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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

The Mary Sue

The Mary Sue is One Year Old Today!

It’s hard to believe a year ago today, Jamie and I were coming off of two straight weeks of work getting the site ready, and we were hoping that anyone would look at it at all. That anyone would care about another nerd site, that people who knew what a Mary Sue is would see the wink in our name and read further, and above all, that other geek girls, who so often have a hard time identifying with anything branded as “for women,” would see that there were some geek girls behind this one. It was kind of a crazy time…

Jimmy Fallon mentioned us in his monologue; Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was being upstaged by an upstart zero budget volunteer production; Wonder Woman’s television costume had just been revealed and we were still hoping the show would be good; Limor Fried made the cover of Wired; The Hobbit had just started filming after many a pre-production woe; we were just looking at concept art for Brave. Some things weren’t so different, though: BioWare still had to explain to a fan that just having some gay options in a game doesn’t mean there aren’t enough romances for straight male players. Some things hadn’t even appeared on the horizon: The New 52 was but a closely guarded secret, and nobody knew just how bad Green Lantern was going to be, or quite how good Batwoman and Wonder Woman would turn out to be. We didn’t know that an anthology of professional and aspiring female comics artists would become one of the most quickly funded Kickstarter projects in history. And nobody on the site had read The Hunger Games yet.

Since last February 28th, The Mary Sue has got nearly 4,000 posts under its belt, and nearly 40k comments. We hope that we showed you at least a few items of interest. And if we had time to thank you personally for each and every click, well, we would, but we have posts to write for you and I’m pretty sure I know which one you would prefer. …Yes, as long as we’re talking statistics I’m going to tell you what our most looked at post for this year is, but not before I explain my dread for doing so. Because if there’s one thing that a few years of blogging has taught me, it’s that the most popular post on your website is never one that you’re particularly proud of, threw any effort into, or indeed has much to do with your core message. This holds mostly true for The Mary Sue, as well. Among our top ten most popular posts, seven are Power Grids. But the most popular? That honor, as I suspected, goes to this art post of Disney Princesses with tattoos.

But it’s our birthday! So lets open our presents: we decided to get a set of gifts that weren’t just for us, and those gifts are four new ladies to join the cadre of cosplayers you see at the top of the site on every refresh. Three of them we chose beforehand, and the fourth, well, I’ll get to that.

When it came time to design a graphic for a site for geek girls, I didn’t want to go with something very, very stylized, like the basic bathroom-door-style stick figure with glasses idea that was floated. I wanted something that actually represented the diversity of geek women, both in our interests and our backgrounds, instead of merely alluding to it. And I wanted to create a graphic that defied all the stereotypes that surround the idea of a woman who is interested in science, genre fiction, comic books, video games, or cartoons. Stereotypes like “geek girls don’t really exist,” or “girls who play WoW are ugly,” or “girls don’t actually know anything about geek stuff…” you get the idea. What Christianne Goudreau delivered to us was a set of figures whose flexed arms reminded not a little bit of Rosie the Riveter. Their hidden faces helped emphasize the idea that it could be any geek girl embodying that heroic figure, but their visible smiles helped give a “come at me bro” air to all of them. No unattainable model silhouettes here, the figures exuded confidence, both in their own strength and their own aesthetic appeal. We called on Ms. Goudreau again to make us three more logos of ladies dressing like their favorite heroes:

We decided that Storm’s classic 90s costume was our favorite:

We couldn’t resist paying tribute to Nichelle Nichols’ groundbreaking role:

and, well, it’s about time we gave both Disney a nod and had a woman in man’s clothing up there:

They’re already in rotation, and so I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of time before you find them.

As for the fourth logo, well, we did say we had a present for everybody, right? We don’t know who the fourth new logo is going to be, because you guys are going to choose it, and some of you are going to get prizes for doing it! We’ve got a lot of stuff sitting around the office just waiting for the right occasion to send it to a lucky reader, from Star Wars to X-Men to Transformers and Disney, and we’re going to try to give it all away in this contest. Tune in later today for the details!

And before I go, I should probably say again: thanks for showing up. It’d be a lot lonelier without you.


  • Kate Falanga

    Happy Birthday! I’ve been a happy reader from day one! Thank you for building a place where I feel like I belong!

