Last year, on the one year anniversary of my comics column, I presented the very 1st Annual Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Awards, which had the express purpose of celebrating positive representation for queer women and feminist issues in comics, webcomics and graphic novels. This year I wanted to go one step further and allow you, the fans, to decide the winners. You’re the people who read these comics because when you do, you see yourself reflected back in them. You’re the ones who go every week to your local comic shop, who check at midnight for updates to your favorite webcomics and who make sure all of your friends know about your favorite comics, characters and creators.
A lot of us on the Autostraddle team read comics, and so a bunch of us nominated comics and creators in each category and then narrowed it down to these shortlists. Let me tell you, this was tough. There were so many amazing comics this year by incredibly talented women, featuring great female characters (both queer and otherwise) and focusing on some really great feminist messages.
Specifically, the goal of the Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Awards is to recognize and celebrate webcomics, graphic zines, comic books, graphic novels and other forms of sequential art that come out each year between September 1st of the previous year and August 31st of that year that feature both excellence in the art form and excellence in representation for girls and women (especially queer girls and women) and feminist themes. Women not only make up a huge number of talented writers, artists and other creative-types in the comics industry, but also a huge number of fans and readers of comics, and the ASCAs hope to highlight both of those groups.
Comic book shops, online forums and comment sections and depictions of heroes have long been places where women weren’t welcome. This is especially true for women of color, queer women, trans women, women with disabilities and other women who belong to oppressed groups. When writers and artists make comics that star girls and women who are diverse, who are well-written, who are the heroes of their own stories, they’re reminding readers that the sky isn’t the limit, the stars themselves are well within our reach.
With all that being said, I present to you the 2nd Annual ASCAs. There are five extremely deserving nominees in each category, I hope that your favorites are represented here. Some of the books and creators with the most nominations include Batgirl, DC Bombshells, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Witchy, SuperMutant Magic Academy, Bitch Planet and Lumberjanes.
Here’s a link to the actual poll where you can vote for your favorite queer and feminist comics and comic creators, but before that, here’s a look at the categories and shortlists.
Favorite All-Ages Comic
- Help Us! Great Warrior by Madeleine Flores (Boom Studios)
- Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl (DC Comics)
- Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen and Carolyn Nowak (Boom Studios)
- The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel)
- Marceline Gone Adrift by Meredith Gran and Carey Pietsch (Boom Studios)
Favorite Big Two Book (DC or Marvel)
- Batgirl by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr (DC)
- Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa and Adrian Alphona (Marvel)
- Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez (Marvel)
- The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by North and Henderson (Marvel)
- Gotham Academy by Cloonan, Fletcher and Kerschl (DC)
Favorite Indie Book
- Bitch Planet by DeConnick, Valentine De Landro and Robert Wilson IV (Image)
- Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
- Lumberjanes by Watters, Stevenson, Ellis, Allen and Nowak (Boom Studios)
- Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)
- Marceline Gone Adrift by Gran and Pietsch
Favorite Single Issue
- “Bitch Planet #3: The Secret Origin of Penny Rolle” by DeConnick and Wilson IV (Image)
- “DC Bombshells #1: United for Victory” by Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage (DC)
- “The Wicked + Divine #11” by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
- “Ms. Marvel #16” by Wilson and Alphonsa
- “Lumberjanes #17” by Watters, Stevenson and Allen
Favorite Webcomic- Serial
- Witchy by Ariel Ries
- Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag
- Agents of the Realm by Mildred Louis
- As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman
- Monster Pop! by Maya Kern
Favorite Webcomic- Episodic
- Oh Joy Sex Toy by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan
- Rock and Riot by Chelsey Furedi
- Emily Carroll’s online comics (“When the Darkness Presses,” “All Along the Wall” and “The Groom“)
- Closetalkers by Jasika Nicole
- Annie Mok’s work for Rookie (“The Delaney Comets,” “No, No, No: A Guide to Girling Wrong” and “Florals“)
Favorite Graphic Novel/Book
- SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
- Girl Sex 101 by Allison Moon and KD Diamond
- Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
- Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll
- Dear Amanda by Cathy G. Johnson
- Kate Leth (Bravest Warriors, Fresh Romance, Power Up, etc.)
- Marguerite Bennett (Angela: Asgard’s Assassin, 1602: Witch Hunter Angela, A-Force, DC Bombshells, etc.)
- Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel, Bitch Planet, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps, etc.)
- G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel, A-Force, etc.)
- Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson (Lumberjanes)
- Babs Tarr (Batgirl)
- Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl)
- Marguerite Sauvage (DC Bombshells, Thor Annual, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, etc.)
- Fiona Staples (Saga, Archie)
- Brooke A. Allen (Lumberjanes)
- Trillian Gunn (Help Us! Great Warrior)
- Valerie Halla (Octopus Pie)
- Maarta Laiho (Lumberjanes)
- Michele Assarasakorn (Gotham Academy)
- Amanda Scurti (“School Spirit” from Fresh Romance)
- Ariel Ries (Witchy)
- Jillian Tamaki (SuperMutant Magic Academy)
- Noelle Stevenson (Nimona)
- Emily Carroll (online work)
- Annie Mok (work on Rookie)
Favorite Queer Comic Character
- Batwoman from DC Bombshells
- Frankie/Oracle from Batgirl
- Marsha from SuperMutant Magic Academy
- Prill from Witchy
- Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley from Lumberjanes
Favorite Queer Comic Couple
- Mal and Molly from Lumberjanes
- Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer from DC Bombshells
- Malie and Justine from “School Spirit” in Fresh Romance
- Connie and Carla from Rock and Riot
- Alysia Yeoh and Jo from Batgirl
Favorite Overall Comic
- Lumberjanes by Watters, Stevenson, Ellis, Allen and Nowak
- Bitch Planet by DeConnick, De Landro and Wilson IV
- Witchy by Ries
- SuperMutant Magic Academy by Tamaki
- The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by North and Henderson
Voting will be open until 11:59 pm PST on Saturday, September 19 so make sure you vote for all of your favorites!
