For my first article, I’m going to step back and take a look at the bigger picture for a moment.
I don’t think I’m off-base by suggesting that women have been woefully under-represented in the world of mainstream comics since it began, and female readers have largely been overlooked. That’s why it gives me great pleasure to have found this site, Tomgeeks, with its massive list of webcomics “created by those of the female persuasion” (to quote the site). It’s an impressive list, broken down into genres for easier navigation, with wonderful rectangular logo images for each comic. It is also one of the best examples of how the decentralized and democratized internet has opened up whole new avenues to let highly-talented and driven individuals present their work. The medium of webcomics in general has practically obliterated all barriers to entry in the comic world — for all creators — and Tomgeeks’ list beautifully illustrates that fact for female creators in particular.
The collective was formed in November 2007 by Crystal Yates (Earthsong) and was active until early this year (2013), when it was unfortunately brought to a close. From 2010 until that time, there was also an associated webcomic called, appropriately enough, Tomgeeks – the archive of which is still there on the site. It’s a (mostly) 4-panel-format humor strip, filled with geeky jokes and references (my favorite kind!), about a geek girl starting high school.
Despite the collective itself being defunct, a lot of the individual members’ comics — such as Crystal Yates’ Earthsong — are still on-going. And even those that are not should provide you with plenty of reading material.
I am sure that we will cover a number of those individual comics on this site in greater depth in the future, but for the time being we think you ought to indulge in a lengthy stroll through the comics listed there. It may be too late to save the comic and collective by the name of Tomgeeks (but, who knows, maybe it can be brought back from the dead…), but there’s still certainly plenty of time to support the creators whose work is featured there. I hope it can be empowering for female creators, and inspiring for female readers, to see all this work that already exists and the opportunity that is present for creating even more. And that’s good for comics, all the way around.
I don’t think any of these are being updated anymore, but if you’re interested in finding Tomgeeks elsewhere on the web check these links:
*I’m sure my title for this article will raise the heckles of some, but please know the title is in jest. It’s a reference to the old “Look kids, Comics!” signs that used to sit above spinning racks in grocery and drug stores. I’m sure most, if not all, of the comics listed on this page are damn fine reading for people of any gender.