SDCC ’13: Gail Simone Assembles An Impressive Team Of Female Writers For Legends Of Red Sonja
Gail Simone‘s Red Sonja doesn’t come out until Wednesday, but it’s already having a big impact for Dynamite. The fan-favorite scribe’s first issue already sold out, and that promises big new things for the She-Devil with a sword. This also happens to be the character’s 40th Anniversary. To help celebrate that fact, Simone assembled an absolutely stellar line-up of female writers to tackle a new event called Legends of Red Sonja.
The series will be a collection of individual stories that are connected by a “braided story” according to Simone. The writer got to turn in a list of women she would like to see included, and it seems like most all of them agreed to the project. Writer like Kelly Sue DeConnick, Marjorie Liu, Leah Moore, and Blair Butler will be involved just to name a few. Simone on how the project came into being:
When it was first decided that I would be taking part in the relaunch of Red Sonja, we had what I thought was a very fun idea, which was to have all the covers and variant covers be drawn by top female artists. The idea just took off, as some of my artistic heroes, people like Colleen Doran, Amanda Conner, and Nicola Scott all contributed these gorgeous, eye-popping pieces of art for the book. It made everyone tremendously happy and gave us a wonderful extra kick for our relaunch of this classic character. So when Dynamite told me that the 40th anniversary of Red Sonja was coming up, I thought, ‘I wonder if we could do the same thing, but with all my favorite female writers?’ I can’t tell you how exciting this is for me, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for years.
These are all powerful voices whose work I adore. Dynamite asked me to make a list of the women I’d love to see included, and again, I was astounded at the eager responses! We have giants of the fantasy and horror prose world; Tamora Pierce, Nancy Collins, Mercedes Lackey, and Meljean Brook. We have some of the hottest comics talents; Marjorie M. Liu, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Leah Moore, Devin Grayson and (in her first published story as a writer) Nicola Scott. And we have brilliant writers from games and television; Rhianna Pratchett and Blair Butler. Getting to hand-pick this crew of fierce women was an absolute joy, and the fun of it is, we’re all fans of Red Sonja, and of each other. Throwing ideas back and forth and shaping the stories has been some of the most fun I’ve ever had in comics. I can’t wait for people to read these takes on Red Sonja…some are funny, some are scary, some are very different versions of Sonja than we are familiar with!
Many of Simone‘s partners in crime shared their thoughts on coming in to work on the new venture as well. You can read their words, but below that is a gallery of some of the amazing artwork that was put out with Dynamite‘s press release. Dynamite just embarrassed every other publisher by having more female talent working on one series than other publishers have working on any of the books they publish combined. What do you think of Legends of Red Sonja? Will you be checking this murderer’s row of talent out?
- Rhianna Pratchett (Heavenly Sword, Mirror’s Edge): “I treasured my Red Sonja poster when I was kid. So to get the opportunity to write a story for the character, and to do it in the company of such extraordinary, talented women, is a dream come true. My younger self is definitely high-fiving my older self.”
- Leah Moore (Doctor Who: The Whispering Gallery, Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon): “It’s not everyday that Gail Simone asks me to write Red Sonja. To be honest, I’m glad, because when it happened, I had to be peeled off the ceiling. Writing Red Sonja has been a personal ambition of mine for a long time. She is about the most fun a writer can have. She’s a loner, a grouch, a badass, and is apparently impervious to cold. I am almost too excited about this project to actually write the thing, which is counter-productive, really.”
- Tamora Pierce (The Song of the Lioness, Mastiff): “This is the coolest project ever: new stories crafted by some of the best writers and artists out there, about a woman warrior created by one of my literary idols, Robert E. Howard, spearheaded by my comics goddess, Gail Simone. I’m honored to be a part of this, and can’t wait to see the whole thing. It will be a ground-breaking, multilayered view of a character who has been brawling through comics for decades!”
- Blair Butler (Heart, host of MSN’s Nerdcore): “I’m honored and exceedingly intimidated to be included in this group of talented creators. Gail Simone is amazing — and her take on Red Sonja is something I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced way back at Emerald City Comic-Con. So when she asked me to contribute, I agreed immediately, even though I’m totally nervous about it.”
- Nancy Collins (Swamp Thing, VAMPS): “I am thrilled to have been chosen by Gail Simone to participate in Legends of Red Sonja. I remember how excited I was when I plucked Conan the Barbarian #23 off the spinner rack as a kid, all those years ago, and finally saw a female hero capable of dishing it out with the best of them. I am honored to have been given this chance to add to Red Sonja’s mythos.”
- Meljean Brook (Iron Seas, Demon Angel): “I’m absolutely thrilled to be writing a story for the she-devil, Red Sonja. I first encountered Red Sonja in the movie with Nielsen and Schwarzenegger when I was about eight years old — and I know that movie isn’t without its problems, but it’s almost impossible to describe how incredible it was to watch a film in which the heroine was just as strong and as tough as the muscle-bound hero. I loved that she was arrogant, skilled, and never wimped out or waited for rescue, and I immediately went out in search of similar stories about her. Red Sonja was a revelation to eight-year-old me, and I can trace many of the heroines I write today back to those roots.”