Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Michael Turner's greatest feat

(A Michael Turner wallpaper and sketches gallery awaits here!)

In spite of what the contents of this blog may lead some to believe, the comic book universe remains largely dominated by male characters in colorful tights. Good monthly titles starring female heroes are as rare as an anorexic person in Louisiana. While it seems like every week a new femme fatale or bad girl title hits the shelves, it usually vanishes after a few issues. Only Wonder Woman (1942), Catwoman (1993), Red Sonja (1977), Witchblade (1995) and Fathom (1998) can claim the distinction of having starred in their own books for more than 10 years. The late Michael Turner, an extraordinary artist who lost his battle with cancer in June 2008, was directly responsible for the success and the longevity of the last two. He not only had a devilish gift for drawing torrid women, but Witchblade and Fathom were and still are truly original characters, inhabiting rich worlds filled with magic, sci-fi and a bizarre supporting cast. Most astonishingly, they appeal to female readers, a feat comparable to climbing the Everest backwards. In the 90s, where the only women found in a comic book store were printed characters, girls started walking in and purchasing Michael's books, scaring the living daylights out of clerks everywhere. His disciples are many, but none of them have yet given us a lasting heroine. Essential reading: Witchblade Compendium Vol. 1 and Fathom - The Definitive Edition Vol. 1.

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