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July 9, 2015 7:00 AM   Subscribe

Vanity Fair profiles Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer of the comics Captain Marvel, Pretty Deadly, and Bitch Planet.
posted by Stacey (44 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Kelly Sue DeConnick is one of my personal heroes. I love her deeply but man, reading this right now where I am in my life hits me in the feels:

Both DeConnick and Fritchman are over 10 years sober—DeConnick just celebrated her 15th anniversary. She attended her first A.A. meeting in New York in 2000—a year before she met Fritchman—after a friend challenged her to go a week without drinking. When she realized she couldn’t, she signed up. Fifteen years later, she still attends weekly A.A. meetings, a ritual she says taught her it’s O.K. to be uncomfortable from time to time—and make others uncomfortable when they need it.

Also, Bitch Planet is super rad. #noncompliant
posted by Kitteh at 7:11 AM on July 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't like superhero stuff, but want to read Bitch Planet. Which has apparently also inspired rad tattoos:

Bitch Planet, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro’s feminist, sci-fi twist on the prison exploitation genre, is only four issues in, but it’s already inspired a legion of women to permanently brand themselves Non-Compliant. The letters “NC”—in De Landro’s recognizable design—are tattooed onto the inmates of Bitch Planet, an interstellar prison for women who have been deemed Non-Compliant by the very literal patriarchy that runs the Earth.

I feel like anything on Ms. DeConnick is the perfect antidote to the article on Ernest Cline below. He's 43, she's 44. He's writing stale whiteboy retreads, she's writing exciting, fresh stuff.

I would have liked it if this article had focused less on her relationships/family and more on the stories themselves. The Mary Sue article I linked has much more information on what she's actually writing than the OP does. Do we really need to know about her marriage and her cute kids? I mean, those things are great, but is that how a male writer would be featured?
posted by emjaybee at 7:23 AM on July 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


bitch planet is so good and is what got me back into comics after almost 10 years away. also kelly sue called my local comic shop to thank them for selling her books and the normally stern faced clerk was beaming when i came in to pick up my pulls hours later.
posted by nadawi at 7:25 AM on July 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


I blasted through Bitch Planet a few weeks ago and it is so, so, so good. A+ recommended to folks who haven't read it yet.
posted by Stacey at 7:35 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


They didn't even mention the cute kids twitter accounts (Tallulah Louise, Henry Leo ) which are really the best reason to mention them (and technically part of her and Fraction's writing output, I guess)

I'm behind on Bitch Planet (I just haven't been buying comics that much in the last six months), but I loved Pretty Deadly to pieces. And she's incredibly supportive of women talking about and interested in writing comics.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:37 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Chiming in on the Bitch Planet love. I've got panels of Penny Rolle taped to my mirror for...spoiler reasons.
posted by Lemmy Caution at 7:44 AM on July 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Pretty Deadly might be my favourite western
posted by PinkMoose at 8:22 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Kind of curious what's going to happen with Captain Marvel now she's off it - the Carol Corps were always really the DeConnick pros and it's numbers weren't too hot to begin with, on the other hand the movie is a reason to keep it propped up and the new team is pretty high profile.
posted by Artw at 8:23 AM on July 9, 2015


I am apparently the only person who was completely baffled by Pretty Deadly's ending. I loved it up to the last 15% or so; I'm at work so can't flip through it right now, but took four or five runs at the last third of the book before admitting defeat.

Fraction's creator-owned work also seems to stop making sense to me (Casanova) or not make any sense from the outset (Ody-C), so I wonder if they sort of reinforce each other's writing while operating on a plane that my trundling little brain can't keep up with.
posted by Shepherd at 8:38 AM on July 9, 2015


Captain Marvel also has a pretty strong brand - the McKelvie logoish resdesign with the blue/red/yellow stripes and sunburst is distinctive and recognizable as a 'feminist comic thing' to the people I know who are somewhat nerdy and would consider reading comics, but don't.

What really seemed to me is that Marvel seemed to go out of its way to make Captain Marvel less accessible to new readers after the first arc - between the art in the second half of the first run and the 'why is she in space' questions in the soft reboot, it wasn't something I would have suggested to a new comics reader after the first volume.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:38 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I need to make room in my life to catch up on Bitch Planet... stupid summer quarter busy times. Also, the non-compliant tattoos are giving me needs. Serious needs.

Hey, if I like Bitch Planet and Saga and Ms. Marvel and Sex Criminals and kinda like Lumberjanes and am thinking the new Archie might be worth my time... what else should I be considering in comics? My leisure reading time is extremely limited thanks to school but I also don't have time to separate wheat from chaff, you dig?
posted by palomar at 8:44 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, Pretty Deadly. Do you like Surrealist Westerns? Because that's Pretty Deadly.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has a sort of Ms. Marvelish like feel and is written by the guy who does Dinosaur Comics.

