5 out of 5
I had no idea this was a volume 2 until looking it up to write this review, and I love it. It sells the success of the concept even more than its content – which is already stellar – given that the original Girl Comics started out as a romance comic, and, although it sounds like it morphed in to something with more of a Nancy Drew flair, it still sported story titles like ‘Love Me or Leave Me,’ and was primarily – if not wholly – created / scripted by men. Compare to Girl Comics of 2010, in which the stories can be about whatever the creators wanted them to be, and every single person on staff is female. It’s a great way to draw a line in the sand between what “people” “think” Girl Comics should be versus what they can be: comics, created by girls. This is echoed in Colleen Coover’s intro page to each issue, which restates a mission statement along the lines of: we do this because we love it, and not because of some agenda. It’s a fun, non-intrusive way to tie the content together.
And while there are, as with any anthology series, some better-than-other entries, and some that just aren’t going to be to everyone’s tastes, there’s so much more variation here than in most Marvel anthology-type books. Yes, some have romantic angles, but not nearly all of them, and yes, many star women characters, but also not all of them. Some may make statements on gender, but many are just straight up comic book tales, of scuffles or drama or comedy. Interspersed between stories are text pages highlighting women contributors over the years, and as with the intros, and the comics, these aren’t “why haven’t you recognized how great this person is?” finger-waggings, they’re celebrations of the skills of these people. (And, for me, surprised me with creator credits and whatnot, when I know I’m guilty of making the assumptions that a lot of long-standing characters were created by one of few of the “main” names in comics…)
It’s also great that they allowed these issues to run oversized, and included creator bios in each and every issue, even when that creator appeared multiple times – after all, maybe you only bought issue 2 or 3, so it’s still good to be able to read up on all involved.
The presentation on this is aces; the theme is perfectly affected; the content is a lot of fun, with frequent standouts throughout.