  •!/haversam [A]

    “Since last February 28th, The Mary Sue has got nearly 4,000 posts under its belt, and nearly 40k comments” ~impressive!

    Happy birthday! : D

  • Sarah

    Happy birthday! Can’t believe it’s only been a year, though—it seems like longer (but in a good way). Congratulations, and thank you for including more awesome characters in the logo.

  • Anonymous

    Nancy Drew or Trinity

    Happy birthday The Mary Sue!

  • Jen Graybeal

    Happy Birthday!! In the last year you have become my number 1 site for geek girl joy. I love that this is a place where I can see princesses with tattos and also read long form essays about the cutural impact of Carmen Sandiego. Wonderful, fantastic job ladies, thank you!

    OH – and I love your new cosplayers! perfect choices.

  • Joanna

    Huzaw!  Let’s have cake!  The new logos are great!

  • Talia

    Yay! Happy birthday, Mary Sue! You are my favorite blog :D

  • Kath

    Happy Birthday, The Mary Sue!

  • R Tagami

    Happy Birthday to The Mary Sue!

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations! Keep being amazing, please :D 

    I can’t help my weakness for Disney, so I’d love to see Rapunzel as an icon. With Pascal on her shoulder and hopefully holding the pan.
    Merida would be fantastic as well, perhaps after she’s better known for kicking Major Ass.

  • Anonymous

    Happy Birthday, The Mary Sue!  How about Buffy for the fourth logo girl?

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Happy birthday!  I love this space and all the folks that work to make it what it is.  :-)

    I’d also love to see Princess Leia in her bounty hunter costume as a log. :-D

  • Anonymous

    Happy Birthday! Must be time to start putting a year on your articles!

  • Eva Marie Heater


  • Eva Marie Heater

    The other cosplayer MUST be Nancy Drew!!! 

  • Anonymous

    Happy Birthday!!   Love the new logos!

  • Life Lessons


  • Rob Halper

    Congratulations, Joana! Nice site.
    Rob Halper

  • Linda Lupos

    Yay Happy birthday! :D

    As for the cosplayer, I second Rapunzel just because I love her, or else Éowyn. ^^ (I… don’t think she’s already a cosplayer, is she?)

  • Anna B


    And congratulations on such a successful site. Seriously, The Mary Sue is, by far, my favorite site.

  • Marie

    I actually had no idea you guys were so young.  Happy Birthday!!

    I also love the Storm one the best. But then, I love Storm in general, and my mom made me a kick-ass costume when I was a kid without a pattern.

  • Emma Jones

    Happy Birthday! Love the Uhura logo.

    River Song (Doctor Who) or River from Firefly would be cool. Or Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop.

  • Victoria Eden

    Wow! It’s only been a year. I feel like I have been reading this site for a lot longer. I guess I must have discovered it right at the beginning. Happy birthday, and good work to all!

  • John Farrier

    Happy birthday! I’ve been a reader from the first day and enjoyed it. Ya’ll have a great site.

  • Natasha Hedeker

    Happy Birthday!!! And here is for many more to come!!! =D

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been lurking at you guys for a few months, but I’m going to chime in to say happy birthday! You’re pretty much the only page on facebook that I haven’t gotten annoyed with and hidden or “unliked”. But that’s besides the point. I love this blog, I love what it stands for, and I love that it’s one of the few places where the site runners aren’t baffled by the existence of women, or the existence of women on the internet, or that we like things besides just pink, princesses and weddings (although we like those things, too).
    Also, I pretty much squeed when I saw the Uhura logo. And Mulan, my favorite Disney princess. And Storm, my favorite of the X-men…
    As for the fourth logo….that’s a hard one. At the moment I would say Katniss Everdeen, but I have a feeling that that would be to ambiguous.  Someone mentioned Eowyn, and I really like that idea, she embodies the concept of self-saving princess.

  • Eva Marie Heater

     Yes! Uhura rocks!!!

  • Heidi Mason

    I’ll put in an early vote for Catwoman ;) 

    Happy Birthday, TMS! Yours is just a few days before mine… and I’m going to celebrate mine with a huge geek party. 9-12 game systems ranging from Atari 2600 to Xbox 360 in 5 rooms.

  • Ikki Weird

    Happy Birthday, Mary Sue!

