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Fanbase Press’ The Gamma Gals Looks to Change the Representation Game in Comics

When it comes to inclusion in comics, sometimes it pays to explore titles from independent publishers who are attempting to fill the void that the Big Two often struggle to fill. For six years, Fanbase Press (formerly Fanboy Comics) has offered a platform to up-and-coming comics creators to tell unique and inclusive stories. Today, they’ve announced another such addition to their ever-growing list of titles. Say hello to The Gamma Gals!

The Gamma Gals is a creator-owned, 4-part limited series that is created, written, and illustrated by comics newcomer Stefano Terry. It tells the story of three D&D-loving teenage girls, Kira, Harriet, and Sue, who awaken from a gamma-irradiated storm to discover they have extraordinary superpowers. They are your average high school students at Brightstone City High School by day, but by night, they are The Gamma Gals, protecting Brightstone City from countless super villains, monsters, and more!

Fanbase Press has provided a couple of preview images to whet our appetites (see the gallery!), and Editor-In-Chief, Barbra Dillon expressed excitement over the new title saying, “I am overjoyed to bring The Gamma Gals into our publishing lineup this year. Having the opportunity to add complex and strong female characters to the comic book medium who positively represent various races, physical abilities, and sexual orientations is tantamount to the mission of Fanbase Press and the needs of the comic book industry.”

Meanwhile, Terry was also drawn to the possibility of telling a story with a more inclusive cast of characters. “For me, it’s a culmination of 23 years of passion for the comics medium,” he says. “I wanted to create a book that felt more like the real world in terms of representation, with characters that I hope are relatable, fun, and awesome!”

The story sounds like a lot of fun, and I’m thrilled that the girls are not only ethnically and racially diverse, but they are also physically diverse! My only quibble based purely on these preview pages is with the Latina character, Sue. While I love that there’s a Latina character, my issue is with the fact that she’s supposed to be fat…but isn’t really drawn that way.

Apparently, this character is supposed to be fat enough to elicit insulting comments from classmates and be really insecure, but she’s not drawn like a fat girl. While I understand that, because of the sexist beauty standards that dictate our looks-obsessed society, we tend to apply the word “fat” to any woman who’s not a Size 2, if the goal of the book was to truly capture diverse body types, perhaps Terry could’ve gone a bit further than a pot belly and larger breasts. One need only look at a title like Faith over at Valiant to see how it can be done. I’ve seen “fat” according to Hollywood standards or comics standards…we could use more comics artists drawing fat as it might actually exist in the world.

Still, The Gamma Gals seems to be worth checking out. After all, why wouldn’t we be into a story about a diverse group of geeky gamer friends who happen to become superheroes? Exactly.

Gamma Gals will be available digitally through ComiXology starting in March 2017. But fear not, lovers of hard copies! The series will be collected into a printed trade paperback featuring two bonus issues that will be released in late summer 2017. You can pre-order the trade over at the Fanbase Press site right now, and all pre-orders received before June 7, 2017 will receive an exclusive Gamma Gals print signed by Terry.

Will you be reading The Gamma Girls?

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(images via Fanbase Press)

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