I got a PR email today from BOOM! Studios announcing a new title called HIT, which is out in September, from the team of Bryce Carlson, who writes Adventure Time, and a new artist named Vanesa R. Del Rey. The story is described as “a dark crime drama filled with murderers, rapists, and drug lords…and the men who will stop at nothing to bring them to justice. If you’re a fan of CRIMINAL, PARKER, and TUMOR, then HIT is the series for you..” The series is set in 1955 Los Angeles, and from the covers by Ryan Sook and variant by Erik M Gist (above), you can see it’s bullets and broads and 50’s style ties. All things I like, so I’ll definitely check it out.
I had not heard of the artist, Del Rey, but she has a Tumblr and a Twitter. While showing the strong influence of artists like Darwyn Cooke and Paul Pope (the alpha and omega of current comic book art styles), she’s quite promising, and she certainly has no shyness about drawing sexy ladies, which should be a commercial plus.
What with all the brouhaha about women in comics you hear all the time, I was wondering if BOOM! hiring an unknown female artist had gotten the kind of plaudits that you’d think from the panel. I mean it is kind of an ordinary thing, but given all the (very real) struggles and stereotypes that infest the comics industry, you’d think that a company that got it right would get some praise, right?
The only mention of the book I could find previously was a story on Bleeding Cool from May and an interview with Carlson on CBR in July, so not a whole lot, although maybe there was more on Twitter or Tumblr that doesn’t show up in the comments.
Admittedly, this is a sensitive area. I feel like whenever you are tagged as a “female anything” you immediately are marginalized. So having a gong sound off and a loudspeaker announcement every time a woman in comics gets a job are not the most subtle things, and may actually be damning.
But still, I wanted to give praise to BOOM! for being an equal opportunity employer. And maybe the court of Tumblr/Twitter can take a moment out from combing the media for angering statements to promote an actual woman who got a job.
Like I said, I think Del Rey is wearing her influences on her sleeve, but she has a focus on faces and poses that writers love. Like I said, promising.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.