  • Kris Rudin

    Happy Birthday! I love you guys!!

    Logo suggestions: Nancy Drew, Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Trinity

  • Kimberly

    Happy Birthday! Don’t always agree with the views expressed here, but I very much agree with the ideas and feelings behind this site. It’s great to see a place on the web for “nerd” girls, even if sometimes the feminism does get… a little too militant for me.

  • Lisa Jonte

    Aww!  Happy Birthday!

  • Alyssa Franke

    Happy Birthday! I would propose Hermione Granger, Katniss Everdeen, River Song, River Tam, and maybe this is a bit premature but Princess Merida from Brave. I think it’s already clear from the clips we’ve seen that she’ll be awesome, and that hair would look awesome on one of the logo girls!

  • Nikki Lincoln

    Happy Birthday! I’ve been a reader since like… day 10. I actually found this website because the Frisky wrote an article about The Mary Sue and how we don’t really need another girl blog. Let’s just say I no longer read the Frisky and I read the Mary Sue every day.

    And I love the new logos! I saw Mulan and was like “What is this awesomeness???”

  • Lucy Woodhull

    Happy birthday!  You don’t look an hour over two-hundred and seventeen days!

  • Christina Perez

    Happy birthday! I’ve been reading since the beginning and have truly come to enjoy reading this blog on a daily basis. I can’t tell you how much us girl geeks needed a blog that not only doesn’t pander to the sexist outreaches of the geek community but actually critiques that sexism in an intelligent and thoughtful way. Not only that, but this is one of the only lady blogs I’ve found that does so without dipping into that humorless, rage-machine, holier-than-thou stereotype us feminists tend to get. Thank you so much and keep on truckin’!

  • John Wao

    Happy Birthday!

    One internet year? That’s like ten years in real life. But you don’t look a day over a month…

  • artemisia

    Happy birthday! I only found out about you guys just last month, but I am a daily subsrciber now!! Keep up the great work and thanks for keeping me up to date on all things geek girl and awesome!

  • Mariah Tess

    Congrats on hitting the one year mark!

  • Jennifer

    Happy birthday! I fell in love with this blog when I randomly found one of your articles through Stumble Upon about 6 months ago. Love the new ladies you went with for your logo. :D

  • GeekGurlPhD

    I’m sorry it took me so long to find this blog… but now that I’ve found it it is one of my favs. Great work! :)

  • Nichole Filbert

    Happy Cake Day of Cake! (that isn’t a lie…) Thank you for all the wonderful insight into the geek community. I love this blog!

  • Maxwell LaChance

    Wow.  I had no idea You were so young!  I only game to this site because NerdyBird said she was going to be writing here.  And I couldn’t leave ever since.  Even if Firefox won’t add you to my quick bar…

  • Rachel Radwanski

    Happy Birthday! I’ve been reading since your launch last year! And sometimes I’m a bit miffed with the site – because I only plan on reading one article and the next thing I know, it’s two hours later and I’ve read so many more. Then I’m upset because I don’t have anything new to read. But it’s a happy upset. I guess I’m just a procrastinator at heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

  • Brandy Ellenburg

    Happy Birthday! I love that Mulan icons sooo much. As for the new 4th one I was thinking perhaps Sam Carter of Stargate SG-1 (or perhaps Vala Mal Doran of the same show in her Avalon Part 1 costume)

  • Alexander K.

    Happy birthday.

    Since I found this site, it’s been my #1 place to go for geek culture. As a feminist guy, it’s super nice to be able to follow my interests without being bombarded with e-mysogyny. 

  • Anonymous

    happy b-day, mary sue.  i humbly suggest barbara gordon for your new icon.  thats a trifecta: comics, librarians, and overcoming physical disabilities.

  • Bel

    Happy Birthday! You’re definitely my favourite blog around.

  • Lianne Schoenwiesner

    Happy Birthday!

  • Anika Guldstrand

    Happy Birthday! Over the past few months, you’ve absolutely become my favorite geek girl site. The new logos are fab and I can’t wait to see which one gets voted in. My vote went to Hermione Granger. 

  • Virginia Cornue

    Great to see Nancy Drew is still doing her wonderful role modeling…in fact she has inspired a new mystery series I’ll bet Sandy and her pals Bobbi and Liz would be big fans of this blog!

