STRONG FEMALE PROTAGONIST is a relative newcomer to the world of webcomics. Written by Brennan Lee Mulligan and drawn by New York School of the Visual arts student Molly Ostertag, it was initiated in 2012 and already boasts three issues ranging in length from 22 to 50 or more pages. As the title suggests, the comic follows Ostertag’s own goal to depict “no nonsense women getting things done” in her comics. The webcomic’s protagonist, Alison Green, has retired from a career as a super-strong, invincible hero at the ripe age of 21 to pursue a college degree, but of course, complications arise, largely spurred on by her attraction to social activism. The comic is refreshingly modern in its everyday details and conveys a lot of the texture of generational experience in the 21st century, but also holds on to its own brand of humor and builds on the central appeal of its would-not-be heroine.
STRONG FEMALE PROTAGONIST is an ambitious exemplar of comics creators consciously stripping away many of the tropes of superhero comics while pursuing the implications of a hero role. In particular, it handles a female character without all the self-conscious trappings that female heroes usually labor under in mainstream comics. Some of this is due to the creative adaptation of autobiographical comics elements into the visual style and dialogue of the series and another feature that fans find attractive is tracing the evolving art style Ostertag has employed on the series since its inception. It’s not only a webcomic to check out, but a series to keep your eye on as it gathers momentum and even greater appeal issue by issue.
Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress. Find her bio here.