In case you forgot about Green Day (same), they are a band who found famous courtesy of their angsty pop-rock in the mid ’90s, became a staple at every single graduation ceremony you’ve ever been to thanks to their song “Time Of Your Life,” and had a bit of a resurgence in the early to mid aughts with their album, American Idiot and the Broadway musical it inspired.
Right now, they are a trio of middle-aged men. And along with illustrator Frank Caruso, who is also a middle-aged man, they are launching this graphic novel. For women. By—in case we were not clear—four men. It’s utter nonsense, and Twitter agrees.
— stop scrolling 💊 (@ExplainltToMe) April 3, 2019
Perfect timing! I, a non member of Green Day, am writing my handbook for being in the band Green Day. Also due out 10/29
— Manny Santos (@DanuellaSantos) April 3, 2019
— pe (@MartyPeezy) April 3, 2019
Genève Faranski, who has worked at Toronto comic shop The Beguiling for eight years, also agrees. “It has a certain aesthetic that seems dated,” she says. “And it’s by four men, so automatically it feels a little unpredictable in terms of the content.” Faranski also says that the world of graphic novels has historically been a boys club, but in the past 10 years, she’s seen an uptick in the number of women navigating the industry.
Does that mean she thinks Green Day could have found someone better to collaborate with on this project? “There are hundreds of women doing really popular work exhibited all over the world, and judging by the artwork, who could do a much more interesting and appealing job.” So… That’s a yes.
Here are some graphic novels that already exist, actually written by Canadian women, for women that Faranski loves. Full disclosure: we have not read Last of the American Girls, and probably never will, but we still bet these are much better.
Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal
This novel is set in the near future, where all men have disappeared thanks to a birth defect. Earth gets a rebrand as Woman World, united under the flag of Beyoncé’s Thighs (seriously). “That’s what she said” jokes and Blockbusters are distant memories, and the biggest hurdle is continuing the species.
Available at Drawn & Quarterly, $10.
Somnambulance by Fiona Smyth
Faranski calls Fiona Smyth an “incredible figure on the Toronto comic scene.” The pages of her work are packed with images of feminism, sexuality and style. Somnabulance is a collection of her comics from the past 30 years, and while it’s NSFW, it’s also super empowering and sparks conversations that remain important, even decades after they were written.
Available at Indigo, $34.
XTC69 by Jessica Campbell
Jessica Campbell (in the novel) is from the planet L8DZ N1T3. She’s also the commander of a spaceship that’s traveling the galaxy, looking for men she and her crew can breed with. Jessica Campbell (the artist) is known for skewering gender politics, so it’s not surprising that XTC69 offers up hilarious commentary on the determination of women and non-binary folks who are constantly dealing with men who are trash.
Available at Amazon, $14.
Magical Beatdown Volume 1 by Jenn Woodall
Jenn Woodall, who Faranski says is one of The Beguiling’s best sellers, produced a series of graphic novels that’s like a feminist punk interpretation of Sailor Moon. It’s a revenge fantasy, lead by an otherwise average schoolgirl who changes into a magical being and takes down people who harass her in the street.
Available at Silver Sprocket, $6.
SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamacki
This book is about kids in a high school for the supernaturally gifted, and all the bake sales, crushes and science experiments they experience along the way. It is geared towards a younger reader, and Faranski recommends it in case Green Day’s novel ends up being for younger women/girls, too. We truly have no idea at this point.
Available at Drawn & Quarterly, $23.