Fresh Romance is a new romance serial that's coming out with a lot of good people attached - it's three or four ten page comics in each issue, which is nice for variety but also means that it's less per story than a usual issue.

If you hadn't read the She-Hulk comic from last year, I'd go back and read it because it is awesome and I am still so very sad it was cancelled.

The Wicked and Divine is all about pop stars and fame and is really awesome.

Gotham Academy is pretty rad.

Note: I am like five issues behind on all of these but I haven't heard anything bad-horrifying from tumblr about them, so.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:52 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh! Also Nimona is no longer on the internet, but you can buy it in real book form. If you like Lumberjanes but maybe don't want to commit to a serial, it's a good finished comic. And it gave me feelings along with having a lot of cute, quirky worldbuilding touches.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:58 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


NOTHING BAD HAS HAPPENED IN WIC DIV.
posted by Artw at 8:59 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Artw, I have read the most recent issue of Wic Div and YOU ARE LYING. :)
posted by Kitteh at 9:03 AM on July 9, 2015


writing-bad, not like, plot bad. These recommendations may hit you in the feels.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:04 AM on July 9, 2015


Re: the most recent of Wic Div, I am currently mad (like in "oh my gosh I did not see that coming what did you doooooo" way) at Kieron.
posted by Kitteh at 9:19 AM on July 9, 2015


In other comics news I am actually enjoying the present Secret Wars event thingummy immensely and not quite sure how life has brought me to that - anyway at present the Marvel universe has been destroyed and then Doctor Doom scooped up the prices and reassembled it all as a bunch of Tumblr mash-ups - it's very fun.

When that's done with they'll hit a reset switch and we'll get All New All Different Marvel, which looks a bit boring by comparison.

Writing team for Captain Marvel will be Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, who worked on Agent Carter.

Oh, and over at DC there's a new Hellblazer comic that's actually good. That's a big comicsy deal for me.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on July 9, 2015


if you like sex criminals, bitch planet, saga and sorta like lumberjanes then you should be reading rat queens.
posted by nadawi at 9:36 AM on July 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


I second the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl recommendation.

The just-ended Hawkeye series (by Kelly Sue's husband Matt Fraction with David Aja) was really great.

Gail Simone's Red Sonja.

The Edmonson/Noto run on Black Widow.

But most of all: Rat Queens. Rat Queens is simply amazing and by far my favorite series right now. If Bitch Planet sounds at all interesting to you (and by all means, read it, too) you should definitely check out Rat Queens.
posted by jonpaul at 9:37 AM on July 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


oh, and anyone who has been on the fence, RUNLOVEKILL is stellar.
posted by nadawi at 9:38 AM on July 9, 2015


I wanted to love Rat Queens more, but alas, I did not. I only read the first trade though. Is there a second trade? If so, I'll see if my library has it and give it another go.
posted by Kitteh at 9:41 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


2 trades. If it helps IMHO the second one is the better one.
posted by Artw at 9:51 AM on July 9, 2015


There is indeed a second; it's waiting for me at the library right now. I shall report back , as I enjoyed but did not LOVE the first trade. But I've heard so many good things about it that I'm thinking it is worth sticking with for another collection to see how it shapes up.

I've been waiting impatiently for ages for whoever has the first collection of Wic Div to return it to the library. Sounds like maybe I should just go ahead and buy my own copy, and I will not be sorry?
posted by Stacey at 10:10 AM on July 9, 2015


yessssssssssssssssss
posted by Kitteh at 10:11 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


This profile makes me want to visit my local comic shop, and just say, "I'll buy all the stuff that comes from these folks."

I should do that right, not use comixology?
posted by DigDoug at 10:12 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


the first thing that alerted me to kelly sue was this amazing run down on her and matt's histories in the industry as an answer to the charge that matt was the reason for her success.
posted by nadawi at 10:18 AM on July 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


Artw,

I'm really like SW also, and I kind of wish they would let is just stay as the new Marvel status quo for a while. It's a great frame for all kinds of fun and diverse stories and character mash-ups.

Plus, Dr. Doom.
posted by Sangermaine at 10:23 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I should do that right, not use comixology?

So my understanding is that while having a pull list filled with single issues at your local comic book shop is still the best way to ensure that the series you like continue on, publishers are paying more attention to online sales than they were a year or two ago.

Other Pros for LCS: Supporting a local business, possible people to talk to about comics if you're into that sort of things.

Pros for Comixology: The less single issues I have that I need to store the better because Jesus they are annoying to go back and unpackage and read, IMO. Also, easier for talking about comics online, if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:28 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pros for Comixology: The less single issues I have that I need to store the better because Jesus they are annoying to go back and unpackage and read, IMO.

