Gail Simone in NY Times

Today’s NY Times has an article headlined “Wonder Woman Gets a New Voice, and It’s Female” focusing on Gail Simone’s start writing the book. She’s credited as “the first woman to serve as ‘ongoing writer’ in the character’s 66-year history.” Which is a damn shame that it took this long.

There’s an accompanying photo gallery with three cover images briefly discussing the title’s history and four pages from Wonder Woman #15. I didn’t zoom in enough to read the balloons, but I found it interesting that, of those four pages, she’s only in costume in the last.

As expected from an article with this early paragraph:

It’s an assignment that will only increase Ms. Simone’s profile. It’s also the latest move by DC Comics to push Wonder Woman, the company’s third-ranked hero, behind Superman and Batman, into the spotlight.

it’s a puff piece. But good for them for getting the coverage, and congratulations to Gail. I did find it interesting that, while discussing her family and career background, the article didn’t mention that she uses a pseudonym. I would think that the Times would want to make note of such things. Anyway, hearing her talk about her plans makes me more interested in checking out the next issue. She’s very good at that.

19 Responses to “Gail Simone in NY Times”

  1. Skipper Pickle Says:

    Thanks for the heads-up on this.

    Why would they bust her pseudonym? i don’t notice that they do that on a regular for other authors.

  2. Tim O'Shea Says:

    Heck, until this post I had no idea Gail was a pseudonym.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Pickle, I disagree. I think it is common practice to mention that an author writes psuedonymously, especially in what resembles a biographical profile. And since the Times prides itself on being the newspaper of record, it surprised me not to see it. But perhaps the writer, like Tim, simply didn’t know.

  4. Damien Whiter Says:

    I’m sure that Mindy Newell is thrilled to hear that her 11 issue run on Wonder Woman (1989-90) doesn’t count as “ongoing writer”.

  5. John Says:

    Dealing with whacked out artists and musicians as I often do, I defer to their pseudonyms – I find it’s seldom necessary to the article (arts-related articles) and if it is necessary, the pseudonyms are often obvious without me pointing them out.

    Also, I suppose Trina Robbins wonderful limited series doesn’t count either. So much for the paper of record (my experience with journalists over the years is that so few of them have any clue with the world of comics anyhow).

  6. Johanna Says:

    That’s certainly not true here – I remember George Gustines as a comic fan from back in the Usenet days. And the Robbins miniseries is mentioned as part of their slide show.

  7. Tommy Raiko Says:

    For what it’s worth, the article istelf seems to read “…the first woman to serve as ‘ongoing writer’ (to use the industry’s term) in the character’s 66-year history.)”

    Since the writer is a known comics fan, I like to think he put that parenthetical in there to perhaps acknowledge that there may be some dubiousness to the claim.

    That said, if the claim is that Simone is the character’s first “ongoing” writer, that would explain why Trina Robbins isn’t being counted since her Wonder Woman contributions were a mini-series and an original graphic novel, not part of the ongoing series. So excluding Robbins makes sense on a technical, semantic point-of-view.

    Less clear is why Mindy Newell should be overlooked. Perhaps it’s because her contributions were collaborative (at least on the post-Crisis Perez-era Wonder Woman; I’m not sure if she was the only writer credited on the pre-and-during-Crisis issues she wrote.) Which is still a bit unfair, but there you go.

    In any case, it’s pretty cool that Simone is writing Wonder Woman, and she doesn’t need to be the first to do so for it to be pretty cool…

  8. John Says:

    Yes, well now that I’ve gone and taken a look at the ACTUAL article instead of just responding to your blog post (I know, I know). . . that’s really nice! I stand duly corrected about the paper of record. Memo to myself: must pay more attention to NYT comics coverage. Just never occurred to me, frankly.

  9. Alan Coil Says:

    Damien Whiter, that’s the first name that came into my mind when I read that, too, but I wasn’t sure how many Mindy Newell wrote.
    Johanna, thanks for the link. The Beat is on vacation, so I probably would have missed this one.

  10. Timothy Liebe Says:

    Taking nothing away from Gail’s amazing achievements, but yeah – I think Louise Simonson and Devin Grayson would both be very surprised to hear this. :/

    It’s the Mainstream Media condescending to write about a non-mainstream culture again – and totally bollixing the details… again.

    Tim Liebe
    “Did you know that Gail Simone was the first woman to ever read a superhero comic…?” >:)

  11. Timothy Liebe Says:

    O-kay … and while we’re on the subject, clearly I’m bollixing the details myself!

    ::sigh:: Sorry about that,
    Tim Liebe
    “Where’s the friggin’ DELETE POST key, anyway?”

  12. Lyle Says:

    From what I recall of past discussions on the topic of female WW writers, Mindy Newell’s run on Wonder Woman was considered a fill-in… even if her fill-in turned out to last longer than some regular writers.

  13. gail Says:

    It was absolutely in error to say that I was the first female to write an ongoing WW book. I have no idea where that came from. And even if it were true, it wouldn’t be my choice of topic.

    But the writer did a nice job, he was a very intense and dedicated reporter, and a very likable guy, as well.

    But certainly, I feel bad that it looks like the achievements of Mindy and others are being sort of plowed over, and I’m going to do my best to make sure that impression is not perpetuated in the future.



  14. Damien Whiter Says:

    Can I start a round of applause for Gail? She’s a classy lady!

  15. Kurt Busiek Says:

    >> Also, I suppose Trina Robbins wonderful limited series doesn’t count either.>>

    You mean the one I wrote?

    I would assume they wouldn’t count that based on the fact that the primary writer had a penis, though Trina and I did talk through the story ahead of time and it was built around villains she chose that she fondly remembered from her youth. And of course, neither Trina nor I did that book as a regular or ongoing assignment. Glad you liked it, though!

    Mindy Newell, however, was indeed the regular writer for six months pre-Crisis.


  16. John Says:

    Extreme apologies Kurt . . . it was like 20 years ago and I am old enough that I can’t retain information as well as I used to, nor can I climb up and reach that high shelf in my office where I know I have the issues in order to double check . . . kills my back . . .

    But thanks for confirming your penis. Now I can stop asking people.

  17. Kurt Busiek Says:

    >> But thanks for confirming your penis. Now I can stop asking people. >>

    That presumes you take my word for it, of course.


  18. John Says:

    Oh, come on, men don’t lie about penises. It’s just not done.

  19. Crocodile Caucus » The significance of Gail Simone Says:

    […] been thinking about the discussion of whether the NY Times was incorrect in calling Gail Simone “the first woman to serve as ‘ongoing writer’ in the character’s 66-year […]




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