends, and (most importantly) she beats all of the Marvel villains that stand in her way! This series is hilarious, witty, self-aware, and the characters are relatable and fun. This series is great for those just starting to read comics, those who have read comics all of their lives, and everyone in between. Your library definitely needs more Squirrel Girl!
Volume 1: Squirrel Power
Author: Ryan North
Illustrator: Erica Henderson
Imagine an alternate universe where Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider to become Spider-Woman (but we like to call her Spider-Gwen). This series shows Gwen as an angsty teenager who plays in a punk band by day and saves lives by night. Not only is the art for this book unique, but the story can be entertaining for anyone. This first volume is slated to come out in November 2015 so make sure to put it on your list of items to order!
This series hasn’t hit comic shops yet but it is a highly anticipated book that will show us even more creativity coming from Marvel. Lunella, Moon Girl, is a new Inhuman character who teams up with the obscure veteran character, Devil Dinosaur. Lunella is still a kid and she really enjoys building things and has an obsession with electronics – sounds like a large amount of children these days! Though she doesn’t really have many friends, Devil Dinosaur is there to keep her company. Although she is an “Inhuman,” her character is expected to be very human and relatable.
This book comes out this fall and will be published in a graphic novel form in the coming months. Be on the lookout for this! Maybe you can even create a partnership with local comic book shops for release parties and other special events. Be creative!
Listen – I know these books aren’t James Joyce or anything, but they do have an impact on their readers and our culture. If, as a library, you are able to embrace them early on, you will be promoting diversity in comics and hopefully getting more teens into your library! It’s a win-win.
This is obviously an incomplete list, but I encourage you to make this a starting point for reaching a wider audience with your graphic novel section.