Today’s strip is guest-drawed by Corey Marie Parkhill, purveyor of her own website at http://www.coreymarie.com.   I’ve known Corey and her husband Tod for quite a while, back when they were chugging out lots of comics and mini-comics through Young American Comics.  Stan has known them for some time as well, and he claims that I subconsciously designed Jason and Noel based on Tod and Corey Marie.  I vehemently deny this charge, but you never know–the subconscious is an odd thing.

Anyway, I absolutely love this strip, and Corey Marie did it in color to boot, which is a rare treat for SubCulture.  I think her renditions of the characters are spot on, and I would absolutely LOVE for her to do more strips for us at some time, a la Dave Dwonch from a year or so ago.  Her style is absolutely perfect for SubCulture.  So thanks, Corey Marie!  And you really should be doing a webstrip or something similar on a regular basis…you’re too talented not to!

Corey Marie does a lot of neat paper ephemera and crafts on her website, including magnets, journals, and all sorts of other nifty stuff.  Those of you lucky enough to have a SubCulture button, she and her husband made those for us as well, and I put in a new order for some more literally as I write this.

On to the strip itself–I am hoping that this strip generates a little discussion, as it is something that I have discussed with a lot of folks over the years that we have been doing this strip.  The big question is, if I, Stan, or both of us were women, would we be getting more hits on the site?  The (il)logic behind this argument is that women are relatively scarce in the industry as a whole, and as such, many of the males (a large chunk of which are socially awkward) sort of latch on to these female creators, thus developing a large, pretty strong fan base.  Whereas as males, Stan and I are a dime a dozen, and it doesn’t do a thing.

I had a discussion with Danielle Corestto (Girls with Slingshots) about this over sushi and drinks at Heroes Con last month.  She’s heard this urban legend a lot, and frankly, she thinks it’s bullshit.  She says it really boils down to hard work and how well you promote yourself and your product.  Corey Marie, who asked if she could alter a little bit of today’s strip’s dialogue in the last panel, definitely agrees with Danielle.  I tend to agree with the two of them as well.  Being female isn’t a guarantee of success in a male-dominated and oriented medium like comics.

But does it have any effect at all?  We have a pretty large female following on SubCulture, and I like to think that it is because we have some pretty strong, and fairly realistic female characters that folks can relate to.  I’d love to see what all of you think about this discussion.

Thanks!