New Releases (September 2)
Adventure Time: Eye Candy Mathematical Edition Vl. 2 HC (Boom)
Angel and Faith Season 10 #18 (Dark Horse)
Legend of Korra The Art of the Animated Series Vol. 4: Balance HC (Dark Horse)
Detective Comics #44 (DC)
Wonder Woman Vol. 6 Bones TPB (DC)
Wonder Woman Vol. 7 War-Torn HC (DC)
Swords of Sorrow: Miss Fury/Lady Rawhide Special #1 (Dynamite)
Jem and the Holograms #6 (IDW)
Mockingbird S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 (Marvel)
Silk #7 (Marvel)
Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #3 (Marvel)
Thors #3 (Marvel)
True Believers Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel)
True Believers Spider-Gwen #1 (Marvel)
Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.
If you have a comic that you’d like to see me review, you can email me at mey [at] autostraddle [dot] com.
Are April and Ripley from Lumberjanes really queer characters though?
Well we don’t know that they aren’t.
Interesting. Two of my favourite comics are missing from the voting, although both are fairly new (The Spire and Jem and The Holograms) so maybe next year. Regardless, there are a number of fine comics among those selections and I’ve voted for my favourites.
Looking at this week’s comics there are a couple of additional comics I really recommend.
Tale of Honor: Bred to Kill #2 with amazing art by Linda Sejic. This is an original Honor Harrington story set shortly after the first novel. If you are a fan of the novels then you should be reading this.
Toil & Trouble #1. This is a retelling of Macbeth from the point of view of the three witches. The preview looks really interesting.
I’m also getting Lazarus #19 and Cluster #7 which are two great sci-fi series. Not for everyone though and both look like they are taking a darker turn this week.
Yeah, there were a lot of comics that were considered, but in the end, we did have to whittle each group down to just five nominees.
And oh yeah, I forgot about Toil & Trouble! That does seem really cool!
I didn’t think anything was going to compete with DC’s Bombshells #1, like no way at all whatsoever, but then Lumberjanes #17 came out, and blew my heart and mind wide open!
This is the best kind of voting fun: part things and people I’m delighted to vote for (if I can only choose!), part comics I’m now dying to check out!
This is very cool! So many amazing books and webcomics here! :)
Near or at the top of my current favorite comics is Raven The Pirate Princess, which stars a lesbian WoC as it’s main character. It’s loads of fun! It only started in July though and so not a lot of people are familiar with it yet. Hopefully it will be on here next year. :)
It was so incredibly hard to narrow down each category to only five nominees! So many of my favorites are left off (Molly Ostertag in fav artist, Mildred Louis in fav writer/artist, Captain Marvel #15 in favorite single issue, Leo from Help Us Great Warrior in fav queer character)! But I think we made some really, really great lists!
Maybe next year the ballots could be bigger? Or allow write-ins? :)
I did think about both of those things. We do have to cut off the list of nominees somewhere though. And I ultimately decided against allowing write-ins because I was afraid of trolls going in and voting for comics that wouldn’t even be eligible, sort of like what the Sad Puppies campaign did with the Hugo Awards. Since these awards are for women-centric, feminist and queer comics, I thought that there was an even higher chance of MRAs, homophobes or others like that messing up the results.
Still, this is just the 2nd year of these awards and there’s always room for improvement.
This is awesome and so helpful to someone just getting into comics!!
I may or may not have spent my entire workday in my office, doing bare minimum and actually reading ALL of Strong Female Protagonist. Holy Shit it’s good.
Ugh, I know. I love it sooooooooo much!
Just reread the whole thing over the summer–one of my favorites!!
I’m not really caught up on enough current comics to do the voting for this, but just looking at the titles in these categories is getting me pumped up for when I finally do get caught up.
well, you have three more weeks to get caught up and vote!
Can I leave any of the categories blank? Because I definitely won’t be caught up on the big two in time. But other than that, I think I could do it.
I think so?
Yes! Which I appreciated; thanks, poll creators!
YOU SHOULD READ BITCH PLANET IT’S SO GOOD
The TPB has been in my amazon wishlist for a long time, but it doesn’t come out until near the end of October. So, I think I’m just going to have to go ahead and get digital copies of the issues.
A little sad to see neither Sunstone nor Rat Queens, but there certainly is a few great choices in there.
Ms. Marvel or Squirrel Girl…HOW DO I CHOOSE?!!
If it was Marvel vs DC I could do it with struggle against how I was raised and some trepidation, but noooo.
So much of it is hard, but Ms. Marvel or Squirrel Girl is somehow the hardest.
UGH THIS WAS SO HARD.
Hmmm…I didn’t know this was a thing. I must have missed it last year. Very cool. Note to self: Add this to the list of illustration career goals.
This was impossible. Also I loved that there was a colorist section! They definitely deserve the same praise as all other artists in the book. (If this is a common thing, ignore my surprise that it’s there.)
I am sincerely bummed not to see Jem & the Holograms nominated for anything. Awesome lesbian relationship between rival band members, culturally and body shape diverse, strong female characters with great stories. Amazing art and color, and a trans artist!
Hi, please don’t erase Serge LaPointe’s work on Gotham Academy, he’s co-credited on all of the issues Assarasakorn worked on. Colorists as a whole are the often, along with letterers, the most overlooked workers in the industry. By removing his credit, you’re only perpetuating the harm already being done to the whole profession.
Why are you making me choose only one from all these wonderful, amazing faves???? This is heartbreaking!
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