11-year-old Rowan posing with Mike Norton. (Photo Credit: Mike Norton)
11-year-old Rowan posing with 40-year-old Mike Norton. (Photo Credit: Mike Norton)

Disclaimer: This post might make you cry and consider having children. As the rest of the world was living vicariously through all their fortunate friends at Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, but I don’t think anyone’s experience could compare to Mike Norton’s. With all the negative press the industry has been gaining lately, this is one of those shining examples of what a 32-page comic can inspire anyone to do.

Norton posted a touching story on his website. One of his young female die hard fans expressed her love for his Dark Horse creator owned title The Answer! 11-year-old Rowan came back this year in full cosplay, and a comic she created that was inspired by The Answer! and Battle Pug.

Here’s the full story:

A year ago, at the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) a 10 year old girl came up to my table and told me that (she) really liked my comic (The Answer!) because it was about a really smart woman who figured things out with her mind. It made my weekend, of course. I thought i was just making a goofy superhero comic.

This year, the same girl came to the table with her mother. This time, in full-on Answer! cosplay. I couldn’t believe it. Her name is Rowan and not only had she not forgotten about the book (I haven’t managed to put out the sequel yet!) but she was now making her own comics! (she gave me an awesome book about me and her with the Answer!, riding Battlepug, and  fighting each other with cats on our heads.) I kinda get teary-eyed just thinking about it.

I didn’t start making comics with the intention of influencing other people. I don’t make them with a conscious idea to be inclusive to all people. I just make the kind of comics I like. But everybody IS invited. EVERYBODY.

The idea that there are Rowans out there who feel comfortable being a part of this amazing community is important. It’s worth protecting. The fact that sometimes its even an issue to some people makes angry, so I’m not going to think about that. I’m going to think about getting started on that second Answer! series. Rowan is getting antsy, I’m sure.


  1. This is wonderful, but what negative press are you talking about? Is this a reference to the stories of harassment of women at conventions? Isn’t that pretty much an “inside baseball” thing? I wouldn’t think that sort of thing has bled out even to the general con attendees, much less the reading public.

  2. Yup, it’s a great feeling when someone comes up to you and says you helped/encouraged/inspired them to be creative.

    It happened to me once, just because I helped a customer at a bookstore who wanted to write a comic book. It caught me offguard when I went to get the book signed, and Alissa Torres remembered me.

    (And now I’m going to search out the book!
    Wait… strong female character who is a librarian?! SOLD!)

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