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TMS’ Favorite Female-Created Comics of 2017

image: DC Comics Cover for Issue #1 of Supergirl: Being Super

If you’re a TMS subscriber, you receive our daily newsletter, and (almost) every Wednesday I provide our weekly Pull Wisely list of comics recommendations for New Comic Book Day. Now that a full 365 days have gone by, here are some of my favorite new titles this year!

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Recently, I decided to place a mandate on myself for my recommendations in the newsletter: that I would make it a point to spotlight female-created work, with female writer/artist teams being given top priority, followed by female writer/male artist, followed by male writer/female artist, and I’ve been thrilled with how this has forced me to broaden my horizons, and approach my comics in a really thoughtful way.

And so, my top ten recommendations below all have at least one female creator. Happy reading!

image: DC Comics Cover for Issue #1 of Supergirl: Being Super

(w) Mariko Tamaki; (a) Joëlle Jones
(c) Kelly Fitzpatrick; (i) Sandu Florea
(l) Saida Temofonte
Limited series.

You’ll likely be seeing this one on a lot of 2017 “year’s best” lists, and with good reason. This gorgeous and unique YA take on Supergirl’s origin story will make you fall in love with the Girl of Steel all over again. Check out my interview with creators Tamaki and Jones HERE. And if you want a version of Supergirl that gives wonderful focus on the girl behind the superpowers, this four-book limited series is for you!

image: Fanbase Press Cover for "Quince" Trade Paperback

QUINCE (Fanbase Press)
(created by) Sebastian Kadlecik
(w) Kit Steinkellner; (a) Emma Steinkellner
Limited series.

I was immediately charmed by the story of Lupe, a 15-year-old girl who discovers that her quinceañera brings with it a super cool party . . . and superpowers. Her quince powers only last as long as she’s fifteen, so we follow Lupe’s adventures over the course of this roller coaster year. The world doesn’t have nearly enough Latina superheroes, and while Marvel has got one with more of a big name, Lupe is a superhero that I think a lot more of us can relate to. You can check out my original review HERE, and you can now check out all 15 issues of Quince (either in English or in Spanish!) over at Fanbase Press (link above).

image: BOOM! Studios Cover for "Clueless: Senior Year" written by Amber Benson and Sarah Kuhn, with art by Siobhan Keenan.

(w) Amber Benson & Sarah Kuhn; (a) Siobhan Keenan
(c) Shan Murphy; (l) Jim Campbell
Graphic Novel.

Love the 1995 classic, Clueless? Well, even if you’ve never seen it, if you’ve got a soft spot in your heart for tales of empowering female friendship, look no further than BOOM! Box’s Clueless: Senior Year, a graphic novel that takes place after the events of the film. Cher, Dionne, and Tai each get their moment to shine as they each try to figure out who they are, and what they want their lives to be *gasp* after high school! Check out my interview with Benson and Kuhn HERE!

image: Archaia Cover for "Jane" by Aline Brosh McKenna and Ramon K. Perez

JANE (Archaia)
(inspired by Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë)
(w) Aline Brosh McKenna; (a) Ramón K. Pérez
(c) Pérez and Irma Kniivila; (l) Deron Bennett
Graphic Novel.

Aline Brosh McKenna, co-creator and showrunner of The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, makes a stunning comics debut with this modern-day retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Her take on the story, which is dark but not lacking in her trademark humor, is beautifully assisted by Pérez’s artwork, which has a very modern sensibility, even as it evokes the illustration style of Brontë’s time. If you love both comics and classic literature as much as I do, this combination of the two is a perfect read! Check out my original review HERE.

image: Image Comics Cover of "Bitch Planet: Triple Feature" #1

(from the world of Bitch Planet, created by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro)
(w) Various; (a) Various
Ongoing series.

