When it comes to characters, Dana Schwartz knows all about making them memorable and hilarious. She's written three books, including the memoir Choose Your Own Disaster and the very funny The White Man's Guide to White Male Writers of the Western Canon — based on her @GuyInYourMFA parody Twitter account. She's also the creator and host of the Noble Blood podcast and has written for several comic characters including Deadpool and Rescue. Recently, she also confirmed that she'd been tapped to join the writer's room for the upcoming Disney+ series She-Hulk.
In celebration of Women's History Month, SYFY FANGRRLS reached out to Schwartz to recommend some of her comic faves — what got her hooked on the medium and what she's currently into right now.
Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi
"Persepolis was one of the first graphic novels I read, and so it will always hold a special place in my heart. It has such a beautiful distinct style and tells a story about a world I had never encountered before. I thought about it for weeks after I read it — I couldn't get certain images out of my head. I saw the panels when I closed my eyes. It should be on every living person's reading list, and top of that list if the person doesn't think comics are for them."
She-Hulk Vol. 1 #3, Dead Certain - Dan Slott
"When I found out last year that I would be lucky enough to get a job in the writers' room for the new Disney+ series, She-Hulk, I (1) called my mom and (2) immediately went home to start re-reading my collection of Dan Slott's amazing Shulkie run. Dead Certain is one of my favorite single issues, about a witness trying to testify from beyond the grave about his own murder. It's classic superhero law at its best: zany, weird, and entirely unexpected."
Ms. Marvel - G. Willow Wilson
"You’ve surely all met Kamala Khan by now, right? I can’t remember a more fun debut issue, one that introduces us to a brand-new hero with all of the panache and humor you would ever hope for. Ms. Marvel subverts classic high school tropes, delving into topics of self-esteem and appearance and asking the question of why we expect heroes to look a certain way."
Sex Criminals, "One Weird Trick" - Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
"If you haven’t checked out the just finished run of Sex Criminals, do yourself a favor — grab some books, light some candles and spend the entire weekend in bed. Suze, the series' librarian protagonist, is smart and well-rounded, one of the best developed comic characters I've read. The story is about stopping time, robbing banks, and getting laid and somehow it's even more fun than it sounds. Sex Criminals expanded my conception of what type of stories could be told in comic books — it's all classic action, and rom-com hijinks."
Runaways Vol. 1, Find Your Way Home - Rainbow Rowell
"I’ve always loved Rainbow Rowell's novels (Simon + Baz forever), and so it was such a treat to be able to see her take on the Runaways. Everything I loved about her novels — the romance, the characters, the dialogue — is out in full force in her run."
Nimona - Noelle Stevenson
"I remember reading Nimona back when it was just online and obsessing over every single update from writer and artist Noelle Stevenson. Since then, it's just been a pleasure to watch Stevenson's body of work expand to include Lumberjanes and Netflix's She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, but Nimona will always have a special place in my heart. I love the moral ambiguity, the unapologetic impishness of the titular Nimona and the all-time sexual tension between Blackheart and Goldenloin."
Passing for Human - Liana Finck
"After I graduated from college, I worked briefly as an assistant in the cartoon department at The New Yorker. I loved all of the cartoonists, but Liana Finck was always a personal favorite. Her minimalist line style somehow seems so intimate even when its abstract, and her sense of humor is brilliant and unexpected. And so I was thrilled when she released a graphic memoir. The less you know about it going in the better, but it's something of a coming-of-age story — more like a coming-of-soul story. I have so much love for her."
Fangs - Sarah Andersen
"I have fallen head over heels for Sarah Andersen's saga about a budding romance between a vampire and a werewolf. It eschews clichés and easy jokes and instead just focuses on two people in love. I can't remember the last time I read something that so captures that just fell in love feeling of a new relationship."