Ever since I reduced 10 longboxes down to 0.5, I've bought tons of those plastic paper-protector sheets for binders from the dollar store, and bought/got (I work at a university now, so I now have an endless supply of used ones) binders. Write the series name on the binder, throw two comics back-to-back in a protector sheet, repeat as necessary, shelve it. I actually enjoy this as a reading experience much more than trades or online versions.
posted by Shepherd at 10:32 AM on July 9, 2015


Oh man. My to-read list just got crazy big... think I'll tackle the first trade of Pretty Deadly this weekend, and The Wicked and the Divine has a big hold list at the library so maybe I'll just go ahead and buy that if it's strongly recommended. (Like I need an excuse to buy books. Come on, me.)
posted by palomar at 10:33 AM on July 9, 2015


Here's the two page WicDiv teaser they made before the release, if that helps.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:43 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rat Queens and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl are hilarious. If you want a more serious comic with a kickass woman as the lead, check out Velvet and Black Widow. Buffy and Angel + Faith are also entertaining reads if you want a comic that's driven primarily by women.
posted by angelchrys at 11:18 AM on July 9, 2015


Recommendations and things I am probably gonna start reading: This vid made me think that I should probably be reading some runs of Wonder Woman -- haven't quite yet. I just gulped down and loved all four trade collections of Gotham Central (RENEE MONTOYA!!). It may be time for me to reread Global Frequency. I enjoyed the first trade of Rat Queens and need to pick up more. The Genevieve Valentine run of Catwoman has been a lot of fun. And I'm glad to hear She-Hulk is good now; I enjoyed the Dan Slott run but then stopped reading after Peter David took over.

A rundown of some upcoming diverse Marvel comics.

One of these days I should put together a recommend list for Amar Chitra Katha comic books about awesome women. Kalpana Chawla is the first one that comes to mind, but I want to also review the women depicted in myth and fable.
posted by brainwane at 12:13 PM on July 9, 2015


Gotham Academy is pretty rad.


Get in touch with Killer Croc's sensitive side.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:19 PM on July 9, 2015


DeConnick and Fraction are pretty, pretty hipsters, but Fraction's work is at best uneven (Hawkeye and Casanova were good) and DeConnick's work is most often completely forgettable. The shitty pencillers Marvel keeps throwing at Captain Marvel doesn't help. Sadly, I don't know that it hurts, either.

Is it maybe something in the waters of Portland? Bendis is the 21st-Century Claremont, and that's not a compliment -- every word sounds like Bendis, not like the characters he writes. Simone is entertaining but so heavy on the fanservice I rarely want to read anything of hers twice.

Tangent: if you're not reading North & Henderson's The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, you're missing out. Doomed to cancellation. Too good to live.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 5:47 PM on July 9, 2015


Well, at least you felt the need to comment on the sexual attractiveness of both of them, not just DeConnick
posted by dinty_moore at 6:02 PM on July 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


Here's where I admit that I read the first couple of issues of Squirrel Girl months ago and did not really like it. I'm glad other people are enjoying it but it just didn't land for me. Looking forward to getting into a bunch of the other stuff people have recommended in-thread, though.

I think it's pretty hilarious when people tear down popular creative media and the people who create said media. Ooooh, call them hipsters again! So edgy!
posted by palomar at 6:45 PM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh! Can I mention my favorite comic woman here? Tula Lotay and Supreme: Blue Rose. It's beautiful but confusing as hell.

She's also the director of Thought Bubble. link.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:07 PM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Here's where I admit that I read the first couple of issues of Squirrel Girl months ago and did not really like it.

Honestly, it took a few issues for me to get into the groove of SG. It's worth it. Maybe pick up the trade?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:25 PM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


My first Comic-Con panel this morning was her two-hour writing workshop/Q&A, which I thought was terrific. The last question from the audience was on the feminist themes running through her work: she responded that she's a feminist with a capital F who believes in the criticality of intersectional feminism, talked of the criticism leveled against her work on Captain Marvel (which the article touched on) and of writing Bitch Planet in response, and shared how she had struggled with the idea of writing about race in BP given her privilege as a white, middle-class woman. She was so thoughtful and funny throughout the session and I'm really looking forward to catching up on her work.
posted by vespertine at 11:17 PM on July 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


DeConnick and Fraction are pretty, pretty hipsters, but Fraction's work is at best uneven (Hawkeye and Casanova were good) and DeConnick's work is most often completely forgettable. The shitty pencillers Marvel keeps throwing at Captain Marvel doesn't help. Sadly, I don't know that it hurts, either.

Is it maybe something in the waters of Portland? Bendis is the 21st-Century Claremont, and that's not a compliment -- every word sounds like Bendis, not like the characters he writes. Simone is entertaining but so heavy on the fanservice I rarely want to read anything of hers twice.


Yay! You win the Useless Snarky Gendered Comment Award in this thread! You get no prize!
posted by Kitteh at 4:01 AM on July 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Gendered? Rail against my opinion all you like, but you can't accuse me of gender bias.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:37 PM on July 10, 2015


Fair enough but the useless part was spot on.
posted by Kitteh at 6:10 PM on July 10, 2015


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