They Say It’s Her Birthday

Today is my friend Jenny Montgomery’s birthday. It also happens I have a Q&A in this week’s Independent in support of her pop-up poetry/art installation at Radius Gallery called “Hatch.” You can check out the interview HERE. Meanwhile, an excerpt:

Jenny Montgomery’s Radius Gallery pop-up show, titled Hatch, explores the parenting of her son, who was born seven years ago with no signs of life. Nurses at the remote, rural hospital revived him and he was immediately whisked away from Montgomery and her husband, Ryan, to a large urban facility where modern technology enabled his survival. Hatch documents Montgomery’s experience, substituting the medical jargon and technology with images and poetry. It’s an exhibit that touches on ancient ritual traditions surrounding death and the afterlife, the romantic idealization of childhood and the near-fetishization of medical “cures” and pharmaceuticals. We spoke with Jenny—you may also know her as co-owner of Montgomery Distillery—about this intensely personal exhibit and her uncommon son, Heath.

I’ve gotten to know Jenny fairly well over the past couple years. She appeared in the DonkeyGirl fashion extravaganza “Two-Wheel Nation,” she modeled for me at last spring’s fashion shoot for the Indy’s “Spring Fashion” insert, and she also modeled at the Betty’s Divine “Dysfunctional Family” shoot we did a few weeks ago. She plied me with alcohol at the Beargrass Writing thing last month, and just last night hung out with me at Chris Dombrowski’s book release party held at Montgomery Distillery. Jenny is one of my favorites. Everyone should be lucky enough to know her.

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Not the World’s Most Important Glass Ceiling, but the Mofo is Still Broken

Saw this article Friday afternoon over at Bleeding Cool (which is essentially a news gathering site for the comics industry): Amanda Conner First Woman To Make Wizard’s Top Ten Hot Artists List. I’ve probably been talking about comics too much lately, but this is still a big enough deal that I feel it’s worth mentioning here, given how much of a boys’ club this industry has historically been. From Rich Johnston’s article:

Wizard Magazine, the Entertainment Weekly of comics has been running its Top Ten Hot Artists and Top Ten Hot Writers List since the magazine started, reflecting the whims of the market, the readers, the retailers and the publishers over who is and is not in demand. It’s a cruel, harsh unforgiving column but its hard to deny to reflects a certain majority taste in comics. And while some women have broken into the Top Ten Hot Writers list, no female comics artist has been deemed “hot” enough to warrant inclusion in the Top Ten Hot Artists, despite many finding success, especially in the manga market. But, apparently, manga doesn’t count. And so the Wizard Top Ten Hot Artists List has remained an all-male preserve.This week, that all changes, as Amanda Conner joins the list in this Wednesday’s edition of Wizard Magazine. Her work on Power Girl, while just as excellent as her other recent work, has nevertheless found new eyeballs, and that’s what matters to The List.

I’ve become a big fan of Amanda’s work — I love the broad, cartoony style she delivers. That may sound silly, but she has a way of making the stories fun even when serious events are going down. In particular I love the emotions and expressions she captures on the faces of her characters, whether they are human or animals (as in this scan from the current issue):

Amanda first caught my attention with her work on the Supergirl strip that ran in Wednesday Comics, which just wrapped up last week. That strip was lighthearted and a lot of fun, and is what inspired me to start picking up Power Girl.

Power Girl is written by the team of Jimmy Palmiotti (Amanda’s husband) and Justin Gray (the Supergirl strip was also written by Palmiotti), and it is a team that, combined with Amanda’s art, really delivers on the fun side of what superhero comics can be. Not only that, but they have taken a character that many have considered something of a joke, for a couple quite large, obvious reasons, and given her some real personality and depth. Frankly, with a couple exceptions, the superhero genre hasn’t been doing a whole lot for me lately, probably because the companies with the market cornered continue to do these sweeping, world-changing crossovers that drive me up a wall. Power Girl isn’t in the middle of all that, and I’m enjoying the hell out of it. Congrats, Amanda!

I don’t know what kind of a living these creators make, but I’m glad they’re out there making it. They’re worth more to me than some jock who can catch a football, that’s for damn sure.