Sporadic Sequential
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Shōjo WW Watch: One Year Later

Over at The Beat, Heidi MacDonald reacts to a recent article puzzling over why Wonder Woman just can't hit it big like DC's male icons by pointing out that perhaps putting out a "truly girl-friendly" version of the character would succeed where other approaches have fizzled. Heidi suggests a specific vision of WW that will be familiar to readers of this blog (heck, I just brought it up again earlier this week in response to the news about Marvel and Del Rey's manga X-Men deal), Tintin Pantoja's Princess of Paradise proposal. And judging by the responses in the comments so far, I'm not the only one who would love to see this project published:
I’m not a fan of the character, nor am I a girl, or even fan of manga for that matter- but I’d buy that Wondy comic by Tintin Pantoja- it looks interesting.

I would pay double, heck even triple, price for a Wonder Woman comic by Tintin Pantoja. Every time I see that proposal it makes me cry to think of what could have been. Maybe it’s time to start a letter writing campaign.

OOoh. Another voice speaking up for Manga Wonder Woman. I might actually buy it on a regular basis.
Also in the comments, Grady Hendrix, the author of the New York Sun piece, shows up to reveal that Tintin Pantoja was interviewed for the article but her quotes weren't used due to space limitations. He then shares her comments, which I'm reproducing here:
“I wore a Wonder Woman costume for my sixth birthday. Heh. Then in the late 1990’s I picked up some back issues of the relaunch of Wonder Woman written and drawn by George Perez, and fell in love with his version of the character. I particularly loved his emphasis on the mythical elements of Wonder Woman’s story, his situating her in an ancient-Greece-based culture, and his characterization of her as basically a young, innocent and inexperienced outsider with much untapped strength.

Later while studying at SVA, DC comics, through its Vertigo imprint, released a manga-influenced graphic novel featuring Death. I’d been getting more into manga at this point, particularly manga written by and for young women, and thought Wonder Woman would provide the perfect bridge between the DC Universe and manga. After all, Wonder Woman has many of the same elements you find in girl’s manga: magic powers, gods and goddesses, mythic struggles, a young and malleable warrior princess protagonist, and a vast historical universe. How about further examining Wonder Woman’s hero’s-journey, using a younger version of the protagonist to reflect the younger manga audience, against this huge backdrop of magic and myth?- I really thought teenage readers might enjoy it.”

Asked about pitching the project to DC:
“I drew up the proposal with help from some friends- among them Eve Grandt, who provided the comic tones- and showed them to a DC editor who also taught at SVA. I think he might have showed them to an editor at Vertigo as well, but I believe that’s as far as it got. I don’t think I expected much of a reaction, since it’s pretty tough to attract work from Marvel or DC, but the idea was so compelling I thought, ‘might as well go for it and see where it leads.’ With no reaction from DC, I just filed the project away and put the pages online as part of my portfolio, then forgot about them.”

When asked what she thought of Wonder Woman in general:
“I see Wonder Woman as a great potential role model and powerful symbol. She’s iconic, and she has all this symbolism behind her: freedom from bondage and from hate, the breaking of chains, the forging of bridges, the crossing of cultures, etc. I’m also intrigued by the universe George Perez helped re-establish for her: how did this young girl from a totally isolated society become a powerful hero?”
I blogged about Tintin's manga-inspired WW pitch quite a bit last year, and the last I remember hearing was that another publisher had expressed interest in publishing the project as a non-WW work. I haven't heard anything about the proposal since then, but I'd still love to see Tintin's project published in whatever form it might take. Here's hoping some smart publisher snatches up this great concept and helps it see the light of day!

UPDATE: Back at The Beat, Heidi points out that Tintin (AKA Maria Kristina) Pantoja has another interesting-looking manga-inspired reimagining actually coming out: Shakespeare's Hamlet, The Manga Edition! Twenty-five preview pages are up at Pantoja's website, and she discusses some of the behind-the-scenes process on her LiveJournal. I'm intrigued, so it's been added to the Wish List!

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