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Friday, August 5, 2011
Barbie Comics: The Brains! The Beauty! The Marketing!
One of my friends, Emilio Torres Garcia wrote today about one of my past projects, and it reminded me, just what fun it was to work on that particular series.
I'm talking of course, about the "Barbie" comics at Marvel. Barbie, you might say?! Yes indeed. And before you start talking about her painfully thin waist, or her perpetual high arches, or the much maligned Ken, I'll jump in.
I'm very proud to have worked on this series. They were intelligently written. Each story had humor and wit, and although there were certainly messages, none of them were heavy handed or hit one over the head. These comics were also designed for a very important purpose:
Getting girls to read comics.
Comic books have long had a male dominated readership... yes, I know, there are girls like me that read comics.... but we are not the norm. It was and still is, important to have comics that appeal to all at all ages. "Barbie" was a perfect introduction comic for younger girls.
I firmly believe that what will attract readers to what we do is good storytelling first and foremost. It doesn't matter what or whom the character is. Be it a purple pig, a flying super hero, or a hedgehog. Or Barbie. Write a good story, put it with some great sequential storytelling, let people know about it, and they will come.... be it that your format is print, digital or both.
So, at the time, in the late 90's "Barbie" was our hook, and I applaud whomever at Marvel had the courage to try something different at the time. And, I like to think that many girls...and guys... read them because they were just.... FUN!
Thank you Emilio for stirring up the memories.
Here is what he had to say:
Shhh--- I'm reading my Barbie Comics!
by Emilio Torres Garcia
Before Supergirl, before Wonder Woman, Barbie was my girl. Her surreal angel face and physiologically impossible body had me smitten at a very early stage in my life. I loved her but she didn’t love me (I mean come on it’s a freaking doll for crying out loud). So imagine my frustration when I had to wait until the end of 1990 so that Marvel Comics could finally release the #1 issue of their Barbie Comic Book.
Written by Lisa Trusiani, pencilled by Mary Wilshire, Inked by John Lucas, Colored by Renee Witterstaetter and edited by Fabian Nicieza to me this book is an unsung gem in the history of Comics. This issue consisted of three stories “The Fashion Show Must Go On”, “Dirty Dancing” and “Prize Pet”. Plus four one page vignettes. This issue encapsulates everything that makes Barbie fabulous. Her caring-loving nature, her witty humor, silky smooth hair and of course her unparalleled fashion sense it’s all there. This comics is excellent reading for young girls and issue included a bonus Door Hanger which I also scanned as you can see below.
(Original post and blog: http://myoldbox.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/shhh-im-reading-my-barbie-comics/)