Posted by : Wendy B Sunday, 3 July 2011

Day 03 - A comic that is underrated

It's not so much that Artesia is underrated. The many starred reviews speak to this. However, because it is not published by the major studios, it is overlooked.

"Artesia is a far cry from any standard comic fare. There are elements of Frank Miller’s 300, and the art reminds me a little of Barry Windsor-Smith, but this book doesn’t rely on or pay homage to those sources. Mark Smylie creates a vivid, deeply engrossing environment even as the story unfolds in such straightforward locations as the battlefield. An entire mythological system was created and is fully explained in the glossary, as is the history of Artesia’s world. As the art and theme remind one of Miller and Windsor-Smith, so does the mythology and history remind one of corresponding histories of Earth; however, Mark redefines every element of the book enough to make it both unique and completely believable." ~Sequential Tart
Artesia herself is the epitomy of Strong Female CharactersTM. She is a woman who is not scarred by a past that includes witchery or being a king's concubine. She is respected and honoured by her peers and returns the same to those who have earned it.

The book was my first introduction to a true adult comic book. The sex and violence is not for the squeamish. But again, attesting to Artesia's strength as a character, I appreciate lack of adherance to the cliched role of strong women and sex.
“Women who rule, or who lead in military contexts, have historically often been described as either chaste (and applauded for it) or promiscuous (and condemned for it) – while in contrast I find that male political and war leaders (or other so-called male heroes) are usually applauded for their 'virility.' Most writers tend to prefer their heroines chaste, so I was intrigued by the notion of going in the opposite direction and trying to write about a woman who had a healthy (read: prodigious) appetite for sex, but in such a way that hopefully left her still sympathetic to the slightly Puritanical audience in the US. I’ve gotten both good and bad reactions from readers; some have found it refreshing, while others have occasionally thought that things have gone a bit far (with 'Artesia Afire' in particular).” ~Mark Smylie for CBR
I have a particular fondness for this story because it was introduced to me by the creator himself, whom I had the pleasure of spending time with many years ago and with whom I had many fun conversations. Sadly, have lost touch. :(

Day 04 - Your guilty pleasure comic or character
I've seen the original Dirty Pair OVA, but can't remember much of it. Possibly because those unfortunate Lovely Angels are overshadowed by the ones pictured above. I believe I picked up Adam Warren's Dirty Pair after reading his version of Bubblegum Crisis, Bubblegum Crisis: Grand Mall, the original BGC being the anime that got me into anime.

Warren's current Empowered is described as a "super hero comedy" but Dirty Pair did it first and did it best.

The Dirty Pair also served as inspiration for tHE AdVeNturE pAtRol, a comic and stories created in highschool, based on the adventures of myself and my friends.

2 Responses so far.

  1. This should appeal to a lot of buzzers! Almost makes me want to read comic books! Keep up the good work!

  2. I'll have to look into Artesia.

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This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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