Finally! A book about women who challenged and impacted the comic book industry. Featuring the likes of Gail Simone, Jill Thompson and Aline Komisnky, it is full of contemporary references that will resonate with comic book enthusiasts. Is it perfect? Close to it. Is it missing people? Even the editors say it probably does. Will it change the mind of the men in the medium or serve as proof that women can illustrate and pen graphic stories? Hopefully so. Does it matter/is it relevant for the times we live in? Yes.
Women have fought for decades to bring their perspective into the mainstream media and it seems to be paying off. We see more female led stories, female written, inked and edited materials. How did this come about? Because the women featured in this book never gave up on their dream and desire to share their imagination and experiences with the rest of humanity. Some of their work has become so iconic or instrumental for society’s understanding of change that it is featured in curricula throughout the United States and beyond!
Censorship, persecution and discrimination were never far behind these ladies who range in age, gender, race, religion and culture. The comics movement is international, and not confined to the Western world therefore it has many faces and backgrounds. There is room to build a more robust anthology and document the entire history of women in this field. I hope Image and other publishers seriously consider investing in expanding the project in the near future to paint a better picture of the struggles of women and minorities in this industry.
Please share this review, buy the book, and share with the women in your life. The materials at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (cbldf.org/she-changed-comics) and follow up on those artists that catch your eye. There is also suggested reading provided under each profile in the book that are worth following up, especially if you recognize works you are currently reading or are familiar with. That’s how I found Persepolis (buy/rent On Demand) and The Diary of a Teenage Girl (blog linked here).