Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Forgotten Comics: GoGirl

GoGirl! (Graphic Novel #1, Dark Horse 2001)
Writer: Trina Robbins
Artist: Anne Timmons
Rating: Eight of Ten Tomatoes

When the GoGirl! comic book debuted a few years back, I posted a rave about the title on my website. It was a fun read, with charming, non-teeth-gritting and chestpounding and angstily ranting characters. Unfortunately, already by issue #2, I knew the title was not long for the world... I couldn't get my hands on it, and I was already seeing net-rumours about how the book was on the verge of cancellation. Typical... no comic book I like seems to lasts long.

With the publication of the GoGirl trade paperback, I can read all the fun little tales of Lindsay, the daughter of a Seventies superhero who inherited her mother's ability to fly, in a compact package. I can even get to read the issues I never could find, despite my comic shop's insistence they ordered them repeated (#2, #3, and #5).

Aside from some well-done stories, the brief introduction from writer Trina Robbins is an interesting read. Apparently, what short life the comic book series had was breathed into it by anger from internet critics when it seemed the title was going to be discontinued even before it saw the light of day due to low pre-orders. Robbins mentioned that part of the motivation behind the title was to prove that girls read comics. Whether Image (the publisher of the single issues) dropped the ball, of if there was some other problem, or if GoGirl! actually helped prove that girls DON'T read comics, unfortunately, the title seems to have failed commercially. The title continued in two additional graphic novels from Dark Horse, but the last one appeared in 2006--and was released with such stealth that it is only just now that I discovered it was even published. I'll be ordering a copy, and posting a review down the line.

Tone-wise, GoGirl! reminds me of some of my favorite comics from when I was a kid--the Cary Bates-scripted issues of Superman. I wish more titles had the sort of light touches present in GoGirl! these days, but, given how such stories don't seem to work for the majority of comic book readers, I doubt it's going to happen.

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