Three Steps Forward For Women Comic Creators

     A shape-shifting Muslim teenager, a comic from a female WWII veteran and a one-woman show about a creature that may be puppy or cat have all proven that women aren’t giving up on the comics and animation industries just yet.

Marvel Comics Introduces Muslim Ms. Marvel

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Kamala Khan assumes the identity of Ms. Marvel to put her shape-shifting powers to use.

Marvel caused buzz on many blogs this past week when creators announced the new Ms. Marvel will be Kamala Khan, 16, from a conservative Muslim family. Khan will be one of the few Muslim women in comics. The superhero Ms. Marvel was an identity left vacant after Carol Danvers became the first female Captain Marvel.

In January of 2014, Khan will put on the Ms. Marvel costume for the first time.

Khan’s creation is intended to reflect the “growing diversity of Marvel’s audience,” according to the story’s writer G. Willow Wilson. The world’s Islamic population is currently 1.6 million, according to Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank founded in 1996. However, the Islamic population is expected to reach 2.2 million by 2030, according to another Pew Research study. The same study predicts Christianity and Islam will have the same number of followers in 2030.

While Khan is not the first Muslim comic superhero, she is an indication of a positive trend in representation in comics for women and for minorities.

A Celebration of Women Comic Creators Throughout History

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Eva Mirabel joined the U.S. Army and painted her way through WWII.

While Marvel and D.C. Comics look forward to the future of female characters and content creators, Trina Robbins looks to the past. Robbins has been working since 2003 on the first edition of “Pretty in Ink,” released in 2005.

The new edition of the book will be released in December 2013. It details the history of women comic creators as far back as 1896, discusses their careers and explores the myths and realities of the industry challenges women faced. Robbins is particularly excited to include a Native American comic artist who worked with the Women’s Army Corps, Eva Mirabel.

“Bee and Puppycat” Gets Comic and a Show

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Bee and Puppycat save the universe as temps; I just work in fast food.

 “Bee and PuppyCat” debuted on Cartoon Network’s “Cartoon Hangover” this past July. The series pilot was released as two short segments, but the series soon ran into financial difficulties.

The series creator, animator, writer and champion, Natasha Allegri, created a Kickstarter for the show through Frederator, an independent animation studio. The fundraiser reached its goal of $600,000 with one week to spare. Allegri is also a storyboard artist for Cartoon Network’s psychedelic hit series “Adventure Time.”

Additional contributions brought the  Kickstarter’s total to $872,133. Because of the extra funding, Allegri and Frederator have promised viewers nine episodes.

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Don’t be fooled. Allegri may look mere mortal, but this is the face of an artistic goddess.

In addition to the series’ confirmed continuation, Kaboom!, an imprint of comic publisher Boom!, has announced it will issue a comic version of “Bee and Puppycat” alongside its fellow shows “Adventure Time” and “Bravest Warriors.”

No word yet on when the animated series, which is written, drawn and animated by Allegri, will return, but Kaboom! announced the first issue of “Bee and Puppycat” will be released in 2014.

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