Bitch Planet is already one of our favorite comics, set in a world where “non-compliant” women are sent to a prison planet colloquially known as “Bitch Planet,” imprisoned as an example to all the free women on Earth, a warning to not step too far away from their prescribed gender roles. Triple Feature is a companion series that allows other comics creators to tell stories in the world of Bitch Planet, with each issue containing three short stories by different creators. Since Bitch Planet involves a lot of research and resources to produce (each issue not only tells a great, inclusive story, but also includes feminist essays and lots of other bonus content in the back), a lot of time often goes by between issues. Triple Feature makes the wait for more Bitch Planet a lot easier to bear!

image via Aftershock Comics Cover for "Animosity" #1 Marguerite Bennett

ANIMOSITY (Aftershock)
(w) Marguerite Bennett; (a) Rafael De LaTorre
(c) Rob Schwager; (l) Marshall Dillon
Ongoing series.

This is one of the most creative and thought-provoking reads I’ve read all year! The story is set in a world where one day, all the animals on Earth start thinking. They start talking. They start taking revenge. Well, not all of them. Animals, like people, have varied personalities, and the story primarily follows a young girl named Jessie and her dog, Sandor, who loves her absolutely and protects her in this strange new world once her parents are gone. You can check out my original review HERE. If you’re looking for a story that will make you think hard and feel hard, give Animosity a try. Note: if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you might especially love this book!

image: BOOM! Studios Main cover for Fence #1 from BOOM! Studios by Johanna the Mad

(w) C.S. Pacat; (a) Johanna the Mad
(c) Joana Lafuente
Ongoing series.

Fence tells the story of sixteen-year-old Nicholas Cox, an outsider to the competitive fencing world. Filled with raw talent but lacking proper training, he signs up for a competition that puts him head-to-head with fencing prodigy Seiji Katayama…and on the road to the elite all-boys school Kings Row. Pacat and Johanna the Mad clearly love sports manga, and have an affinity for fencing, which comes through in this awesome story that also serves as an examination of class and status. Check out my interview with the creators HERE.

image: Image Comics The cover of "Rocket Girl, Vol. 2: Only the Good..." Brandon Montclare Amy Reeder

(w) Brandon Montclare; (a) Amy Reeder
(c) Joana Lafuente
Ongoing series. Maybe?

I fell in love with the story of future teen cop DaYoung Johansson over three years ago, when it first dropped. However, due to its creators being way talented and busy with other gigs, there was a long wait for the continuation of the story. Thankfully, Rocket Girl returned in the summer of this year with Issue #8, and Montclare and Reeder’s bonkers time-travel story about a young girl standing up for what’s right was exactly as cool as I remembered. Also, Reeder’s art is basically my favorite thing ever. The second volume came out in trade paperback this year, collecting issues #6-10, and the final panel reads “End.” But…there can still be more somehow, right? I mean, Montclare and Reeder can totally figure out how to do more, right? Wibbledy-wobbly, timey-wimey, right? Please?

image: IDW Cover for "Jem and the Holograms: Infinite" Kelly Thompson Stacey Lee

(w) Kelly Thompson; (a) Stacey Lee, Jen Hickman
(c) Sarah Stern; (l) Shawn Lee

We’ve loved IDW’s Jem and the Holograms comic series since it debuted, and this year we were treated to an awesome Holograms/Misfits crossover event called Infinite in which Jem and the Holograms end up trapped in a new world with their musical nemeses. Thompson’s fresh, modern, and fiercely feminine take on these characters from the 1980s is always a solid read, and while I will forever miss Sophie Campbell’s stamp on the artwork for this title, it’s in more than capable hands with Lee and Hickman (I mean, check out Lee’s gorgeous cover above!).

image: Marvel Comics Cover of "Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Captain Phasma" Kelly Thompson Marco Checchetto

(w) Kelly Thompson; (a) Marco Checchetto
Limited Series.

I think that Captain Phasma got severely shortchanged in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but in case you were wondering what happened to her between her defeat (and seeming demise) at the end of The Force Awakens and her arrival in The Last Jedi, this comic is for you! As you know if you’ve read her other Marvel work, or Jem (above!), you know that Thompson excels at staying true to existing characters while very firmly putting her own fresh stamp on the proceedings, making every character her own. She’s a perfect match for one of our favorite female Star Wars villains.

Well, there you have it! My Top Ten favorite female-created comics from 2017! What were yours? Were you reading these along with me? Are there any that aren’t on this list that you really need me (and your fellow Mary Suevians) to know about? Tell us in the comments below!

(image: DC Comics)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.

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