The Washington Post

VIDEO SHELF FRIDAY: ‘Womanthology’ roars, ‘Batman’ soars — and News of the World is floored

“Womanthology” has struck a chord — to the tune of thousands of dollars in overnight support.

The collective — featuring the work of more than “140 female comics creators” — aims to “showcase the work of women in comics” through a large-scale anthology that IDW has agreed to publish.

The Kickstarter project to gain financial backing for the “Womanthology” book launched Thursday. The goal: To raise $25,000 by Aug. 7.

As of Friday morning (ET), “Womanthology” has already raised more than $17,000. [Update: By Friday afternoon — a mere 30 days ahead of the target date — Womanthology had reached its fundraising goal .]

The project will feature the work of such pros as Gail Simone, Trina Robbins, Devin Grayson and Fiona Staples, to name just a smattering of the embarrassment-of-riches talent.

Robbins notes that for two decades, until 1992, Wimmen’s Comix was invaluable real estate for women creators.

“Without that anthology, I don’t know what I would have done — it was a safe place for women cartoonists and open to all women who drew comics,” Robbins tells Comic Riffs. “Womanthology promises to be that and more; with its huge page count and with color, it will be 100 percent better than anything we could have done back in the day — and it’s further proof that the industry is opening up to women.”

Even as the industry opens up, Staples sees Womanthology as an especially uncommon effort.

“I wanted to get involved with this project because it’s a rare opportunity to introduce a whole lot of new female creators to the comic industry,” Staples tells Comic Riffs. “These ladies are amazingly talented, and it’s an honor to work with them.”

On the same day that NASA’s shuttle program launched its last, contributor Barbara Randall Kesel told ‘Riffs: “I am totally psyched to be in on the genesis of a project that’s gone from thought to reality at lightspeed.” And of the wife-husband duo behind the project — Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon — she said: “Renae and Ray are dynamos, and they’ve launched this rocket in record time!”

Grayson, meantime, highlights the scope of De Liz’s project, saying that she “has set out to create a community of female creators from all different levels of experience to support and showcase one another’s work.”

“Pros are teamed with students, private message boards are being set up for tutoring and mentoring and absolutely everyone has donated any payment or potential profits to charity,” Grayson tells ‘Riffs. “The project is radiant with opportunity and excitement — there is no hint of cynicism or gimmick.”

“Writers and artists like Gail Simone, Camille d’Errico, Jamaica Dyer, Trina Robbins are paving the way for other women and girls who want to work in the comic book industry,” says contributing editor Bonnie Burton, “whether it’s working for Dark Horse Comics, Marvel and DC or it’s making their own webcomics. ... Young girls need to know that anything is possible, and that they have plenty of female comic book creators to look up to as mentors.”

Here’s Womanthology’s deftly delivered video explainer:


Superheroes in need of therapy? Hardly sounds like a new idea — especially if you’re a flawed Marvel crimefighter — but Sony and its division Crackle are banking that the blend of animation and live-action will render the concept fresh with its new series “Issues,” which debuts July 20.

Not exactly “Roger Rabbit,” but the show’s got some real talent behind it — including voice actors Eric Stonestreet, Seth Green, Ron Livingston and Greg Grunberg — so we’ll be tuning in:


The first trailer for DCU’s animated “Batman: Year One”dropped yesterday — and it provides just enough footage to render us hopeful.

The voice actors include Ben McKenzie (Batman), “Breaking Bad’s” Bryan Cranston (Commissioner Gordon), Eliza Dushku (Selina Kyle) and Katee Sackhoff (Sarah Essen). Gritty enough for you?


And this morning, the Taiwan-based Next Media Animation has already turned around its video on the shuttering of News of the World. Perhaps the most striking touch: Aussie owner Rupert Murdoch reprises his role as a Great White Shark:


Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.


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