Team Girl Comic #2
Go Team Girl go!Â Sorry to give away the ending of the review so quickly, but I’m all for increasing the role of women in comics, as there isn’t a thing wrong with getting some new perspectives on the genre.Â Not like there haven’t already been women in comics for ages, but you know what I mean.Â Or you don’t, and I don’t have the energy to explain it to you.Â Anyway, this issue has even more stories this time around, with a fairly persistent theme of zombie and how to identify them/protect yourself .Â The only problem is that while all pieces seem to have some indication of their creator, it’s often in the form of a signature, making it a pure guessing game as to who is responsible for what. Ah well, I’m starting to get convinced that chaos is a badge of honor in anthologies.Â Stories include Gill Hatcher getting distracted while on the verge of curing cancer, Emma McLuckie’s piece on a ghost who is easily frightened, somebody (see what I mean?) getting serious inspiration from the life of Harvey Pekar, Mhairi Hislep with the identifying characteristics of zombies, somebody else (aargh) with a brilliant piece about Jesus as a zombie, Mhairi again on how to dress fora zombie attack, and the differences of driving perspective right after getting a license and one year later.Â Seriously, why nobody else (that I know of) has connected the obvious fact that Jesus was probably a zombie after rising from the dead is beyond me.Â Plenty of other stories are in here too, as it’s really crammed with pieces, but half the fun of anthologies is going through all the little bits and pieces.Â And it’s only a measly $5, if I have the conversion rate even close to right…
I’m a big fans of comics as entertainment, obviously, but I’m an even bigger fan of entertaining comics that also teach me something.Â This comic taught me plenty and was funny throughout, so I’d call that an unqualified success.Â Some of the best stories were done as two page spreads, otherwise picking the sample page out would have been a lot tougher.Â This is, as you probably guessed from that exuberant cover, a series of stories about animals.Â There are pieces about the junglefowl (a skinnier ancestor to chickens), pet robber crab (the largest land-living anthropod, and it turns out they’re strong enough to de-husk and open coconuts), puffin (and how they can carry so much fish in the corners of their beaks), kakapo (and how it was brought to Codfish Island), great auk (and the stupid, stupid manner in which they were driven extinct), red kite (and their propensity to steal clothes hanging outside), and moray firth bottlenose dolphin (and the theory that they may be able to actually transmit images to each other).Â Other, less fact-based pieces include an ongoing story of see otter revenge against humans (primarily for the Exxon Valdez mess), a series of rhymes for a series of animals, and a rather stupid lion.Â Gill also listed a series of sources for her facts, as this is clearly a subject she loves.Â I thought it was a fantastic comic and here’s hoping she makes a bunch more of these things, as there sure are a lot more animals out there that don’t get nearly enough attention… $4ish
Team Girl Comic #1
Whew!Â Full disclosure here: this comic came with a letter explaining the thinking behind the comic (to improve the presence of women and girls in small press comics, a worthy goal) and the people involved.Â The contributors included a couple of girls who are still in their early teen years, and I was afraid that I’d either be stuck criticizing children or making excuses for their stories being less than the other stories involved.Â I was completely wrong on that one, and if the letter didn’t tell me who was who I would have never guessed which of these women were just starting out and which ones were professional.Â I still may have a bone or two to pick here and there, but overall this was an excellent anthology that should, if there is any justice in the world, go a long way towards getting more women involved in the business.Â Well, women in Glasgow at least, as that’s where this is based and I have no idea how much of an effort they’re making to expand.Â Blah blah blah, how about the stories?Â Well, here’s one minor quibble right off the bat: no table of contents.Â There is an author page at the start, taking an image from one of their stories and putting the name of the author next to it, but most people in here have multiple pieces and things got a little tricky after a while.Â Stories in here include a brief and hilarious synopsis of Phantom of the Opera (by Katie Pope), an artist trying to work in solitude and being invaded by her past toys (Gillian Hatcher), women’s right to vote 100 years later and the ensuing voter apathy (Iona Mowat), daydreaming at school that descends into reliving one’s worst moments (Gillian Hatcher), some drama about Twilight (Jessica Hatcher), whether you should speak English or Punjabi to your cat (Heather Middleton), a thoroughly surreal piece about various animals, balloons and teapots that I can’t even begin to summarize without taking all the fun out of it (Emma McLuckie), the evolution of an indie boy (Katie Pope), reaching the end of her rope with the Twilight stuff (Jessica Hatcher),Â a cosmetic history (Gillian Hatcher), the scorn that comes from turning down sweets (Iona Mowat), bears trying to make a band (Gillian Hatcher), the truth about the “secret admirer” of a teacher (Katie Pope), and an introduction for Sausage Bear.Â There isn’t a really weak piece in here, which is always mildly shocking in any anthology.Â The piece on women getting the right to vote had an excellent quote explaining the apathy, Gillian reliving her worst moments suddenly while daydreaming is something everybody should be able to relate to, and the pieces by Jessica Hatcher really show the extent of which Twilight has taken over the schools.Â This is really a solid piece of work, and the great thing about it is that they’re all pretty much just getting started.Â I’m lousy at converting foreign currency, but I think this translates to something like $4, which is perfectly reasonable for this many stories.