British Anthology 'Bayou Arcana' Aims To Focus On Female Talent

By Danica Davidson

The British comic anthology Bayou Arcana, which will be published next year, is doing what it can to make sure talents are distributed equally. All the artists on the team are women and all the writers on the team are men.

The anthology is being billed as “southern gothic” and is about runaway slaves hiding in a swamp.

“There is a certain sensitivity that you find in women's art that just does not appear in a lot of guys' work," James Pearson, editor of the anthology, told the Guardian. "The way that they interpret the horror has an added depth to it – and that is part of the experiment. It's actually a really sensitive approach to quite visceral subject matter."

“Historically the comic book industry has been very male-dominated, but recently there has been a shift,” said Lisa Wood, who co-founded Britain’s Thought Bubble festival. “We are suddenly hearing women's views and experiences on politics, religion, sexual ideas and parenthood. But most importantly these stories are not exclusive to women, they are stories for everyone."

The Guardian talked to a few other experts in the field, including commentator Laura Hudson, who pointed out that independent comics and webcomics “have a far more even ratio of male to female creators.”

Blogger Vanessa Gabriel said that DC is doing better, but expressed disappointment in Marvel.

The push to get more women into comics isn’t new. Clearly women out there are making comics, but the problem is that publishers aren’t always paying much attention to their work. Female comic fans also often feel left out.

“It's really important for us [at Thought Bubble] to showcase women in the comic book industry, especially as many talented individuals are overlooked by other comic book conventions in the UK,” Wood went on.

It isn’t just the UK where the push back is happening. IDW is doing something similar to Bayou Arcana with Womanthology, though with Womanthology all of the contributors are women. With steps like these being made, women are more determined than ever to show their talents in the graphic novel field.

(Source: Guardian)