I’m the product of a pair of unapologetic geeks. When I was little, my dad read me Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser as bedtime stories. My mother felt those were too violent for a child of my tender age and read me Pern novels instead. They were both members of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
I was doomed from the beginning.
Neither of my parents are particular fans of horror, so that’s something I came into on my own. Same with my affection for steampunk and assorted other -punks. I attended my first convention as a pre-teen, and I haven’t looked back. My geekiness has mostly been focused on the written word: give me novels, short stories, mythology and folklore. I came late to movies and I’m making an honest effort to catch up while not falling further behind.
There are huge holes in my geek cred: I know next to nothing about anime, I avoid gaming not because I’m against it, but because I know that as soon as I pick up a controller, my life is over, and I’m interested in cosplay, but I’ve never engaged. My first geeky love was ElfQuest, and I’ve since picked up and devoured Sandman, but comics have otherwise never been a part of my life.
It’s not for lack of interest. I’ve got a deep affection for the X-Men and Batman, both due to Saturday morning cartoons. The back catalogs for both are staggering, however, and finding a place to start is confusing at best. With a teetering stack of books to be read looming over me and a constantly growing to watch list, it’s always been easy to backburner comics.
I’m sharing all of this because I don’t want to pretend to be an expert. I also want to make it clear that I’m sharing my personal opinions, and I’m coming from the place of a near complete newcomer. I’ve got no attachment to particular characters, writers, or illustrators. There’s no baggage and limited preconceptions.
When I saw the new Batgirl, I was immediately drawn to the newly designed costume. Something comfortable and reasonable? Less spandex, more function? Awesome!
There’s so much to love here, from the sensible shoes up. A cape that detaches when necessary?
(Fan art by Sam Logan)
MTV’s interview with Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr further piqued my interest. They sound interested in honoring the work and stories that came before, but also specifically state it will make a great jumping-on point for new readers like myself. So they’re mixing “the best elements of ‘Veronica Mars’ and ‘Girls,’ with a dash of ‘Sherlock’ thrown in for good measure.”
Count me in.
There’s been some concern about LGBTQ and People of Color represented in the comic. The creators have already addressed some concerns, so there’s certainly hope they’ll do right by LGBTQ folks and PoC.
Though I’ll admit my feelings are a bit mixed over Batgirl bathroom selfies.
Of course, that’s where the fans step in.
(Fan art by JD Benefield)
(H/T to io9, where there’s a lot more fantastic fan art collected.)