I happily got to spend some time with Raina Telgemeier on Saturday at Big Planet Comics Vienna. She had a wedding during the weekend of SPX so she had to skip it (friends of comics people: Don’t get married during SPX! Unless you’re actually getting married at SPX!) so I’m glad I got to see her.
Drama is amazing and I think will bring her to wider attention. It seems to be connecting with a pretty broad audience (I related to it more than many comics for adults I’ve read recently) and that makes me happy. But what also makes me happy is that Smile remains a New York Times bestseller. That book came out 2 1/2 years ago. It had plenty of support from its publisher (and Raina herself) but at this point, it’s still selling because kids tell each other about it — they pass their copies around and then they each want one.
Well, not just kids. More importantly, girls.
I have some more things to say in the future about how “girls’ comics” are marginalized or misunderstood, but the fact that Smile is still selling huge numbers is delightful. Girls are reading comics. Girls are telling other girls about comics. Girls are getting excited to go meet the woman making these comics.
That’s such an awesome thing. I’ve said that in 5-10 years that women are going to transform the comic book industry. They already are, somewhat, yeah, but I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to go see all these girls so happy to meet Raina, especially in comparison to what DC Comics just offered up to teenage girls this week.
That stuff does make me angry, yes, but I also know it’s going to quickly be irrelevant. And people like Raina Telgemeier are absolutely helping to change that by inspiring the next generations.