The webcomics blog about webcomics

Yep, That Sure Is A Quiet Day In Webcomicsland. Yep.

Fortunately, it’s during those quiet days that something that might otherwise be overlooked is more easily noticed. Case in point: Dean Trippe; his work on Butterfly has been quiet of late, but it’s been more than offset by this efforts at Project Rooftop and various contributions to print comickry. But now he’s absolutely burning up the internet with details of his (sadly rejected) proposal for a book series at DC: Lois Lane, Girl Reporter:

Lois Lane, Girl Reporter follows the adventures of young Lois Lane. At eleven years old, Lois has discovered her calling: investigative journalism. She sets out to right wrongs and help out her friends. This series explores Lois’s character, reveals her surprising early influence on the future Man of Steel, and introduces fun new elements into this enduring character’s back story.

In each book, Lois will tackle a problem or mystery affecting the members of the community she finds herself in as she travels around the country. The investigations in this series will not be mystical or supernatural (though some characters may suspect such sources), but real world problems that Lois works to set right.

So far, so good, but what makes it absolutely genius is this little bit from the end of the proposed first book:

The story ends by another appearance by twelve year old Clark Kent, who helps the people of Smallville in secret, but never openly, due to his parents’ fears of his being discovered. But Clark reads Lois’s article reprinted in the Smallville Star, laying on his stomach on the living room rug. He looks over his shoulder, smiling at Martha and says, “Golly, that’s some girl, huh, Ma?” Here’s this girl fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way with no superpowers and no secret identity. Clark enrolls in his school’s journalism class the next day. That’s why Clark Kent is a reporter. Lois Lane is his hero. [emphasis added]

From my (admittedly sparse) reading of the history of Superman, for the first 30 years or so, Superman was a complete dick to Lois, and Lois was a scheming, jealous shrew trying to trick Superman into marriage. At some point they tried to make her hip, and it was only relatively recently that Lois was actually shown as any good at her job. But making her the inspiration for the future Superman? That’s a really nice twist there.

LL,GR is (or “was”, I suppose) pitched at the a female, tween audience, but it appears to have struck a nerve, in that everybody that’s read the pitch seems to be saying, Heck, I want to read that. I am a 43 year old dude, and I want to read it, because it sounds totally cool. Add to the fact that Trippe was collaborating with John Campbell (who knows a thing or two about getting to the emotional heart of things), and that there would be illustrations by P:R vet Daniel Krall (who has a style that reads like a cross between Carly Monardo, Chynna Clugston, and Jess Fink), and you have one of the great books that nobody is ever going to see (cf: Tintin Pantoja’s proposed take on Wonder Woman). But at least it got Kate Beaton sketching some 1950s-era Lois Lanes, so it’s not a complete wash.

Thanks so much for the post and super kind words. Seeing the response to this has really warmed my heart and given me hope that these kinda stories CAN find their audience. Hopefully, that kind of audience will follow me as I return to creator-owned work, where I don’t have to convince guys who can’t make comics they should let me do it for them. :P

[…] Okay, how about here — a couple of weeks ago, Chris Sims (professional Batmanologist and surprisingly astute analyst of pressing issues in comics) wrote a piece about how DC and Marvel should adopt aspects of webcomics. In reaction, a bunch of creators talked about what they’d pitch to the Big Two for ongoing, daily, fun-chuckles. Webcomickers invited to the party included Brad “The PUNisher” Guigar, Curt Franklin, Justin Pierce¹, Lucy Knisley, Shaenon Garrity, and the if-he-stops-comicking-he-dies Ryan Estrada². Each of these pitches that doesn’t happen is a wasted opportunity on par with Lois Lane, Girl Reporter. […]

[…] wouldn’t like to see what Dean Trippe and Jerzy Drozd could do with a DC all-ages line, with Lois Lane, Girl Reporter at the top of the […]

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