WomanthologyWomanthology is an anthology graphic novel produced by an all-female team of over 150 contributors. It is a great example of how one little tweet can balloon into an inspirational project, affecting not only those who participated and supported the project, but those in need around the world. The Womanthology team donated all proceeds from their sales, about $50,000, to several charities that were voted on by the contributors.

Writers and artists teamed up in this “Heroic” volume to tell a short story based on their interpretation of the theme. While some stories do play on tales about classic, caped crusaders, others illuminate the role of the unassuming, everyday heroes in our lives. Creators are a mix of well-known professionals and up-and-comers, thus a range of experience levels is represented. There are even comics from young aspiring creators, which is wonderful motivation for kids who have a passion for the craft. With that in mind, the quality of the artwork and writing do vary based on the skill level of the creators. But what the rougher comics lack in finesse, they make up for in passion for the medium.

There’s a huge variety in style and tone between each story told in the anthology. Some are exciting and uplifting, while others are funny and clever, and still others are sad and sweet. Those looking for new female comic creators to support will find an embarrassment of riches in this volume. You will blow up your Twitter feed with new people to follow. Interspersed throughout the book are interviews with the women behind the project, inspirational quotes, practical advice from contributors, and a delightful stick figure comic strip that runs through the bottom of almost the entire volume.

This book is lovely for fans of comics because of the breadth and depth of storytelling from so many different artists and writers, yet is also highly valuable for creators given the amount of advice and instruction that the contributors added. The unique spin each creative team takes on heroism would work equally well for both readers who like superhero comics who are looking for something different and those who don’t usually read that sub-genre, but might like a twist on conventional themes. In short, Womanthology: Heroic has something for everyone.

Womanthology: Heroic
Edited by Jessica Hickman
ISBN: 9781613771471
IDW Publishing, 2012

  • Rachel Hoover

    Past Reviewer

    Rachel Hoover is an Adult Services Librarian for the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Western Springs, Illinois, where she develops the library’s graphic novel collection. Rachel writes reviews for Library Journal, collaborates with the Who Do Collective of Arts and Music, and geeks out about horror on her own blog, Librarian of the Dead. Not surprisingly, her love of comics can be traced back to reprints of EC’s classic horror anthologies. She’s also an avid gamer, musician, fiction-writer and film buff.

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