Subverting the Monsterous Image … Wayward Sisters
TO Comix Press has launched several successful Kickstarter campaigns to publish the Toronto Comics anthology series of books. With three full-sized trade paperback books under their belt, the fine folks at TO Comix went in a new direction and promoted an anthology of 25 stories by 38 female-identifying and gender-nonconforming creators called Wayward Sisters: An Anthology of Monsterous Women.
The press release for Wayward Sisters describes the book as follows, “From mermaids hunted for their meat to a ghastly beauty pageant, Wayward Sisters celebrates lady and non-binary monsters who are indelicate, impolite, and irrepressible. Inside you’ll find tales of undead motivational speakers, vengeance demons compelled to hunt family, and a gentle T. Rex who just wants to be loved. This collection of full-colour comics stars thirty-eight intersectional creators who identify as women or gender-nonconforming.”
The Wayward Sisters Kickstarter went live back in October of 2017 and it wasn’t long before they reached 198% of their desired funding. With that great response, the folks involved moved quickly and the completed book is at the printer and available for pre-order.
Lead editor, Allison O’Toole spoke about the Wayward Sisters anthology, “I’ve loved monsters for as long as I can remember. Monsters can mean and represent so many different things about the human condition; they allow us to explore the parts of our identities that scare us, or that scare society. They can be scary or silly or sad, and that flexibility, as well as their metaphorical potential, has always interested me.” The response from the creative community when Allison and her cohorts requested submissions was “overwhelmingly positive.”
Many of the creators involved saw Wayward Sisters as an opportunity to expand the stereotypical image of a female monster in comics. Not simply a sexy creature of the night with ample cleavage and a minuscule costume instead the tales in this book reflect the diversity of the creators involved. By exclusively featuring stories by female and non-binary creators the book contains equally as unique perspectives while still maintaining a central tone to the anthology.
Featuring a fantastic cover by Alise Gluškova (Letter 44 Abe Sapien) and a forward by Faith Erin Hicks (The Nameless City) the aforementioned 38 creators craft some wonderful stories featuring a delightful range of monstrous ladies. Not all the stories are filled with horrible creatures, some are simply misunderstood. Art styles are equally as varied but suitably professional while maintaining that indie look and feel. You won’t see a DC Comics 70’s “house-style” drawing in the bunch. Colours compliment each story’s art and the overall technical parts of the book are clean and professional. But it’s the stories that are compelling. Each one is great and a pleasure to read but if I had to choose one, my favourite of the bunch is Cassandra Khaw and C. Ann Gordon’s “Bad Hair Day” in which a lonely young lady is asked out on a date. While she agrees to go out her “monstrous side” intervenes.
The Wayward Sisters anthology is the perfect gift to draw someone unfamiliar with comics in and show them how great this art form can be. If you missed the Kickstarter you can still grab a copy of this great book by pre-ordering from the Wayward Sisters website at http://waywardsistersanthology.com/
Title: Wayward Sisters | Publisher: TO Comix Press
Writers: various | Artists: various
Lead Editor: Allison O’Toole | Editor: M. Blankier
Price: $25 – 220 pages