Hardcore Lady Type Comics


I had the chance to chat with Kenny (our fearless leader) recently about comics with female leads — keep an eye out for that podcast sometime in the future. We focused on some great comics from Image: Saga, Rat Queens, Paper Girls, and Sex Criminals. Of course, one podcast isn’t nearly enough time to cover all the great female-led comics out there, so here’s a list of a dozen more comics I like that we didn’t get a chance to talk about:

Bitch Planet
Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro
Science fiction, dystopian future where women who are “non-compliant” are sent to a prison planet, aka Bitch Planet. Turns the 1970’s “women in prisons” exploitation film genre on its head. The first issue pulls a great bait and switch — you think one lady is going to be the main character, but it turns out that’s not the case at all.
Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda
Monstress is a steampunk, dark, high fantasy set in a matriarchal society. It has outstanding, very detailed art deco inspired art with super clean lines. Really, just holy cow, Takeda’s art is incredible.
Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung
I love O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim more than most things in this world and I’ll always pick up his latest work. While this one doesn’t live up to my SP-level expectations, it is light and fluffy fun (but with snot).  Snotgirl follows fashion blogger, Lottie Person, as she struggles with horrendous allergies and (small spoiler for the first issue) murder.  Read for the cute outfits Hung draws for Lottie and her blogger friends.
Goldie Vance
Hope Larson and Brittany Williams
Goldie Vance is a lot like Nancy Drew, but better. This all-ages comic is set in Florida in a somewhat ambiguous time period. It feels (to me) like it’s set in the 50’s or 60’s but without any of the awful social norms of the mid-20th century. Goldie’s dad manages a resort, and Goldie does odd jobs like valeting cars, but what she really does is solve mysteries for the guests and staff at the hotel.
Spell on Wheels
Kate Leth and Megan Levens
Modern witches on a road trip across the US.  What’s not to love?!
Giant Days
John Allison and Lissa Treiman
I’ve loved John Allison’s work for ages (well over a decade) and some of the characters in here actually started out in his webcomics (you don’t need to have read his webcomics to pick up and love Giant Days). Giant Days follows three college roommates  and is  a great slice of life comic about being in college.  It simultaneously makes me feel nostalgic for college and feel really glad that I’m done with that part of my life.
Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, and Grace Ellis
The title of this blog post is an ode to Lumberjanes, in which campers attend Miss Qinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types.  Lumberjanes is set at an all girl summer camp with strange things happening. I love this comic because it’s tons of fun, has great queer representation, AND an all female creative team.
Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
Bandette is one of the most consistently charming comics I’ve ever read.  Imagine the movie Amelie, but instead of being the lead in a quirky romantic comedy, Amelie is a Robin-Hood-like cat burglar supported by a gang of French street urchins.
Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk
I knew virtually nothing about Mockingbird/Bobbi Morse before picking up the book — I guess she’s a character on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show currently? The main reason I picked up the book was because there was a bunch of Twitter backlash over a cover illustrated by Joelle Jones. The book was OUTSTANDING, it featured one of my favorite types of role reversal — male superheroes as damsels in distress.
Unstoppable Wasp
Jeremy Whitley and Elsa Charretier
Nadia (aka Wasp) is the daughter of Hank Pym, but not the same daughter as in the Ant Man movie. At a young age she was trained in Russia at the “Red Room” (same place that trained Black Widow to be an assassin) in their science division. Now she’s in the US, and is just the sweetest, kindest, most charming superhero you’d ever want to meet. She wins over the US immigration office employees by bringing them pastries, and she’s besties with Ms. Marvel (which is super adorable because she doesn’t get any of Kamala’s pop culture references).
DC Bombshells
Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage
DC Bombshells is an alternate DC timeline set in WWII where Supergirl is Russian and (I love this retcon so much) Batman doesn’t exist because Batwoman saved Martha and Thomas Wayne as they were leaving the theater!
Gotham Academy
Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl
Gotham Academy features teens at the titular school solving mysteries; it definitely has a Buffy/Scooby vibe. Occasional appearances by Batman, and lots of crossovers with other comics like Batgirl, Lumberjanes, etc.

Until next time, find the stories that make you stronger. #WorkOutNerdOut


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