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By Alicia Korenman

Appropriate For Hunger Audiences

By Alicia Korenman Posted March 23, 2012 at 11:00 am

OK, I know I’m supposed to be talking about comics, but I am WAY too excited for the Hunger Games movie to talk about comics!

But just so I’m not completely off-topic, here are two Hunger Games-related comics by Faith Erin Hicks (whose Friends with Boys I recommended a couple weeks ago.

The first  is a retelling of the first couple of pages of the first Hunger Games book (and if you haven’t read it yet, why not? Be a part of the zeitgeist!). She definitely nails the atmosphere of District 12. I’m actually amazed that there hasn’t been a Hunger Games tie-in graphic novel announced yet, but I’m not the only person who thinks Hicks should work on one.

And the second is a fairly personal comic from Hicks, about why the series strikes such a chord with her (note: this one has spoilers for the end of the series). Basically, YAY Hunger Games!

In honor of Hunger Games and Katniss, I’m going to look at some more AWESOME women characters in comics (speaking of which, have you guys seen these adorable shorts Lauren Faust is doing for DC called Super Best Friends Forever? They feature Batgirl, Supergirl, and Wonder Girl . . . but not like you’ve ever seen them before. Faust has previously worked on the Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Creatures, and created the new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon—and you can definitely see her sensibility at work. Please make this a series, I would watch it every day!).

I’ve already mentioned Batwoman, Kitty Pryde, Agent 355, and the women of Fables, but there are so many more great girls to talk about! Like Ramona from Scott Pilgrim, who can rollerblade through subspace, has a bag with seemingly infinite capacity, and kicks butt just as well (or better, really) as her love interest (she’s also much more mature and realistic). She also has great clothes and changes her hair style and color often. Very versatile! (There are a lot of other amazing girl characters in the Scott Pilgrim series, too—I’m partial to sarcastic drummer Kim Pine, but find high-schooler Knives Chau endlessly entertaining as well).

There’s also Jim Rugg’s Street Angel, the world’s best homeless skateboarding fighter—pretty impressive for a 12-year-old.  And how many other 12-year-olds could fight ninjas and pirates, anyway? Street Angel is so awesome that a bunch of Australian film students made a short film of it—you can see the trailer here.

That one may be about a 12-year-old, but 12-year-olds aren’t the target audience. To find a great heroine in kids’ books, you need look no farther than Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet, which features Emily (and her younger brother Navin, who is also pretty great), a powerful magical necklace, a flying house, a bunch of robots (including one that looks like a stuffed animal bunny), and various enemies. Emily tries to figure out the right thing to do, and her determination just might help them win the day. Four volumes of this series are out so far, with at least two more on the way.

Another one aimed at a younger audience is Zita the Spacegirl–about a girl who finds a mysterious device in a meteroite, presses its button, and opens up a portal that sucks in one of her friends.  So of course she has to follow and rescue him, with the help of some awesome new friends (there’s an especially great giant mouse). This is one of the cutest books I have ever seen–the art is GREAT. A couple of sequels are in the works and I’m looking forward to more of this bold little adventurer.

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