As LadiesCon draws ever-closer, we here at the Ladies are working to find ways to make an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. We’ve split up into two locations – vendors and guests at 212 Elm Street, and panels and programs at Comicazi. (They’re only a 5 minute walk away from each other, never fear!) We’ve added pre-event lunches and after parties. And of course, we’ve been working on these posts to showcase our exceptional inaugural guests! This week we’re featuring multi-talented Ming Doyle.
The multi-talented part isn’t just a bit of clever alliteration. While Doyle is best known for her gorgeous art, she recently did a stint as a writer on DC’s Constantine: The Hellblazer, and her credits span the gamut of comics work – pencils, inks, covers – you name it, she’s done it. She’s also worked for a wide array of publishers – Image, Boom, DC and Marvel, to name a few – and in every genre you can imagine. This is a lady who is living the comics life.
It’s her latest project that has me sitting up and paying attention, however, and that I want to focus on here. Doyle is providing the art and some absolutely knock-out covers for Girl Over Paris, a four-issue miniseries based on Gwenda Bond‘s Cirque American novels. If you’re unfamiliar, the novels follow performers in a circus where the magic and mystery are real, whether the audience knows it or not. The comics, written by Kate Leth, are a new story that fills in the gaps between book one and book two, following Jules Maroni, a young wire-walker whose star is on the rise.
What I was immediately struck by is what a perfect fit Doyle’s art is for this tale. Her characters are dreamy and beautiful, with all of the glamour that befits performers. But they don’t look frail or overly thin. When Jules is on the high wire over the streets of Paris, doing her routine, we see the muscles in her back, the power in her legs. This is a realistic woman – attractive and athletic, yes, but also powerful and physically capable of the feats we’re shown she can do.
The combination of the fantastic and realistic is a perfect match for the story, and a hallmark, I think, of Doyle’s work. Even when working on a more straightforward, non-magical story like her recent work on The Kitchen, a story of mob wives who take matters into their own hands when their husbands are sent to jail, there’s a sense of menace and mystery to her art that, to my mind, elevates the rest of the story – exactly what the best comic art should do.
IMPORTANT FINAL NOTE: With the overwhelming response to the event, we decided to have a ticketing system for LadiesCon so that we can track how many folks to really expect. Please reserve your tickets here. Thanks!