It’s almost exactly a year since Julie and Shawna Benson celebrated their debut as comic-book writers with the publication by DC Comics of the first issue of the reboot of the Birds of Prey franchise, a series that features the crime-fighting women of Gotham, the superheroes Batgirl, Black Canary and the Huntress.
“Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth” landed the week before San Diego Comic-Con 2016, and a year later, as the Benson sisters prep for another trip to San Diego for the annual celebration of the popular arts, they’re still flying high on the fun and excitement they’ve experienced over the issues they’ve since written – No. 12 arrived Wednesday, July 12.
“It’s really been a dream come true for us,” Julie Benson says. “We grew up reading our dad’s comics – he collected a bunch of Silver Age books, mostly DC.
“For us to be on the other side of it is something we didn’t think was possible, especially since there aren’t that many women creating books,” she says.
That’s a true statement – men have long dominated the creation of comic books, as writers or artists – that at the same time feels like it’s changing with each passing day or week – or ‘Con.
When the Benson sisters arrive at Comic-Con this year they’ll be among an ever-growing number of women on doing signings of their work in the booths that pack the exhibition hall floor, filling panels for fans eager to hear the latest developments in the imaginary worlds they create, and in general celebrating all the joy that comics of every kind deliver.
When the Eisner Awards – the comics world’s equivalent of the Oscars – are held Friday at Comic-Con, a good number of women will be among the nominees. Writer Marjorie Liu, for instance, is nominated for best limited series for her work on “Han Solo” and best teen publication for “Monstress.” In the best new series category five of the nominees are primarily or entirely created by women: “Clean Room,” by writer Gail Simone – who also did a long run as writer on “Birds of Prey” in the 2000s – and artist Jon Davis-Hunt; “Faith,” by writer Jody Houser and artists Pere Pérez, and Marguerite Sauvage;…