August 6, 2014 2:06 pm

Halifax artist hopes comics will inspire new wave of ‘supergirls’

HALIFAX – When Faith Erin Hicks first became interested in comic books, she had trouble finding a superhero she could relate to, so she took matters into her own hands.

“I decided to make my own superhero and to tell the kind of adventures I wanted her to go on,” the Halifax-based writer and artist said.

“It’s the kind of book I would want to read if I was a kid, so that’s what I set out to make.”

That’s how The Adventures of Superhero Girl was born.

The comic strip, which ran in weekly Halifax newspaper The Coast for a couple years before being published as a collection, features a young Canadian girl who fights supervillains in an “all-too-ordinary world.”

Late last month, Hicks’ hard work paid off. Her publication won an Eisner Award — one of the highest honours in the industry.

Faith Erin Hicks accepts her award at San Diego Comic-Con 2014.

Faith Erin Hicks/ Contributed

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“I’ve never had a moment like that where someone physically hands you an award and says, ‘you are the best at this particular moment’ and that’s a really wonderful validation,” she said, shortly after returning home from Comic-Con in San Diego, where the awards were handed out.

Local comic book lovers say the award not only shines a spotlight on Halifax and its talented artists, but also brings attention to a demographic of comic readers that has recently been overlooked.

“There was a period in the industry where younger readers were neglected a bit and it was really tough to find stuff,” said Mike Crossman, the owner of Monster Comic Lounge on Gottingen Street.

“Really good product being put out for that age group is really exciting again.”

Hicks says she is happy to have a voice in the industry and is encouraged by her fans, many of whom are girls. She hopes one day what she is accomplishing will be the norm instead of the exception.

“I would love to reach the point where comics are acknowledged for being for everyone and we don’t have to ask that question anymore — ‘what’s it like being a woman in comics?’ — because it’s a non-issue.”

Hicks is currently working on four more graphic novels to be completed in the next few years.

Her 10th novel will be published this fall.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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