  • Nikki Lincoln

    Ooo Katniss would be good but I think she might be hard to pick out… intricate braid and quiver? 

  • Samantha Press

    Congratulations to my veryfavorite news site!  You have all done a spectacular job thus far and I look forward to what you have in store for the future!  :)

  • Fiona Kelly

    Happy birthday, The Mary Sue :D  I’m rooting for Hermione in the contest and it seems like my wish may come true!

    I had no idea you guys were so young!  I figured that since this site is so awesome and as successful as it is, it had at least a few years old.  Then again, who says Rome wasn’t built in a year?

  • Faye Chao

    wow, happy birthday!  since i discovered this site a few months ago, it has become one of my favorites!

  • Michelle

    Happy birthday, The Mary Sue! I read this blog every day. I can’t believe you have accomplished so much in a year!

  • Anonymous

    Happy birfday!

  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

    Wow, it’s only been a year? I love this site so very much. Happy birthday, and a wish for many more to come.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    Yeah, the signature braid and quiver would do it.  Also, maybe the Mockingjay somewhere.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    I love The Mary Sue!

    Also, I totally vote for Tenna or Devi from Jhonen Vasquez’s “I Feel Sick” but I know they’re not immediately recognizable to the masses.

  • Anonymous

    The unspoken message behind the new logos: all the previous logos were of white women. Thanks for acknowledging that geeks come in different races.

  • MickieMousseau

    Happy Birthday! So hard to believe that it’s been a year. I fell in love with the site at first look and am looking forward to many happy years of reading

  • Anonymous

    You’re welcome. Also, we already had icons inspired by Katara of Avatar, Carmen Sandiego, Rei Ayanami of Neon Genesis Evangelion, San of Princess Mononoke, and Chell of Portal in rotation. While adding some kickass ladies of African descent was a priority for us in this round of logos, I wouldn’t call our previous line up 100% white. We’ve got a link to a full list of our logos in our About page, if you’d like to check them out. 

  • Nicole Loi

    I’m seriously surprised to learn that Mary Sue is only a year old! I started receiving your newsletter a few months ago and it’s always been professional and interesting and relevant to my interests. Happy birthday and continue being awesome!

  • Erin Macdonald

    Happy Birthday! I only discovered this site a few months ago, but I feel like I have this network of awesome friends (even though I’ve never spoken to anyone) that let me geek out on a daily basis over things I would otherwise keep to myself to the point where I’d start mumbling and go a bit (more) mad. Thanks for being a nerd outlet and pointing me to awesome things I’d otherwise miss… love to you all!

  • Erica Tomas

    Happy be-lated birthday! And, can i say, i am very excited that in your new set of three geeky female icons, you chose three non-white women? Hoorah for my favorite Disney heroine!

  • E S

    I looove this site, so glad I found it. Women/girls empowerment + geekery makes me smile.

  • Anonymous

    I remember hearing Jimmy Fallon’s comment about the site and thought “that wasn’t very cool, make me feel even more isolated, dude” which then made me pause the show and proceed to spend around an hour+ on the site. You helped me accept myself as a geek and not hide it more. You have helped me accept all of me and reawakened my creativity as an artist and musician. Thank you to every single one of you for being there to say that a chick can make the geek boys yeild to her geeky knowledge and awesomeness. I have even begun to inspire my nieces and nephews to embrace their geekiness. So again, thank you for your help in saving me from thinking that because I am female I can’t be geeky. You have truely helped save my sanity and I will always have a special place in my heart for The Mary Sue.

  • Anonymous

    Happy to be wrong. I guess I never get those logos

  • Simply Superheroes

    Happy belated and many, many more!

  • Simply Superheroes

    Happy belated and many, many more!

  • E S

    Even though there were a few, the more diversity the merrier!

  • Maurice Mitchell

    Awesome site. I can’t believe it’s only a year old! Feels like it’s been here forever.

  • Fraydie Bonan

    Just thought I’d let you know the Mary Sue has become my favourite website :) thank you for being awesome.

  • Carol Belles

    Happy birthday! Wandered over here after seeing your link on Dan Abrams Facebook page – interesting site – think you are about to become one of my go to places!