Oh, Womanthology. A book that I’ve been delighted to read and dreading to review, if only because of the amount of stuff to get through. It’s a bear of a comic book, bursting with stories, interviews, and lessons.
Womanthology is a historic comic anthology that started with one tweet. On May 17, 2011, artist Renae De Liz asked if female creators would be interested in working on an anthology book. The response was overwhelming, so much so that there was a waiting list to contribute.
Sponsors wanted to get in on this one-of-a-kind project as well. Womanthology surpassed its $25,000 Kickstarter goal in 19 hours and managed to raise $109,301 in all to cover publishing costs, becoming the #1 comic project in Kickstarter history.
The task of organizing and funding such an undertaking must have been incredibly daunting. Womanthology is a huge book with hundreds of pieces. When flipping through the pages you have to respect the amount of work it took to put the book together.
The book is divided into chapters. Each chapter is part of a “team” under the leadership of an editor. Each of these teams presents stories that generally range in length from one to three pages. In some cases, a writer is paired with an artist and a colorist. Other stories are written, drawn, and colored by the same artist. There are also single pages by pin-up artists.
A little less that a quarter of the page, at the bottom, is reserved to highlight the creators of each story. On some pages there are also useful “pro-tips” that are worth reading. Some of them are practical, like “ always proofread your work”, while others are highly inspiring. On pages where there are no creator highlights or pro tips there is a cute little comic strip running throughout the book.
Further along in the book are special feature sections. The first is dedicated to kids and teens – young female artists and writers who will be the next generation of comic creators. Next are tutorials by professionals in the industry. Topics include writing, drawing, inking, coloring, and lettering. Finally, there are creator interviews and “Women of the Past”, a section dedicated to exploring female creators from the early history of comics.
Womanthology is a book that you have to read to understand. It’s not like other books. You don’t just sit down, read, and say, “Oh, that was nice.” You have to read through it over and over again to truly get the full impact. Read the comics, read the tips, read the interviews. Read it all and keep digging to get all of the lessons that Womanthology has to offer. It’s not just a book about “girl power”, it’s a practical guide. It’s all about helping others achieve their dreams.
Generally I recommend a book to a certain audience. In this case, I think everyone can benefit from reading Womanthology. Proceeds are going to the Global Giving Foundation.